How Many Baby Clothes Do I Need? Buying Baby Clothes Tips Every Mom Needs to Know

How Many Baby Clothes Do I Need

I was so excited to buy baby clothes and the best baby items, yet my head started to spin by the end of the day, wondering, “How many baby clothes do I need?” 

The day I found out I was pregnant, I immediately signed up for an Amazon baby registry for my baby shower. I searched all day for cute baby outfits, muslin burp cloths, swaddle blankets, and plush sleepsacks. Unfortunately, for every search I made, there were hundreds of results. 

How can I choose one over the other when I had no idea what to expect? What size baby clothes am I to buy?

I’m here to help you navigate this dizzying whirlwind of baby clothes and accessories that I learned as a new mom. I will break it down for you into smaller chunks so you can come out knowing what to buy for your munchkin and how much of it. And, check out at the end for a simple newborn clothing checklist.

Newborn vs. 0-3 Months Size Clothes: What’s The Difference?

I kept seeing many newborn size clothes and 0-3 months. So what’s the newborn size if a newborn is 0 months old? Shouldn’t they fit into 0-3 months’ clothes? 

I was so confused, so I turned to my fellow mom groups on Facebook to find out which one I needed. I’ll spare you the hassle of asking these questions in your mom groups. 

The newborn size is for the first couple of weeks once your baby is born. Most babies are too small to fit into 0-3 month size clothes. However, it’s best to buy a few outfits of both sizes to save money just in case you give birth to a big bundle of joy.

Since newborn size clothes are only for a couple of weeks, you don’t need as much of this size as you would for other sizes.

How Many Baby Clothes Do I Need?

Babies spit up, poop a lot, spit up again, and poop all over themselves. 

In one day, you may need to change your little one three times. Another day, they may need only to be changed once. 

A good rule of thumb is always to have a few extra on hand. For example, you don’t want to find yourself in a situation where your baby had a massive blowout with poop sliding up her back, and you don’t have a clean outfit for her. 

If you’re wondering, this did happen to my baby girl.

Another factor to consider is how often you want to do laundry. If you’re used to doing laundry once every couple of days, think again. 

Once your baby is here, you won’t have the time or energy to fold so many clothes all the time. I don’t care how trendy it is or if the baby outfit is the cutest. It’s one more thing to wash. So, choose wisely.

It’s best to have enough clothes to last you at least a week. Assuming you would be changing your baby twice a day, every day, that would be 14 outfits for one week.

If you don’t mind folding laundry every other day, swing by my place and help me out. Or just buy fewer outfits.

What Type of Newborn Clothes Should I Buy?

I live in a hot country, and I was due at the beginning of September. So naturally, I assumed that my newborn girl would be dressing in short sleeves and shorts, just like I dress.

I stocked up on adorable short-sleeve onesies and tiny shorts. I also bought some sleepers for easy one-piece outfits, but it never crossed my mind to purchase long-sleeved onesies or pants.

My friend was due around the same time as me, and she mentioned her newborn baby needing to wear two layers of clothes, no matter what time of year they’re born.

I didn’t believe her. I thought there is no way any human being can wear two layers in 100-degree weather. 

I admit I didn’t know much because this baby is my first! But now I know a lot more, which is why I’m here to guide you through my mistakes.

Well, guess what? Newborns need to wear two layers of clothes, no matter if it’s 70 degrees or 110, because they cannot regulate their body temperature at this age, so they need extra layers to contain their body heat. 

I only learned and believed this once my princess was born, and I needed to do emergency shopping which I’m trying to help you avoid. So, don’t bother buying short sleeves or shorts for your munchkin.

My mistake of buying short-sleeve onesies for my newborn

Stick to long-sleeve onesies and sleepers. When I mentioned above, you need 14 outfits; each is two layers, so you need 28 individuals for this baby clothing item.

I recommend buying 14 sleepers and 14 long-sleeve onesies. You don’t need two layers for their legs, only for their upper body. Therefore, onesies are great for the underlayer, and sleepers are perfect for tops.

How Many Baby Clothes Do I Need By Size

0-3 Month Clothing Size

My baby only started wearing 0-3 months when she was a month old. Many 0-3 babies grow differently, and on their growth curve, it’s best not to buy too many sizes initially. Instead, I buy the next size up, usually a month in advance.

Another factor to keep in mind is the season. It can get complicated planning too far in advance with what size your baby will fit into and what season it will be to know if you need summer or winter clothes. Also, it’s hard to predict what special occasion outfit will go with your baby’s body type.

At two months old, your new baby is still spitting up and having blowouts, hopefully, less of the latter. 

In my post, What is a Cruelty Free Diaper?, I recommend a specific brand of diapers that rarely resulted in blowouts for my baby, which can help you save time pre-washing your baby’s dirty clothes.

It’s best to continue sticking to the two outfits a day rule as mentioned above for 0-3 months clothes. Your munchkin is still dressing in 2 layers at this age, so 28 individual items should be your estimated number of clothes to buy.

I just want to point out that if you have a winter baby, the baby needs more than two layers, especially at night when the temperature drops.

3-6 Months Size Clothes

By now, your baby is getting a bit older. They are becoming more interactive than in the first months of the baby’s life. In addition, they are awake longer, which means you can put cute drool bibs on them to protect their clothes from drool and spit-up.

I recommend buying 14 drool bibs since you may need to change them twice a day. With these bibs, you won’t need to change their whole outfit a few times a day, only their bib. I had my baby wear drool bibs all her wake time, and it was a lifesaver. 

Who cares if you need to throw out a bib because it’s all worn out from many washes? It’s better than throwing out a more expensive onesie which your sister bought for your baby.

Instead of buying 14 outfits, you can start buying fewer clothes. At this age, they generally don’t need to wear two layers anymore, unless it’s cold where you live.

I recommend 7 outfits and 7 sleepers. The outfits for during the day and the sleepers for at night, so 14 outfits.

6-9 Months Size Clothes

At six months old, your baby is starting to eat solids. They are likely not having blowouts anymore since their poop is changing based on what they’re eating.

Babies this age usually stop spitting up as much. For example, my baby stopped wearing a bib at seven months. She’s 11 months old now and rarely spits up.

Seven-day outfits and seven-night outfits should have you covered for a week. You can always buy 1 or 2 extra outfits if you don’t want to do laundry more often than once a week.

9-12 Months Size Clothes

Babies grow quickly, and by now, your baby is getting so big now, almost a year old! So you can stick to the seven-day and seven-night outfits mentioned in the previous two sections.

This method is an excellent way to ensure you have one outfit that’s new for your baby to wear every day of the week, and he’s not wearing the same thing every couple of days.

Why Does My Baby Need Sleepers For Nighttime?

It’s much easier to change your baby’s diaper at 4 AM with just one zipper rather than snaps from the onesie and sliding their squirming legs into tight pants. Also, it’s more comfortable for your munchkin since it’s looser while nothing presses clothes against their stomach, like elastic from pants.

As a side note, you don’t need to buy onesies and pants outfits for your baby. If you want, there is nothing wrong with dressing her in sleepers all day and at night. In that case, you would need 14 sleepers.

Seasonal clothes

Winter clothes

Let’s not forget that your baby will need a snowsuit and a couple of sweaters in the winter. In addition, he will need a winter hat and baby socks that you can easily mix-and-match.

Two snowsuits are best so that you wash one and still have another one handy if you need to go out. Likewise, it’s good to have at least two sweaters for when it gets a bit cool in your house or you want to go out for a stroll on an autumn day.

You should have two winter hats to rotate with and ten pairs of socks to wear in the house throughout the week.

For nighttime, a sleeper is not going to be enough. Depending on how warm you keep your house, you will need to dress your baby in layers. 

Sleepsacks for winter nights

The best clothes for nighttime are sleepsacks, which come in different TOGs – units of warmth. I bought seven sleepsacks, and that was enough for me.

Summer clothes 

Ditch the shorts and just dress your baby in onesies. It’s easier for you and more comfortable for the baby. I bought so many adorable pairs of shorts, but after two weeks, I stopped dressing my baby in them.

Why shouldn’t I buy shorts?

Firstly, most baby shorts have elastic around the legs, and it leaves marks on your baby’s legs, so I don’t think it’s too comfortable for them. Secondly, it’s just too hot for shorts, unless you keep your house cool all the time.

For nighttime, you can skip the sleepers and just use onesies. I don’t keep the air conditioner on overnight, only a fan. It gets pretty warm in my bedroom, so a onesie is just perfect for my baby.

7 simple, white onesies are perfect for a week’s worth of nighttime clothes.

Preparing One Year Worth of Clothes

I hope this guide helps new moms in the first year of baby clothes shopping and other newborn essentials. Let’s review what I’ve mentioned throughout this article with this simple baby clothes checklist:

  • Newborn – 14 onesies, 14 sleepers
  • 0-3 months – 14 onesies, 14 sleepers
  • 3-6 months – 7 outfits, 7 sleepers
  • 6-9 months – 7 outfits, 7 sleepers
  • 7-12 months – 7 outfits, 7 sleepers

Seasonal extras:

  • 2 snowsuits
  • 2 sweaters
  • 2 hats
  • 10 pairs of socks
  • 7 sleepsacks

If you have any questions about the newborn clothes checklist, please reach out to me on my Get in Touch page.

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Aydela is a mom of an 11-month-old baby. She learned so much in her first year of motherhood and has a strong desire to help others new to this significant role. She works full-time as a software tester, and in her spare time, she writes on her blog, The VegaNatural Mom. She loves animals and has eight cats!