The Baby List

It’s hard to resist buying a million baby outfits, 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). 

    • Seven Bodysuits or Rompers: Bodysuits can serve as an easy, no-fuss outfit in summer or a basic layer in winter (long sleeve bodysuits are options, too). With seven, if you wash a couple of loads a week, you’ll always have clean ones on hand.
    • 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 hats are a great essential to have in different varieties for changing seasons. Warm, comfortable, and protective, it's always a good idea to give your baby head protection =)
    • Two to Three Swaddles: Swaddles aren’t really clothes, 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 for sleep or maybe a sleep & play set in cooler weather.

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. Layette sets normally come with multiple pairs of mittens and booties.

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

Two Lightweight BlanketsWhen a blanket isn’t practical, choose a 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.

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 bodysuit that goes over clothes) to make sure baby stays snug in any weather.

 Baby clothes basics:

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:

For fun add:

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! 

Check out our full baby collection at Your Upscale Life Baby Collection

Courtesy Baby List for inspiration. For more ideas, go to Baby List for more ideas and registry!