It is ever-so-tempting to buy gobs of new clothes for your unborn baby. They’re just so cute with their tiny arm holes and matching hats and what not. But before you buy up the baby clothes department, ask yourself what clothes does your baby really need?
The answer is: not much! Newborns may only stay in the smallest size clothing for a few weeks. From there your baby will probably size out of clothes every two to four months so stocking drawers full of clothes in each size range is just not practical. If you do the laundry once or twice a week, you don’t need a new outfit for every day of the year.
When you’re standing in the baby clothes section of any store and wondering what clothes does your baby really need, consider this basic checklist and a few tips from veteran moms:
|Type of Clothing||Quantity||Our Advice|
|Infant Gowns||2 to 4||Gowns are often easier for middle-of-the-night diaper changes. They will also fit longer than traditional pajamas with legs.|
|Bodysuits||6 to 8||Bodysuits are versatile for daytime or nighttime wear, plus they are great for layering.|
|T-shirts||4 to 6||T-shirts with wide necks or side wrap closures are easiest to use. Select neutral colors that will match the rest of your baby’s wardrobe.|
|Pajamas||4 to 6||One piece pajamas are cozy and can be worn out-and-about as well.|
|Long Pants||2 to 4||Pants are generally better for younger babies than shorts. Some moms think the ones with built-in socks are great since socks tend to fall off often, but others find babies outgrow the footed pants more quickly.|
|Sleep Sacks||1 to 2||Sleep sacks work wonders for some babies and are especially nice in the winter. Remember, no blankets in the crib!|
|Hats||3 to 4||There’s a reason the hospital gives you baby caps. Your baby cannot regulate her body temperature so keeping her head covered helps her stay warm.|
|Socks or Booties||4 to 6||There’s no need for shoes quite yet but you can protect your baby’s feet with cozy socks or booties.|
|Dressy Outfit||0 to 1||You may not need anything dressy for your baby at all. If you find your infant has a dressy occasion or two, one outfit should suffice.|
|Jacket||0 to 1||Depending on the season or climate where you live, you may want to have one lightweight jacket for your baby.|
A few additional tips when considering what clothes does your baby really need:
- Much like your nursing bras that touch your sensitive breasts and may caress your baby too, soft, breathable fabrics are ideal for your baby’s clothes. Scratchy materials, itchy tags or restrictive limb holes are a recipe for a fussy baby.
- It’s a good idea to pre-wash your baby’s clothes before she wears them. Towards the end of your pregnancy wash only a few items to have on hand right away. Since you don’t know the size of your baby and which items will work best for you, don’t wash everything right away.
- There is no need for special baby detergent to wash your baby’s clothes unless you discover she has extremely sensitive skin. Usually a dye-free detergent is fine and will allow you to wash your baby’s clothes with the rest of the families.
- Be prepared to do laundry more often with a baby. You may be changing her clothes two, three, four or more times per day depending on spit-ups, drool and diaper blow-outs.
- Save your baby clothes receipts so you can return any items you find you don’t need or that your baby outgrows before she has a chance to wear them.
- Beware of hardware that could be dangerous to your baby. Loose buttons or strings fall into that category, and metal zippers and fasteners may cause allergic reactions on some babies.
Sources: The Bump and Fit Pregnancy