How Many Baby Clothes Do I Need?

The question, “How many baby clothes do I need?” is pretty common among new parents. And if you're attending an upcoming baby shower, you may also find this information useful. 

On the one hand, it’s tempting to fill your baby’s wardrobe with as many gorgeous garments as possible. After all, it’s hard to resist all those adorable onesies, booties, and teeny tiny shirts. Plus, having plenty of outfits means you don’t have to panic whenever your baby spits up, or your favorite romper gets a stain. You can just switch your little one out into fresh, clean clothes.

On the other hand, buying too many baby clothes can have its downsides too. The more garments you have, the more you’ll need to wash, fold, and store. Also, babies grow pretty quickly, so there’s a good chance you won’t get to see them in every amazing outfit. 

So, what’s the perfect number?


The Basics of a Baby's Wardrobe

First, there’s no set rule on what's the right amount of baby clothing. If you want to go all-out and invest in all the latest fashions for your little one, that’s your right as a parent! But, while there’s no maximum number of clothes you can buy, there is a minimum. 

You’ll need to ensure you have the right number of outfits for your child as they go through a multitude of sizes and seasons. Here’s your quick guide to the average number of types of baby clothing essentials you’re going to need, organized by size, starting with newborn baby clothes.

Newborn Size Clothes

Newborn clothes are one of the first things you’ll need to think about stocking up on when you’re expecting.  It's important to prepare your wardrobe with some newborn essentials. First, you’ll want a newborn outfit or two to take with you to the hospital, as well as plenty of other options to change your little one into when you welcome them home. If you're having a winter baby, it's a good idea to consider leggings, socks, and hats.

Layers are crucial with newborns, as they struggle to regulate their own body temperature. Long-sleeved onesies and long-sleeve sleepwear are both good ideas. You can also match onesies with shirts. On average, it’s best to have at least 14 newborn clothing options (two for each day of the week). When it comes to a newborn size outfit, a knotted gown or sleep sack (paired with an extra layer underneath) are perfect options.

It's also worth keeping things simple at this age, as many babies will grow out of the newborn stage pretty quickly. Avoid any overly fancy garments if you want to make sure they get plenty of wear.

0-3 Months Clothing Size

0-3 months baby clothes are a little more flexible than their newborn counterparts. Some babies start wearing this size when they’re not even a month old. Since your baby will be growing pretty quickly at this stage, it’s a good idea not to go overboard.

Stick to the two outfits a day rule, making sure you have at least 14 different options to experiment with. Onesies and rompers are still excellent choices here. You’ll also need to think about the seasons. If it’s warm, you might want to stick with layers like onesies and short-sleeved shirts. If it’s a little colder, longer-sleeved onesies and shirts might be a better option. 

 3-6 Months Clothing Size

By now, your baby is getting a bit older and more active than they were in their first few months of life. They’ll be spending more time awake and interacting with you, so it’s a good idea to have plenty of bibs handy to catch that extra drool and spit-up. We’d recommend having at least 14 different bibs, so you can change your little one twice a day if needed.

You can also start buying slightly fewer clothes at this stage if you like, as your bibs will be protecting those precious garments. Your baby probably won’t need to wear two layers anymore to regulate their temperature (unless it’s cold), so feel free to experiment with different styles of baby clothes. You can play around with shirts, dresses, pants, and shorts!

6-9 Months Clothing Size

At 6 months old, there’s a good chance your baby will start to eat solids. This might mean they’re not having as many diaper blow-out accidents in their onesies anymore, which could be a godsend if you’re still a little squeamish about the mess. Babies at this age might stop spitting up as much, too, so you shouldn’t have to worry about as many sudden stains.

Depending on how social you and your baby are, seven outfits for daytime and seven for nighttime should be more than enough to have you covered for the week. You can also start experimenting with special occasion outfits if you want to dress up for a big event. If your baby is moving around and rolling, look for pants with comfortable knee segments and a good elasticated waist, or stick to onesies. 

If you’re taking your child out and about and the weather is a little cooler, consider investing in baby socks and footies rather than wasting money on uncomfortable baby shoes. 

9-12 Months Clothing Size

While your baby’s first birthday might feel like a lifetime away from when they’re first born, it’ll arrive a lot sooner than you think. By the time you hit the 9-12 month clothing mark, you should have a pretty good idea of how frequently your baby spits up and needs changing. 

Most parents should be able to stick to the seven outfits for the day and seven for the night per week at this stage. But if you don’t want to do your laundry as regularly, splurge a little and buy some extra outfits . As your baby moves beyond the 12-month mark, they’ll start to grow a lot more slowly, so you can invest a little more into a wider range of clothing items. 

Now’s the time to start really building your wish list of amazing dresses, shoes, pants, and shirts, just in time for your baby’s birthday. 

Seasonal Baby Clothing Considerations

While the guide above should give you the basic insights you need to start planning your baby’s wardrobe for the first year, it’s worth taking the season into account too. For the summer months, it’s usually a good idea to stick to simple clothes and layers, no matter your baby’s age. 

Onesies and dresses are great, and shorts might be a good idea if they’re easy to slip on and off. However, don’t go over the top on shorts and pants during the early months, as the elastic can often ride up around their ankles and waist when they’re moving around. 

During the colder months, accessories are key. You might want to invest in a few snowsuits and a couple of sweaters if you’re going to be taking your baby outside. If you buy one snowsuit, it’s a good idea to have another one ready as a backup. The same goes for sweaters. 

On top of the essentials, like onesies and rompers, you’ll also need to make sure you have:

  • 2 pairs of hats and mittens for winter days
  • At least 10 pairs of socks or footies for cold toes
  • Plenty of blankets to keep your little one nice and warm
  • Long sleeve sleeping onesies
  • 6-7 sleep sacks for bedtime (with the right tog rating)

Start Planning Your Baby’s Wardrobe!

There you have it, everything you need to know to make sure you have all the right outfits prepped for your baby’s first incredible year in this world. Remember, while the type and quantity of the baby clothes you choose are important, it’s crucial to look for quality too. 

Invest in clothes that can withstand stains and regular washes. Choose lightweight and airy materials that are going to be soft and cozy on your little one’s delicate skin, and don’t be afraid to have fun. 

Ready to start creating your wish list? You can start building the ultimate baby wardrobe today, right here at Sweet Bamboo

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