What could be better than welcoming home a precious newborn? Buying a fabulous new wardrobe for that little one, of course! Few can resist the temptation of spoiling a new baby with hip and trendy clothes all desig
Heather Nolte

What could be better than welcoming home a precious newborn? Buying a fabulous new wardrobe for that little one, of course! Few can resist the temptation of spoiling a new baby with hip and trendy clothes all designed with the littlest fashionista or heartthrob in mind. As you start your shopping adventure, keep in mind that baby will need the three Bs in their wardrobe -- That's Bargain, Black Tie and Boutique. Bargain
Bargain clothes are the "cheap, but comfy we're not leaving the house today anyway" pieces. These are often layette items and come via hand me downs, baby shower re-gifting or the clearance rack. They are the old stand-bys that you don't mind getting stained with spit-up, strained peas or any other baby "goo."

However, they are nothing that you would have your uber adorable baby wear as you introduce her to the world. They do come in handy, though and are often available in three-packs at your local "big box" retailer. Buy as many of these pieces as you see fit, usually at least seven items.

Black Tie
On the other side of the wardrobe spectrum is Black Tie. These are the "spent too much, but it's a special occasion and doesn't she look like royalty" outfits. There are so many buttons and bows that you fear diaper changes and the dry cleaning bill even more. Once this frou-frou outfit has been bought and worn, there's only one thing you can do -- take pictures, lots of them.

Your little cherub will most likely never wear this again and you'll need to immortalize the moment to help justify spending all the grocery money. Plan on buying one, maybe two of these pieces depending on your social calendar and appetite for picture studios. You can find these dresses and suits at specialty stores, especially around the holidays. If you can find something fantastic at your local re-sale shop, consider yourself lucky and go for it. And don't forget to take pictures!

Last, and the obvious favorite, are the Boutique pieces. These goodies mix practical with precious and round out your little one's wardrobe. They're comfortable, one-of-a-kind and are easy to care for. You'll be the envy of the playground and can expect lots of "oohs" and "aahs" at your neighborhood block party.

Boutique items make great gifts and are a hit at friends' baby showers. Boutique pieces cost a little more than Bargain, but nowhere close to Black Tie. These onesies, tees and loungewear pieces are well worth the extra cost as they liven up the rest of baby's otherwise drab ensembles.

Shop for pieces that have personality. They need to scream "Johnny" or "Sara" -- whomever you're shopping for. When you reach into the dryer and are immediately reminded of his mischievousness or her never-ending smile, you will inevitably smile yourself. Savor these early years, revel in your child's uniqueness, and buy as many of these pieces as you can afford.

Armed with this fabulous but functional assortment of clothes your precious little one will be ready to "wow" the world. You can help make this wardrobe investment last by taking time to read care labels and buying clothes a little roomy. Also look for features like lap shoulders for easy on and off and snap bottoms that can accommodate extenders that will help extend the life of the clothes and make diaper changes a breeze.

Have fun shopping for the three Bs and let yourself splurge a little. After all, having complete strangers exclaim, "she's the cutest thing I've ever seen!" is one the greatest joys of being a mom. PregnancyAndBaby.com

Tags: layette

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