How Much Baby Clothes Do I Need?

We Asked the Experts and Have the Answers Below!

How much baby clothes do I need? Or if you prefer, how much clothing does a baby need? I remember asking myself this very question with my firstborn. My doctor kept telling me that I was going to have a big baby so that confused me even more.

Did I still need newborn clothing, I mean, if it wasn’t going to fit my baby, was it worth buying them? And it wasn’t just a matter of how much clothing does a newborn need, how long could I expect my baby to be in newborn clothes?

Should I be ready with larger sized clothing? And, since I didn’t know the sex of my first born, I also had to make sure that I bought neutral colors, which let me honest is no easy feat when faced with a clear division between the two sexes in the baby clothes section of a store.

But I promise you, you don’t need to stress out. It really does work out in the end, but to help you on this journey, we offer you some great guidelines from those who have been there before.  

Cover the Basics

It is easy to become swept away with the excitement of expecting a little one to join your family, and thus wanting to buy cute, little outfits for her. But I promise you this, although some days you may have to change your baby’s clothing a few times throughout the day, chances are you still won’t go through all the clothing you have.

In all likelihood, you will have a baby shower, or maybe even two or three. At these showers, attendees love to give newborn clothing to the expectant mother and father; it is inevitable that you will leave the shower with plenty of clothes (and lots of blankets too).

Once you have had a chance to go through the gifts you received, you will want to ensure that you have the basics covered. In answer to the frequently asked question of how much clothing does a baby need? You will actually find that the answer varies.

Onesies

According to BabyList whether you call them rompers, onesies, or bodysuits, you will need seven of them; I, however, would actually double that, speaking from personal experience. Maybe it is simply because I had two winter babies, but this article of clothing goes under everything else they are wearing to keep their little bodies warm.

You will want to leave a couple in your diaper bag for back up, inevitably there will always be one or two that are dirty, and you don’t want to have to do laundry every day if you can avoid it.

Hats

Babylist.com continues to say that you will want two hats for your baby to keep her head warm. I agree with this, but buyers beware! Hats may look adorable and often come as part of a set for your little one, but they never seem to match up to the actual size of your baby’s head.

So, if you can, try and buy hats separately from the cute outfits. Your baby may fit well into a 3-month sized onesie but will need the hat for a size of a 6-month-old’s head. And don’t forget a hat to keep baby’s head protected from the sun.

Socks

If you are expecting a winter baby, then socks are indeed a must, that is unless you intend to keep your baby in sleepers all the time, but we’ll get back to that one in a bit. BabyCenter suggest 4-7 sets of socks to cover her wee little piggies.

Since chances are you will reuse these frequently without the need to wash them often, this seems like a pretty accurate amount for your little one. Booties are also an option and a cute one at that.

Sleepers

Ideally, you will want footed sleepers to help keep your baby’s feet warm; BabyCenter suggests 5 for your newborn to 3-month-old. I personally, would suggest a couple more, but this depends entirely on how often you plan to keep your baby in her sleeper.

I knew a mom who simply preferred sleepers, she felt as though they were easiest in the first few months considering how often a baby sleeps. It is your choice, but I will say this, my husband hated the button-up kind, in the middle of the night he found it frustrating trying to match up buttons with minimal light. So, whenever you can, go for the zipper kind.

Bottoms

This may be pants, in which case BabyCenter.com suggests 2-3, or it may be cute little skirts, depending on the sex of your baby, in which case you may want leggings to go under the skirts. If you do select pants, make sure that the waist is able to stretch so that it is not too tight on the belly of your baby, a sensitive area especially after eating.

Sweaters or Jackets

In all likelihood you will have a cover for your baby’s carrier, or if not a cover, a warm blanket to throw over and protect her from cold winds and harsh weather. A jacket or sweater for a newborn isn’t necessary, but not a bad idea to have.

BabyList.com suggests two, but for a winter baby, go with a bunting sack, a warm bodysuit that goes over the baby’s clothing. And while we’re thinking about keeping a baby warm, protective hand covers are great to help keep her little fingers warm, and as a bonus can also help in preventing her from scratching herself with her very sharp fingernails.

Extras

Now is the time for the little extras you may or may not want to consider for your little one. Some experts, such as BabyCenter.com, suggest a coming home outfit; lots of pictures will be taken and you may want your little one to be in something special, and something that you can hold onto years down the road.

Whether or not you decide to swaddle your baby is a personal choice, but some believe it helps the baby to sleep. You can find some great options online, but make sure you pick one that is easy to figure out in the middle of the night when feeding and changing time come.

Ultimately, it will depend on what you receive from family and friends and how you want to dress your baby. Consider getting the following app to help you make sure that you have everything you need. If you are still feeling unsure you can check out the video below for some more great tips.

You’ve Got This

Being prepared is ideal, but if your baby comes and you find you are short on a few items, you can always pick them up. Remember, there is no definitive answer to the question, how much baby clothes do I need? Trust your gut, trust the experts, but if you still feel unsure:

  • Consider the season your baby will be born in
  • Remember the app
  • Refer to the experts, that is those who have been through it before
  • Decide if you plan to swaddle your baby
  • If budget is an issue, the basics are more important than the extras

If you have any questions or want to share your experiences with us, we always welcome your thoughts on the subject.