Preparing for Baby : Essential First Clothes

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Although you are likely to receive plenty of clothes for your new baby from well-wishers, it makes sense to have the basics ready before birth. Try to restrain yourself, though—babies outgrow their clothes very quickly. If you want to invest in an expensive outfit or two, buy them in bigger sizes so that he will get more wear from them.
  • Babies are messy—you’ll need several items in each category of clothing to ensure you aren’t chained to the washing machine, or always waiting for something to dry

  • Choose uncomplicated outfits that will open easily for quick (and middle-of-the-night) changes

  • Opt for soft, comfortable clothing that is machine washable and doesn’t have fussy (or itchy) seams or tags

  • Remember that your baby will spend the majority of his first weeks sleeping, so cozy pajamas and onesies are your best bet

Aim for:

  • 1–2 nightgowns—even if your baby is a boy; these are fantastic in the early days for easy changing

  • 5–8 one-piece pajamas—choose loose-fitting, soft all-in-ones, with snaps, rather than buttons or zippers that can be fiddly and uncomfortable

  • 5–8 undershirts—short-sleeved are fine, even in winter, and act as an extra layer to insulate your baby; choose cotton, and preferably all-in-ones, which snap shut at the bottom, preventing uncomfortable shifting

  • 1–2 sweaters or jackets—go for light options, which can be layered, and avoid anything that has to be pulled over your baby’s head

  • 5–8 pairs of socks or booties—if your little one is wearing footed pajamas, he won’t necessarily need these, but you may want to keep his toes warm if he’s trying out some other pieces in his new wardrobe

  • 1 warm coat or snowsuit—choose a style with a detachable hood, if possible, and an easy zipper fastening

  • 1–2 hats—choose one with a wide brim for summer, or something soft that covers the ears for winter

  • 4–5 bibs—although your baby isn’t actually “eating” yet, he’ll undoubtedly create some mess with feedings

Color coordinates

When shopping for baby outfits, make sure you choose clothes in complementary colors so individual items can be easily mixed and matched. If you need to make a quick change, you won’t have to replace the whole ensemble.

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