How many newborn baby clothes do I need

Want to make sure you have enough newborn baby clothes without blowing your budget on dozens of cute outfits you don’t need?

Newborn baby clothes are so adorable it can be difficult to stop yourself from buying everything you spot. 

This post is all about helping you to decide how many newborn baby clothes you actually need to buy. 

The truth is that when it comes to newborn size baby clothes you only need a very small number of outfits – three to five maximum – because they will grow out of them so very fast!

The secret to shopping smart for your newborn is to focus on buying 0-3 month size clothes, which you may find your baby fits from day one after being born. 

This article will give you a checklist of what clothes you actually need to buy for your baby before they are born, including guidance on what size clothing to buy and how many. 

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What size baby clothes to buy 

To a certain extent this is a pretty tricky question to answer! Ultimately it depends on your baby’s weight at birth. 


Some babies are born barely filling a newborn size onesie. Others are born needing 0-3 months from day one and never squeezing into any newborn size clothes. 

Whatever size your baby is from day one, one thing is certain: They won’t be in newborn baby clothes for long!

Babies need to double their weight in the first six months. That’s a whole lot of growing. 

As with grown-ups, there are short babies and long babies, so they all move through the sizes of babygros and baby clothes at their own pace. 

So what size baby clothes should you buy for your baby? 

Remember that while 0-3 months might be baggy on your baby, when they’re a newborn it doesn’t matter so much. They won’t be running around the room tripping over the trailing arm sleeves!

Newborn baby clothes buying guide - how many newborn baby clothes do you need

So opt for a small number of newborn baby clothes, and purchase more of the 0-3 month clothing as you will find these get more use. The 0-3 month size clothing tends to last up until baby weighs 12.5lbs.

Of course if you do have any unfortunate issues such as premature birth you will need tiny clothes. In these circumstances you can buy after the event, and don’t forget most hospitals will have some clothes to help you out for a day or two. 

If you are having twins or more, the weight is likely to be much lower than the average sized newborn. The average size for twins is 5.5lbs at birth. 

So this means you can expect them to be in newborn clothes for a bit longer. Because of this you may want to get a couple of extra newborn sized clothes for your twins. 

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How many baby clothes do I need - guide to how many newborn baby clothes to buy

What type of baby clothes are best?

Baby clothes are big business, with so many different types of outfit from jeans to formal dresses and dressing up clothes to hoodies. 

It can be easy to be tempted by all of the pretty outfits, but there are a few facts you need to know about babies and clothes: 

  • Nappies leak. Your baby may well poop or wee on their clothes at least once a day. Is it worth wasting that 
  • Babies vomit. Sometimes they might just spit up a little, and sometimes the whole feed comes out. If you’re lucky they’re wearing a bib that catches it all. 
  • Fiddly clothes are not your friend at 2am. The cute top that buttons up at the back is not going to be so cute at 2am when you need to change the baby’s clothes. 
  • Shoes are cute but totally unnecessary. Your baby will not be walking until around one year, so save your cash!
  • Your friends/family will buy the cute stuff. People cannot resist buying new clothes for new babies. You’ll find a lot of dresses, cute cardigans and top/legging combinations will come from gifts after the baby is born. 

This is by no means a message to not buy any adorable, pretty outfits for your baby. But try to focus on the practical aspects most of all. 

You’ll want clothes that make it easy to reach baby’s nappy for simpler changes, and clothes that you can get off and back on again in a dimly-lit room. 

Newborn baby clothes checklist 

This newborn baby clothes checklist is completely minimalist! This is the absolute bare minimum that you need for your newborn baby that will keep you going until your baby is three months old. 

When it comes to the style of babygro that you get, the onesies that fasten up with poppers tend to be cheaper than ones that do up with a zip. But the ones that do up with a zip are much easier to deal with in the middle of the night. 

Consider buying one of two onesies that do up with a zip and have the rest with poppers. 

This checklist features a pramsuit in size 0-3 months only. This is because it doesn’t matter so much that it will be too big in the early weeks as your baby will only wear it for travel, not for rolling round on the floor. 

The numbers here are assuming you will do more than one load of washing per week. 

If you prefer to stick to just a one or two loads of washing a week, and you do not have a tumble dryer to speed up drying the clothes, buy a couple of additional vests and babygros to the newborn list so that you have at least one for every day plus a couple of extras on the 0-3 months checklist. 

I’ve stuck to all-in-one outfits to keep it simple here. This means you don’t need to buy socks for the first few months. Trust me, they tend to just be pulled off of baby’s feet anyway!

  • Vests. Also known as a bodysuit, these add an extra layer underneath the babygro. To keep your baby comfortable and at a safe temperature at night, it’s best to use light cotton layers to add or take away warmth. If it’s summer you can get vests without sleeves to keep baby a little cooler.
  • Babygros. You can buy fleecey babygros which are fine in really cold environments but there’s a risk baby may get a little too hot in these. Choose cotton fabrics and you can make baby warmer with a vest underneath and layering up blankets on top.
  • Hats. Choose light cotton beanie hats. Some come with a knot at the top you can tighten in case your baby is a little small for the hat. Even in summer you may find your baby will need the hats to stay cosy.
  • Cardigan/jumper. Choose material and design based on the season when your baby will be born. Some cardigans are really chunky with big fluffy hoodies while others are lighter and more appropriate for the summer.
  • Scratch mits. Babies have a tendency to rake their nails down their face and can break the skin. Scratch mits can sometimes be built into babygros so check the ones you buy before picking some up separately.
  • Sleeping bags. You can pop your baby into a sleeping bag or sack when they are more than 8lbs in weight. Always double check on the manufacturer’s label to see if it’s suitable for your baby’s size. These are great as you either zip baby in or do up the poppers and your baby won’t be able to wriggle out and get cold in the night.
  • Pramsuit. If your baby has reflux after being born where they are being sick frequently, you may want to buy a spare pramsuit just in case. 
  • Extras for winter. If your baby is born in the summer you will also need mittens and a warm hat. Pick a warm hat lined with cotton not wool as it’s kinder for baby’s sensitive skin
  • Extras for summer. Depending on when your baby is born and how much time you spend outside, you will need a wide-brimmed hat to keep their head safe from the sun!
  • One special occasion outfit. Assuming no-one is going to buy you something as a gift, pick out one outfit that would work for your baby at a special occasion!

How many newborn size clothes to buy

Clothing itemHow many to buy
Vests5
Babygros5
Cardigan/jumper3
Hats2
Scratch mits3

How many 0-3 months size baby clothes to buy

Clothing itemHow many to buy
Vests7
Babygros7
Cardigan/jumper3
Pramsuit1
Hats2
Scratch mits3
Bibs10
Sleeping bag3
Winter hat1
Summer hat1
Winter mittens1
Special occasion outfit1

What baby clothes to buy

I hope this guide has been useful for you in planning what clothes to buy for your baby.

Remember that exactly how many you need and in what size will depend on how much your baby weighs at birth.

Your own lifestyle and the type of climate you live in will also make a big difference, as if you prefer not to wash clothes too often you will need a few spare items of clothing.

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What clothes do you need to buy for a baby - newborn baby clothes essentials