Buying newborn baby clothes is one of the best pleasures of nearing the end of your pregnancy. But before you get carried away, when you possibly don’t know your romper from your babygrow, we’re here with a comprehensive guide to the essentials you need with newborn clothes. Read on to discover what you need and information about the relevant sizes to choose.

There are some fundamental things to remember when it comes to newborn clothing essentials. Shopping for baby’s wardrobe is nothing like shopping for yourself, or even an older child. Newborns often need complete outfit changes. 

With milky spit up and nappy disasters, you almost certainly need more changes than you think you do! Newborn baby clothes need to be easy to wash, easy to change, and comfy for your little one.

Think layers: dress your little one in one more layers than you are wearing.

Baby clothing essentials

Some items you need, and some are nice to have but not necessary. You will need sleepsuits (babygrows), bodysuits (vests) and cardigans. In addition, scratch mitts, socks, hats and coats might be deemed essentials.

If you’re a first time parent, the above sentence may be bewildering. Here we outline what each item is, why it’s needed and how many you’re likely to need.


Otherwise known as babygrows, sleepsuits are a staple of a newborn’s wardrobe. It’s an all-in-one garment with long sleeves and long legs with socks built in. Poppers run the full length from collar to crotch, making them incredibly easy to pop on and off. 

Newborns have a tendency to scrunch up their little legs into their womb position, but this wriggly squirmy characteristic means that socks come off and they can get their clothes in a tangle. With babygrows, this doesn’t happen. Sleepsuits are also ideal because they aren’t tight around the tummy with a waist band, which is essential for tummy button healing.

When choosing sleepsuits, we recommend choosing the classic central popper style for ease.

How many sleepsuits does your newborn need? Start with 10 sleepsuits. You may want more if you plan to do laundry less frequently. 


Bodysuits are often referred to as vests, but they don’t resemble a vest as you know it. They are an additional layer to put under a sleepsuit. Typically they are short-sleeved, without legs and fasten at the crotch. They make nappy changes easy and keep the nappy snuggly in place! 

They have envelope necklines enabling you to easily pop them over your little one’s head. But a Bloss top tip is that, in the event of nappy explosions, you take the bodysuit down over baby’s body instead.

How many bodysuits does your newborn need? Bodysuits are a wardrobe staple, so get 10 but be prepared to buy more. Opt for cheap ones which you can throw out in the worst poo explosions!


Cardigans are the easiest way of layering up. Babies aren’t very good at regulating their temperature so you often need to put cardis on and off. Choose lovely soft options. Close knit options prevent little fingers getting tangled.

How many cardigans does your newborn need? The number of cardigans you need will partly depends on the season. A good rule of thumb is 2-3 cardigans.


Small babies in particular may need a hat. They need this to keep warm when moving from house to car, or if they are out for a walk in a sling.

How many hats does your newborn need? 2 hats.


Socks for newborns might be an essential, or you may find that they are actually more hassle than they’re worth. Instead, putting baby in sleepsuits with feet ensures they stay put. 

If you want to buy socks (after all they are one of the cutest items!) then 3 pairs is usually plenty. They can double up as scratch mitts too. Newborn or pram shoes are unnecessary but booties may stay on more effectively.

Scratch mitts

Scratch mitts are soft little mittens designed to stop newborns accidentally scratching their delicate skin with their newly formed sharp nails. They are easy to lose. Alternatively, choose sleepsuits with fold over scratch mitts.

Coats and snowsuits

Winter babies often benefit from having a snowsuit to keep them snug and warm in the pram. When your baby is a newborn, you’ll find that it’s easiest to wrap them in blankets as the primary way of keeping them warm. However you may want a coat or two.

Bear in mind that coats and snowsuits should be removed before placing your little one in the car seat for safety reasons.


As baby grows, there’s plenty of time for gorgeous baby outfits. In the newborn days, they aren’t essential and you will likely find that bodysuits, babygrows and cardigans are the most practical and cute options. 

However, if you can’t resist, and want to buy some outfits then choose ones which are easy to put on, soft and comfy. Two sets, with tops and trousers with feet are perfect. Save dresses and dungarees for when they are a little older. You’ll also probably get bought outfits as baby gifts.

A word about newborn clothes sizes

Newborns vary enormously in size. Newborn baby clothes are usually sized as:

  • Premature (up to 5 lbs)
  • Tiny baby (up to 6 lbs)
  • Newborn (up to 9 lbs)
  • 0-3 months (up to 12 lbs)

Sizing can be different from brand to brand. 

It’s difficult to know what size to get in anticipation of your newborn when they haven’t put in an appearance yet! It can be helpful to only get a handful of items and then dispatch your partner or friend to the shops once baby arrives. Don’t pull off any tags from clothes that you’ve bought until you know they are the right size, so that you can return them and swap them for a different size if needed.

Babies grow quickly and organising their wardrobe by size can ensure you’re prepared for when they need the next size up. They tend to go through a size change around every three months. 

You can sell your baby clothes when they’ve grown out of that size. Choose favoured brands, such as Frugi, for good quality and excellent resale value. An alternative option to buying baby clothes is renting your baby’s wardrobe.