Top 12 Must-Have Newborn Clothing Items

Must-Have Clothing Items for a Newborn and Baby
A critical element of surviving the first 12-weeks with your newborn baby (and maintaining your sanity) revolves around practical, efficient clothing for your newborn. If you're a first-time mom, knowing what those clothing items can be difficult to predict until you actually have a newborn, which is why we put together this list of newborn clothing items that made our life substantially easier. Don't waste your money and/or store credit on newborn clothing items that you will not actually use. Below is a list of clothing recommendations for your newborn. For more must-have gear for your newborn baby, see Top 25 Must-Have Newborn Baby Items.

Top 12 Must-Have Newborn Clothing Items

1.  Footie Pajamas with Zippers

Footie Pajamas (With Zippers)

Emphasis on the zippers Using footie pajamas with zippers for your baby, as opposed to buttons or snaps, will make the world of a different to you in the middle of the night when you change your baby's diaper and don't feel like aligning and snapping ten different buttons.  Finding and aligning ten different buttons when you are sleep-deprived and standing in a dark room at 3:00 AM is annoying.  The Gerber Sleep N Play Zip Front Pajamas are a good, reasonably-priced choice, and the Organic Cotton Interlock Footie - With Zippers are great if you're looking for organic cotton material.

2.  Side-Snap Bodysuit Onesies, Long-Sleeve

Link(s):   Zutano Boys Side-Snap and Kate Quinn Organics Kimono Bodysuit and Zutano Girls Side-Snap


Side-Snap Onesie Bodysuits (Long-Sleeve)

Side-snap onesies, such as the Zutano Print Long Sleeve Wrap Body, help take the pain out of dressing your newborn because you don't have to worry about pulling a shirt over your newborn's wobbly little head.  Remember: they must be SIDE-SNAP onesies.  

3.  Side-Snap Bodysuit Onesies, Short-Sleeve

Links:   Zutano Short Sleeve Wrap, Jungle Dream  and Zutano Short Sleeve Wrap - Stars 
Side-Snap Onesie Bodysuits (Short-Sleeve)

Don't forget to grab a couple of short-sleeved side-snap onesies, such as the Zutano Unisex-baby Infant Stars Screen Short Sleeve Wrap.  I like to keep a few long-sleeved and a few short-sleeved on hand, but if your baby is born in the middle of a Wisconsin winter, I'd focus on the long-sleeved side-snap onesies; whereas if your baby is born in the middle of July in Phoenix, Arizona, then I would gear towards the short-sleeved onesies (depending how how cold you keep your air-conditioning unit).  Personally, I had a few of each the short-sleeved and the long-sleeved, because indoor heating and air conditioning can make a pretty big temperature difference.

4.  Nightgowns 

Link:  Baby Soy Kimono Bundler

Nightgowns (Side-Snap)

Nightgowns are great because they don't require buttons or zippers.  The Baby Soy Kimono Bundler has an extra bonus because they are side-snap (allow you to by-pass the scariness of dealing with your newborn baby's wobbly little head).

5.  Side-Snap T-Shirt

Side-Snap T-Shirts

Clothing changes and diaper changes do not get easier than Side-Snap T-shirts.  The Babysoy Kimono Tee are fantastic summer outfits for days when a full outfit is not needed, such as days when you lounge around your house (which may very likely happen quite often when you have a newborn).

6.  Dresses With Built-In Bodysuit (for Girls)
Link:  Carter's Girls Bee Polka Dot Sunsuit Set

Dress With Built-In Bodysuit

Since I am not motivated nor organized enough to keep track on microscopic-sized baby bloomers, I really love and strongly prefer "rompers" (a.k.a., sunsuits), such as the Carter's Girls Bee Polka Dot Sunsuit Set, because the "bloomers" are sewed into the outfit (so it's basically a dress that is secretly a onesie).  That way, you never have to worry about loosing a pair of bloomers.  I love dresses for my daughter, but as she transitioned from a newborn to a toddler, I tried to make sure that I brought her out with "bloomers" underneath her dress whenever we went out in public.  I would order the Carter's Girls Bee Polka Dot Sunsuit Set at least one-size up - that way it will last all summer.

7.  SwaddleMe Velcro Blankets

Link:  Summer Infant SwaddleMe Blankets 
Summer SwaddleMe Blankets

My baby loved to be swaddled, so Swaddle Blankets are a definite must-have in my book.  Swaddle blankets with built-in Velcro, such as the Summer Infant SwaddleMe Blankets, are significantly easier to handle than traditional swaddle blankets - Velcro swaddle blankets are certainly more "user-friendly" when it comes to first-time, inexperienced moms.  I personally felt like the Velcro helped to make the blankets significantly safer than non-Velcro blankets because there was a lot less worry about the baby undoing the wrap.  The Velcro in the makes the swaddling process significantly faster and easier for tired moms and dads.  

8.  Summer Sun Hat (with chin tie)

Link:  Zutano Candy Stripe Sun Hat, Orange and Zutano Candy Stripe Sun Hat, Blue 
Chin Tie Baby Sun Hats

Don't forget to cover up your bald babies little head during the summer with a sun-hat.  I like sun-hats that have strings that have chin ties, such as the Zutano Sun Hat, Orange (or the  Zutano Sun Hat, Blue), because one of my baby's favorite things to do was to take her hat off and throw it (the ties help keep the hat on baby's head).

9.  Cozy Winter Hats

Links: Mud Pie Baby-boys Infant Football Hat (left) and Trumpette Minnie Hat - Pink (middle) and Zutano Cozie Fleece Hat (right) 
Cozy Winter Hats

Don't forget winter hats for your little one who is born in the winter season.  Again, I personally do not think you can go wrong with baby hats that have ears, but that could very well be a strange personal preference of mine.  The hats shown above are from Amazon, but I have found that has a ton of absolutely adorable hats that are reasonably priced.  

10.  Cotton Newborn Hats 

Link:  Baby Booties and Hat (Pooh Bear)

Cotton Newborn Hats

Don't let your newborn baby's head get cold!  Cotton newborn hats are part of the fun of having a baby!  I am personally obsessed with any baby hat that has ears - newborn hats with ears are so cute that whenever I see a baby wearing a hat with ears I experience a temporary moment of insanity and start considering having another child.

11.  Long-Sleeve Onesies (12-24 months)

Link:  Carters 24-Month Long Sleeve Bodysuits 

Carters 12-24-Month Long-Sleeve Onesies

Once baby gets older and you no longer fear the newborn his wobbly neck during changing time, it's time to graduate to "over-the-head onesies."  We love the Carters 24-Month Long Sleeve Bodysuits for Girls (and Carters 24-Month Long-Sleeve Bodysuits for Boys).  We love these bodysuits because they are (1) reasonably priced, (2) versatile (i.e., easy to match with most colors of pants), (3) easy-to-wash (i.e., easy to treat stains), and (4) have soft/comfortable fabric.  And (5) the neck of these onesies is wider than other onesies and easy to stretch which makes is easier to pull over baby's head during changing time.

12.  Short-Sleeve Onesies (12-24 months)

12-24 Month Cotton Short-Sleeve Onesies

For short-sleeved onesies, we like the American Apparel Infant Baby Rib Short Sleeve One-Piece (these are more pricey than Gerber, but sometimes go on sale), because the neckline makes for easy on-and-off changing.  A lower-priced short-sleeved onesie that we really liked was the Gerber Short Sleeve Onesie Variety Pack.  The Circo brand from Target is also great (economical and extremely soft).

Top 12 Must-Have Clothing Items for a Newborn and Baby


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  1. I can't find those side snap onesies in a set anywhere! I think I'm just going to have to break down and buy them one by one.

    1. Leah, before you do that, go to Target and look in their baby aisle. They usually have a 3-pack of side-snap onesies made by Gerber for $9.99. I'm glad that you said this because I need to update my post with this information.

  2. Oh my gosh! The rock and play sleep chair might be the best invention for baby sleep this side of the miracle blanket. They did not make them when my first child was born, although my god I wish they did. He was a terrible sleeper! We got one for my second little bundle the day after we came home from the hospital with him and used it for six weeks straight. He slept so well in that thing that I would usually have to wake him up to feed him. He got really sick when he was itty bitty and we were in the hospital for two weeks. We loved the chair so much we brought it to the hospital for him to sleep in rather than the yucky hospital beds. We rearranged his entire room, oxygen tubing, IV poles, etc just so we could accommodate the bunny chair (that is what we called it). He slept like a dream in that thing, even in the unfamiliar hospital environment. This chair is the ABSOLUTE number one thing I would recommend to a mom with a bad sleeper, tied with the miracle blanket of course.


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