How Many Newborn Clothes Do I Need? Simple Cheat-sheet Before You Get 53 Onesies

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Shopping for your little baby is equal parts fun and work, and the best part is looking for little outfits. But before going overboard, you should probably ask How many newborn clothes do I need? From onesies to booties, you don’t want to run out but you also don’t want to have so many you won’t get around to wearing them.

Asking how many newborn outfits you will need is also smart if you’re registering. Better have a few sets of clothes in each size than dozens and dozens of cute little newborn onesies your baby will grow out of before you even rip the tags off.

So if you’re wondering how many newborn outfits to buy or register for – here’s your guide.

What’s Up With Newborn Sizing?

Your first shopping trip for your baby’s outfits is an exciting and new experience. But also confusing once you start choosing the sizes. There’s Newborn (NB), then 0-3 months, preemie sizes, and to top it off – sometimes the sizes are 0-6 months. Huh?

Basically, the newborn size is usually up to 9 pounds – the first couple of weeks of your baby’s life.

Could you skip this size and go straight to 0-3 months? Technically, yes, but those clothes will be a bit too loose on your tiny baby. That’s not a huge deal, but if you can get your hands on a couple of newborn onesies – you won’t have to fuss over your baby’s outfit.

The 0-3 months size is perfect for the first few months of your newborn’s life, so be sure to stock up on baby’s clothes in that size.

Preemie sizes are teeny-tiny for sweet little premature-born babies up to 6 pounds.

There’s also the 0-6 month size. These are usually a bit bigger – not meant for a brand new baby – but it’s not a bad idea for jackets and snowsuits.

After the 0-3 month sizes, there’s the 3-6, 6-9, and 9-12 month. After the first few months, you’ll have a better idea of how many baby outfits you will need depending on yours and your baby’s habits.

Newborn clothing size chart

Newborn Clothing Size Chart

SizeWeightHeight
Preemieup to 6 lbsup to 17″
Newborn6 – 9 lbsup to 21″
0 – 3 months9 – 12 lbs21″ – 24″
3 – 6 months12 – 17 lbs24″ – 26″
6 – 9 months17 – 21 lbs26″ – 28″
9 – 12 months21 – 25 lbs28″ – 30″
12 – 18 months25 – 28 lbs30″ – 32″
18 – 24 months28 – 30 lbs32″ – 34″

By the way, what is a onesie?

Oh yeah, before we can answer how many onesies you may need, there’s one more thing. When we talk about onesies, different people think of different clothing items entirely. Some people think of newborn shirts and some people think of footed pajamas. They’re both right. But for the sake of clarity, we’ll call newborn shirts that close at the bottom bodysuits, and reserve onesies for one-piece pajamas.

Before You Buy Your Baby’s Clothes, Consider This:

The list below offers the bare minimum when it comes to how many newborn clothes you will need – however, there are other factors that may shift the balance away from the bare minimum. Basically, in these cases being over prepared is worth it. 

1. Will you skin-to-skin with your baby?

By now you’ve probably read up on all the benefits of holding your baby skin-to-skin, especially while breastfeeding. If you can’t wait to hold your little one right against you, you’ll probably be better off with fewer clothing items. In fact, a lot of onesies now come in kimono” style, which will allow you to open up your baby’s clothing without completely undressing them. How ingenious!

2. Don’t buy too far in advance.

Out-of-season sales make it tempting to buy a little snow suit in the summer or a swim suit in the winter. Most new parents regret this purchase because their baby is inevitably the wrong size. Just because your baby will be six months old in the winter, doesn’t mean they’ll be wearing 6-month outfits.

3. Laundry

Your bundle of joy will come with a bundle of laundry. And while many parents don’t mind adjusting their laundry frequency, for many it’s just not realistic. So if you know that running out of onesies will throw you over the edge – don’t buy the bare minimum. Save your sanity and buy an insurance policy… with a few extra sets of clothes. 

4. Special occasions

If your baby will be born close to holidays and special occasions, and you’re set on showcasing your little pride and joy – keep an eye out for some cute but comfy little outfits. 

5. How much you’ll be home vs going out 

If you’re a homebody who has an extensive collection of comfy sweats, chances are you’ll stick to cozy onesies for your newborn. Don’t stock up on cute “going out” outfits that your baby won’t get around to wearing. 

On the other hand, if you know you plan to be out and about as early as you can – make sure you get some weather-appropriate newborn clothes. 

6. Cloth diapers

Guess what? Cloth diapers are much bigger than disposables, which means that you’ll likely have to size up in most of your newborn’s clothing!

7. Wash your newborn’s clothes before wearing

It’s good practice to wash new clothes before putting them on your baby. You never know how they were treated in store. However, if you’re planning on going above the bare minimum, avoid washing and taking tags off. You could possibly return or regift these if you don’t get around to wearing them. And if you plan on donating – charities would prefer brand new items with tags.

8. Be choosy with materials

Nice thick cotton will be cozy and soft for your baby. Not too hot, not too cold – just right. Fleece is nice for lounging around a chilly house or for heading out and about, but most babies get too hot if they wear it to bed.

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How Many Newborn Clothes Do I Need? Here Are The Bare Minimums

If you’re asking how many newborn clothes do I need, here are the essentials and the bare minimum number of each item.

Bodysuits

Bodysuits are basically T-shirts for newborns, except they button at the bottom for easy diaper changes. Why would you want that? So that your little baby’s shirt stays tucked in and they don’t get irritated by bunched clothing or exposed skin.

Babies’ bodysuits can be short-sleeved or long-sleeved – so adjust your stash according to your climate. Also, make sure that the neckline allows for your newborn’s head to slide through easily. Most bodysuits deliver on that front. 

There are also rompers – little overalls or dresses that button at the bottom. Basically an entire newborn outfit in one. If you can get your hands on a few of these – it’s money well spent. 

Bodysuits and rompers will be your first line of defense against diaper blowouts and spit up. Not to mention, they may be your baby’s entire outfit when you’re just lounging around at home. So feel free to really stock up on these – we guarantee you won’t regret it. 

Onesie bodysuits by Burt’s Bees

How many bodysuits do I need for my newborn? At least 7

Onesies, sleepers, and footed pajamas. 

Aside from the bodysuit (which people also call a onesie) your baby will probably spend most of their time in footed cotton onesies. They make for a comfy and cute all-in-one outfit.

Parents love to use these for pajamas or to just lounge around the house because they keep babies cozy and warm but not hot. 

Keep in mind that diaper leaks and night-time spit up may mean that you’ll need a few extras. Nighttime is the last time you’d want to run out of newborn clothing! 

A few tips on newborn onesies: 

  • Opt for onesies with a two-way zipper. That way you can change your baby’s diaper without exposing their whole body to the cold. 
  • Zippers are generally easier than buttons. How many times do you want to redo those buttons over and over? 
  • Choose a couple fleecy onesies for the colder months. Your baby would probably still be more comfortable in the cotton ones for nighttime, but the cozy fleece is a nice way to stay warm during the day. 

Onesie by Parade

How many onesies do I need? At least 4

Pants

Of all of your newborn’s clothing, their pants will probably stay the cleanest. (Unless you have the worst luck with diaper blowouts, but even still – the bodysuits will take the brunt of that mess.) 

For that reason, you won’t need too many pairs of pants for your little one. Their sole job is to keep your little one warm and, of course, for style. 

How many newborn pants do I need? 3 or 4

Sweater

Having a cute sweater or two for your baby is a no-brainer. Throw it on over their onesies and you have an instant newborn outfit! 

A sweater with a zipper will be easier than one with buttons – and especially easier than a pullover. But don’t let that stop you from getting something you la-la-love for your baby. You really can’t go wrong! 

How many newborn sweaters do I need? 1 or 2. 

Socks

Your baby’s feet won’t be getting dirty, so don’t need to stock up on socks like you do for yourself – however you can be sure that you’ll lose at least one pair. Especially since babies like to take off their socks as soon as they can grasp, AND newborn socks tend to get lost in the laundry.

How many socks do I need for my baby? 3

Bibs 

No joke, bibs will be lifesavers for your newborn’s outfits, BUT they get pretty gross with spit up and drool. Please stock up. 

How Many Bibs Do I Need? The Astounding Number Will Surprise You

Sleep sacks and Gowns

We love sleep sacks. They’re a safe and cozy way for your newborn to sleep. Depending on the season, you may opt for a fleecy one, a cotton one, or one with sleeves. 

Just make sure you get one that can unzip from the bottom for stealth diaper changes during the night. 

Also, your baby won’t outgrow their sleep sack as quickly as their clothing, so don’t skimp out on this one. 

Sleep sack by Burt’s Bees

How many sleep sacks do I need for baby? At least 3

Newborn hat

Honestly, newborn hats are mostly for looks white your baby’s head settles into its proper shape, or if you’ll be doing a lot of outdoor strolls in the chilly weather. Feel free to have as many or as few as you desire – but be sure you have at least one. 

Booties

Baby booties and shoes are partly for looks and partly for warmth. Since your newborn won’t be walking, they don’t need anything fancy – just something to cover those little toes. 

Extra For Summer 

Summer outfits

Shorts, overalls, dresses, rompers, and skirts. The possibilities for newborn outfits are endless in the summer. 

Tip: If you’re buying shorts, make sure they will fit over your baby’s diaper. Some styles just make the diaper spill out of the sides. Not a good look! 

Summer romper by MA&BABY

Summer hat 

A nice wide-brimmed summer hat with a strap will keep your little baby’s delicate skin protected from the sun. 

Diaper covers or bloomers

Diaper covers are basically underwear that goes over diapers. Imagine a pretty little dress and then a giant diaper sticking out underneath. Kinda ruins the look, doesn’t it? That’s what diaper covers are for. 

Swimsuits and swim diapers

No summer is complete without a swimsuit – but don’t forget the swim diapers! 

Swim diapers are not really absorbent (so you can’t rely on them like regular diapers) but they’ll contain any unexpected solids from breaching the swimsuit. 

Extra for winter 

Jacket or snowsuit 

A jacket is certainly easier to get in and out of than a snowsuit, but if you’re an outdoorsy family – a snowsuit (especially one with covered feet) might just be a better option. 

As a tip – don’t buy a jacket or a snowsuit for your newborn too far in advance. We’ve met way too many people whose baby grew out of their pricey winter gear before even getting a chance to wear it. 

Also keep in mind that you’re not supposed to wear a bulky jacket or snowsuit in a car seat. Opt for a lighter jacket, a bunting bag, or some blankets. 

Bunting bag for car seat

Ideally, choose a bunting bag or cover that’s made by your car seat’s manufacturer, and make sure that it doesn’t interfere with the straps as you tighten them. Having a nice cover will make a huge difference for you and your baby. 

Warm Hat

Believe it or not, choosing a good winter hat for your newborn is not that easy. You want something soft, warm, and not itchy. Something that won’t fall on their eyes and something they won’t be tempted to pull off. Plus it has to be cute, but that’s easy. 

Hats that tie or button at the button at the bottom are a good bet, but there are plenty of awesome options. 

Mittens 

Gotta keep your little one’s hands toasty and warm! Don’t bother getting mittens with thumbs. It’s frustrating for you, and pointless for your newborn. If you can, get longer mittens that tuck into the jacket. Your baby will inevitably pull the mittens off, and having them tucked in will slow them down. 

Also, no matter how iconic that look might seem, mittens on a string are not recommended. They’re considered a hazard. 

Lastly, be prepared to lose at least one pair. So get at least two pairs and don’t go overboard buying something fancy. 

Booties or boots

Keep your baby’s toes toasty with some nice booties. A cute pair of winter boots might also be a good idea if your baby is close to walking – but not a must. 

No scarf! 

Long scarves are considered a hazard for babies and toddlers, but a cozy little neck muff, though optional, will do the job!

Checklist – How many newborn clothes do I need? (The bare minimum)

Printable:

How many newborn clothes do I need - checklist
How many newborn clothes do I need – free printable

Newborn clothes must-haves

(7) Bodysuits

(3-4) Pants

(4) Onesies

(1-2) Sweater

(3) Socks

(7) Bibs

(3) Sleep sacks

(1) Booties

(1) Hat

Summer

(1) Summer hat

( ) Summer infant outfits (rompers, overalls, dresses, shorts, skirts, diaper covers)

(1) Swimsuit 

( )Swim diapers 

Winter 

(1) Jacket or Snowsuit 

(1) Bunting bag or car seat cover 

(1) Warm hat

(2) Mittens 

(1) Booties

( ) No scarf!

FAQ – How many newborn clothes do I need? 

How many outfits do newborns need? 

If you’re wondering about the bare minimum, newborns do not need too many outfits. Start with 7 bodysuits, 4 onesies, and 3 pairs of pants. Add a sweater, some socks and a newborn hat, as well as season-appropriate newborn outfits.

How many clothes do I need in each size? 

When it comes to the 0-3 month size, you should get start with:
7 bodysuits
4 onesies
3 pairs of pants
1 sweater
As well socks, hats, and season-appropriate outfits.
You’ll likely need more of each clothing item in larger sizes: 3-6, 6-9, and 9-12 month as your baby will be more active.

Can newborns wear 0-3 months? 

Yes, newborns can wear 0-3 months clothes but they will seem a little loose during the first week or two. It’s not a bad idea to buy a couple of newborn onesies, but it’s not essential.

Do I need a lot of newborn clothes?

You don not need a lot of newborn clothes – it’s better to focus your budget on the larger sizes. The item you’ll go through most are bodysuits and onesies due to possible diaper leaks and blowouts, as well as spit up. Most other baby clothes can be worn a few times over.

How many onesies do I need?

For your newborn, you need at least 7 bodysuit onesies – the ones that button at the bottom, and at least 4 footed onesies – the kind the cover the whole body. Onesies are your first line of defense against diaper leaks and blowouts, so you want to have a bunch on hand to avoid running out.

How many newborn clothes do I need?
How many newborn clothes do I need?

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