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5 Ways to Save On...A Layette

1. Wait until after your shower to buy. Layette items are popular baby-shower gifts and you may receive half, if not all, of what you need.

2. Stick to the basics. Dress-up outfits are fun to look at in stores, but babies just need the basics (sleepers, caps, socks, and T-shirts) for the first few months.

3. Consign unwanted gifts. If you receive a, ahem, "unique" item of baby clothing that didn't come with a gift receipt, leave the tags on and bring it to a local consignment shop, where they will sell the item for you and give you a percentage. Find a consignment shop near you at www.narts.org.

4. Sign up at a warehouse club. Yes, Costco and Sam's Club sell baby clothes -- at fantastic prices (all-cotton sleepers for $8, playwear pieces for $10, and more).

5. Cuddle up to cotton. Though that polyester play outfit may be cheaper, beware of the revenge of the washing machine, which may make it pill and fuzz after just a few cycles. Stick with 100 percent cotton.

Denise and Alan Fields are the authors of Baby Bargains and Toddler Bargains (Windsor Peak Press; www.BabyBargainsBook.com).

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