Posts Tagged ‘children’s’

Buying and Storing Ahead

Friday, April 15th, 2016

storing and buying aheadMuch to my kiddos’ dismay at times, they have to be clothed (at least when leaving the house). Every parent knows how expensive this gets … parents of girls I think get hit twice as hard here.

A good baby or kid sale can be a landmine. It can also be a waste of time and money if you don’t hit your child’s projected sizes right. The best sales are usually clearing out the current season’s merchandise, and unless you are lucky enough to live somewhere that’s 72 and sunny all year (ahem, San Diego residents, we’re all jealously looking at you), guessing what size your kid will be when that season hits again can be a little difficult.

Once your child is wearing 12 month sizes or larger, it gets a lot easier to guesstimate your child’s growth rate. They are no longer growing quite so fast, and the sizes start covering a lot more ages. A couple tips for buying for seasons ahead though: first, with outerwear, I always size up. I usually buy winter and rain coats for my kids about two sizes larger than I think they will wear, as they are an easy thing to wear when they’re a little big, and babies and toddlers in particular aren’t very hard on outerwear (that comes later) so it should last. I do the same with pajamas as well.

Second, don’t go crazy just because your local Gymbo has a bin of shirts marked down to $1.99. Overbuying is one of the harder things to figure out when buying ahead. In case you anticipate sizes wrong, even at $1.99 buying twenty t-shirts that only get worn for a month is probably not the best deal around.

Overbuying and under-buying are both very easy to do as well if you don’t have the larger clothing organized. Buying things here and there as you see them on sale is great, until it comes time to use those clothes and you realize your child has 17 pairs of shorts, two pairs of underwear, and a sweater to wear. Likewise, without the clothing organized, it’s easy to misplace items that get grown out of before they are ever worn. If you have closet space, you can buy or make tags dividing up the clothes between sizes. If you are using boxes or drawers, be sure to clearly label each one. You may also want to consider keeping a list of what you need and what you have purchased in what sizes. This is easy to store in a smartphone and helps you buy just what you need.

Personally, I have always lived in places with seasons so I almost never buy any seasonal shoes ahead. Feet size growth has never been something I can project. Everyday shoes like athletic shoes I’ll pick up, but sandals and boots are a no for me.

Finally, all of this (particularly the organization part) applies to hand-me-downs as well. Keeping things well organized by size helps prevent things from getting forgotten. With hand-me-downs, you also should be using a critical eye on the clothing you save for later. If something is stained or torn or extremely faded, chances are you won’t be reaching for it once your next child is wearing that size. Better to get rid of it now and save the storage space for items that will be worn.

Meaghan Howard is currently enjoying being a stay-at-home parent while living with her husband and two young children overseas. She enjoys traveling, running, and the world’s most amazing sport ever, dragon boat. 

First Haircut

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

First Haircut

Babies have all the luck. They’re so cute that they make baldness, receding hairlines, mullets, and being chubby all look amazingly adorable. It’s a little unfair that we adults can’t enjoy the same benefits, but I guess it’s all part of being a grown-up.

At some point in your baby’s life, you will probably have to consider orchestrating a real tear jerker (hopefully just for you): the first haircut. Even if your baby is bald and you fear he will never have hair (been there), I promise that he will.

When you decide this is necessary is totally personal preference. I know mothers of both girls and boys that say they still haven’t cut their preschooler’s hair yet, and others whose follically blessed offspring needed bangs or their entire head cut to get the hair out of their eyes before they reached their first birthday.

It can be a little nerve wracking to cut your baby’s hair. Some people opt to do it at home, other parents choose to take their baby to a salon or barber. It can be frightening to imagine an active child around sharp scissors, so a professional can be a good choice if this is something that worries you. Many cities now have children’s salons with fun seats to sit in, brightly colored walls, and sometimes even children’s’ programming on TVs. If your area doesn’t have one, or you aren’t interested in that sort of thing, most salons and barbers have padded boosters for the chair and cute kid-sized smocks for them to wear.

If you have an older child going in for their first cut, prepping them mentally beforehand is a really good idea. Letting them know what to expect and explaining what’s going to happen can help keep the experience a positive one. My own son had his first cut when he was still very young–we were pretty much just trimming his mullet (party in the back) as the business in the front didn’t have a whole lot going on yet. I don’t think he would have gotten a lot out of prepping him beforehand, so I went armed with bribes (Dum-dums) and everybody complimented his handsomeness repeatedly during the process and right after. He ate it up, admiring his little baby self in the mirror while the stylist cut.

The first cut can be a fun milestone for your family. If you can, invite family or a couple friends, who can also be enlisted to take a few photos if you like (so you can enjoy being in the moment). Many salons issue a ‘First Haircut’ certificate that usually has a small ziploc for keeping a lock of hair in. If this is something you would like, you might consider calling ahead to make sure it’s available. Otherwise, if you choose to keep a lock of hair from the cut, don’t forget a small bag. And maybe some tissues.

Meaghan Howard is a mom to two little boys, who still demand bribes and compliments with each haircut.