How Much Baby Clothes to Get?

Updated on March 06, 2013
*.*. asks from Beverly Hills, CA
18 answers

Good Morning!

I had been putting off buying baby clothes (even as cute as they are) because I wasn't sure if I'd end up with too much after the baby shower. I had a WONDERFUL surprise shower this weekend which was awesome. I'm lucky to have my friends and family.

I didn't get any baby clothes though, so now I get to satisfy the urge to buy it!! :) I am going to a mother's market in a couple weeks and figured I could pick up a lot second hand.

So far I have only purchased 4 onesies and 3 sleep and plays in newborn size. How many do you think I should get, so that I don't need to do laundry every day? It's my first, and I really have no idea how many times to expect changing an outfit during the day!

I figure I'd get some after the baby is born but don't want to count on it completely. Everyone has gotten me so much already.

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

Thank you so much! I will definitely work on getting the bigger sizes when I go to the market. I feel like the "registry list suggestions" have sooo much clothes on there - I appreciate the opinions of mamas!

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answers from Miami on

Most mothers will agree that newborns do not need much primarily because they sleep. A lot! Yes, they spit up from time to time but a spit up cloth does wonders for that. Also, you don't need a lot of "newborn" sizes. This is how to assess what sizes you need~ whatever age the baby is, double it and that is the size you should need for baby. So, if baby is 2 mths old, then count on baby fitting in 4 mth sizes. By the time baby is a month old, most newborn sizes will be either snug or just too small in which case, a month old baby can fit into size 3 mths. It depends on the baby, really. Some babies grow fast, some very slow. Just know that you don't need as much as you think you need and no, you won't be washing clothes every day. If anything, crib sheets and receiving blankets might need to be changed more often but not clothes. If I were you, I would pick out one or two adorable outfits that you might want to bring baby home in and just wait until after the baby is born. People tend to bring more gifts after the baby is born. Good luck!

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answers from Chicago on

That is probably enough in newborn size, it might be outgrown in a week! Start getting some in the next size up!

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answers from Grand Forks on

Both my babies were summer babies, so aside from a couple of sleepers and one outfit for pictures my boys lived in diaper shirts all summer long. I'm sure I had way more than I needed. They really grew out of the newborn size so quickly, but they were 8 lbs at birth. I would buy more in the 3-6 month size.

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answers from Houston on

You will do a lot of laundry. I did a load every other day at best. We always joked for someone so small a baby generates five times the laundry adults do. Since you have access to second hand, I would get maybe a dozen of the following sizes: newborn, 0-3 month and 3 month. I noticed in general the 3 month sizes were a touch larger than the 0-3 month sizes. In my experience Gerber brand runs small and Carters/Gap brands run big. I didn't do outfits per se. I bought onesies and footed jumpers. My sons hated being changed so I tried to keep clothes simple. I didn't change them unless they really needed it. Also both my sons couldn't keep socks on to save themselves so I tried to avoid cold feet by using the footed clothing. Both of mine were winter babies so I got everything in long sleeve.

I preferred not shopping for baby clothes right after my children were born. It was just too much for me to handle (c-section deliveries, new baby, a toddler with the second, flu season, etc.). Truthfully I bought a year's worth of clothing for my first and it worked out very well. I had it all washed and packed away before he was born. When my son needed a new size, I could open the next size bag and we were off. Super convenient for me and it was a really nice bonding experience with my husband while I was pregnant. He got into the baby clothes buying just as much as I did. It made us both super excited. Also it spread the cost out over a few months and then we were done until our son hit one year.

I did have to send my husband out for more newborn clothes since my first was in that size for a while and I didn't have enough. With my second he barely used the newborn things. I didn't mind if clothes didn't get used since I didn't spend a fortune on clothes and I donate all of it. Good luck and congratulations.

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answers from Philadelphia on

Don't go hog wild. The baby will grow fast out of newborn clothes and if the baby is big may not wear newborn long at all. As newborns they sleep so much that I always just used sleeping gowns, especially at night. It's easier to change a diaper at night when you're sleep deprived when you just have to pull up a gown rather than worry about snaps on a sleeper. I'd get a gown per day and onesie per day, 7 day week. A few pair of socks as well. Makes sure you have at least one cap for the head in this cooler weather. A few sleepers for going out and for the doctor appointments. That's a good start. After the baby is born you'll see what you will need and buy as you go. You may want a cute outfit for the hospital picture, if you have them taken. Don't blow money on baby laundry detergent. Just buy inexpensive "free" detergent and some stain remover. But do buy plenty of bibs and a package of cloth diapers to use as "spit rags".

I know when you're a first time mom you want to buy so much but try to hold off. Or if you need to buy something, always check the clearance racks at every store you go to. Baby clothes have a fast turnover and seem to have lots of clearance at all stores. You can buy clothes ahead of time in larger sizes for cheap with items you'll know they'll need like sleepers and socks and even shoes. They'll grow into them sooner or later! You can always check out

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets

** I have to add, after reading some other posts, you do NOT need a change of outfit for day and night with newborns, unless they make a mess. It's just a waste as they go no where and do nothing but sleep, eat and poop. You absolutely do not need hardly a thing with a newborn!

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I would not buy ANY newborn size. They generally fit up to 7 lbs and lots of babies are bigger than this when they are born. The rest seem to outgrow it in a few weeks. I would buy 2 packs (7 in a pack) of white onesies in size 0-3 months and probably 7 light weight sleepers. The rest I would wait on. Personally I think socks are highly over rated - my son kept his socks on for a maximum time of 3 minutes and he was a winter baby. For a spring baby - no point in socks. I never put a hat on my son - didn't see the point and neither did he. If it turns out your child has no hair, you will need a sunhat since you can't use sunscreen until they are 6 months or so. You may be better off purchasing when you need them or from a store with a liberal return policy (60-90 days) and just don't cut any tags off yet. Otherwise you may end up with a lot that is never worn.

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answers from New York on

It really depends on the baby, and your skill at diapering. I remember that there were some days where we would go through easily 3 or more outfits at a single diaper change. We have an October boy. When we'd pull off his diaper, he'd winkle everywhere.

He was born at under 7 lbs. the 0-3month size was dangerously large on him. It would bunch up at the chest and get into his face and mouth. We borrowed some premie and newborn clothes from a friend to get us through the first month.

Socks proved invaluable too. I would put socks on his feet then put him in zip up pyjamas. That way when he invariably pulled his legs back into the fetal position, the pyjama feet would grip onto the socks and he wouldn't be frustrated with his whole body in the torso of the pyjamas and empty legs dangling about.

We got a lot of use out of the Gerber zip up sleep and plays. Had at least three packs in each interval, 0-3, 3-6, 6-9, 9-12, and 12-15.

The gerber stuff was comparatively inexpensive, and it was a treat to know that I had the next size up on hand and wouldn't be forced out shopping.

Good luck to you and yours,
F. B.

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answers from Detroit on

expect a newborn to go through 2 or 3 outfits per day. i would have about 10 outfits.. I do not recommend buying sizes ahead as your baby may be born large or small.. and it may grow fast or slow.

buy a few newborn sized outfits.... (unless your dr tells you this will be a big baby.). then 10 or so.. size 3 months.. you can always buy more later..

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answers from Washington DC on

There are various websites that will tell you what to get. Think about the season the baby will be born in. Summer? That kid can LIVE in onesies.

IMO, if I were to have another baby I would get:

At least a dozen onesies, (Rule of thumb: Gerber runs smaller and narrower and Carter's runs bigger and wider). A few in newborn but more in 0-3 and 3-6 to start. My SS was 10 lbs at birth and never wore newborn.

Socks, because their feet get cold, but real socks and not booties with no elastic that just fall off.

A couple of newborn wrap undershirts (long and short sleeved, long sleeves with mittens on the end)

A hat or two

Some sleepers, including the gowns b/c nighttime changes are easier in a gown.

Expect that baby will need many changes, many diapers (sometimes 2 or 3 per change...ask me how I know...) and basically be a mess. Save the super cute outfits for when you have an event. Otherwise sleepers and onesies are all purpose outfits.

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answers from Boise on

It really does depend on the season the baby will be born in, but we'll assume (since you are asking the question now) it's a spring/summer baby.

Newborn- 5 heavy sleepers, 5 light sleepers, 2 packs of onsies, a pack of socks, and a couple of hats. Don't forget to grab a few of those mitts so they don't scratch themselves.

0-3 months, about the same as above only go for more onsies. As it get's hotter you will find the baby in those more then anything.

After that just build on slowly. Have a few of everything in different sizes so when the baby wakes up one day and nothing fits, as happens, you will be covered for a few days....and then go shop some more :)

If you buy new, keep tags on, you can return later if you need to. Do this for diapers also.

Some babies will stay in newborn/0-3 for 6 months, some will outgrow them in a week. It's so unpredictable, so having different bases covered will really help.

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answers from Chicago on

Well, I have too much, but... it depends on your child. My son, went through 4-5 outfits a day because his nick name was sir pukes a lot. Almost every feeding we got to do a change of clothes.

My daughter could wear an outfit a day and then some. Either we got better about directing her when she did spit up, or it was less amounts that the bibs took care of it.

It depends on if you plan on day and night outfits- we did this with both so they knew when it was sleep and when it was play time.

2nd hand is awesome! since in the begining they could be in one size for 2 weeks, or like my daughter in the same size for 3 months. Each kid is different.


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answers from Boston on

Congrats! Sounds like you didn't get clothes at a shower because people bought other things off your list, like equipment! That's okay - you can still have some fun!

Lots of advice from others here. I'd go easy on the newborn stuff because they really don't stay in it that long. And if you have a big baby, he/she could be bypassing those little sizes pretty quickly! You could always buy a few new things but leave the tags on, and exchange them later on.

And I hate to burst your bubble, but you will be doing laundry every day or at least every other!! Not a full load because the clothes are small. But babies spit up and they pee and they poop (and those diapers leak sometimes!), and you need to get those cute clothes in to soak right away or the stains will set. Add in the burp cloths and the bath towels and the receiving blanket that the poop leaked on to, and you've got 1/3 wash load before lunch!

I like sleepers - easy to change a baby at night by only unzipping the bottom half and still leaving the shirt part on (assuming the whole thing didn't get wet). Just unzip, lift out the legs and rear end, slide a cloth underneath, change diaper, and stick the legs back into the sleeper. You can put a baby in a size a little too large just fine.

I'd buy a couple of things to satisfy your own urge, and then wait to see the weight and length of the baby. You've got 1-2 days in the hospital when you can send someone out for an item or two, and yes, people will give you things even if you've already had a shower. Sometimes people wait on clothes just for that reason - you need the carseat and the diaper bag ahead of time, and sometimes they wait to see the size and the sex of the child before buying clothes. If you don't know the baby's gender and you're worried about what color to buy, just go for yellow, green and primary colors!

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answers from Santa Fe on

My kids both went through about 3 outfits a day and we did laundry twice a week. We had way more than we really needed. I think thrift stores are the way to go! With a few new things you just can't resist! Have fun!

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answers from Victoria on

they grow fast. i would get a few more onesies but then get mostly 0-3 months then 3-6 months.

our baby was 9lbs 1 oz and the little man fit in nb for a day. really he was mostly in three months clothes when he was nb. and six months when he was three months old. he just turned 5 and for the first time is actually wearing 5T clothing....clothes we bought when he was 4years old because this is the first time his age and size match. (we took him off of juice when he truned 4 per pedi suggestion)

In one of those parenting mags or What to expect books there is a list. While we didnt purchase as many coats as we live in S Tx we did stick close to the guide and it helped. I think about ten onesies, 5sleepers (or more if it will still be cold) socks, little hats, swaddle blankets. And your set until two months later and they out grow it all.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Think 21 changes of clothes a week (including jammies). You will need to do this for all sizes (I think there are about 4 sizes in the first year). However take it easy on the NB size as large babies are only in these for a few weeks, and because of swaddling, they don't spit up on their clothes as much (so 15 clothes changes a week). Do however have plenty of swaddling blankets (4-6). Babies will go through at least 2 if not three outfits per day because of spit up and messy eating (not to mention poop explosions). I had way too many of the wrong clothes with my first. I erred on too many going- out outfits when I should have focused on cozy house wear and sleeping outfits. I think it terms of sleep worthy clothes (anything cozy) and photo op outfits (cute, but perhaps too stiff or too many buttons for naps, like baby jeans and button ups, or anything that ties or has a bow).
With the goal of baby laundry once per week, and not having cute things that only get worn once or twice, this is what has been true for me: I think that for each size, two photo op/ show off baby outfits are enough. From there about 10 night time sleeping outfits and 10 or more cozy mix and match house outfits (this includes separates like onzies, stretchy pants, and two/ three- piece outfits). I have not included outerwear in this as thats so seasonal and geographical.
You need more short sleeve onzies in summer and more long sleeve in winter. But don't do yourself in trying to figure out what size your baby will be in during winter or summer. It depends more on their growth than their calendar age. So you really can't predict these things much as you'd like to think you can.

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answers from Washington DC on

You should get a few 'newborn' size - maybe 4 outfits.

I always counted on changing the baby at least 3 times a day. So 9 - 10 outfits per size.
0-3m usually fits until they are 2-3 months old.
3-6m usually fits from 2 - 6 months old
6-9m usually fits from 5-9 months old

So say your baby is born in early April. You should by 0-3m spring stuff. (you can get away with mostly sleepers)
3-6m summer stuff (should sleeve onesies, sleepers, a few pants, shorts)
6-9m fall stuff
12m winter stuff

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answers from Oklahoma City on

Some baby's are born larger than others. Even if your baby is measuring a certain size now that doesn't mean they'll still be that size at birth or shortly after.

A couple of my friends got tons of newborn stuff and they were so sad they went unworn. One friends baby weighed over 9 lbs and quickly went up, she started life wearing 3-6 month clothing.

Another friend had a son who had the fattest little arms. His newborn clothes would not slide up his arm so they went unworn unless they were sleeveless or had a huge armhole.

Some of your friends will bring outfits with them when they come to visit you in the hospital too.

So you "might" want to wait to buy any really really expensive outfits until after you get home from the hospital.

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answers from Sharon on

This is hard to answer, since each person likes different things. I hated gowns. They were always bunched up around my babies arm pits! Then they were cold. My first daughter wore newborn for about two months. (She was 7Lbs 3 oz at birth, so not preemie!) My second daughter wore them about 3 weeks. She was 7 Lbs 11 oz. I loved a sleep sack for night time as neither of my girls liked to be swaddled. My girls also did not have explosive poop.(I was lucky!) If we weren't leaving the house, mostly sleepers is what I used. I took my babies every where though. I always wanted them to look cute, so I had lots of cute outfits. Not necessary, I know, but well...they were girls! LOL! My girls were not big spitter uppers, but I always put a bib on them if they were getting a bottle (at night). I didn't if they were on the breast. I liked a certain brand of cloth diaper as a burp/spit rag. I think they may have been from Target. (Sorry! I can't remember!) During the summer months I loved these little onesie dresses. They were onesies in the back, but looked like a little dress in the front. They kept the girls nice and cool. So, depending on your tastes (which of course you won't know until after you have the baby!), the baby, the season, it can vary a lot! I'd say 7-10 sleepers, and about the same in onesies. I tried not to let the laundry sit too long. It made it easier to get stains out. And always treat stains if possible! I totally agree with anyone who said expensive 'baby' detergent is a waste! I liked all free. You can NEVER have too many bibs (Or burp cloths!)! In lots of sizes! Have a few newborn, a few 0-3, a few 3-6 sizes. You can go from there once you see what will fit. The rest is all up to you on a 'want' basis! :)

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