Q: I see tons of adorable newborn baby clothes outfits, but I don't know if they're worth buying. How long will my baby really wear a newborn size?
A: Unfortunately, this is a pretty tricky question because it depends on several factors: how large your baby is predicted to be at birth, the brand of baby clothes you're considering, and whether you're talking about a one-piece outfit or separates.
In general, newborn baby clothes are pretty much not worth buying. Based on a standard baby clothes size chart, the "average" weight that newborn clothes accommodate is up to seven pounds, and many babies are larger than that when they first arrive.
The other tricky part is that every manufacturer cuts and sizes their clothes differently. For example, I find that Baby GAP runs big so even though their brand-specific size chart says it fits up to seven pounds, my own baby was swimming in their newborn items when she was nine pounds.
You also need to consider whether you're purchasing a one-piece coverall, separates like pants and a shirt, or a footed sleeper. You will get a longer wear cycle out of separates and coveralls without feet, simply because they don't restrict you in length.
Personally, I don't recommend purchasing very many newborn-sized items, but if you feel the need to do so, shop at a baby consignment store. These items have already been washed, and if any shrinking were going to happen, it's already taken place.