Newborn Baby Clothes: What They Need and How to Choose

image001Shopping for newborn baby clothing is something that every expectant parent needs to think about and plan for. Most parents quickly discover that newborn baby clothes can become a major investment and a time-consuming hassle.

Unlike an adult, a baby will require several changes of clothing a day; to make matters worse, babies grow fast, so garments can quickly become too small for them. A little careful planning and consideration can help parents avoid spending too much on newborn baby clothes and not ending up in a situation where baby has nothing to wear.

What Clothes Will a Newborn Baby Need?

The best way to control costs and ensure that your baby is properly clothed is to make a list of the garments your baby will require. Such a list will tell you what to buy and help keep the infant warm and comfortable.

Here is a list of the clothing that a typical newborn baby will require:



One-piece outfits

You will need five to seven of these. You should have at least nice or formal outfit for special occasions.


You will need four to seven of these. Long sleeve shirts are best to protect baby from the sun.

Sweaters or jackets

One sweater and one jacket should be fine. If you live in a cold climate, more than one sweater might be necessary.


You will need four to seven pairs because babies tend to get dirty at night.

Wearable blankets

Two or three of these are fine. One can be substituted for a sweater or jacket in a cold climate.

Fleece wear or snowsuits

Generally you’ll need one of these if you live in a cold climate. If you live in a warm area, it isn’t necessary.

Socks and booties

Around a dozen pairs of these are fine. Some mothers find they can do without booties.


You will need a sun hat with a brim to protect baby’s skin and a warm hat for winter days.

Watch this video and find out more about newborn baby clothing essentials:

How to Buy Comfortable Baby Clothes

The main rule to follow when buying newborn baby clothes is to make sure they are comfortable. If the clothes are not comfortable, the baby will be unhappy and make everybody else unhappy.

Some tips for buying comfortable newborn baby clothes include the following:

1. Choose the Proper Fabric

The material baby clothes are made of should be strong and durable, but it must be safe as well. Polyester cotton blends are usually the best, but they can cause reactions in babies with sensitive skin. If your baby has sensitive skin, you will need to buy items made from natural materials.

2. Avoid Tight Elastics

Tight clothes, particularly those with elastics or spandex, can be very uncomfortable for babies. Check elastics to make sure they are not too tight. Make sure there’s a lot of room because babies grow fast. When it comes to elastics, the more stretch the better.

3. Make Sure the Clothes Are Well Seamed

Zippers, seams and other features on clothes can cause babies discomfort by poking or even hurting their skin. So, when you shop for newborn baby clothes, feel the seams and check for bulges, sharp edges, etc. Try to buy clothes with as few seams as possible.

4. Don’t Buy Scratchy Baby Clothes

Scratchy garments can irritate a baby’s skin, cause allergic reactions, and create other problems. Zippers, Velcro, and other attachments can cause clothes to scratch. Some kinds of material such as wool, can be scratchy. Feel the clothes when you shop and remember that baby’s skin is much more sensitive than yours.

5. Watch out for Choking Hazards

Anything that can come loose from newborn baby clothes can become a choking hazard. This includes buttons, pieces of cloth or yarn, string, etc. Check every article of clothing after every wash because clothes can come apart in the washer and the dryer.

Watch this video and learn how to buy newborn baby clothes on a budget:

Common Questions about Newborn Baby Clothes

Baby clothing is a very confusing subject, and many parents have lots of questions. Here are some answers to some of the most common questions:

1.Do I Need to Wash Baby Clothes Beforehand?

The answer to this is yes, you need to wash all new baby clothes in hot water to kill germs and prevent infections. You do not know who was handling the clothes or what chemicals might be on them. Clothes can also contain allergens that can irritate a baby’s skin. Make sure you wash the clothes in water hot enough to kill germs (160 degrees Fahrenheit or 71 Celsius), and use a detergent that is free of fragrances and dyes.

2.What Size Should I Buy for My Baby?

The best answer to this is one size bigger than you will think the baby will need. Most babies outgrow sizes quickly, and some larger babies will not even fit into newborn sizes. One good tip is to buy clothes in a number of sizes. You can always return what you don’t use, sell it, or give it away.

3.How Should I Dress My Baby?

Baby clothes should be safe, simple, comfortable and practical. They should also be easy to remove because you’ll be taking them on and off all the time. Purchase the colors and styles that you like, but keep safety and practicality in mind. If you want, you can purchase one fancier outfit for special occasions such as worship services or family functions.