Baby Registry Tips: Baby Clothes

Putting together your baby registry is exciting and often can start to make your little one’s arrival begin to feel real. But selecting what baby items you’ll need for a newborn you’ve never met on a parenting journey you’ve never been on can be overwhelming! What does a baby really need? How much stuff should you register for?

There are endless answers and perspectives but I thought I’d share mine in a series of Baby Registry Tips posts. The first topic - baby clothes. They're adorable and tiny, but how many clothes does a newborn need? What types of baby clothes will be easiest for diaper changes? How many outfits does a baby need? Here’s what I learned about baby clothes through trial and error - mostly error - in my first year as a mom:

Baby registry tips - what clothes does a newborn need. CanDo Kiddo

Only Take Tags Off and Wash A Few Outfits

Baby Registry Tips - what clothes does a baby really need. CanDo Kiddo

I always heard that your newborn might jump right past the “NB” size, but I assumed we were safe investing in the 0-3 month and 3-6 month sizes. Don’t assume anything about your little one’s growth patterns. I speak from the experience of having a baby who wore 3 month clothes at 3 weeks, 6 month clothes at 6 weeks and 9 months at 9 weeks. He wore this smaller striped onesie week 1 and the larger at week 7! He was normal at birth and we’re both small people so we were as surprised as everyone else that we were raising a giant.

I know, I know, washing and folding those itty bitty baby clothes makes you really start to feel like a parent. Having a full dresser or closet makes you feel ready for baby's arrival. In the final month of pregnancy, I used to almost compulsively unfold and refold baby clothes (some call it nesting, I call it pregnancy insanity). But remember - you won’t know how big your baby will be when he or she arrives and more importantly you won’t know how fast your little one will grow. So fill those dressers and closets with clothes with tags still on!

There Are No Baby Dressing Rooms

Because we were outgrowing sleepers so quickly, I bought 2 packs of 3 nightgowns figuring they were “one size” and would be harder for my little one to grow out of. I washed them and folded them … and then cursed them when I realized how impossible they are to get on (great concept, terrible execution). We also stocked up on Aden and Anais swaddles. I loved them because they really worked for swaddling, but I always wondered if there was an easier option for nighttime diaper changes. 

Looking back I wish I had bought one of each of several kinds of sleepers and swaddles and tried them (before washing, with tags on) to see how easy they were to get on and off my dude, then returned what we didn’t like and got more of what we did. Because there are no baby dressing rooms, buy one before you buy many of a particular brand/style of clothing.

You’ll Need Fewer Clothes Than You Might Think

Yes, babies mess up clothes often and you may change them 2-4 times in a day. But you’ll also be washing clothes more often than you ever imagined possible so those outfits will reappear fresh and clean in a matter of days. I felt like 3 pairs of pants and 6 tops in any given size was about right for us. 

Darker Will Last Longer

Babyhood is messy business! In the beginning there will be diaper blowouts. Then there will be food stains. Then dirty knees from crawling. Whoever invented a white onesie has never been in the same room with a baby. I’ve learned the hard way that lighter clothes won’t last as long as darker. 

Snaps Will Become Your Enemy

During the diaper-change-every-two-hours my-gosh-how-do-you-poop-so-much newborn phase my fingertips literally got raw and sore from snapping endless snaps. I wound up loving our few zippered sleepers. When I was pregnant, I registered for baby sleepers based on adorableness, not functionality. And then I learned.

Once my guy got bigger and diaper changes got more, let’s just say “active” (active like wrestling an alligator) snaps were a total joke. The 2-3 snaps on a onesie are do-able but I’ve always preferred to just pull his pants on and off instead of wrestle with endless crotch snaps. 

Don’t Buy Many Socks

Your newborn’s socks won’t get dirty and you will NEVER know what brand of socks will actually stay on your kiddo’s feet. This will become your quest in the first 6 months of parenting. If you ever find a brand that stays on, you will want to shout it from the rooftops….and stock up on them. It’s okay - go ahead, stock up on this one. They will disappear in the laundry so fast, you’ll need a stockpile. 

Save A Gift Card For Later

If you receive gift cards or exchange some baby registry items for store credit, don’t let that money burn a hole in your pocket. I was really lucky to have lots of gift cards and really silly to have spent them all in the very beginning (not all on essentials, I might add). Oh how I wish I had a gift card now when my boy’s outgrown all the clothes we received as gifts and he’s in need of summer duds. 

Don’t Let Clothes Change The Way You Parent

If expensive, trendy baby clothing is your thing, this one’s for you. Nothing wrong with doing what makes you happy as a parent, BUT please don’t let your child’s pricey and/or adorable outfits dictate how you parent. Will $45 handmade harem pants on your 10 month old make you less inclined to let her crawl in the grass and mulch at the park? Will that adorable smocked john john hold you back from letting your kiddo try feeding himself? I personally love that we have a lot of clothes from the consignment store and the rest are basics from the sale rack at Carters. I never once feel the need to stop my kiddo from making a mess in good, healthy play on account of his clothes. 

Babyhood is messy. Don't let expensive or trendy clothing change the way you parent. CanDo Kiddo

Baby Clothing Favorites

Circo Sleepers from Target 
the only ones I found that zip from the bottom up for easy diaper changes

Carters Sherpa Jacket {affiliate}
super warm and soft - also available in a full body bunting

Socks from H&M
the only ones that would stay on my babe's feet

Halo Sleepsack {affiliate}
perfect when baby outgrows swaddling - warning: the bigger sizes run HUGE

Zutano fleece booties {affiliate}
awesome for colder climates, stay on baby's feet

iPlay sun hat {affiliate}
wide brim, very adjustable and available in newborn size

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