Are you an expectant parent with a baby on the way? You might be wondering which clothes you might need for your new arrival. If you’re not quite sure what a sleep sack is or what rompers are, then this guide is for you.
As a new expectant mother, you are sure to be really excited and impatiently waiting to dress your newborn in adorable baby clothes. But when it comes to clothes shopping for a newborn, there is a lot to consider in terms of practicality, comfort, sizing and so on. Of course, it also depends which time of the year your baby is due, too.
For the first three months, baby will be sleeping and eating a lot so you will want to have plenty of comfy clothing at hand. These should include babygrows, bodyvests, day gowns and not forgetting a selection of comfy day-time outfits too.
It is also just as important to know what newborn babies should wear at bedtime. Don't worry, we have covered everything for you so you can be fully prepared.
Practical clothing for a newborn baby
Baby clothes are so adorable and you are probably wanting to fill their wardrobes with a massive bundle of tiny outfits but bear in mind their practicality too. We will go through a few things to consider before buying a whole plethora of clothes that might not be suitable or rarely ever worn.
Dressing baby tips for new parents:
1. Consider sizing
The sizing all depends on the baby's weight at birth. Newborn baby sizes start at 0 but depending on their birth weight, some will fit into sizes of up to 3 months from day one, whereas smaller babies or premature babies are barely going to fill a size 0.
They will also grow out of their clothes VERY quickly so only buy what you need. Opt to buy a small number of newborn size 0 and 0-3 size clothing and once the baby is born you can gauge which size is best.
TOP TIP: When gifting newborn clothes, consider 3-6 month sizing as parents are likely to have smaller sizes already.
2. Make baby dressing easy for you
There will be a lot of outfit changes and the baby will spend a lot of time in and out of clothes during the day so the easier it is for you, the better. Make wise purchasing decisions and look for clothing that includes easy dressing, with zips or poppers.
3. There will be a lot of sleeping
The more comfortable for the baby, the better. There will be a lot of snoozing and day-time naps so comfort should be taken into consideration. Decide on breathable cotton fabrics that are lightweight and also kind to delicate baby skin.
4. Feeding and winding
In the early months, there will be a lot of feeding and at times, milky vomit. You may find you have to change baby more often than you thought. Always have a baby bib attached for these incidences! Also choose clothes that are both good quality and easily washable.
Muslin cloths are a great baby feeding accessory - you can use them to clean away any milk or vomit whilst feeding. They are also used during winding and placed over the shoulder to protect your clothing from any potential mess.
TOP TIP: It is advisable to have at least 7 muslins (one for each day of the week) in your newborn baby essentials.
5. Be prepared with layers
It’s best to have multiple layers for the new arrival. This way you can adjust baby's outfits depending on the temperature, to maintain both warmth and coolness, depending on the time of the year. You can layer bodyvests under babygrows to keep them warm in the winter or layer a pair of bloomer shorts with a body vest to keep them cool in the summer.
What do newborns wear in the day?
Babygrows, the one-piece wonders - a must-have for your newborn. They are not only super comfortable for babies but are practical and allow for easy dressing. Choose from cotton fabrics, instead of man-made fibres this will ensure maximum comfort and will be suitable for delicate baby skin. Babygrows are ideal for layering and adjusting to temperatures, by adding bodyvests underneath or jumpers over the top, you can keep baby warm in the colder seasons.
Rompers are another great clothing choice for newborns. Similar to babygrows, they are a one-piece outfit but are traditionally made with long sleeves and long footless legs. The footless leg design allows for more freedom and movement when ‘romping’ and playing, hence where the name comes from. Rompers are typically an ideal option for playdates, family outings or photoshoots as they are an easy outfit option and can come in fun, fashion forward styles. They also have easy fastening poppers or zips and allow for easy nappy changes.
Baby Cardigans & Jumpers
A couple of cardigans or jumpers will always come in handy. Choose from soft materials and fabrics that are appropriate for the time of the year. You can place these over babygrows or rompers for day-time outings and it will keep them warm and comforted.
Baby Trouser Sets
If you are taking a trip out for the day, trouser sets are a great alternative to bodysuits and rompers, if you want to create a sweet two-piece outfit. This is a comfortable outfit choice for a baby and will keep them settled. It is also more practical for you, a pair of jeans for example, would make baby changing more difficult.
Baby Dresses & Gowns
For daytime dressing, gowns and dresses are a suitable option during the warmer seasons. In the colder months, layer your dress of choice with a pair of leggings underneath to create an oh-so-sweet outfit. Lightweight cotton materials will be kindest to babies skin and make her most comfortable, so opt for these when choosing a sweet dress to compliment her mini wardrobe.
It is always great to be fully prepared with at least one extra-warm outerwear ensemble for your newborn baby. Especially for colder regions, be sure to get a full-body outerwear snowsuit that you can pop over their clothes to make sure they are kept warm and snug in the winter weather. For summer, a lighter coat can be carried in your baby bag and layered over clothing if the weather changes whilst out and about.
Winter and Summer Accessories for Baby
Accessorising your baby outfits is not only cute but helps you to complete any little ensemble. Make sure you are fully prepared with all your miniature must-haves! Again, it depends on the season so let's make this easier for you.
Be prepared with a selection of socks, a cute pair of scratch mittens and other outdoor essentials such as cotton beanie hats - all to keep your baby warm and cosy. Not forgetting, an essential winter coat or snow jacket for when you are outdoors in the cold winter weather.
Read our blog on how to keep your baby warm in the winter.
With temperatures rising in the summer months, accessories are not needed as much. The only item we would recommend for summer babies is a sun hat to keep them protected from the sun's harmful rays.
Read our blog on keeping babies safe in the summer heat.
Cotton Baby Hats
Cotton baby hats are great for keeping them warm and comforted and the cotton material is ideal as it is comfortable and kind to baby's skin. For extra warmth when you are heading outdoors in the winter, opt for at least one knitted hat too.
Good to know: A baby hat is usually included in the labour bag essentials list. Some hospitals will not let you leave without a baby hat as it is considered an essential and is required, so be prepared with one when packing your hospital bag.
You might be wondering, what are scratch mittens? Babies tend to scratch their face with their nails and scratch mittens are there to stop any breakage of delicate baby skin. They will keep little hands warm in the winter too. You may also find baby grows with scratch mittens attached so check before buying separately, as it may save you money!
Shop our full collection of scratch mittens.
Pamper little feet with a selection of baby socks to hand, a must-have for all seasons. If your baby is due in the winter, buy a few more pairs as you are likely to use them more often.
Shop our full collection of baby socks.
What should babies wear to bed?
You want your baby to be as settled and comfortable as possible at night-time. Make sure that your baby's nightwear clothing is not only lightweight but breathable too. Here are different options you can choose from:
Zipped Baby Grows/Body vests
Babygrows are also just as good for night-time, as they are for day-time dressing. You can add extra layers and pop a body vest underneath, depending on the temperature but always make sure to use light cotton layers to prevent overheating. In the summer, sleeveless body vests are the best bet to keep them cool.
TOP TIP: Opt for zipped baby grows and body vests for night time. They will make baby changing a lot easier for you.
Newborn babies spend a lot of time in swaddles. Why? It is known that babies like to be swaddled in the first couple of months because it feels womb-like and keeps them comforted. It also helps prevent their startle reflex from waking them up in the night. So, swaddles are a great sleeping option for your newborn and there are many benefits of swaddling. However, please also be aware that there are potential risks if used incorrectly which you can read in the linked page from NCT above.
More suitable for day sleeping in the buggy or moses basket, baby nests are like little sleeping pods for babies. They are padded matresses with sides, which creates the cosy sleeping nest. This sleeping option is becoming an increasingly popular choice for parents.
Baby Sleeping Bag
Baby sleeping bags or as some people call them ‘sleep sacks’, allow you to place baby inside for when they are sleeping. They differ from baby nests and are known more as a wearable blanket. Always check the product information as they differ in minimum weight size, most are suitable for when the baby is more than 8lbs in weight.
The purpose of a sleeping bag is to not only stop babies from wriggling around too much but it prevents them from kicking off their blanket and making them cold at night. So, for that reason these are great for keeping baby warm and settled whilst sleeping.
You can check the safety of baby sleeping bags and how to choose the right sleeping bag for your baby here.
Have fun with it!
This guide has covered practical newborn clothing options and the clothing that your baby will actually need. But it all depends on what you personally want and need for your baby. Depending on your budget, climate and lifestyle - what you choose to buy will vary. Add more clothing to their wardrobe, if you feel it is necessary and have fun with it. Baby clothes and accessories are adorable and can bring a sense of joy when you are dressing your little one!
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