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Top 5 Clothing Items Every New Parent Should Have


Waiting for a newborn child
Izabela Habur/E+/Getty Images

If you’re a first time parent, or know someone that is about to be one, you’re familiar with the anxiety that can take over in the few weeks preceding a due date. Do I have the nursery ready? Check. Hospital bag packed? Check. Car seat? Check!

But what about clothes for your first few weeks home with the new bundle of joy? If you don’t already have them, or you’re headed out to shop, here is a list of the top 5 clothing items you must have to get started.

  1. Onesies & T-shirts in size 0-3 months This seems like a no-brainer. But because it’s so obvious, many people forget to pick them up. And don’t get overwhelmed by the available styles; plain white works just fine for your first weeks at home.

    Oh, and a small disclaimer here. If your baby is projected to weigh 10+ pounds at birth, grabbing a pack of 3-6 months onesies is not a bad idea; they’ll fit before you know it.

  2. Pajamas & Booties: Regardless of the season your baby is born, they will sleep, on average, 18 hours per day. It’s essential that they’re comfortable.

    For warmer weather: choose thin cotton, one-piece sleepers, or “bag sleepers” These are like nightgowns, but they have a closure across the bottom.

    For colder weather: opt for heavier-weight footie pajamas, also called “blanket sleepers.”

    With pajamas, I recommend anything that buttons as opposed to those that zip; it’s far too easy to accidentally “zip-up” sensitive areas when you’re doing a midnight diaper change.

  3. Shoes, Socks, & Hats: When you go out, you want those little feet warm, and their heads protected from any kind of weather, be it warm or cold.

    Robeez are great first shoes because they’re soft-soled, slip-on, and warm; they can be worn with or without socks. When choosing socks, opt for cotton; it’s a natural product and soft on their skin.

    For warmer weather: baseball caps, sun hats, or cotton beanies.

    For colder weather: hats should have ear flaps and tie or button closures to make sure they stay put and provide maximum warmth and protection from the elements.

  4. Outerwear: Sometimes outerwear takes a little learning curve between you and your new baby. It’s important to dress them in layers because a degree or two is often the difference between a very happy baby, and a very frustrated baby.

    For warmer weather: it’s a good idea to have a zip-up, hooded sweatshirt, as well as a thin cotton jacket on hand. You can layer both of these items with a thin short or long-sleeved shirt, so your baby is comfortable all day long.

    For colder weather: purchase both a snowsuit and a winter jacket. When shopping, you will find that most infant snowsuits come with attached feet and mittens sewn right on. When buying a jacket, you’ll need to purchase these items separately.

    Also, it is a good idea to invest in a cover for your infant car seat during the winter months. It is much easier to deal with that, rather than draping a blanket over the seat each time you venture outside.

  5. Everyday Wear: Simplicity is key here; look for items that will give you easy access for diaper changes, like slip-on pants, side snap shirts, and coveralls. These make cleaning your baby easy, without constantly having to pull clothes over their heads.

    When you go to the store, these items will be prominently displayed in every newborn section, so you won’t have to hunt for them.

For the items on the list that you will be using every day, buy 5-7 of them; new babies can be messy, and you don’t want to spend potential nap time in your laundry room.

Remember: although it’s tempting to spoil your new baby rotten, do it with love and attention instead of pricey basic clothing. You will quickly find that your baby is going to grow so fast, you’ll be out shopping again in just a few weeks.

If the thought of heading out and shopping right now is more than you can bear, use the following shopping links and just point and click; let a delivery service do all the heavy lifting.

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