Five bodysuits or 50? Here’s how to figure out the right number of baby clothes to put on your registry.
For lots of pregnant people, it’s tough to resist adding a million baby outfits to your registry. (Tiny booties! Top knot hats! Avocado sleepers! See what we mean?)
On one hand, messes happen—a lot—and having clothing options for quick outfit changes can be handy. But on the other, babies grow quickly, and your little one isn’t going to stay in one size for very long.
So how many clothes does your baby actually need?
How to Build Your Baby’s Wardrobe
There are a few things to think about when you’re trying to figure out how many baby clothes you’ll need and how you should add clothing to your registry.
1. Think About Laundry
Your access to laundry (and how often you actually do it) makes a big difference in how many items of baby clothing you’ll need on hand.
Our list of newborn essentials below assumes you do a few loads of laundry throughout the week. If this isn’t the case, though, you may need more or less clothing. Here’s how to adjust:
If you’re only planning on doing laundry once a week, multiply the numbers below by two.
If you will be doing laundry every day, cut the numbers below in half.
2. What About Baby Clothes Sizes
Figuring out sizing and how many pieces in each size to add to your registry can be tricky as it’s tough to anticipate how big your baby will be at birth and how quickly they’ll grow. Keep these tips in mind:
Think big. Most newborn sizes top out around eight pounds, so if you have a bigger baby, they may need 0-3 months sizes from the start. (And if they’re on the smaller side, odds are they’ll only fit into newborn sizes for a few weeks anyway.) Pick a few newborn items and then focus on 0-3 months since those clothes will fit babies up to around 12 or 13 pounds.
Mix it up. Each baby brand runs differently when it comes to sizing. Some brands run roomier and are great for larger babies, while others run on the slim side and work better if your baby is long and lean. Since you won’t know your baby’s body type before birth, try to mix in clothes from several different brands so you’ll have a few different fit options.
3. Stay Organized
Teeny, tiny babies clothes sure are cute—and they sure are easy to lose track of too. Organizing your baby’s wardrobe by size is the best way to know what fits right now and what you have available in the next size when the time comes.
If you’re storing most of baby’s clothes in a dresser, drawer dividers are a great investment. They help keep everything in one place (we’re looking at you, tiny baby socks) and can be set up by clothing type, size or any other way you’d like.
If you’re using a closet to store your little one’s wardrobe, check out closet dividers. These little sturdy hanging signs separate clothes into sizes (this set goes from newborn all the way through 2T) so you’ll be able to easily see what you have and less likely to forget about clothes before they’re too small.
One more organizational tip: rotate out clothing items as soon as your baby outgrows them. Staying on top of this onerous task goes a long way in helping you manage your baby’s wardrobe. Keep a storage bin (or two) on hand so you’ll always have somewhere to stash them; then you can decide if you want to hang onto them for the future or pass them on to someone else.
Sample Baby Clothing Registry
This list breaks down the standard number of clothing items you’ll want on hand for your newborn’s wardrobe. We’ve also included items to add specifically for summer and winter babies and a few things for special occasions.
Seven Bodysuits or Rompers
Bodysuits can serve as an easy, no-fuss outfit in summer or a basic layer in winter and come in both long- and short-sleeve styles. With seven, if you wash a couple of loads a week, you’ll always have clean ones on hand.
Tip: Add a kimono-style bodysuit (sometimes also called a side-snap bodysuit) or two for baby to wear until their umbilical cord falls off, usually around one to two weeks after they’re born.
Hudson Baby Unisex Baby
Stock up on basics with this pack of five baby bodysuits. They’re made of GOTS-certified, 100% organic ribbed cotton that’s chemical free and gentle on your baby’s skin. The bodysuits are made with ring-spun fibers for extra softness, with lap shoulders, flat-lock seams and nickel-free snaps for comfort, safety and ease. Striped bodysuits have contrasting trim at the neck and leg.
Set includes 5 short-sleeve bodysuits
100% GOTS-certified organic cotton
Nickel-free, reinforced snaps
Machine wash, tumble dry low
100% Organic Cotton Onesies / Bodysuits / Rompers for Baby
We saw Kids to create an exclusive collection with styles, colors and prints you’ll only find here. The Short Sleeve Bodysuits are made from a super soft bamboo/organic cotton blend that’s breathable, naturally antimicrobial and made of environmentally sustainable fabric. Snaps along the neckline and bottom allow for easy changes.
Set of two
70% viscose from bamboo/30% organic cotton blend
Three to Five Pants
Babies don’t really need to wear pants, but having a few pairs on hand to pull over bodysuits can help keep legs warm when it’s chilly.
Organic Cotton Unisex Baby Jogger Pants & Leggings Set
We saw Kids to create an exclusive collection with styles, colors and prints you’ll only find here. These super soft pants have a wide elastic waistband and ribbed leg cuffs for cozy comfort. They’re made from pure Kids’ signature viscose from bamboo/organic cotton blend that’s luxuriously soft, breathable, naturally antimicrobial and environmentally sustainable.
70% viscose from bamboo/30% organic cotton blend
Four Sleepers, Footies or Gowns
Sleepers and footies are for much more than just sleep—they work for daytime, too. They can also be paired with a swaddle for nighttime in colder climates. And a gown is a great wardrobe addition. especially during those first few months when you want something quick and easy for frequent diaper changes.
Baby Footed Pajamas
We saw Kids to create an exclusive collection with styles, colors and prints you’ll only find here. There are a few reasons parents love these luxuriously soft footies. To start, two-way zippers make diaper changes a breeze. organic Cotton + Bamboo breathable fabric keeps your babe’s skin safe and safe, while also giving them the freedom to grow and play. There’s more: they’re breathable, naturally antimicrobial and made of environmentally sustainable fabric.
organic cotton and bamboo fabric blend
safe for sensitive skin
70% viscose from bamboo/30% organic cotton blend
Beanie-style hats are important in the early weeks and months to keep your baby warm. (Just remember no hats when baby is sleeping!) Start with two—one for your little one to wear and one for the wash. In colder climates, fleece hats are also nice to have.
Top knot hats from Copper Pearl are a simple and stylish way to keep your baby’s head warm. Super-soft with a bit of stretch, the lightweight and breathable knit fabric ensures that your newborn stays cozy without overheating. Copper Pearl’s signature modern patterns coordinates with their swaddling blankets, too.
Ages 0–4 mos.
Five Pairs of Socks
Even in summer, you’ll want to make sure your baby’s feet are cozy in socks.
Tip: Get them all in one color so you don’t have to match tiny socks. And if your baby’s due in winter, add two extra pairs.
Ankle Crew Socks with Grips, Baby Toddler Kids Unisex Warm Thick Cotton Socks 0-6T 6-Pack
Keep little feet warm in soft organic cotton socks with a comfy stretch and ankle height. Made with unique eco-friendly grippers for little bees on the move.
72% Organic Cotton, 26% Recycled Polyester, 2% Spandex
Gentle ankle rib band with comfortable stretch
Two to Three Swaddles
Swaddles aren’t clothes, per se, but many babies spend a lot of time in them. Why? Many babies like to be swaddled for the first few months—it’s very womblike and helps prevent their startle reflex from waking them up. For newborn sleep time, you may find many nights you just put baby in a diaper and swaddle for sleep.
Tip: You can swaddle baby in a blanket (here’s a how-to video), or a 2-in-1 swaddle that makes things a little simpler.
Sleepsack Micro-Fleece Swaddle
There is something so satisfying about wrapping your baby up in the perfect, comforting swaddle, and aden + anais’s muslin blankets are the gold standard for this art form. The generous size of the blankets is the key to making a secure swaddle. Those who’ve struggled with getting the tucks and folds of a swaddle will have an easier time with these blankets, and “baby-gami” experts will also appreciate the well-considered proportions. The 100% cotton muslin fabric also sets these blankets apart. The material is super soft, lightweight, and breathable, and it doesn’t get too hot or bulky in a swaddle. It can be used in many climates and is especially nice when it’s too warm for thicker blankets. The blankets are pre-washed for softness, they get softer with each wash, and they hold up well. Even if you’re not a fan of swaddling, these blankets have many versatile uses. Their light weight means they’re are easy to pack in your bag. The loose, gauzy weave makes them wonderful as stroller or nursing covers, where they provide ample shade and privacy without feeling at all stifling. Or they can be used as a changing table cover, burp cloth, or tummy time blanket. To top it all off, aden + anais makes the blankets in fanciful patterns and modern colors that are cute but not cloying. These are pricier blankets, no doubt, but because they hit the marks of versatility, durability, comfort, and style, they are worth the investment for many parents. Because these blankets are designed for classic swaddling (no Velcro or clasps here), be sure to check out their video (below) on proper swaddling techniques.
Includes four swaddles
100% cotton muslin
One Pair of Mittens
Cover up little hands with cozy mittens. This particular pair is extra smart: the cord keeps the pair together so one of the mittens won’t go missing.
Tip: Even when it’s not winter, cotton mitts can come in handy with newborns to help prevent them from scratching themselves with their super-sharp new nails.
Scratch Free Baby Mittens, Organic Soft Stay
Zutano’s soft fleece mittens keep little hands warm in cool weather. Lined with 100% cotton interlock, the pouches are cozy without being too tight, and interlock cotton wristbands help them stay on. There’s no thumb opening, which makes them easier to get on and keeps hands warmer. The cord keeps the pair together so you never need to search for a missing mitten. To top it off, they coordinate with Zutano’s line of fleece cozies.
80% cotton, 20% polyester fleece
100% cotton lining