Bringing Home Baby: The Clothing Essentials for Newborn Babies

While I am officially done having babies, I am still very much in “baby” mode as I have two cousins and a best friend who are all expecting their FIRST baby within the next few months! Although it has been over six years since I gave birth to our first baby, I still remember the excitement that I felt as I prepared for his arrival. For first time parents, everything during that pregnancy is new and exciting, but perhaps the most exciting thing is getting to register for the baby shower.

Decades ago people didn’t go to a store and actually register for baby items, instead they welcomed the gifts that their guests brought to them and then went and purchased the items that they didn’t receive. Today, the whole process has been made very simple as guests can now look and see exactly what the expectant parents need when they look at the registry. However, it is easy to get carried away and register for items that you don’t need. If you have ever visited a baby store then you’ve seen how many baby products are out there!

One of the areas where new parents tend to overspend is on the baby clothing. I know from experience how easy it is to give into the, “this outfit is just too cute…I have to buy it,” mentality. One of the great things about newborns is that they don’t care what they’re wearing. All they care about is eating, sleeping, being held and pooping. Seriously. So, save your hard earned money and only buy the must-have articles of clothing for your newborn. There are so many other things that you will need to spend that money on (car seats, a crib, monitors, etc.). To help you out, I’ve created a list of clothing essentials for the newborn:
  • Sleepers & Mittens – Both of these are a must. There are variety of sleepers available that include zippers, buttons or are open at the bottom. The point is that the baby is warm while sleeping, but when it’s time for the 3 am feeding and diaper changing session, it’s convenient for mom and dad. Some sleepers come with built in hand mittens to keep the baby from scratching him/herself as they sleep, but if you don’t get any of these make sure you buy some of the little mittens separately in case your little one scratches as he sleeps.
  • Onesies and Stretchy PantsI have to say, onesies were a favorite of mine for both of my boys. I loved how easy they were to put on and I didn’t have to worry about their little bellies showing every time I picked them up. Therefore, make sure you get plenty of onesies in both short and long sleeve styles. The stretchy pants are the easiest to put on, especially on newborns. The great thing about them is that they stretch, so your little one isn’t going to grow out of them as quickly as a pair of jeans…plus, they’ve gotta be more comfortable for the little one too!
  • Socks – While those little baby shoes are super cute, the truth is that there really isn’t a need for them until the little one starts walking. This is especially true now that they make adorable socks that look like shoes! If you really want to get some baby shoes, then by all means do, but just make sure that you have more baby socks on hand than you do baby shoes…you will use the socks much more.
  • Dress Up ClothingOkay, this is where so many people over-spend on babies, especially those with baby girls. (My husband is lucky that we had two boys, because if we had a girl I’m sure that I would have over-indulged in the clothing department for her too.) Try to refrain from going overboard here because the fact is that your little one is going to be growing at a rapid rate for the next couple of years. Therefore, he/she isn’t going to be able to wear each formal outfit very many times before moving on to the next size. While you do need formal clothing for your baby, try to keep the number of outfits on hand to 10 or less. The bulk of your baby’s clothing should be for the everyday stuff that you won’t stress out over if milk, spit-up, baby food, etc. gets on it.
  • One Jacket & One Coat – Jackets and coats are also expensive items for babies that are easy to crazy on. Sure, it’s nice to have a jacket/coat to match every outfit, but is it really necessary? Again, think about how fast your little one will grow and whether it’s really worth it to buy multiple coats and jackets that will maybe last 4-6 weeks.
  • Receiving Blankets & Bibs – You will need several good receiving blankets for your newborn as most newborns like to be swaddled to sleep. They are also great for covering their heads when walking outside on a windy or rainy day. As for the bibs, make sure you have plenty of these. My favorites were the cloth and Velcro bibs as they were easy to wash. Anyways, stock up on bibs because you will be amazed at how quickly you go through them…seriously, I think I went through more bibs daily then I did change of clothes with both of my babies!
Hopefully, the list above has helped you narrow down the essential clothing that you will need for your newborn versus the “cute, but not essential” items. While shopping for newborn baby clothes is fun, it is an area that is hard to justify (at least for me) when the baby doesn’t really care one way or another about what he/she is wearing as long as he/she is comfortable. So, save your money and stick to the essentials. When the little one is old enough to appreciate his/her clothing, then buy the more expensive and non-essential stuff.  

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