How Many Baby Clothes Do I Need?

How Many Baby Clothes Do I Need?

June 11, 2019

How Many Baby Clothes Do I Need?

How Many Baby Clothes Do I Need?
Five bodysuits or 50? Here's the formula to figure out the right number of baby clothes to put on your registry.How Many Baby Clothes Do I Need?

It’s hard to resist putting a million baby outfits on your registry. But the truth is babies grow quickly, and your child won’t fit into specific sizes for very long.

However, it’s also true that having many clothing options for quick outfit changes can be handy, particularly when spit-up or diaper blowouts happen. So how many clothes does your baby actually need?

Think about laundry

How often you do laundry can make a big difference in how many items of clothing you’ll need to have on hand. Below, we’ve compiled a list of newborn essentials based on doing a couple of loads of laundry throughout the week.

You might need more or less clothing if your laundry routine is different. Here’s how to adjust the numbers:

  • If you plan to wash once a week, multiple the numbers by two.
  • If you wash every day, you could cut the numbers in half.

Think about sizes

You may be tempted to only register for newborn sizes, but many babies will outgrow those quickly. Most newborn sizes top out around 8 lbs, so if you have a bigger baby, they might not even fit into them.

When adding clothes to your registry, pick a few newborn items and then focus on 0-3 months sizes. This size option will usually fit babies up to around 12 or 13 lbs.

Take a look at our breakdown for the standard number of clothing items you’ll want to have on hand for your newborn’s wardrobe (also known as a layette). We’ve also included items to add for summer and winter babies and special occasions.

Seven Bodysuits or Rompers

Bodysuits can serve as an easy, no-fuss outfit in summer or a basic layer in winter (there are long-sleeve bodysuit options too). With seven, if you wash a couple of loads a week, you’ll always have clean ones on hand.

Tip: Add a couple T-shirts for baby to wear until their umbilical cord falls off (around 1-2 weeks after they’re born).

Three to Five Pants

Babies don’t really need to wear pants. But having a few pairs on hand to pull over bodysuits can help keep legs warm when it’s chilly.

Two Hats

Beanie-style hats are important in the early weeks and months to keep your baby warm. Start with two—one for baby to wear and one for the wash. In colder climates, fleece hats are also nice to have.

Five Pairs of Socks

Even in summer, you’ll want to make sure your baby’s feet are cozy in socks.

Tip: Get them all in one color so you don’t have to match tiny socks. And if your baby’s due in winter, add two extra pairs.

Two to Three Swaddles

Swaddles aren’t clothes, per se, but many babies spend a lot of time in them. Why? Many babies like to be swaddled for the first few months—it’s very womblike and helps prevent their startle reflex from waking them up. So for newborn sleeptime, you may find that many nights you just put baby in a diaper and swaddle for sleep.

Tip: You can swaddle baby in a blanket (here’s a how-to video), or a swaddle “sack” that uses Velcro to wrap up baby nice and snug.

Four Sleepers, Footies or Gowns

Cozy footed pajamas or sleepers are great to have for playtime or coupled with a swaddle for sleep in colder climates.

Tip: Make sure your baby’s nighttime outfits are lightweight enough to keep your baby warm (but not too hot), and secure enough that the fabric won’t bunch up or shift.

So, What Is Babylist?

Babylist is a free, all-in-one baby registry that lets you add any item from any store, as well as things like help, favors and cash funds. Your registry should be as unique as you are. Start your Babylist now.

Expecting a Winter Baby?

Two Sweaters or Sweatshirts

A cardigan or zip-up hoodie is great for when there’s a chill in the air, and it’s easy to take off if baby gets too warm.

Two Pairs of Mittens

Cover up little hands with cozy mittens. This particular one is extra smart: the cord keeps the pair together so one of the mittens won’t go missing.

Tip: Even when it’s not winter, scratch mittens can come in handy with newborns to help prevent them from scratching themselves with their super-sharp new nails.

One Winter Coat or Bunting Sack

Winter babies need at least one layer of extra-warm outerwear. In warmer climates, a winter coat with warm pants is enough, but for colder regions, get full-body outerwear (like a bunting sack—a sort of baby sleeping bag—or a pram bodysuit that goes over clothes) to make sure baby stays snug in any weather.

Two Slippers or Booties

Babies don’t need shoes (in fact, they aren’t necessary until baby starts walking), but booties are great for extra warmth.

Expecting a Summer Baby?

Two Lightweight Blankets

The best way to protect your new baby from the sun is with shade, and the simplest way to do that without overheating baby is with a light cotton or muslin blanket. Drape it over baby in their stroller or carrier to keep skin covered.

One Sun Hat

When a blanket isn’t practical, choose a sun hat to keep them covered. Get one with a wide brim that fits snugly so it won’t fall off. This one also features an adjustable toggle that creates a custom-fit as baby grows.

Special Outfits

A Few Fancy Items

With a brand-new baby, you’ll probably have a few occasions to dress up or take some adorable photos. It’s a good idea to have at least two nice outfits for your little one, that way if something happens to one of them at the last minute, you’ll have a backup.

So How Many Clothes Do You Need?

Here you go:

Baby clothes basics:

  • 7 bodysuits or rompers
  • 3-5 pants
  • 2 hats
  • 5 pairs of socks
  • 2-3 swaddles
  • 4 sleepers or gowns

For winter add:

  • 2 sweaters/sweatshirts
  • 2 pairs of mittens
  • 1 coat or bunting sack
  • 2 slippers or booties
  • 2 additional pairs of socks

For summer add:

  • 2 lightweight blankets
  • 1 summer hat

For fun add:

  • A special occasion outfit
  • Anything else you love

Choosing What’s Right for You

This list covers the general expectations for how many clothes your baby will actually need. But depending on your lifestyle, budget and aesthetic, these numbers may vary for you. Think about climate and special occasions and then register for at least your minimum number of clothes. That way, you’ll have enough items on hand when your baby arrives.

Make space to add at least one or two pieces that might not be absolutely necessary, but are fun and fit your style. If you think baby clothes are cute now, just wait until you’re dressing your little one!

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