How Many Baby Clothes Do I Need?

When buying baby clothes, it can be a little hard to resist getting every cute little outfit you lay your eyes on. However, the truth is that babies grow extremely quickly. They won’t fit into the same sizes for too long, which is why you want to plan accordingly.

That said, it is still super convenient to have many options for outfit changes, isn’t it? No one wants to do multiple loads of laundry every day when they have a baby to nurse. In this way, the number of baby clothes that you need is a delicate balancing act: too few and you’ll have to do way too much laundry, too much and your little one will barely get to wear them before they outgrow them.

Such a dilemma, right? Well, this article will try to help you figure things out. But first, there are two important things that you need to consider when it comes to deciding how many baby clothes you need:

1. How often will you be doing laundry?

Your laundry routine should be one of the things that determine how many outfits you get. In this article, the numbers have been adjusted for someone who is going to do two or three loads of laundry a week. If you plan to wash just once a week, consider getting more clothes. Multiply these numbers by two. On the other hand, if you can see yourself washing daily, you can cut these numbers by half.

2. Think about newborn baby clothes size

Babies come in all shapes and sizes. They also grow ridiculously fast. Some are even born larger than the average newborn size. If you get lots of cute tiny newborn outfits, they will become unwearable within days. Therefore, do not go overboard on getting newborn baby clothes. Instead, invest more in 0-3 month size clothes.

General tips for buying first baby clothes

When making your baby clothes checklist, you need to give yourself a lot of options. Plan for the messes your baby will make because there will be lots of messes. There are also certain basic baby clothes that you absolutely must include in your list which will be explored later in this text.

Next, before you decide how many clothes you need to buy, try to find out what you and your partner were like as newborns. How heavy were you? Were you tall or short? These are strong indicators of what your own baby might look like.

Finally, consider these general tips:

  • Go for soft, breathable materials like cotton. Fleece is great for cold weather. Avoid anything with scratchy tags and unfinished seams.
  • You want the clothes you buy to be as easy to close as possible. Zippers are cumbersome and tend to pinch. Metal snaps can be irritating to sensitive baby skin.
  • For sleepwear, go for flame-resistant pyjamas.
  • Avoid fringe, strings, and small, loose buttons. There are all choking hazards.

How many newborn clothes should you get?

Your baby will quickly outgrow newborn size clothes in just a few days. So, does this mean you shouldn’t get newborn size clothes? Not at all. You need clothes that actually fit your baby during those first few weeks, which is why you should at least invest in a few newborn size clothes.

Newborns can go through a lot of clothes in a single day. There will be blowouts and spit-ups, and as they are learning to breastfeed, milk will get all over you and your baby. You want to have enough clothes to avoid doing several batches of laundry every day. You don’t want to have too many, though, because that’s just wasteful as they will outgrow most of them without ever getting to wear them.

Here is a quick breakdown of the number of clothes to get your newborn.

  • Get 2 going home outfits. Go for something cute, warm, and comfy.
  • Get 4 long-sleeved bodysuits, preferably ones with fold-overs to cover the hands so they won’t scratch themselves.
  • Get 2 pairs of soft, comfy, pull-on pants. These are especially important if your baby is born during colder months.
  • Get 2 long sleeve shirts. They are great for adding a layer on top of what they currently have. Preferably, go for ones with buttons on the side so you won’t have to pull anything over their heads.
  • Get 3 footed pyjamas. These will keep them warm at night, but you shouldn’t go overboard by getting too many pieces in a newborn size.

Baby clothes checklist for 0 to 3 months

For this list, the first thing you have to do is get everything in the newborn checklist but in a 0-3 month size. All you have to do is simply up the quantities a bit. Besides, with all the gifts and hand-me-downs you’ll be getting, you’ll likely end up with a lot more by the time the baby is ready for them.

  • Get 6 long-sleeved bodysuits.
  • Get 6 pull-on pants. Go for stretchier ones this time, preferably loose-fitting with an elastic waist.
  • Get 4 one-piece outfits. This depends: rompers are great for summer while long, thick pants+shirts are good for colder months.
  • Get 6 long sleeve shirts. They are great for adding a layer on top of what they currently have.
  • Get 2 warm sweaters. You’ll probably end up using blankets when it gets cold instead of heavy winter jackets. Warm sweaters are just thick enough to keep them warm while also being thin enough to be comfy.
  • Get 3 warm hats. If your baby is born during colder months, hats will prove more effective than hoodies. And they don’t get dirty as much as other clothes, so you can get away with just having a few. Get ones with ear flaps to cover those tiny ears.

Baby clothes checklist for the first year

Here is a basic baby clothes checklist that should take you through the first year. Use this as a guide on what to get depending on the weather. This list is also size range specific, meaning you need to get this number of clothes for sizes 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-9 months, and 9-12 months.

  • 6 long-sleeved bodysuits
  • 6 short-sleeved bodysuits
  • 6 pull-on pants (stretchy)
  • 6 one-piece outfits
  • 6 warm footed pyjamas

Style or function?

Baby clothes can be super adorable. However, whatever you do, always go for function over style. It is OK to get a few cute outfits for special occasions, but you really do not need the hassle of fussy outfits on a daily basis. Keep it simple and you will have a much easier time getting them dressed.

For example, dresses don’t make sense until your baby can walk. Why should you get them for a newborn?

Shoes and socks

Other clothes that you need to think about are shoes and socks. They are really important especially for colder months or if you have a lifestyle that includes a lot of outdoor time.

Go for shoes that are at least a size larger so your baby can get some mileage out of them when they eventually start walking. Fleece or knitted booties are great because they stay on, which is exactly what you want for your little one.

Socks are notorious for constantly falling off. If you don’t mind your baby looking a little goofy, pull them over their pants. Consider getting at least 5 pairs of socks. Make sure they are loose-fitting and stretchy. Your little one will be able to use them for longer this way.

Final thoughts

So there you have it. This should help you figure out all the essentials you’ll need through the first year. It is always a good idea to be a little conservative when it comes to buying those first baby clothes. People love gifting baby clothes, which means whether you stock up or not, you’ll likely end up with a lot more than you need.

Above all else, remember that babies grow super first. Consider buying newborn baby clothes that are a size larger than you need so they can grow into them. Only get a few items that are exactly their size, because they won’t need them anymore in no time at all.

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