Note from Hint Mama: My daughter’s dresser is filled with too-small size 18-month to 24-month onesies that I haven’t yet gotten around to moving into storage. I’ve bought, and received, so many cute onesies for my daughter that I’m sad to think there’s no way to get more use out of them now that my little one is wearing size 3T and 4T clothes. Luckily, I now have these five tips from Hint Mama contributor Karen Witham on how to extend the life of onesies. Karen, who also writes over at Thoughtstream, shares her onesie renaissance strategies below in the final hint of this week. (Stay tuned for my next hint on Monday when I’m back from vacation.)
How I loved onesies when my kids were babies. So cute and easy!
While I generally didn’t stress too much if the Carter’s and Gap mid-range styles I bought a lot of got dirty or stained, I did try to protect my children’s cuter and more expensive onesies as well as possible with bibs, shirts and quick action with the stain remover.
As a result, a lot of beloved onesies survived in our home well past when my babies outgrew them. Generally, they ended up in the giveaway pile. If only I had known about the five ways to extend the life of onesies that I’ve learned since and that make up today’s hint. Assuming you have too-small onesies still lying around, here’s how to give them a new life.
1. Make them last with onesie extenders. You can buy, or make, a piece of fabric with snaps that extends the snap crotch of a onesie so your tot can wear it longer, assuming the onesie’s chest and arms still fit. One Step Ahead offers nifty fixes like this, so does Etsy and you can read about another option in my first hint on how to dress your child for potty training success. In addition, if you’re craftier than I am, there are several sites that will show you how to DIY an extender, including Diddle Dumpling and Craft Gossip.
2. Cut a onesie’s snap part off and use the onesie as a t-shirt. Use pinking shears (or scissors) and cut off a onesie’s snap part. Voilà, instant t-shirt! Those among you with more skills than me may want to also do fancy things like hem the new t-shirt, but I’ll leave that up to you.
3. Sew a onesie’s leg holes shut and use the onesie as a pouch. OK, so the inspiration for this tip is my memory of my great-grandmother’s clothespins being in a similar kind of pouch, although I’m pretty sure hers was made out of a girdle. A onesie pouch could be a cute holder for baby socks or small, lightweight toys like wrist rattles and teethers.
4. Keep a few of the newborn onesies for dolly time. At some point your kid will probably be interested in dressing a baby doll. His or her interest in doll dress-up play may last for a week or for a year, but regardless of how long it lasts, you will be so glad to whip out some tiny onesies, bibs, and the like and tell your preschooler, “YOU wore these when you were a baby!” He or she will be thrilled. Tiny onesies also may be used to dress beloved, larger stuffies, too.
5. The advanced onesie renaissance tip. Sewers among you, head over to the site Make It & Love It to find out how to make a bubble dress out of a onesie. Meanwhile, you can learn how to make a quilt from many outgrown items, or get other ideas, on this page at Popsugar Moms.
What clever things have you done to get more life out of your onesies or other too-small baby clothes?
Karen Witham is a mother of two children who she can’t believe are already ages five and six. She spends her time on both sides of the Bay, working full-time as an editor and writer in San Francisco and living in Oakland. A transplant from the East Coast, she spent ten years living in Boston and also loves New York and most of all, Paris. Karen has a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. from Emerson College. She blogs at Thoughtstream. Connect with her on Twitter at @kewitham or LinkedIn.