I'm convinced that the gods of mommyhood were having a very good day when they invented online shopping, particularly online stores and alerts for children's clothes. It is true, getting the best prices and the correct sizes takes a little bit of preparation, but trust me it is nothing compared to the hassle of dragging kids to stores or to the mall.

The best way to start is to visit the websites of your favorite department stores and other retailers to sign up for sales alerts. You'll automatically get notices for upcoming sales sent to your email or smartphone. You should also sign up at www.shopittome.com It is easy, just register and select your favorite brands. Whenever items from those brands go on sale around the Internet, you'll be sent an alert. It's like having your own personal online shopper.

Take measures of your children and check the size charts. You don't want to have to deal with clothes that don't fit. Before you buy, go to the page of the size charts of every retailer. Sizes can vary drastically from brand to brand -- when in doubt, purchase the next size up. You can make slight alterations to make the clothes smaller if necessary and they will fit for a longer period of time.

Online shopping can be more expensive than the regular stores if you have to pay a fortune for shipping. Many retailers offer free shipping if you don't need the clothes in a rush. You can also search for coupon codes and discounts at sites like www.RetailMeNot.com . Before finalizing your purchase, check the online retailer's return policy -- it may be different from that of the same brick-and-mortar store. You don't want to be stuck with goods that you can't return or exchange.

Don't forget to protect yourself while shopping online. It is not hard to block potential cyber burglars, but there are a few precautions. Keep your antivirus software updated, your web browser's security setting at a high level and your firewall turned on. Use the "https" prefix rather than just "http" to ensure you are visiting an authentic site. Also look for the "lock" icon when entering confidential information. Create strong passwords and don't shop from public computers.

My favorite online stores for my children's everyday clothes are www.kohls.com ,www.target.com , www.llbean.com, www.sears.com  and www.landsend.com . For more fancy apparel I like to check the big department stores like www.Macys.com and www.nordstrom.com , although sometime I fall for the quirky t-shirts of www.bodenusa.com. Just a tip, right now, www.carters.com is having a huge sale, with the cutest swiming suits for 9.95$. Enjoy!

Do you have more tips to share?

Imagen vía Kaptain Kobold/flickr


About the author

Alicia Civita lives in Florida, with her Argentinian husband, her two boys, 7 and 10 years old, her two rescued pit bulls, a parrot, and a red bearded lizard. She has lived and written from Caracas, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, and New York, among other cities. Since becoming a mom she has learned to sew, craft, and play videogames. She dreams with hosting a party with all of her Facebook friends.

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