Buying baby clothes happens frequently in baby’s first few months. Be prepared that whatever you buy in these early days will probably need to be replaced as baby grows. Make sure when you do go out to buy baby clothes, that you choose clothes that are practical and functional. Baby clothes that are complicated or elaborate do not combine well with sleepless nights changing nappies and feeding a crying baby. Take a look at our list of essential baby clothes that you should stock up on ready for when baby comes home.
The Baby Grow
The baby grow is basically a baby onesie – you will find yourself buying new baby grows almost as quickly as you stock up on nappies and bibs. It is a short or long sleeved baby t-shirt that extends to flaps that snap around the nappy area. Baby grows are important for a few reasons; firstly the snap-closed buttons make nappy changing extra easy for new parents, especially in the early hours.
Secondly, babies have soft sensitive skin – baby grows are right next to your baby’s skin, so they provide at least some basic defence against harsher textures.
Finally, temperatures vary from place to place (sometimes even room to room), so it helps if you can just take off a layer of clothing or add one to make your baby comfortable. You’ll want to keep a lot of these baby grows on hand.
Baby Booties, Baby Shoes or Baby Socks
Both baby booties and baby socks are important. Keeping your baby’s feet warm plays a big part in keeping him or her warm, not to mention keeping baby’s toes protected. Shoes are largely decorative until your baby starts walking.
Baby shoes come in the soft variety for newborns, or hard-soled for little explorers. Do yourself a favour and don’t spend a pile of money on glow-in-the-dark sneakers or shoes that light up for your new baby. She’ll want those soon enough. You don’t need to spend much money on her feet until she’s walking. Don’t buy too many pairs of shoes at once, because she’ll out grow them quickly.
T-Shirts and Baby Vests for Babies
Baby t-shirts are soft and protect baby’s skin similar to baby grows, but they don’t go all the way to the nappy area. For older babies, standard t-shirts are fine, especially as part of a two-piece outfit, but with infants, especially newborns, it’s best to get the kind that wrap around the baby and snap. This saves struggling to get the other kind over the baby’s head. You’ll need lots of these, as well.
Baby Sleepers, Baby Sleeping Bags and Baby Night Gowns
Baby night gowns are great for new babies as sleepwear, regardless of whether they are baby girls or baby boys. They are practical for middle-of-the-night nappy changing, and they’re long, so they cover the entire child, regardless of size. Baby night gowns allow movement while keeping warmth in.
Baby sleepers have all the advantages of night gowns, but with snaps. These come in summer and winter varieties, which doesn’t allow for more moderate seasons, but strategic use of t-shirts and onesies can help you fill in the gaps appropriately. It’s also convenient and acceptable to take your baby out in a sleeper, versus a gown.
Baby sleep sacks are like a gown, but heavier, and they have no opening at the bottom. Their function is warmth. It is recommended that babies sleep without blankets, to eliminate the risk of accidental smothering, and sleep sacks basically take over the function of the blanket.
Baby Hats and Baby Mittens
Hats or hooded clothing are important as well. Babies have incredibly sensitive skin, and not much hair. They are more likely to suffer sunburn on top of the head. Also, when people lose body heat, the majority of it is lost through the head, so covering your baby’s head is crucial.
Baby mittens on the other hand aren’t to keep out the cold, but more to protect the baby from accidentally scratching themselves. Babies fingernails grow very quickly and with their movements not quite yet being under their control, they may be prone to scratching.
Baby Jumpers, Baby Jackets or Cardigans
Baby jumpers or other one-piece outfits that don’t have feet allow you to put shoes on the baby. These aren’t so critical for newborns, although they’re fine for babies of any age. Cardigans are easy to layer on top of vests and t-shirts and make changing very easy access. These are another thing you’ll want plenty of.
Baby jackets will be necessary at some point. You won’t want to keep too many on hand unless you travel frequently, because these are more expensive items and your child will outgrow them quickly. A couple of sweaters should do for summer, and a lighter and heavier jacket for winter.
Babies need to be kept warm, without overheating. Coats are clothes that baby boys and baby girls simply cannot do without. Thinner coats and jackets would be best for summer, with a warmer coat for the rest of the year. If taking your baby out in a buggy or pushchair a lighter coat might be alright as long you have a blanket to keep them warm as well.
Baby Bibs and Baby Blankets
Bibs will save you all sorts of aggravation during baby’s feeding time. Keep a few bibs handy, even in the diaper bag when you travel. Food isn’t your only nemesis. Babies drool a lot, especially when they’re teething, so bibs will also help to keep him or her dry.
Receiving blankets (the little blankets you get when your baby is a newborn) are invaluable, because they can keep your baby warm, provide a clean spot to sit or lay on the floor to explore and play, protect your clothing while you burp the baby, or serve as on-the-spot cleaning rags.
With these basics in mind, your baby should be well-outfitted until they start needing clothing designed for bigger kids. A good rule of thumb is to buy a lot of what goes close to the skin, and buy fewer as you go outwards. Anything else you add as a fashion statement is just for fun!