We have gone through the toddler stage many times with four sons and have done things a little differently each time. Over the years we have found that we greatly prefer having less stuff and these are just some of the things that we do to help us keep an intentional wardrobe for our toddler.
Keep a regular laundry routine – If you decide that kid clothes are washed on Thursdays, you can plan to have only 1 week of clothing for your kiddo. Some people like to have even less and wash more frequently. Pick whatever works best for your family. Additionally, if you do a load for your toddler without mixing in other items, all the clothes can go back into the basket and right back to where you keep your toddler’s clothes. Even if you don’t have time to fold and put them away, the clean items will all be together for quick access.
Keep all the clothing in one spot in your home. This way you can see it all at a glance and determine if there gaps in their wardrobe, if you need to get an extra item or do laundry sooner. I like all of my sons clothing for that season to fit in one drawer and sorted by item, all the sorts grouped together, all shirts, etc.
Go Darker – All black is probably not the look you are going for but selecting but brighter and darker colors will be easier to naturally keep stain free without harsh chemicals.
Use a capsule style wardrobe where a lot of the items can mix and match. We like to have all solid bottoms so that we can have a little more fun with the tees. Patterned shorts and pants could be more difficult to pair with tops.
Re-think Pajamas – We only have one true pajama “set”. All of the rest of our pajama clothing can be mixed and matched. They are simple long sleeved cotton tees and soft pants. They could double as a shirt to leave the house in, should we run out of laundry. No one will wonder why the toddler is wearing pajamas at the grocery store. 😛
Use caution when purchasing clothing sets as often the items won’t match well with other items you already have. There are exceptions to this of course, but just keep in mind when you are shopping that the striped or plaid slacks might be difficult match. Just because it’s cute doesn’t mean it’s going to be practical. If its not practical, it’s probably not going to get much use.
Buy second hand
- 1) You’ll save a ton of money since kids grow so fast you are typically only wearing something for one season
- 2) Eliminates guilt if an item doesn’t work for you or as sad if an item gets ruined – toddlers can be picky are notoriously hard on their clothing
- 3) You can also find much nicer brands where the clothing will last longer.
- 4) Better for the environment
Get rid of what isn’t being used. Little kids tend to want to wear the same items over and over and we tend to choose our favorites to dress them with so anything extra in your drawer or hanging in the closet will just get in the way. Surplus unused items make it difficult to determine if there is a gap in their wardrobe or if it’s time for laundry.
So what do we have for our kid? I’ll share what we have for our almost 2 year old son. This can serve as a starting point, but please do what works best for your family. This is what he has for all of the seasons as we experience all of them (however short) where we live. If you live in a place with a lot more rain or snow, you migh need some extra items and if you live in a tropical environment you might not need more than a light sweater and can eliminate all of the long sleeved items on this list.
- 5 sleep outfits – Tops and bottoms that are paired together to sleep in
- 6 long sleeve shirts
- 6 short sleeve tees (these can work for winter if paired with layers)
- 2 jeans/pants
- 4 play pants for colder months
- 4 play shorts
- 2 Jean shirts spring and summer
- 3 rompers (these could be dresses instead, for little girls)
- 1 Fleece pullover
- 1 cardigan sweater
- 1 winter coat
- 1 swim hat, 1 winter hat
- 2 pairs of socks – We keep between 2-4 pairs of neutral color socks. We prefer Wool socks (yes, even in the summer, wool is magic) as they don’t get stinky and can be re-worn if we only go our for a few hours. I just stick them in or next to his shoes to keep up with them. If we left home every day, I would probably keep more pairs, especially in the winter time.
I hope these tips help you and you have learned something useful or felt inspired by them. If you have tips to share, please leave a comment for our other readers.