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Baby Clothes

Clothes for your new baby do not have to be elaborate or expensive. A number of factors determine what you should purchase before your baby's arrival:

  1. What climate you live in and what season of the year is it?
  2. Do you have a washer and dryer so you can wash clothes more often?
  3. Do you have friends or relatives who might give or loan you clothes?
  4. Will you receive gifts and presents before or after the baby is born?

Clothing Items You Will Need

  • 4 to 6 body suits (Onesies) with snaps for diaper changes and T-shirts. T-shirts are good at first until the umbilical cord falls off.
  • 4 to 6 sleepers or gowns (a couple newborn size, the rest size 6 months)
  • 36 to 48 newborn size disposable diapers (about 1 week’s worth). Babies grow so fast that you will start using the small (size 1) diaper in just a few weeks.
  • 3 to 4 dozen cloth diapers (if you are using cloth diapers) and 4 to 6 diaper covers
  • 4 to 6 stretch suits/play suits 3 to 4 blanket sleepers (less if your baby is born during the summer)
  • 6 to 10 receiving blankets
  • 2 blankets
  • 1 to 2 sweaters/sweatshirts/jackets
  • 4 to 6 socks/booties
  • Several burp cloths (cloth diapers work well for this)
  • 6 to 10 bibs
    • 1 set of baby washcloths and towels

If it is winter you will need:

  • 1 snowsuit (make sure it is large enough to last the whole winter and fit over clothes)
  • 2 hats

If it is summer you will need:

  • 1 swimsuit
  • 1 sun hat
  • Swim diapers

Hints about Clothes and Dressing:

  • Buy clothes based on your baby's weight, not according to age. Your baby will grow very fast the first few months and quickly outgrow small clothes.
  • Think about spitting up, leaky diapers, and other common mishaps when deciding how many Onesies to buy.
  • Look for clothing that is easy to put on and take off, such as body suits with snaps or large openings at the neck, sleepers with zippers that go from neck to foot, and pants with snaps at the crotch. This makes it easy to change diapers. Do not buy clothes with ties or cords around the neck, arms, or legs.
  • Make sure that seams in clothes are not scratchy or bulky and that there are no loose threads to snag your baby's toes or fingers.
  • Wash all new clothing items before using for your baby. Read the washing instructions on clothing tags. Some baby clothing has a fire-retardant coating that can come off if not washed properly.
  • Dress your baby for comfort and the weather. Use layers of clothing rather than a lot of heavy clothes so you can add or take off layers as needed.
  • Use loose fitting socks or booties so your baby can wiggle his or her toes. If it is warm, your baby can be barefoot. Babies do not need shoes or no-skid socks until they start walking.
  • Pull clothes over the head quickly. Babies panic when their breathing is blocked. Gather the clothes at the back of the head, put the clothes on the back of the head, and then pull them quickly over your baby's face. When removing shirts, take the arms out first and then pull the shirt over your baby's head.
Developed by RelayHealth.
Pediatric Advisor 2013.2 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2012-12-26
Last reviewed: 2012-12-26
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
© 2013 RelayHealth and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.
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