Function over fashion

Baby clothes aren't meant to last forever – your little one will be not-so-little before you know it, so you might only get a few months out of each outfit. Prioritize comfort and practicality when clothing your newborn.

Look for breathable fabrics, preferably cotton. Soft is best. Try to avoid synthetics as your baby's skin is very sensitive. Resist the temptation of cute little beads and bows – anything small and removable could be a choking hazard. Be sure to check that your little one can stretch their legs and move comfortably, but avoid clothing being too loose.

You can get away with dressing your baby one size too big for a little while. Baby clothing sizes start at 00000 (usually for premature births), but most newborns begin at size 0000. Consider starting with size 000 clothes and rolling up the sleeves until your baby grows into them.

Your baby's clothes don't need to be designer – they usually end up covered in spit-up, wee, or poo. You might like to have 1-2 'going out' outfits for events like family meet-ups or photos. Save nicer clothes for when your child grows up and gets more wear out of an outfit.

Think about the practicality of actually dressing your baby. Press-studs are your friend! Buttons or anything fiddly can be difficult with a squirmy baby on your hands. Also consider loose neckline choices, as your baby won’t enjoy having anything tight pulled over their head.

Beg and borrow

Most parents have a stockpile of now-too-small clothes. You could also chat to your family, friends, or other parenting networks to borrow, buy or swap baby clothes. Wash hand-me-downs using a sensitive detergent to protect your little one's skin.

Newborn checklist

Day time onesies x 5
Sleeptime onesies x 2
Singlets x 5
Swaddle wraps x 2
Jacket or cardigan x 2
Socks/booties x 6
Warm hat(s)

You won't need baby pants for a while, as waistbands can be bothersome with healing umbilical cord stumps. Onesies are an excellent way to cover legs for warmth or sun protection while allowing your little one's torso and nappy area to breathe.

Safe sleepwear

When dressing your little one for sleep, be mindful of the temperature. Keep your baby warm enough with a onesie, but not in a room so warm that they overheat. Never put a beanie on your child for sleeping, as it can slip off and become a hazard in the cot. Always lay your baby on their back to sleep.


If you have storage space, hang on to your outgrown clothes – especially if you plan on growing your family! If not, you could pass these down to other new parents and continue the hand-me-down cycle. When your little one is older, you can buy more 'fun' outfits which will last longer. Always consider your child's comfort and safety first and foremost.

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