How Many Outfits Does a Newborn Need?

Baby girl wearing white Tencel lyocell footie

Once you find out you’re expecting, it’s tempting to run to the nearest store—or, let’s be real, the internet—to buy all the adorable outfits. However, the excitement can turn into feelings of overwhelm as you start to ask yourself, “How many outfits does a newborn need?” and “What size baby clothes should I buy?” 

While it’s so easy to obsess over all the cute and tiny outfits, it’s important not to go overboard. On one hand, you definitely want to be stocked up on the essentials, like bodysuits, pants, and footies, so you don’t have to run to the washing machine after every spill, spit-up, or blowout. On the other hand, given how fast babies grow, you don’t want their drawers to be overflowing with items they will never wear. So how many clothes do you really need to buy? 

Keep reading to learn what the magic number may be for your baby. 

What to Consider When Buying Baby Clothes?

When buying baby clothes, parents must consider several factors, including comfort, convenience, lifestyle, and climate. While individual preferences may vary,  Let’s explore the vital elements to keep in mind when shopping for newborn clothing, ensuring your baby is both comfortable and stylish.

Prioritize Comfort and Convenience

Comfort is key for babies. Given the delicate nature of their skin, prioritize soft and breathable fabrics that are gentle on the skin, such as Tencel lyocell or organic cotton. In the early months, you can expect your baby to spend most of their time in essential items like bodysuits, footed pajamas, sleepers and two piece pajama sets. These items are easy to put on and take off, making both parents' and babies’ lives easier during frequent diaper changes and daily wear.

Of course, there are a few items you may need outside of these wardrobe staples. However, when it comes to buying elaborate outfits for holidays or special occasions, just remember that these are usually worn once or twice, so you may not want to spend a fortune or buy in excess. Additionally, it’s often best to wait until your baby is born to know what size to buy for these special items.

Think About Lifestyle

Thinking about how often you plan to do laundry will help you have a better understanding of how many outfits your baby will need. Many parents do laundry a few times a week, but if you plan to do it less frequently, you'll need more baby clothes. Conversely, if you plan to do laundry every day, you can opt for fewer options. Therefore, as you continue reading, consider the suggested clothing amounts a guide for those who plan to do laundry a few times a week. 

Regardless of how often you plan to wash clothes, having a few extra outfits on hand can save you from the stress of unexpected spills and messes. And trust us, those will happen. 

Remember: Babies Grow Fast

While it’s tempting to buy every single cute outfit you come across, you may want to avoid buying too many outfits—especially during those first several months. Babies grow quickly, so it’s best to avoid stocking up too early on too many items in any one size. This helps prevent a closet full of clothes that your baby will likely outgrow quickly. In some cases, you may find yourself staring at piles of clothes your baby never even wore. 

Instead, prepare your baby’s wardrobe with a few essentials in each size up to 6 months. This ensures you have the staples on hand as your baby grows. Of course, once your baby arrives and you establish their size and preferences, you can certainly buy more outfits to suit their changing needs. 

Climate and Seasonal Considerations

If you’re buying clothes before your baby is born, don’t forget to consider the season they will be born in and prepare accordingly. Remember, the clothing industry is often a few months ahead, so the clothes that are out right now may not be the best options for your baby who will be born during another season. That said, wardrobe staples like bodysuits and pajamas are always a safe bet. 

Layering is key for keeping babies cozy during cooler weather. Therefore,  for fall or winter babies, focus on outfits that incorporate warm, comfortable layering essentials like long-sleeve bodysuits, footed pajamas, leggings, and sleep sacks. For spring or summer babies, choose light and breathable fabrics like Tencel lyocell.  Short-sleeve bodysuits, lightweight footies, sun hats, and even bathing suits would be great additions to their wardrobe during warmer months. 

Newborn baby girl smiling

What are the Essential Newborn Clothing Items? 

Since infants spend most of their time sleeping, essential newborn clothing items include soft and cozy options, like bodysuits and footed sleepers, that will provide comfort throughout the day or night.  These essentials will likely be worn again and again, so it’s important to consider high-quality options that can withstand spit-up, accidents, and frequent washing. The best part is that many of these essential pieces are versatile and can be styled in various ways, creating multiple outfit options for your little one.

  • Bodysuits and Onesies

Bodysuits, also known as onesies, are a staple in any newborn wardrobe. They are soft, comfortable, and easy to put on and take off. Bodysuits come in short-sleeve and long-sleeve options, making them suitable for any season. They are perfect for layering under other clothing, pairing with pants, or wearing on their own during warmer weather. Cuddle Sprouts offers a range of adorable bodysuits made from gentle, breathable Tencel Lyocell fabric that will keep your baby cozy all day long.

  • Footies and Pajamas

Whether looking for options for naptime or bedtime, footies and pajamas are a must-have item for any baby’s wardrobe. These cozy outfits are designed to keep your little one warm and comfortable while promoting safe and restful sleep. Cuddle Sprouts’ collection of footies and pajamas features soft, hypoallergenic fabric that is gentle on your baby’s delicate skin. Our convertible footies feature a versatile design that allows babies to opt for the classic footed design or footless wear, turning a bedtime staple into an option for all-day wear. 

  • Swaddles and sleep sacks 

Swaddles and sleep sacks are other essentials that you will want to have on hand for your baby.  Swaddles are ideal for newborns as they provide a snug and soothing sleep environment similar to the womb. While you must transition away from the swaddle once your baby shows signs of rolling, these generously sized blankets can easily be repurposed.  When it’s time to move on from the swaddle, a sleep sack, or baby sleep bag, provides a safe and cozy sleeping environment without the need for loose blankets in the crib. Cuddle Sprouts’ swaddles and sleep sacks are designed with the highest standard for comfort while abiding by the latest sleep safety research and guidelines.

  • Hats, Socks, and Mittens

Hats, socks, and mittens are essential for keeping your baby warm and protected, especially during the colder months. A soft, snug-fitting hat will help regulate your baby’s body temperature and keep their head warm. Socks and mittens prevent tiny fingers and toes from getting cold, ensuring your baby stays cozy all day long. Remember, per the AAP, that babies should not sleep with hats or mittens because of the increased risk of overheating and suffocation (1).

By focusing on these essential items, you can build a versatile and practical wardrobe for your newborn.

How Many Baby Clothes Do I Need In Each Size?

The exact number of baby clothes you need in each size will vary depending on factors like lifestyle and your baby’s growth. However, you can be prepared by having a handful of essentials in various sizes to get you through the first several months. Let the numbers below guide you as you start to develop their wardrobe. 

Newborn Clothes

Newborn clothes are designed for babies up to about 7-8 pounds. Messes from spit-up and blowouts are frequent occurrences for newborns, so plan on needing at least 2-3 outfits per day during this stage. At this age, babies spend most of their time sleeping, so stick to essential and practical outfits and prioritize comfortable fabrics that are gentle on their delicate skin. While baby shoes may be cute, it’s best to skip the shoes at this stage and opt for cozy socks instead.

Essentials for this stage:

  • Bodysuits: 8-10 short sleeve and long-sleeve bodysuits
  • Leggings or pants: 5-7 pairs
  • Footed sleepers and gowns: 5-7
  • Swaddle blankets: 3-5
  • Socks: 5-7 pairs
  • Hats: 2-4

How long do babies fit in newborn clothes?

Babies typically fit in newborn clothes from three to five weeks, but this varies from baby to baby. While some babies may outgrow this size within a few weeks, larger babies might skip over it entirely. Ultimately, if and how long your baby will fit into newborn sizes will depend on their size at birth and growth rate. It’s essential to be flexible and have a range of sizes on hand to accommodate your baby’s growth.

0-3 Months

0-3 month sizing typically accommodates babies weighing between 8 and 12 pounds. During this period, your baby is likely to still need at least 2-3 outfits per day, depending on factors like spit-up and blowouts. Babies will still be doing a lot of sleeping during this phase, so comfort and soft, breathable fabrics are key. Essentials at this stage are nearly identical to what newborns need, so be sure to have plenty of bodysuits, footed sleepers, leggings, socks, knotted gowns, and matching sets

When buying 0-3 month sizes, consider the following products and quantities:

  • 8-10 short sleeve and long-sleeve bodysuits (a mix)
  • 5-7 leggings or pants
  • 5-7 footed sleepers 
  • 3-5 knotted gowns
  • 2-3 swaddle blankets
  • 5 pairs of socks
  • 2 hats

3-6 Months

Babies typically wear 3-6 month clothing when they weigh between 12 to 17 pounds. During this stage, babies become more active, spending more time awake and exploring their surroundings. Additionally, you’ll want to add bibs to your essentials list, as babies tend to drool more during this stage due to the onset of teething (2). You’re likely still going to want to plan on 2-3 outfits per day, considering factors like spit-up, blowouts, and unexpected messes. 

Essentials for this stage:

  • 4-5 footed sleepers
  • 5-7 short-sleeve and long-sleeve bodysuits (mix)
  • 5-7 leggings or pants
  • 2-3 dresses (for girls)
  • 5 pairs of socks
  • 4-6 bibs

6-9 Months 

Clothing sized for 6-9 months typically fits babies weighing between 17 to 21 pounds. At this stage, babies are often more mobile, potentially crawling and exploring their environment. While you may be able to plan on 1-2 outfits per day, don’t be surprised if your baby needs an additional mid-day outfit change. Additionally, this is the stage where many babies start getting more adventurous with food, which comes with unexpected messes. Keep those bibs and washcloths handy. It doesn’t hurt to have extra outfit on hand either

Essentials for this stage:

  • 5-7 daytime outfits (including tops, bottoms, bodysuits and dresses)
  • Outwear as needed for the weather (2-3 jackets)
  • 5-7 options for bedtime (including one-piece sleepers and two-piece pajama sets)
  • 2-3 Sleep sacks for bedtime
  • 4-5 pair of socks 
  • 1-2 pair of shoes
  • 4-6 bibs

9-12 Months

 Baby clothing sized for 9 to 12 months is typically suitable for babies who weigh between 21 to 25 pounds. While you may be down to only needing one or two daytime outfits and one pair of pajamas per day, it’s a good idea to keep an extra outfit nearby in the event of spills or messes, especially if you go out. Additionally, since babies this age are often highly mobile—and may even be gearing up to take those first steps—prioritize practical outfits made from comfortable and durable materials.

Essentials for this stage:

  • 5-7 outfits for daytime (including tops, bottoms, footies, bodysuits and dresses)
  • Outwear as needed for the weather (2-3 jackets)
  • 5-7 options for bedtime (including one-piece sleepers and two-piece pajama sets)
  • 2-3 Sleep sacks for bedtime
  • 4-5 pair of socks 
  • 1-2 pair of shoes
  • 4-6 bibs

Should Newborns Wear 0 or 3 Months Clothes?

Whether a newborn wears 0 or 3-month clothes depends on their size at birth. 

Size 0, often referred to as "newborn," is generally designed to fit babies up to 7 or 8 pounds and around 19-21 inches in length. Baby clothes labeled as 3 months usually accommodate babies falling into a broader range of weights and lengths, generally fitting babies from 8 to 12 pounds and 21 to 24 inches.

Before you stock up on numerous newborn outfits, remember that your baby will likely grow out of the size quickly. Therefore, it’s always better to have just a few newborn outfits and stock up more on clothing sized 0-3 months or 3 months. This way, you'll be prepared for your baby’s rapid growth and ensure they have comfortable clothing that fits for a longer period.

Remember, not all baby sizing is created equal. Before you make a purchase, be sure to consult the brand’s sizing chart to ensure the right fit for optimal comfort and safety for your baby.

How Many Newborn Outfits Should You Bring to the Hospital?

While you may be excited for those first newborn photo-ops, you only need to bring 2-3 outfits to the hospital for your baby. It’s also a good idea to bring a swaddle to provide comfort and warmth while the baby sleeps.

Here are a few other tips to consider as you pack:  

  • Consider Packing Different Sizes: Pack outfits in two different sizes—one newborn size and one 0-3 months—just to be safe. You never know how big or small your baby will be!
  • Stick to the Essentials: Focus on essentials like swaddles, bodysuits, footed sleepers, hats, and socks to keep your baby comfortable.
  • Pack Smart: You will have plenty to make room for when packing your hospital bag, so it’s best to stick to only what you need for you and your baby.

Cuddle Sprouts’ Baby Clothes Sizing 

At Cuddle Sprouts, we’re here to provide more than adorable baby clothes. We’re on a mission to empower parents to provide the best comfort for their babies at every stage. By crafting our baby clothing from naturally soft and breathable materials like Tencel Lyocell, we can provide your baby with optimal comfort and top-notch quality without the use of harsh chemicals or harmful environmental practices. 

Our collection of Tencel baby clothes is available in sizes from newborn to 5T so your baby can continue to enjoy cozy cuddles and sweeter dreams as they grow. We recommend consulting our size charts to find the best fit for your little one.

baby boy wearing white newborn clothes while smiling

Now You Can Build the Perfect Wardrobe For Your Baby! 

We know building your baby’s wardrobe can be both exciting and overwhelming. Try not to buy too many clothes before your baby is born to avoid spending money on outfits they may never wear. Instead, start with a few of the essential items in a few sizes. 

While it’s tempting to buy every cute baby outfit you find, remember to prioritize comfortable fabrics and practical styles that best suit your lifestyle. We also recommend opting for sustainable fabrics, like Tencel Lyocell, for options that are gentle on your baby and the planet. 

There you have it, mama! Now you can build the perfect wardrobe for your baby that is as practical as it is stylish! Get started by exploring our super soft collection of tencel baby clothes perfect for those precious first months and beyond.

Reference Links 

1. American Academy of Pediatrics, Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Updated 2022 Recommendations for Reducing Infant Deaths in the Sleep Environment

2., Teething Tots

Leave a comment

Share your thoughts with the Cuddle Sprouts community.

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.