If you are expecting your firstborn, you may be wondering what type of clothing to get for your baby.
People will tell you different things. Some would suggest you get clothing that cover the baby from head to toe, ensuring the hands and feet are fully covered to keep them warm. That is until, another person came along and tell you that the hands must not be covered because doing so restricts movement and….development.
In this article, we are going to go through the type of clothing you would need for your newborn and WHY you shouldn’t buy too many in advance.
Factors to Consider
Where you are staying is an important factor. Are you staying in an evergreen sunny country like Singapore or are you in London where there are seasons. You know the delivery date and thus the season when your baby is due. Make sure you get clothing that fit the climate and don’t worry too much about getting very thick winter clothes unless you plan to bring your baby out frequently.
For the first one to two months, you probably will only bring the baby for check ups at the hospital. Using a blanket to swaddle the baby when you bring him/her out will keep the baby warm and comfortable.
#2 Clothing Design
Baby clothing for your newborn comes in a few standard designs.
- Slip over the head crew neck shirts (short/long sleeved)
- Side snap shirts (short/long sleeved)
- Monk style shirts
Let’s look at their pros and cons.
Slip over the head Crew Neck Shirts (short/long sleeved)
The crew neck design is a favourite with many parents because it is so easy to wear. Our baby has a relatively big head (LOL) yet we can still get her into the clothing easily because the neck opening is elastic and stretches to accommodate. There is another similar design but which comes with buttons at the neck opening. It is meant to open up the neck opening so that baby’s head can fit through more easily. While not a bad design, we cautioned against this type because the buttons can brush against your baby’s face while you are trying to get their head through it, especially if the baby’s head circumference is larger.
Side Snap Shirts (short/long sleeved)
The side snap shirts get their name from the design. Instead of slipping the clothing over the baby’s head, these shirts open up from the front. We recommend them for newborns until their necks are stronger before you change to the slip over the head crew neck shirts.
Monk Style Shirts
There is also a type of clothing (monk style) that are highly suitable for newborns. Similar to the side snap shirts, the monk clothing uses strings (instead of buttons) to hold the shirt together. Again, I say they are good for newborns because they are easy to put on and take off. However, once your baby becomes a bit older, he/she will tug at these strings and cause the clothing to come apart. That is when you will naturally prefer to go for clothing with buttons.
Some clothing comes with mittens. While these serve to protect your little one from scratching their tender faces accidentally, we feel they are useful for newborns and from the third month onwards, our baby starts to suck her fingers. Initially we use the mittens to cover her hands but they end up being soaked with saliva which she spreads over her small face with delight whenever we are not watching her.
So what do you think? Mittens or not?
I have since decided not to use them and instead, I solve the problem partially by giving her the pacifier or another teething toy which I can wash and reuse immediately.
It is important to keep the baby’s feet warm. Socks are used but once your baby starts getting fidgety, you can expect them to dislodge their own socks one time too many. We lost a few socks in that way. The other way is to get clothing that covers the feet fully. We have a few of these but frankly, we don’t use it that often as we are living in a humid region at the moment and it can be rather sweaty to be cooped inside for the whole day. The other concern has to do with poo emergency…
In the event of a poo, speed is everything between us having to wash an extra piece of clothing for that day or not. The head to toe clothing has dozens of buttons and on a few occasions, we found ourselves staring at the soiled clothing and thinking “If only I was a split second faster….”
Anyway, that’s just our personal rant.
Finally, there is no need to buy too many clothing for your newborn. Babies grow up really fast, especially within the first 10 weeks. Our baby grew on average 1 cm per week until she hits 65 cm. She was 50 cm at birth.
In other words, all the clothing you bought initially would be too small for your baby by the time she hits the end of second month. You probably can still let your baby wear them but it would be a very tight fit and uncomfortable. In addition, you might also have friends who want to gift you with baby clothing or pass down their unused baby clothing if you don’t mind. As a matter of fact, we received so much clothing (used and new) and until the age of one, we doubt we need to buy any new pieces.
Our recommendation is to get a few long-sleeved side snap shirts for your newborn as their necks are fragile at birth and it is best to avoid too much movement around the neck at that early stage. Long-sleeved shirts are also good for keeping warm. Then, once they grow up and their neck muscles become stronger, you can consider adding a few crew neck shirts.
In our case, our baby’s neck became stronger around end of second month and we started alternating between the side snap and crew neck shirts.
In summary…parents-to-be would be well served by getting 5-6 pieces of these side snap shirts. They are easy to wash and dry, stretchable, 100% cotton and highly affordable. By getting 5-6 pieces, you ensure there is always clean dry clothing for your baby. On average, you may use up to two pieces per day, if your baby soils her clothes. It happens…no matter what precaution or diaper you use.