How Many Baby Clothes Do I Need in Each Size?

How Many Baby Clothes Do I Need in Each Size?

My goodness, if this isn’t the million-dollar question (Or at least the couple of thousands of dollars question – cus baby clothes are EXPENSIVE!). I’ve been asked this literally so many times, I can’t even keep count.

Related: 11 Sneaky Ways to Save Money on Baby Clothes

And every time I’m asked this question, I probably literally look like a deer in headlights.

Being a mom, I’ve asked myself that same question time and time again. “How many baby clothes do I need in each size?”

My answer is probably the same as yours…I honestly have no flippin’ idea, and neither does anyone else, regardless of what they say… all we have is our own experiences to share.

BUT- I will say that after having a baby and watching it grow and realizing that the baby closet is stuffed full of a gazillion outfits that were never worn…I have learned a thing or two about buying baby clothes and I’m happy to share that with you.

Learn from my mistakes, people. And save some money along the way.

If you know anything about me, you know I’m all about staying on a budget with baby any way that I can so this is why I’m sharing with you these simple tips on how many baby clothes you should buy – so that you can save money for things that you KNOW the baby is going to need. (Like diapers, y’all!)

My #1 rule when it comes to buying things (anything, baby clothes included) is BUY LESS THAN YOU THINK YOU NEED OR WANT- you can always buy more later. 

Related: When Should You Buy Baby Stuff?


How many clothes should I buy before the baby is born?

I have super strong feelings about when you should buy baby things. This is the part of becoming a parent that people tend to go overboard with, and waste hundreds of dollars on.

And I get it. I really do.

I’ve been where you are. Walking up and down the aisles at the store and seeing all the pink, blues, and yellows…the cute dresses, the adorable tiny tuxes, the ladybug print shirts, and the dinosaur-themed pants. I’ve seen them all.

I’ve been tempted by them all.

And guess what? I left every single one of them on the rack.

AND IT WAS HARD. SO HARD. (But it was the right choice!)

So many people bust their budget for their baby before he’s even born. If you’re truly interested in how many clothes you should buy before your baby is born, I suggest having enough clothes on hand for 2 weeks of life – and, if your budget is really tight – buying them in 0-3 months instead of newborn.

Yes, there’s a good chance your baby will be swim in them, but honestly, that’s ok – and you KNOW you’ll get use out of them… even if your baby is on the big side.

(You wouldn’t believe how fast a normal size baby grows out of newborn clothes!)

You’ll be changing the clothing of your baby at least once per day so plan on having enough shirts/onesies/pants on hand that you don’t have to stop everything to do laundry because you ran out in a matter of 2 days.

Keep your clothing choices simple and user-friendly because you’re going to be changing, unsnapping, and removing clothes off your baby multiple times per day.

How many newborn size clothes do I need?

One thing that I think we can all agree on is that newborns are just so stinkin’ cute. But do you know what’s not cute? A closet full of clothes that they never even fit in in the first place.

And let’s talk about newborn shoes…really? Maybe your newborn was different than my newborn but her feet didn’t touch the floor for the first few months of her life.

Save your money and skip the shoes – those adorable shoes are really only good for photos and then putting in baby’s time capsule. (Get fuzzy little socks instead!)

If you’re wondering how many newborn size clothes that you need, here are my suggestions on what kind of newborn clothing you should have readily available and on hand.

Also, do not buy ANY of this stuff until you check out the clearance section here. These days I get MOST of my kids close from this store in the off season – when they run their summer or winter clearance events!

10-15 Baby Onesies

Onesies are easy. No matter how much you want to fight them, just go ahead and give in now. (It’s like dreading becoming a minivan mom until you see all the gadgets and then decide that it’s not such a bad thing after all…)

Onesies were created by a pure genius who understands the way that newborns function. Since babies literally sleep almost all day, that means that the only other two things that they’re worried about doing are eating and going to the bathroom.

And neither one of those actions needs to have their fashion style front and center.

Onesies are great because they unsnap for changing diapers and they unsnap in the shoulder area to easily pull off of your newborn without a struggle. (Trust me on this one…when your kiddo is covered from the armpits down in poop… onesies are a dream.)

This might sound a bit crazy after my suggestion that we don’t need a lot of baby clothes, but I would have anywhere from 10-15 onesies on hand for your newborn baby.

This gives you enough buffer to have extras for the “three P’s” (pee, poop, puke) and gives you a 2 week (ish) supply just in case you get behind on laundry (which DOES happen during the postpartum “experience”).

7-10 Baby Pants/Leggings

Remember to always shop for soft fabric when it comes to clothing your newborn.

Soft pants or leggings are a great way to keep them warm, keep their skin from being irritated and also are easy to remove just in case of a “blow out” from the diaper region.

I would say that 7-10 pairs of pants would be more than enough to have a good rotation for your clothing pile.

7-10 sleepers

I absolutely ADORE these baby sleepers. You could get a few of these, and a few cheaper ones.

Little Sleepies are a bit more expensive, but they fit your baby for 3x longer than other brands (seriously)! So in the long run, you’d probably actually save money by purchasing a few pairs of these from the clearance section! (You can read a full review of Little Sleepies Jammies here.)

HONESTLY, beyond onesies, leggings and sleepers, your new born doesn’t need anything else.

Of course, you can have a nice outfit for photos, church, or family gatherings or something along those lines but for everyday wear and the home life, onesies, pants, and sleepers will do it.

(Maybe a couple pairs of socks if your baby is born in the winter and you live in a cold place.)

Related: How to Remove Mildew From Clothes or Baby Blankets (without ruining them!)

How many clothes does a baby need in the first year?

I feel like I’m starting to sound a bit like a broken record here. Baby clothes are fine. Baby clothes are great. But for the most part, a lot of the current baby clothes for sale aren’t practical or necessary.

As your baby begins to get older (think like around the 6-month mark or after), it’s a good time to start introducing other clothing items into their daily life.

A light jacket, shoes (yes, shoes!), more socks, some cute little jeans (to hold up to the wear and tear of them learning how to walk) and more shirts and pants. Still stick with the onesies as they aren’t out of that diaper phase yet, and won’t be for quite some time.

(Speaking of diapers, THAT is what you need more of in the first year, as opposed to baby clothes! Panning a diaper raffle at your baby shower is a great way to get a stockpile for cheap!)

Again, I think part of the biggest problem that we all face when trying to get clothes for our baby is that we tend to buy based on emotions and impulse.

Those two things combined can be quite costly. Keep it simple and just go with the basics. Your bank account and storage space in your house will thank you.

Baby Clothes Checklist By Size

Just because I’m a visual person and I often need things repeated more than once, I’m going to bank on the fact that you’re the same way as well.

You’re going to find out just how simple I really think you should keep your babies clothing for the very first year of their life.

Baby Clothes 0-3 months

This is the time in their lives when not much movement is going on. Sleeping consumes their day in each and every way. For babies ages 0-3 months, here are the clothing items you need to have on hand:

  • Baby Onesies
  • Soft baby pants/leggings
  • Sleepers
  • Soft hat + socks ( if wintertime)

That’s it. Like I mentioned earlier, having 2 weeks’ worth of the clothing mentioned above (minus the winter gear) is a great plan because as we all know, poop happens.

Baby Clothes 3-6 months

I call this the wiggle-worm phase. This is where they’re starting to realize that they have fingers and toes and they’re going to start moving their little bodies all over the place and showing you how strong they really are. During these few months of their early lives, I recommend having the following clothing on hand:

  • Baby Onesies
  • Pants/Leggings/Shorts/Skirt
  • Winter gear
  • Sleepers
  • Socks

Very similar to the first few months of their life, right? This is a trend that you’re going to notice all throughout this checklist.

Related: Postpartum Care Kit Checklist (all the postpartum essentials)

Baby Clothes 6-9 months

Here you’re going to notice that I start to vary just a little bit on what I recommend having on hand for your baby. This is because some babies are actually going to start crawling, and maybe even walking, during this time of their lives so it’s important to be prepared for that milestone to happen.

This list is eerily similar to the ones above with a few extra’s added in:

  • Baby Onesies
  • Jeans (to protect knees when crawling)
  • Winter gear
  • Sleepers
  • Socks
  • Shoes (because they’ll be walking and you need to have foot support early)

Baby clothes 9-12 months

Look at us, rounding out the first year of your baby’s life. Hard to believe that they’re already 9 months old and are soon ready to cross over into the years of “no longer being a newborn”.

But when it comes to clothing, their lives and daily actions are still very similar to when they were younger. Lots of messes, lots of spills, diapers that need to be changed, and more.

For these reasons, I stand by the following clothing item recommendations for this age range:

  • Baby Onesies
  • Jeans/Pants
  • Winter gear/Winter hat
  • Pajamas
  • Soft socks
  • Shoes

If you’re wanting to branch out at this point in time and work in some t-shirts and different things like that, now is the time to do so. Some babies are larger and will outgrow onesies quicker than others so having shirts on hand is always a good idea, too.

How do you know what size baby clothes to buy?

This is hard! And it doesn’t get any easier at any point in life, either. It’s all so confusing and honestly, I feel like the clothing sizes and numbers don’t even make sense have the time.

I’ve heard a time or two that you want to be one size ahead of what your baby’s age is so that is something to consider and keep in mind.

I’m also a firm believer that there aren’t a lot of babies that are actually considered a “newborn” size clothing size so you might be able to skip that size altogether and move right into the 0-3 month clothing sizes right when they’re born.

This is another reason why I don’t like people buying a ton of baby clothes ahead of you. You literally have no idea how big (or little) your child is going to be. Some people have 11-pound babies and there’s no way that newborn clothing is going to fit, at all.

Having a few clothing items on hand is key and lets you plan and be as money-conscious as possible.

Plus, a lot of stores will actually let you bring clothing back if it’s unopened or hasn’t been worn. This means that if your baby is larger than anticipated, you can easily swap out all those newborn onesies for 0-3 month onesies instead.

Hopefully, I’ve answered your question about how many baby clothes you need to have in each size. And while I know it sounds like it’s limiting and not going to be enough clothes, I promise you that it is.

At the end of the day, you’ll be so happy to have a giant stack of clean onesies that you can easily have your baby put on and where. And I hope you realize that you can buy some cute onesie colors and prints for the same amount of money as the plain white ones to give your baby just a little bit of fashion!

So, what do you think?

Do you feel better prepared now that you know how many baby clothes you need in each size?

Related: How many swaddle blankets do I need?
Related: Bringing Baby Home – Enjoying the First Week With a Newborn

how many baby clothes should I buy


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