A New Parent’s Guide to the Different Types of Newborn Baby Clothes


    Raise your hand if you can’t help but stop in the baby clothes section no matter what’s on your shopping list. We’ve all done it before! From t-shirts to PJs to miniature 3-piece suits, nothing is quite as swoon-worthy as newborn baby clothes.

    Now, there’s nothing wrong with splurging on all the adorable outfits that catch your eye, if that’s what you want to do. 

    That said, regardless of whether you’re filling an entire closet or sticking to the basics, there are a few essentials that you can’t go without. For a complete newborn baby clothes checklist, just keep reading!

    A Variety of Onesies

    Let’s start with the ultimate newborn essential – onesies! Thanks to endless blowouts, spit-up sessions, and general messiness, newborns go through a surprising amount of clothing.

    Your baby will likely go through several outfits per day, and when you’re trying to juggle diaper changes, conference calls, and squeezing in a sandwich and salad, the easiest route is to throw on a onesie and keep it moving.

    There’s really no such thing as too many onesies, but we recommend having at least 4-6 in a variety of styles. Onesies, come in three general styles: short-sleeve, long-sleeve, and mitten-cuff. The latter is perfect for naptime or during afternoon walks when your baby is out of your sight and accidental nail scratches are most likely.

    Sleepers or Footed Pajamas

    Onesies are great for daytime wear, but at night, the best newborn baby clothes are sleepers and footie pajamas, as they provide a bit more warmth. 

    When it comes to both onesies and pajamas, side-snaps and zippers are going to be your best friends. Some babies hate having things pulled over their heads, and all babies squirm and wiggle during changings.

    Tiny t-shirts are cute, but when it’s 2 am and you’re half-asleep changing a blow-out diaper, you’ll thank yourself for buying clothes that simply zip or snap together.

    Matching Sets

    The great thing about dressing babies is that they can spend all day, every day in footie pajamas and no one would think anything of it. But even if you’re a onesie-only type of parent, it’s nice to have a few outfits available for outings.

    There are two options here. You can either buy matching onesie/pant sets or buy them separately and mix and match as needed.

    Either way, start with 2-3 onesie/pants combos. Even if you have a summer baby, you’ll need a few pairs of pants and long-sleeve tops or onesies! Babies typically need one more layer of clothing than older children or adults to be comfortable.

    Swaddle Sets

    Along with all your cute baby clothes, you’re going to need a swaddle set or two. Newborns are used to the warmth and security of the womb. A swaddle mimics this sensation, soothing your baby.

    The traditional option is a large piece of cloth that you wrap snugly around your baby and secure yourself, but these can be a little intimidating. If you’re looking for something simpler, give the newer versions with velcro and zippers are try.

    Keep in mind, however, that not all babies like being swaddled, so don’t buy too many swaddle sets until you know for sure that they’re something your baby will use.

    Outerwear and Extras

    Last but not least, there are a few outerwear items you’ll need and extras you might want. A sweater or two is a great way to add an extra layer of warmth in an air-conditioned home or outside during the cooler months. 

    You’ll also need a few pairs of socks, one or two hats or bonnets, and a light pair of mittens to provide warmth and prevent fingernail scratching. Again, outerwear for newborns is crucial, even if you don’t find it particularly cold, because infants can’t yet regulate their body temperature.

    Last but not least, are shoes necessary clothes for newborns? Absolutely not. But that doesn’t make them any less cute! A pair of bootie-style shoes will keep your baby both fashionable and warm.

    Baby Clothes Hacks

    Now that we’ve gone over the essential newborn baby clothes your nursery closet needs to have, let’s go over a few baby clothes hacks!

    First, as tempting as it might be to remove all the tags from your baby clothes to wash them before the baby arrives, don’t! Instead, only remove the tags from a select few pieces. That way, if you need to exchange for bigger sizes, you can do so easily.

    Additionally, always shop for baby clothes with safety at the forefront of your mind. Although buttons, bows, and other decorative touches are cute, they also create a choking risk.

    Ensure clothing decorations are sewed on tight and that all items are free of long ties and other hazards. Baby hoodies, for example, should come without the drawstring around the hood.

    And, no matter where you shop or what you buy, always check that your baby’s clothes are machine washable. Newborn clothes made from 100% cotton are your best bet, as they’re durable and able to withstand frequent washes.

    Think Ahead With Your Newborn Baby Clothes

    As irresistibly adorable as newborn baby clothes are, it’s important to remember that your baby will fit into “newborn” size for 1-3 months, at most. Some babies never fit into it at all!

    Instead of loading up on a dresser full of newborn clothes, consider buying in a variety of sizes. Having 3-month, 6-month, and even 1-year sizes on hand in addition to the newborn items will help you ensure that you’re well prepared.

    Clothes shopping is just one item on a mile-long newborn prep to-do list, but don’t worry – we’re here to help you every step of the way! Check out our blog to learn more about preparing for your new baby.


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