Buying for Baby – Clothing
How much am I going to need and what? That was a question I often had before the baby came. Here’s what I have on hand now, although I admit I’m kind of a minimalist.
For 0-3 months
- Long Sleeve Side Snap Shirts – or as some companies call them “Kimono Shirts.” My sister and I love these. I would have four of them for when you come home from the hospital. It’s what they use in the hospital and it really is nice to have some on hand for when the baby comes home (saves you from having to put anything over the newborn babies head.) I only use them for the first couple of weeks but they are really nice.
- Miracle Swaddles – these are essential in my book. Three is ideal. Have you ever heard of a baby having a “blow out?” It’s when a baby’s poop goes out their diaper all the way up their back. It happens the most during the swaddling phase. Because of this you’ll be doing a lot of laundry with just one or two swaddles. Three swaddles gives you a little more time (and security) before having to do that emergency load of laundry.
- Baby Socks – 3 to 5 pair. Baby feet get cold!
- Infant Gowns with Elastic bottoms – These make changing diapers so easy and since you will likely be changing more than eight diapers a day in the beginning they are great to have. But any comfy seasonal (winter – long sleeves, heavy cotton; summer – short sleeves, lightweight cotton) pajamas will do, just make sure there is access to the lower end without having to take the whole thing off. Have 8 to 10 on hand – one for each day and one to three extra for the days that require two outfits due to blowouts. If it were real warm outside I would just do 8-10 short sleeve onesies.
- Burp Cloths – have 3-4 on hand. If you don’t get any from your baby shower, a good idea is to just pick up a pack of cloth diapers from Target. And although every baby’s different (I never burped my first two babies with a burp cloth but I needed them for the others) you can actually use them for multiple purposes: for example, my sister uses them as a handy mini-changing pad for her baby, or I have used them as cough rags my older children when they got close to the baby (I know, I thought it was hilarious myself – but it really worked. They loved the idea of coughing into the cloth!)
- Receiving Blankets – have 3-4 on hand; these blankets also come in handy for multiple uses, like rolling one up to use as a prop for a baby sitting in her carseat to keep her head from falling to the side!
For 3-6 months
- Onesie Outfits/Regular Comfy Outfits – again I would have 8-10 onesies to minimize laundry duty. Even though the baby will be swaddled still for a major amount of time there will gradually be more and more awake time as he/she adjusts to a new sleep schedule. Because of this I swaddle my girls in onesies and comfortable pajama bottoms (I have 3-5 interchangeable ones) and then I have (3-5 interchangeable) little pants and skirts on hand so that when they are awake I just slip off the p.j. bottoms and put on the outfit bottoms. It’s an easy switch from sleepwear to daywear.
- Church Dresses – You won’t need a lot (maybe 2-3) for the end of this stage. In the beginning the baby will probably still be swaddled for the majority of the church hour. If it’s cold outside you might want a little pair of shoes for warmth.
- Baby Socks – 3 to 5 pair.
For 6-9 months
By now you will have the groove to what your baby wears. Along with whatever else you feel is necessary, you may want:
- 8-10 Regular Outfits – this is the stage where the baby is starting to crawl. Keep in mind dresses make this more difficult (little knees get caught in the dress) and pants will get holes before the stage is through. Summer wear where knees can be bare is ideal for this reason but since we can’t always work it that way… try and get quality pants that are strong enough to handle the wear and tear and limit the dresses (they will probably be pinned up to allow for crawling anyway).
- Church Dresses – maybe 4-5
- Pajamas – 7-8 pairs (the diaper starts to leak requiring a new pj every night)
For 9-12 months, 12-18 months, 18-24 months
I would do the same regular outfits, pajamas, and church clothes as done for 6-9 months. Keep in mind you don’t need all these right when the baby is born. I’m just giving you an idea so that should you get 12 regular outfits in the 6-9 month size you might consider exchanging one for a 9-12 month or something like that. Or if you get a really cute dress and it’s 0-3 months you might exchange it for a 12-18 month.
When purchasing your own clothing for baby, I really love Old Navy (I can shop online and I don’t have to lug the kids!) – they usually have such a selection and you can get a variety of inexpensive but very “hip” clothing. Baby Gap is great too but can get a little pricey. Discount stores sell discounted designer babywear but it tends to still be pricier than Old Navy and the selection can be weak causing you to have to “dig” which takes time which you probably won’t have a lot of once baby arrives. Surprisingly enough I have found stuff at Mervyns and Kohls (they sell Carter’s and Laura Ashley) – and every once in a while if Old Navy is lacking I will go to these stores. Target and Walmart clothes for kids are getting cuter all the time but they aren’t very durable so don’t expect them to last much beyond the season. Baby secondhand clothing stores (I’ve found) tend to be dirty, low selection, and expensive (if you do find something good) for what you could get at the same price new. I haven’t had any luck with Ebay clothing lots for kids but my cousins have. I do however purchase some of the girls special occasion dresses from Ebay. There are so many boutique type dresses that are worn only once and yet you get it for ¼ the cost.
If you find it difficult to find clothing to fit your growing boy, my sister suggests Crewcuts by J Crew and Mini-Boden by Boden. They are a little pricier but the clothing lasts through little boy wear and tear. Both can be found online.