When I was pregnant with my first baby I was completely stressed out about what I would need to dress my little one. Now, with five babies under my belt, my top pieces of advice are:
*Don’t Overdo It
*Buy Only What You Need
Of course, you’ll be excited seeing all those pretty things in store windows, and it’s important to choose items that you like and that give you that sense of sweet anticipation, but stick to necessities first until you figure out needs for you and your baby. Your baby will grow fast and buying big ensures a lot more use. Make sure to wash all clothes in baby laundry detergent before your baby wears them.
Baby Clothes Shopping List
6 Side-Snap T-Shirts
The number one item you need for a newborn is side-snap t-shirts. You don’t have to put them over your newborn’s wobbly head and they don’t rub against the umbilical cord stub. Try to see if the nurse will give you a few also from the hospital because those tend to be made from thick, soft and good quality cotton. Apart from the hospital brand, I’ve used Carter’s — they are thick, soft cotton. I also threw in Petit Bateau here which are quite expensive, but if you don’t have budget constraints, they certainly are good quality! Many of the long-sleeved tees have mittens that fold over and keep baby’s hands warm. Buy at least six – you don’t want to be doing laundry every hour.
6 Front Snap Footed Pajamas
These are the easiest outfits to get on and off your baby because you can unsnap them and just lift the baby onto the pajamas. Some people like the idea of sleeping gowns, but for me, getting the gown over a newborn baby’s head is very tough and can make her upset. My vote? Footed front-snap pajama every time. Get one or two newborn sizes, a few 0-3 months, and a few 3-6 months. You can always put them on a little big, and your baby will grow faster than you will believe! These have various names depending on the brand, so if you’re shopping online you might want to search for “footed pajamas,” “sleep and play,” “one-piece pajamas” etc. I’ve listed Carter’s here which is excellent, Absorba which is more expensive but excellent quality, and also Kissy Kissy which is totally extravagant but the softest, best quality cotton ever and an excellent choice if you can afford it for bringing baby home! For that, get size 0-3. (My three boys wore the same Kissy Kissy outfit home from the hospital and it’s still in perfect shape). One other brand I threw in, which you might only get from a generous aunt, is Petit Bateau – to die for! But Carter’s are fine too, remember that.
- Carter’s 2 Pack Sleep N Play – Frog ($18.99)
- ABSORBA Baby Bear Friends Footie $14.58
- Kissy Kissy Footie $28.99
4 Stretchy Hats
Hats are important because you don’t want your baby to get cold. These should be very stretchy and fitted, but not too tight. You won’t need to wash them often, but you can lose them, so get 3-4. Also, hang onto the one you have from the hospital because that might be the best one for the first few weeks.
- Gerber Cap, 5 Pack, 0-6 Months ($14.95)
What’s a onesie, you might be asking? Onesies are bottom-snap t-shirts that are great after a few weeks have gone by and your baby’s umbilical cord has fallen off. Don’t get these too small, buy a few 0-3mo, but then get 3-6 mo. I would buy 3-4 of these in each age category; you might be changing them several times a day. I wouldn’t bother getting these in newborn size because you can use the side-snap t-shirts at that stage. I’ve always gone for the simple Carter’s but if you are fancy, fancy, Petit Bateau is an amazing brand too: they are thick and have some great colors and designs:
- Carter’s 4 Pack White Long Sleeve Bodysuit Onesies (3 Month) ($21.60)
- Petit Bateau Long Sleeve Bodysuit White ($16)
10-15 Swaddling Blankets/Burp Cloths
Well, if you have seen my video on burp cloths, you know how I feel about these: nothing like the hospital burp cloth! Get the nice big ones from the hospital which are absorbent, soft and the perfect size of burping and swaddling! Take as many as the nurse will give you, and buy some similar ones You can’t have too many of these. If you fall in love with them like I did and need more here is where you can actually buy the same ones the hospital gives you:
6 Pairs of Socks
Nothing gets you excited for your little baby’s arrival like tiny, adorable baby socks! Get the kind that have a lot of elasticity so they will stay on. Some are made to look like little shoes or sneakers and they are just adorable. Get 6 pairs, and expect to lose a few in the laundry.
- Trumpette Newborn Bright Cheeritoes Sock Set ($24.97)
- Robeez Socks (Set of 3) ($10)
- Carter’s Baby Boy Newborn 6 Pack Sneakers Socks ($11.95)
- JazzyToes Baby Girl 6 Pack Socks ($25)
Cardigans are much easier than pulling sweaters over baby’s head. These are of course important in the winter, but also in the summer because of air-conditioning. Little babies can’t regulate their body temperature so it’s important to keep them warm.
Baby Gap usually has nice options:
Amazon.com carries a variety of styles: Baby Cardigan Sweaters at Amazon.com
1-2 Sleep Sacks
Sleep sacks are super, safe and warm and a good alternative to swaddling. I was a swaddler so didn’t use them but many of my friends did, so buy 1 or 2 and give them a try.
- HALO SleepSack 100% Cotton Swaddle, Cream, Newborn ($17) This can be used with or without the Velcro swaddle.