You would think buying clothing for a baby would be quite simple – with so many cute and gorgeous outfits available these days, how can one go wrong?! But with a myriad of clothing designs and styles that are either practical time-savers or frustrating time-fizzers for parents, BellyBelly mum, Janelle set out to compile this very informative article, designed to help you with the task of clothing your newborn baby.
Baby Clothes – A Size Guide
When putting this information together, I gathered information straight from the experts – from mums and dads with new babies. As well as being based on my own experiences as a parent, I thought of what would have been useful to know, prior to buying clothes for my baby.
An approximate Australian baby size guide is as follows:
0000 – Newborns under 4kg – birth to 3 months
000 – Babies under 6 kg – 3 months to 6 months
00 – Babies between 6 and 8 kgs – 6 months to 9 months
0 – Babies above 8 kgs – 9 months to 12 months
1 – Babies above 10kgs – 12 months
Bear in mind that the sizes above are a guide only. Some babies when born will fit straight into 000’s, some will need 0000’s. Something else to remember is that all the clothing sizes differ based on manufacturer. For example, Bonds sizes tend to be on the smaller side, so you may find that you are buying Bonds clothing one size up compared to what you would buy in other brands.
What Size Baby Clothes Should I Start With?
You’ll probably be asked to take several baby outfits with you into hospital if that is where you’ll be birthing your baby. It’s a good idea to have a mixture of both 000’s and 0000’s to start with. How long they spend in each size really depends on how quickly your baby grows (and oh boy do they grow quickly!) but unless you have a premature or very small baby, getting more 000’s than 0000’s is a good idea.
Janelle’s Top Tips For Baby Clothes
1. Many mums will swear by Bonds Wondersuits or similar in the early months. They are a great idea, but don’t go out and buy a whole pile – my son was a long and soon enough couldn’t wear the bodysuits with feet enclosed as his feet were too big for them! So I ended up putting him into pants and tops sets from the moment he was born.
2. The Bonds ‘Stretchies’ range is quite good as they have lyrca in them. Makes it easier to dress them.
3. Singlets for babies are well used but often they’ll ride up their backs and if they are wearing a top and pants it can leave their backs cold. Going for the singlet suits is an option, they do up at the crotch so you don’t have that problem. Also by buying their singlets a few sizes larger may help.
4. Babies don’t often like having things over their head. To minimise this, you can purchase the do up the front bodysuits and you can get them in short sleeves and long sleeves.
5. Bonds socks are excellent for keeping on the babies feet, I am sure I have tried every brand but Bonds are the only ones that stayed on.
6. Consider buying a sleeping bag for baby to sleep in and buy zip up ones, not button ones as their feet may get caught if they kick around a lot, like my son does!
List of ‘Must Have’ Baby Clothes
Here is a suggested list of clothing and number of items that you may need from birth. Ideally organise a mixture of 0000 and 000 as you can’t be sure how big baby will be at birth!
- 10 singlets or singlet suits
- Approx 4 each of long sleeve and short sleeve bodysuits
- 4 pairs of pants
- 4 long sleeved tops/jumpers
- 2 nice, matching outfits for going out
- 2 jackets
- 4 other all in one outfits (cotton ones not terry towelling or flanellette)
- 2 cotton hats
- 1-2 pair mittens (if you think you’ll use them)
- Lots of socks – they always get lost!
- 2-3 sleeping outfits – you can just use all in ones / wondersuits for sleeping or sleeping bags.
Further Baby Clothing Tips from BellyBelly Forum Mums
- Don’t be tempted to buy too much, especially with a 1st baby. People give you so much clothing and babies grow so fast, you literally cannot use it all!
- Accept hand-me downs – often they are the most practical and useful!
- For tiny babies, I found the plain, unfrilly Bonds growsuits to be unbeatable. Plain is good!
- Avoid anything with big collars, bows, buckles, anything that fastens up the back is a pain.
- Think about the climate your baby will be born into – what season? It may be that you really don’t need any singlets at all – or it may be that you really do need socks!
- With the seasons, remember that if you are in a cold climate, most of the time they’ll have a bunny rug wrapped around them, especially when newborn, so you don’t need to worry about too many ‘fancy’ outfits.
- As they get a little older and are crawling and walking, snap crotch pants are actually more of a hassle than pulling them down to change a nappy. The snaps pull open all the time and your baby will spend most of the time with a butt hanging out (well a nappy at least), or you’ll spend forever popping them closed. Especially true for overalls and jeans. I spent hours sewing up the snap crotches on the girls clothes from about 8 months old.
- All-in-ones with the crotch fastening at the back are a nightmare. When they fasten at the front you can sort of pull the back down and through the legs – so much easier to fasten!! I have to say the pumpkin patch jumpsuits are really terrible for doing up easily – specially since my ones all fasten up at the back. However I LOOOOOVE the Pumpkin Patch all in one singlet suits. Their newborn size ones are a fantastic fit, even with a cloth nappy, and sit nice and high on the chest. I find the bonds ones slip down a little, and are a bit stretchy.
- Most of the old fashioned woolly cardies are really annoying and hard to get on. I bought a few and haven’t even used them.
- Don’t buy dark colours – they show spew so much more!!!
- I love the all in one jumpsuits at the moment, they are warm, comfortable and easy to put on.
- I try not to buy the jumpsuits with feet on them – I found Hannah is growing so fast and the feet would be too small while the rest of the suit was huge.
- Don’t buy clothes to far in advance because you can’t predict that they will fit in a specific season. When I was pregnant I bought a lovely winter onesie in size 0 that was on special. Now I think that it will fit Yasin perfectly in the middle of summer.
- Lots and lots of bibs – if bub has reflux, you will really need heaps even when they are little.
- Try to get all in ones for when they are newborn so the elastic waists don’t irritate their cord stump.
- It’s worth having one or two really nice outfits to take the baby out in to ‘show them off’, but more than that is a bit of a waste – they grow out of clothes before they wear out of them, so don’t go overboard spending money on designer clothes that will only fit for a couple of months.
- Trying to keep socks on a baby is an exercise in futility, better to go with slippers that do up firmly around the baby’s ankles. Most babies will try to kick off foot coverings and slip their feet out of socks, so anything that is loose-fitting is a goner!
- A couple of cozy, soft hats are a must for newborns – try to make sure that there are no irritating seams or rough fabric inside the lining. There are some beautiful bright felt beanies around these days that are soft and warm, or if you are lucky and your Mum knits, soft babywool is a winner.
- Keep the tags on all clothing (whether bought or not) until you work out whether or not they’re going to wear them in the right season. Don’t be afraid of taking things back for refunds (especially if they were gifts) because after all, money is money and you need every cent you can get with a newborn!
- What I have found to be an absolute godsend are the baby nighties I put Matthew into them each night, it saves me having to fiddle around with the studs on the all in ones so makes my life so much easier and quicker at night.
- I love all my woolly cardigans I have for Matthew but the booties are a bit of a problem, most are too small, he has extra large feet and a lot of them keep falling off.
- Zip up fleecy vests are great alternatives to jumpers on moderate winter days. I have two and they are perfect for the autumn mornings – and they look so cute!
- Long or short sleeved jumpsuits with no legs are really good to go under long pants – this way you’re not worrying that bub’s belly will get cold if a shirt becomes untucked.
- Don’t buy anything new! In all honesty, I have only bought ONE new outfit for Charlie in his whole life (and he’s 9 months old!). Investigate good op shops (especially BEFORE you have bub) and go nuts. If you go once a week or fortnight on the same day you’ll get to know the staff and vice versa, and they may be able to look out for things for you. You’ll save so much money it’s not funny and you will also not feel so bad if something you bought in advance doesn’t fit in the right season (it’s better to “waste” $1 on a growsuit than $10!). Obviously, this can sometimes take a little more effort – you have to be prepared to spend a few minutes going through lots of items to find some good quality items – but it is well worth the time. I love op-shopping too, because it gives me something to do when I’m sick of being at home – I just plonk Charlie in front of the toy section while I’m browsing nearby and he loves it.
- Buy hats/beanies with some kind of fastening device (obviously you have to be safety concious when you’re looking for them). Charlie doesn’t keep any of his hats on, so I invest in those with chin straps.
- Get bub used to wearing hats and sunglasses early – not only is it a good habit to get into, it will make it easier later and save more struggles.
- I love sleeping bags – my bubs is always out of the blankets and cold so by using sleeping bags she stays warm and sleeps longer.
- I don’t really put shoes on my children before they are one year old, they just pull them off and it is better for them to walk without them.
- You definitely need 2 or 3 nice outfits for going out and remember that you also need to take changes of clothes when you go out, just in case of leaks or spills.
- Bibs with elastic are better than tie-ups.
- Wool cardigans look gorgeous with little dresses.
- Definitely accept all offers of clothes, and return or throw out/donate to op shop what you really don’t want.
- Ebay is a great source of clothes at bargain prices especially brand names.
- Sometimes really cheap clothes go out of shape after one wash, so take care in choosing material which feels like it is good quality. I have noticed some Kmart, Best & Less and Big W clothing that does this.