While I was pregnant with our first baby, I spent a long time searching “how many baby clothes do we need in each size.” Although I found several different posts on various blogs, none of them really fit with how I ended up using clothes with Little Fox. There are numerous factors which go into deciding how many onesies [bodysuits], sleepers, pants, and so on, are needed for your family. Here is the information I wish I had found when I was trying to stock up on baby clothes!
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A Note On Sizes
So you may have heard this already, but the sizes on baby clothes aren’t very accurate. Adult clothing isn’t sized by age, so I don’t know why they tried it with infants, but it very simply doesn’t work. At one point in Little Fox’s life, she fit 0-3 Month dresses, 3-6 Month onesies, and 6-9 Month sleepers. Your genetics might give you a hint as to how sizing is going to go for your baby. Tall/long babies are going to grow into bigger sleepers faster, while chubbier babies need larger diapers and pants.
I recommend putting away your baby’s clothing as they grow out of it, rather than sorted by label size. (And use that time to decide if you can purge some of the outfits that weren’t used, or some that were so that you get to ones you hadn’t used with the next baby). Little Fox’s old clothes are sorted into clear dollar store bins, labelled by the ages she wore them for (0-2 Months, 3-4 Months, 4-5 Months, 6-8 Months, and so on).
Factors for Your Family (How Many)
Weather: If you live somewhere that is VERY hot, or when it is super warm out, sleepers may be too hot. Get sleepers made of light and thin materials for this weather, or don’t use sleepers. If it is going to be cold, get mostly thicker sleepers, and also just lots of sleepers. Onesies are good for when it is hot out.
Going Out: When you stay home or are just running errands with your baby, it probably isn’t an efficient use of your time to dress your baby in anything other than a sleeper. However, if you are an extrovert, and like to visit with friends and show your baby off at social events, you may want to have a few cute outfits and dresses for your child. Onesies are great for going on under dresses (find some long-sleeved ones for the winter), or even under shirts.
Laundry: How often do you plan to do a load of baby laundry? Most of the laundry in our house is done once a week, but we did baby clothes every 2 to 3 days for the first four months, when outfits were soiled badly and often. Since our baby turned 9 months old, we have been able to manage once a week laundry for her things too. Look at your estimate for the number of each kind of clothes you will go through each day and multiply that by the number of days you want to go before doing laundry. There is your number.
Sleepers Save the Day and Night
Sleepers are the staple of baby clothes. And they are good for more than just sleeping! Little Fox wears sleepers when we are going out on errands, when I don’t have the energy to change her before church, or when we are headed to Baba’s house. They are good for easy baby changes, not having to go over baby’s head, and because they cover the whole body. For the first six months of Little Fox’s life, she basically only wore sleepers.
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How Many Sleepers do I Need?
In order to get an accurate feel for how many you might need, I am going to describe the number we went through in a typical day. The largest number is the most common.
For the first three months of Little Fox’s life, we used two to five sleepers a day, depending on how many explosions happened with diaper changes. There might have been a couple days we only used one, but I don’t remember that happening before four months. For the forth and fifth month of Little Fox’s life, we used one to three sleepers in a day. At this point explosions were less common. Baths became the most common reason to change her!
After that our use of sleepers changed a little, although they still remain the staple clothing item. From the six through tenth month of Little Fox’s life we used between one and four sleepers. With the introduction of solid foods, her clothes got a bit messy (bibs can be quite ineffective). But then warm weather came, and sleepers started becoming actual pyjamas.
How Many Onesies (also called Bodysuits) do I Need?
During the first six months, Little Fox only wore onesies under her dresses when we went to church. Even then, sometimes we put the dress over her sleepers. These are a lot harder to put on and take off, which is why we didn’t use them often. Once your baby can sit up on their own onesies become a bit more practical. However, if it is hot out, onesies replace sleepers as a staple clothing item. For the younger ages especially, try and get ones that button in the front instead of going over the head.
We tend to go through four onesies a day now that Little Fox is over six months and eating solids. If we stick to non-messy foods, one in a day will work out as well. During the summer months Little Fox is using onesies as her pajamas as well. Onesies are also a lot more stylish than sleepers, so we are enjoying a couple extra baby home photoshoots.
How Many Pants/Leggings do We Need?
I recommend matching the number of onesies you have with the same number of pants (unless you are keeping extras for being cute). Pants get soiled just as often as tops during solid food meals since babies like to drop food on themselves. We used lots of pants/leggings with the dresses as well, to help keep the diaper contained and in shape. You don’t want to give your young one extra chances to realize they can take their own diaper off!
How Many Shirts do I Need?
We used a grand total of zero shirts during the first six months of Little Fox’s life. After introducing solids, we have used a shirt once or twice as a bib over-top a onesie. We also used a shirt once because the colour matched the Feast Day we were celebrating at church. While your little one is crawling, shirts just ride up. Those are just a few reasons why shirts are inconvenient before your baby learns to walk. I recommend having just a few on hand (and none in the 0-3 Month size)
How Many Dresses/Fancy Outfits do I Need?
First of all, the answer is at least two. The moment you plan to do photos with your baby there will be spit ups or a diaper explosion or some other outfit-ruining action. Always have a back up outfit planned an available.
Other than that, you don’t really need fancy outfits for your baby. Get as many as you find super cute and fit in your budget. One thing to note about dresses is that they fit by weight and not by height. Little fox was able to wear her “0-3 Month” dresses until she was five and a half months old! It was great to get such good use out of the outfits. (She was also wearing 6-9 month sleepers at the same time because of how long her body was).
Baby dresses are also the cutest thing ever. Being honest, we have way more than we need. I think I spend half our baby budget on dresses. But I make sure to get use out of them. I put them on Little Fox every time we go to church. Also when we have company. And when we going somewhere nice.
How Many Accessories do We Need?
I have two main recommendations for accessories. Get several pairs of socks in each size, so that you always can find at least one. The other thing you should look for is baby hats with strings to tie them on. Otherwise it is going to become a game of “baby-pull-the-hat-off.” If you get your child used to hats when they are babies, it’ll be easier to keep their heads protected as they grow up.