New Mom’s Guide to Shopping for Baby Clothes

Babies can wear anywhere between newborn and 12 months on average, and therefore when shopping for your bundle of joy’s clothes, it is important to look for shops that stock clothes for that age bracket.

The following is a must-have list of baby clothes that first-time parents will need:

  • Mittens or socks to put on their hands (those nails grow fast and they will scratch their face and eyes until they develop better fine motor skills)
  • Socks. Lots of socks as they tend to fall off (I can’t tell you how many mismatched newborn socks I have). My daughter actually has very small and narrow feet, and I went through so many brands until I found some that stay on, though she loves to kick them off and be barefoot in general. I tried Old Navy, Gerber, Garanimals, generic, Carters, etc. The ones that stayed on for us were Peds! (I found them at Walmart, but I think they’re carried at many retailers.)
  • Hats. Cotton hats or sun hats for summer or wool/knit hats for winter.
  • Onesies (I went through 2-3 a day at first with diaper leaks and spit ups. Depending on how often you plan on doing laundry, I’d recommend 14-21.)
  • Matching outfits. While these are adorable, I found them to be too much work for how often I had to change my daughter’s outfit. She spent most of her time in onesies or PJs and only wore cute outfits when going out or having company. Once she turned 6 months, I started with the adorable outfits.
  • Pajamas. I prefer zipper pajamas because messing with a million snaps in the middle of the night during sleep deprivation is not on my list of things to do. Some people swear by snaps. I also chose footie pajamas, even in the summer, as we have central air.


When buying baby clothes, it is important to bear these things in mind:

  1. Do not be tempted to buy too much especially when you only have one child, this is because babies grow so fast and a lot of the clothing may end up not being used.
  2. If you are given hand me downs-accept them, it will end up being cheaper (or free) Second-hand clothes can also be bought which are cheaper than the new ones, look also for special offers on the clothes to make it much more cheaper. I go to Salvation Army on half off day (Wednesdays near me) and I have come home with tons of clothes for the amount it would cost to buy 4-5 outfits new.
  3. Avoid clothes with bows, collars, and buckles, as these could end up being chewed by the baby or choke the baby. It is therefore important to look for simple outfits. I am amazed at the amount of outfits that include buttons.
  4. It is important to bear in mind the weather during the purchase so as to avoid having heat rashes on the baby in hot weather. I received some adorable outfits at my baby shower that I couldn’t use because they were out of season.
  5. Avoid synthetic fabrics as these are sensitive to fire instead look for natural fibers.
  6. Choose low maintenance clothes as clothes will tend to be very dirty fast. Babies also tend to spill on them and crawl around in them.
  7. Buy clothes that wash easily. They should be able to be washed and dried in the washing machine.
  8. Buy clothes that have a full snap opening at the bottom or a long zipper on the front so as to make it easy for diaper changes.
  9. Since babies do not like anything over their heads, it is best to avoid this but if there is no choice then the cloth needs to be one that is stretchy and the neck opening is soft. Onesies can actually be taken off by stretching the opening down over the body. This is genious for spit up and diaper leaks. The last thing you want to do is get that in their hair!
  10. Ensure the clothes are comfortable. There should be a fabric between the zipper and any elastic to avoid contact with the baby’s skin.
  11. Check the clothes for loose buttons or zippers that can detach when buying.
  12. Always consider the baby weight when purchasing the clothes.
  13. Consider buying one size ahead of the baby’s size because clothes tend to shrink when washed and instructions given on the baby clothes for washing need to be followed. Most babies wear one size up, unless they’re very small or a preemie (such as my daughter, who actually wears one size down!)
  14. Make sure to use a detergent that is mild as baby’s skin is still sensitive and can get irritated. I use All Free & Clear. It has no scents or extra chemicals. Many moms swear by Dreft, but my daughter has really sensitive skin and I find this works just as well for half the price.

These are all lessons I’ve learned by reading, asking on forums, and a few were learned the hard way. I hope this list saves you some hassle and money!

Do you have any tips for mom’s that I’ve missed? I’d love to hear your advice and experiences!

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