How Much Baby Clothes Do I Need

How many baby clothes do I need? This is the question I asked myself when I began my obsession with buying everything for my baby. After several hundred online searches and about 100 hours that I’ll never get back, here are my tips for how many and what kinds of baby clothes you will need from birth to 12 months.

After figuring out how many baby clothes you need to buy and researching the best baby items, actually don’t be surprised if you end of buying more than you need! Many moms find these items to be a necessity and can’t live without them.

Before I had my baby girl, I went online and searched for the answer to this question over and over again. Each article I read online told me something different, but none gave a precise answer to my query. So, based on my own experience and several recommendations from other moms, here’s how many items you really need…

Before I had my baby girl, I went online and searched for the answer to this question over and over again. Each article I read online told me something different, but none gave a precise answer to my query. So, based on my own experience and several recommendations from other moms, here’s how many items you really need…

No matter how much you love shopping, it can get overwhelming trying to figure out how many baby clothes you need. Thankfully, there are a few ideas and tips to help you navigate this quickly growing baby clothing industry.

Congratulations on your pregnancy! Don’t worry about how many baby clothes you should buy. We have compiled a complete guide to planning for your baby’s clothing needs. Use our easy guides below and you will be confident in your purchases of baby clothing.

For lots of pregnant people, it’s tough to resist adding a million baby outfits to your registry. (Tiny bootiesTop knot hats! Soft sleepers! See what we mean?)

On one hand, messes happen—a lot—and having clothing options for quick outfit changes can be handy. But on the other, babies grow quickly, and your little one isn’t going to stay in one size for very long.

So how many clothes does your baby actually need?

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.

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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

How Many 0-3 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?

How to Build Your Baby’s Wardrobe

There are a few things to think about when you’re trying to figure out how many baby clothes you’ll need and how you should add clothing to your registry.

1. Think About Laundry

Your access to laundry (and how often you actually do it) makes a big difference in how many items of baby clothing you’ll need on hand.

Our list of newborn essentials below assumes you do a few loads of laundry throughout the week. If this isn’t the case, though, you may need more or less clothing. Here’s how to adjust:

  • If you’re only planning on doing laundry once a week, multiply the numbers below by two.
  • If you will be doing laundry every day, cut the numbers below in half.

2. What About Baby Clothes Sizes

Figuring out sizing and how many pieces in each size to add to your registry can be tricky as it’s tough to anticipate how big your baby will be at birth and how quickly they’ll grow. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Think big. Most newborn sizes top out around eight pounds, so if you have a bigger baby, they may need 0-3 months sizes from the start. (And if they’re on the smaller side, odds are they’ll only fit into newborn sizes for a few weeks anyway.) Pick a few newborn items and then focus on 0-3 months since those clothes will fit babies up to around 12 or 13 pounds.
  • Mix it up. Each baby brand runs differently when it comes to sizing. Some brands run roomier and are great for larger babies, while others run on the slim side and work better if your baby is long and lean. Since you won’t know your baby’s body type before birth, try to mix in clothes from several different brands so you’ll have a few different fit options.

3. Stay Organized

Teeny, tiny babies clothes sure are cute—and they sure are easy to lose track of too. Organizing your baby’s wardrobe by size is the best way to know what fits right now and what you have available in the next size when the time comes.

  • If you’re storing most of baby’s clothes in a dresser, drawer dividers are a great investment. They help keep everything in one place (we’re looking at you, tiny baby socks) and can be set up by clothing type, size or any other way you’d like.
  • If you’re using a closet to store your little one’s wardrobe, check out closet dividers. These little sturdy hanging signs separate clothes into sizes (this set goes from newborn all the way through 2T) so you’ll be able to easily see what you have and less likely to forget about clothes before they’re too small.

One more organizational tip: rotate out clothing items as soon as your baby outgrows them. Staying on top of this onerous task goes a long way in helping you manage your baby’s wardrobe. Keep a storage bin (or two) on hand so you’ll always have somewhere to stash them; then you can decide if you want to hang onto them for the future or pass them on to someone else.

Sample Baby Clothing Registry

This list breaks down the standard number of clothing items you’ll want on hand for your newborn’s wardrobe. We’ve also included items to add specifically for summer and winter babies and a few things for special occasions.

Seven Bodysuits or Rompers

Bodysuits can serve as an easy, no-fuss outfit in summer or a basic layer in winter and come in both long- and short-sleeve styles. With seven, if you wash a couple of loads a week, you’ll always have clean ones on hand.

Tip: Add a kimono-style bodysuit (sometimes also called a side-snap bodysuit) or two for baby to wear until their umbilical cord falls off, usually around one to two weeks after they’re born.Burt’s Bees Baby Organic Short Sleeve Bodysuit (5 Pack)$26.95Add to BabylistBuy NowBabylist$26.95Target$14.96Amazon$26.95Buy Buy Baby$26.95Walmart$30.62Goumi Kids x Babylist Bamboo & Organic Cotton Short Sleeve Bodysuit (2 Pack)$24.00Add to BabylistBuy NowBabylist$24.00

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.Goumi Kids x Babylist Bamboo & Organic Cotton Pants$20.00Add to BabylistBuy NowBabylist$20.00Carter’s Cotton Pants (2 Pack)$13.99Add to BabylistBuy NowBabylist$13.99Buy Buy Baby$15.60

Four Sleepers, Footies or Gowns

Sleepers and footies are for much more than just sleep—they work for daytime, too. They can also be paired with a swaddle for nighttime in colder climates. And a gown is a great wardrobe addition. especially during those first few months when you want something quick and easy for frequent diaper changes.Goumi Kids x Babylist Bamboo & Organic Cotton Footie$29.00Add to BabylistBuy NowBabylist$29.00Copper Pearl Knotted Gown$26.95Add to BabylistBuy NowBabylist$26.95Buy Buy Baby$26.99Magnetic Me Solid Modal Footie$38.00Add to BabylistBuy NowBabylist$38.00

Two Hats

Beanie-style hats are important in the early weeks and months to keep your baby warm. (Just remember no hats when baby is sleeping!) Start with two—one for your little one to wear and one for the wash. In colder climates, fleece hats are also nice to have.Copper Pearl Top Knot Hat$12.50Add to BabylistBuy NowBabylist$$12.50Buy Buy Baby$12.99

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.Burt’s Bees Baby Ankle Socks (6 Pack)$13.95Add to BabylistBuy NowBabylist$13.95Walmart$12.95Buy Buy Baby$13.95

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. For newborn sleep time, you may find 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 2-in-1 swaddle that makes things a little simpler.Aden + Anais Classic Cotton Muslin Swaddle (4 Pack)$54.95Add to BabylistBuy NowBabylist$54.95Walmart$49.95Target$54.95Magic Beans$54.95Buy Buy Baby$54.99Babylist Swaddle Box (4 Swaddles)$79.99Add to BabylistBuy NowBabylist$79.99

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.Carter’s Little Planet Organic Seed Stitch Cardigan$19.95Add to BabylistBuy NowBabylist$19.95Buy Buy Baby$4.99

One Pair of Mittens

Cover up little hands with cozy mittens. This particular pair 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, cotton mitts can come in handy with newborns to help prevent them from scratching themselves with their super-sharp new nails.Zutano Cozie Fleece Mittens$15.00Add to BabylistBuy NowBabylist$15.00Amazon$15.00

One Winter Coat or Bunting

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 stroller bunting) to make sure baby stays snug in any weather.Magnetic Me Fleece Pram$40.00Add to BabylistBuy NowBabylist$40.00Amazon$49.95

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.Zutano Cozie Fleece Booties$21.00Add to BabylistBuy NowBabylist$21.00Amazon$22.00Zutano$22.00

Expecting a Summer Baby?

One Sun Hat

sun hat is a must-have for being outside on warmer days. 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.i play by Green Sprouts Brim Sun Protection Hat$14.99Add to BabylistBuy NowBabylist$$13.00Amazon$14.60

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 your stroller, car seat or carrier—just be sure to leave plenty of space for air to circulate.Little Unicorn Cotton Muslin Swaddle (3 Pack)$44.97Add to BabylistBuy NowBabylist$44.97Amazon$38.00Little Unicorn$38.00Target$44.99Buy Buy Baby$44.99

Special Occasion Additions

With a brand-new baby, you’ll probably have a few occasions to dress up or take some adorable photos. A coming-home outfit is also a sweet addition.Goumi Kids x Babylist Bamboo & Organic Cotton Jumbo Gift Set$100.00Add to BabylistBuy NowBabylist$100.00Aden + Anais Snuggle Knit Newborn Gift Set$59.95Add to BabylistBuy NowBabylist$59.95Walmart$47.96Amazon$59.95Buy Buy Baby$59.99Copper Pearl Welcome Baby Gift Set$37.50Add to BabylistBuy NowBabylist$37.50Little Poppy Co. Newborn Bow Bundle$35.00Add to BabylistBuy NowBabylist$35.00Carter’s Little Planet Organic Cotton Coming Home 3 Piece Set$16.95Add to BabylistBuy NowBabylist$16.95Morado Designs Organic Bodysuit$27.00Add to BabylistBuy NowBabylist$$27.00

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
  • 1 pair 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

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