What kind of baby clothes should I buy for a newborn? Getting the Right Gear

iStock.com/Daniela Jovanovska-Hristovska

mom putting away newborn clothes
iStock.com/Daniela Jovanovska-Hristovska

Before your baby arrives, you're probably planning to pull together a mini wardrobe for your newborn. But how do you make sure you buy the right number of onesies and choose the perfect pj's? Here, the rules of thumb moms and experts recommend when it comes to stocking up on clothing to suit a newborn's needs. 

Try This Basics Buy List

"Clothes are the most popular baby gift. So, I recommend purposely avoiding the cute baby clothes department for as long as possible, and only buying limited items in newborn size. Also, don't bother putting any baby clothes on your registry. Well-wishers will probably buy them for you anyway. Wait until after your baby gifts arrive to see what you'll still need.

"Here's the basics buy list I recommend: six sleep swaddle sacks or one-piece sleepers with attached feet or that open at the...

"Clothes are the most popular baby gift. So, I recommend purposely avoiding the cute baby clothes department for as long as possible, and only buying limited items in newborn size. Also, don't bother putting any baby clothes on your registry. Well-wishers will probably buy them for you anyway. Wait until after your baby gifts arrive to see what you'll still need.

"Here's the basics buy list I recommend: six sleep swaddle sacks or one-piece sleepers with attached feet or that open at the bottom (look for newborn sleepers with 'smart' magnetic closures instead of snaps. Love!); six side-snap T-shirts; six onesies that snap around the crotch or feature magnetic closures; six pairs of socks or booties; two to three comfy daytime baby outfits/rompers; one cotton sweater or light jacket; one snowsuit, if you live in a cold climate and will be having a winter baby." -- Sandra Gordon, founder of BabyProductsMom.com

Dressing Gowns & Kimono-Style Shirts

"Newborns tend to do best in comfortable clothing, like sleepers. Newborns sleep a lot, so dressing them in 'pajama'-style clothing is usually a good bet. Other things that work well are dressing gowns, and kimono-style shirts, because you don't have to lift them over the baby's head when you change them." -- Jennifer Mayer, certified holistic health coach, birth doula, and cofounder of Baby Caravan, New York, New York

Try to Borrow as Much as You Can

"If you have friends and family with babies, ideally you wouldn't buy any to start. Newborn-size clothing is very small, and babies only fit in it for a short time. So, it's best to borrow. But if you can't, then only get the bare minimum. I would recommend enough clothing for two days with a few outfit changes. And pajamas are the best. Easy to put on and easy to wash and usually not too expensive! Of course, most moms have wardrobe for three months, six months, nine months, and so on."

Depends on Your & Baby's Habits

"Newborns grow fast, and also need their diapers changed often enough that you'll want easy outfits without a lot of fuss. I had good luck with affordable cotton pants and onesies. Easy on and off, and adorable! As far as how many? Depends on how often you want to do laundry. Expect that baby might go through as many as four or five outfits a day, if they spit up a lot or have diaper blowouts. If you're pregnant with your first, I would go easy on outfits in newborn and three-month sizes,...

"Newborns grow fast, and also need their diapers changed often enough that you'll want easy outfits without a lot of fuss. I had good luck with affordable cotton pants and onesies. Easy on and off, and adorable! As far as how many? Depends on how often you want to do laundry. Expect that baby might go through as many as four or five outfits a day, if they spit up a lot or have diaper blowouts. If you're pregnant with your first, I would go easy on outfits in newborn and three-month sizes, and then judge as baby goes along. You might find you have a very spiffy baby who doesn't make much mess, and buying a lot of tiny clothes will have been a waste."

The Fewer Buttons & Zippers, the Better

"Get lots of onesies. I don't really recommend white ones, as they stain very easy. The gowns are great when they are little, and especially when you have to wake up in middle of the night -- they make diaper changing easier, and you don't have to take anything off of them, so they won't get cold. The fewer the buttons and zippers, the better! Unless you're a name-brand junkie, I wouldn't buy name-brand. You're not going to get your money back if you try to sell them. Consignment stores are...

"Get lots of onesies. I don't really recommend white ones, as they stain very easy. The gowns are great when they are little, and especially when you have to wake up in middle of the night -- they make diaper changing easier, and you don't have to take anything off of them, so they won't get cold. The fewer the buttons and zippers, the better! Unless you're a name-brand junkie, I wouldn't buy name-brand. You're not going to get your money back if you try to sell them. Consignment stores are awesome. Keep it simple and cozy!"

PJs With Feet & Hand Covers

"It's best to buy just a few outfits like basic pants, onesies, and pj's until after you have the baby, because you really don't know how big they will be. My son grew out of newborn clothes fast, but both of the girls swam in newborn clothes when they were first born. I loved the pj's that had feet and hand covers, so you didn't have to worry about socks or the baby scratching themselves. I also suggest buying a small lingerie bag for the kid socks so you don't lose them to the sock monster."

"It's best to buy just a few outfits like basic pants, onesies, and pj's until after you have the baby, because you really don't know how big they will be. My son grew out of newborn clothes fast, but both of the girls swam in newborn clothes when they were first born. I loved the pj's that had feet and hand covers, so you didn't have to worry about socks or the baby scratching themselves. I also suggest buying a small lingerie bag for the kid socks so you don't lose them to the sock monster."

Tons of Plain Cotton Onesies

"Newborns seem to need millions and millions of onesies. They will poop, pee, spit up, etc., constantly. So, have lots of plain cotton onesies on hand. You can even buy packs of just plain white ones -- I found them easy to bleach! -- and get little leggings to go over them. Buy some long-sleeve zip-up or snap-up onesies with the footies for bedtime. Skip the frilly or expensive clothes for daily wear, as they'll likely get ruined fast." 

"Newborns seem to need millions and millions of onesies. They will poop, pee, spit up, etc., constantly. So, have lots of plain cotton onesies on hand. You can even buy packs of just plain white ones -- I found them easy to bleach! -- and get little leggings to go over them. Buy some long-sleeve zip-up or snap-up onesies with the footies for bedtime. Skip the frilly or expensive clothes for daily wear, as they'll likely get ruined fast." 

The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.