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Growth Spurts – Another Annoying Kid Habit


Finding Simplicity as a SAHM by Adrina PalmerMy son goes to a charter school and has to wear khaki’s and a polo shirt. His uniform had about two inches of growth room in the legs and about the same in the waist and arms. He’s thirteen, so he grew. Overnight. First his legs grew along with his waist. He had to shimmy into his pants one weekday morning. I saw all of his socks and they were not even close to white. Boys are nasty. 

A week later, he grew another inch. The next morning the sleeves on his long sleeve polo shirts looked long enough for a four-year-old and not even close to long enough for a teen. Then his feet grew this weekend he went from a size 8 1/2 in mens to a size 9 in mens. His feet are bigger than mine. So are his hands. He has a few inches on my height too. I knew this would happen someday but why did it need to happen so fast? Time, the real speeding bullet. 

My problem with my son’s growth spurt is less about his inevitable aging, but more a practical issue. I wasn’t ready. Usually, I keep a Rubbermaid container full of clothes in the next size waiting or the inescapable development. As boys get older though, fewer clothes get passed down from friends or family members and I was not prepared. I thought he still had room for a jump in size but I was wrong. Here are some tips to help you avoid being caught off guard. 


  1. Walk past the boys and mens clothes section in Walmart. Often you can find some pants on sale, some tee-shirts, and even jackets. When there is a sale, grab a couple of items cheap a size bigger. 


  1. Use birthdays as an excuse to shop for your boy. No, boys don’t want clothes for their birthday but a new PlayStation game wrapped in a sweater is a good idea. Buy a size up. 


  1. Shop the thrift stores. Second-hand stores carry a ton of mens clothes but not near as many men shop at thrift stores as women. Stock up on some clothing in each size and put it in the Rubbermaid container I forgot!


  1. Do you have a friend with a son a year or two older than yours? Ask for hand-me-downs. Most moms are happy to get rid of anything that is no longer useful and taking up space. Or anything she has to clean! Maybe you have another child who is older than one of her and you can swap clothing. 


  1. When people ask you what to get your son tell them clothes. Does your mom or mother-in-law ask what your son wants? Ask for those expensive Nike’s he wants or the Adidas hoodie. Grandma’s usually splurge for grandkids. Tell her to buy a size up from what your son needs and you’re golden. 


  1. Shop online. Sales, sales, sales, and free shipping coupon codes. The trick though, is to buy out of season items. For example: most kids clothing places massively discount all their summer clothes  in the fall when everyone else is buying school clothes. Stock up on the next size for summer. Blue jean shorts for a few bucks and t-shirts for even less. Your kid still gets name brand but for a drastic price cut. 


  1. If you have older kids, keep their clothes. Do you have two boys by any chance? Keep the clothes from the older boy for the younger boy. This seems common sense unless your kids birthdays are far apart. Do you have one kid born in July and another in December? Not all the clothes will work but honestly, you won’t know until way later. Assume nothing. The younger boy may not have his growth spurts at the same time or may hate long sleeve shirts. Keep everything until both of them outgrow the clothes. 


Sewing clothes used to be cheaper but not anymore. Now sewing is a hobby not a way of life. But if you stay on top of clothing in the next size up, hopefully you won’t run into the same problem I had. Never underestimate how much a kid can grow overnight. 

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