New parents are often overwhelmed with gifts of baby clothes before their bundle of joy arrives, and it’s not uncommon for them to wonder how many they’ll actually need. Most are astonished pretty quickly with how quickly they go through baby clothes.
So that’s the question, when you’re preparing for the birth of your child: How many baby clothes do I need in each size?
Knowing what you need is important, so let’s take a look at exactly how what you should try to have on hand in advance.
Why You Should Be Prepared With Multiple Sizes
While your first inclination may be to save on space by starting out with only the clothes your baby will need right when you bring them home, this can sometimes backfire.
Babies grow shockingly fast, and you may not realize that they need to go up a size until those onesies suddenly stop snapping. Some infants grow out of newborn items in a matter of weeks.
Since you’ll have your hands full with your new baby, trying to keep a close eye on when you need to buy a set of new clothes is the last thing you’ll have the energy to do.
Starting with at least a few outfits in different sizes from newborns through six or eight months is a great call and it can prevent you from being in a jam during those wonderful-but-chaotic first months.
How Many Baby Clothes Do I Really Need in Each Size?
Every baby and every family is different, but you’ll likely need more of each baby clothing item than you may think, especially once you account for spit-up, spills, and diaper emergencies.
While family members and friends will often buy newborn clothes like crazy, remember to make sure you’re stocked up on enough items of all sizes for the first six months since some of those growth spurts hit quickly. And remember, that some newborns fit into sizes 0-3 right from the start.
Let’s take a look at what you’ll need, assuming you’re doing laundry once per week. If you believe you’ll do at least the baby’s laundry more or less frequently, you can adjust the items accordingly.
14 Full Outfits
For younger babies in particular, this will typically include plenty of bodysuits or rompers, but if you want to have separate pants and shirts, make sure that you have enough for 14 complete outfits.
It’s not uncommon for babies to need to be changed a great deal, and you’ll want to keep a spare outfit or two in your diaper bag in case there’s a diaper blowout in public.
As a plus, your friends and family will likely buy plenty of these outfits for you. If you have fourteen already, pick out a special “coming home” outfit for your baby. Knitted baby clothes are an excellent choice, as they’re soft and look oh-so-adorable.
This follows the same pattern of thought as the need for 14 full daytime outfits, especially in the first few months when late night feedings are common and schedules are erratic.
Make sure you’re considering pajamas based on the expected weather. Fleece is great for cold-weather or cooler-homes, especially since newborns shouldn’t be left with blankets, and breathable cotton is great for summer.
1-2 Sweaters and 1 Coat
This will depend on the weather where you live; a baby who is born in May in Florida wouldn’t need a heavy coat until November at the earliest.
While you’ll be keeping newborns wrapped up in blankets and swaddles, appropriate outerwear is important, especially as your child gets older. Have sweaters for them if needed, and a heavy coat for children who won’t be in a carrier with blankets the entire time during cold weather.
5 Pairs of Pants
Assuming that your baby is wearing onesies, having a few pairs of pants on hand that you can pull over their legs if it gets chilly can be a lifesaver. If your baby runs cold or you use almost entirely onesies instead of bodysuits or rompers, you may want to consider purchasing a few more.
7 Pairs of Socks
You want to have enough pairs of socks to take your baby out at least once daily if needed. These will keep their feet warm and clean, which can be important when you’re not using footie pajamas and rompers.
1 Cold Weather Hat, and 1 Sunhat
Babies are extremely sensitive, so having the right clothes on hand can protect them.
A cap to keep their head warm is important (and will often be used in the hospital and even at home), but you’ll also want a sunhat for when your baby is old enough to start enjoying time outside.
What About Older Babies?
Once your baby is between the ages of six to twelve months old, you’ve likely gotten more into the groove of parenting.
The good news is at this age that you may not need quite as many spare changes of clothes, as diaper blowouts and spit up happens much less frequently.
That being said, babies this age are still shockingly capable of getting dirty, so having a minimum of two more outfits than you need per laundry cycle is a good call. If your child has a particular tendency to get messy, add one or two more.
And don’t forget: Always have two packs of diapers in the next size up ready to go. That’s definitely not something you want to be caught without.
When you’re filling up your new baby’s dresser and closet with everything they’ll need, having a little extra on hand will make your life easier.
Remember, too, to choose high-quality clothes that are carefully and lovingly made for your baby. Organic baby clothes, for example, are less likely to irritate their sensitive skin, and you want to watch for clothing with scratchy tags. Comfort is everything to keeping you and your baby happy.
Shopping for baby clothes? Check out our organic newborn baby clothes collection.