A guide to baby clothes: what do you really need?

Although baby clothes seem pretty straightforward, they can be tricky if you’ve never dealt with them before. After receiving a ton of questions on it, both on and offline, I decided to make a guide to baby clothes to make it easier for you!


Tiny feet, little hands, baby clothes sure are cute to look at! But a lot of new-moms-to-be can get pretty overwhelmed with everything out there. This can lead to you buying a ton of things that you will end up not using. What do you really need? What won’t you need? And what about sizes?

The first few months your baby will lead a pretty boring life: sleep, eat, diaper change and repeat. Which doesn’t mean that it won’t need a lot of clothing! On the contrary, if your baby ends up being a spitter, you’re likely to be changing his outfits multiple times a day.

Benjamin wasn’t a big spitter, which meant that he often wore the same outfit for more than one day. I usually put him in something to sleep and then another outfit during the day, because I don’t want him to sleep in what he was wearing while lying on the floor. 

A guide to baby clothes


Onesie: the staple. They come in long or short sleeves (or no sleeves at all), are easy to slip over the newborn’s head and snap at the crotch. They have stretchy neck holes with overlapping fabric or snap buttons, to make undressing easier for the baby. Alternatively, you can also find onesies which are crossed over – these come in handy if you don’t have much experience dressing babies and are afraid to pull things over their heads.

Footed Pajamas. These are usually long-sleeved and, as the same says, have footies included. They are the easiest thing to dress babies in when they are really young! Honestly, that is all Benjamin wore the first few weeks when at home. Usually with a onesie underneath – I personally think onesies are easy and comfortable for the baby while keeping things together. They usually close up in front with snap buttons and sometimes even zippers.

Overalls. Either in cotton or velvet (for the colder months), these usually also come with a shirt to put underneath. I have a love-hate relationship with these shirts. Here’s why: they’re great for layering if it is cold, but in the milder months a simple onesie underneath would suffice – which is what I dressed Benjamin in during Springtime when it wasn’t cold nor hot outside. Look for some with snap buttons at the crotch, to make changing diapers easier. 

The onesie with a bit extra. This is what I call the onesies with arms and legs or shorts. They come pretty in hand when the weather is very hot. Some brands advertise them as Summer pajamas, but I think they can be worn anytime. 


Footed leggings. Cute and easy. I still use these at home with a long or short-sleeved onesie, depending on the weather. If this is the first time you are dressing a baby and you’re a bit nervous, skip these until you feel comfortable. 

Pants or regular leggings. Honestly, I don’t think you need real pants until the baby is a bit older. Leggings, on the other hand, are just as useful as footed leggings. The upside: they can be worn with or without socks. The downside: they don’t look as cute as the footed ones. Which isn’t really a downside, I know. 

Shirts. I told you above about my love-hate relationship with these, now I will explain why. A baby lies down most of the time, the rest of the time it is in your arms. When a baby has a shirt on, the shirt won’t stay in place. It will roll up when you pick the baby up and it will be likely uncomfortable on his back when he’s moving. The only time I dressed him in these were with the overalls – or on the odd quick grocery trip. I would advise you to leave these until the baby is a bit more mobile. 

Jackets and hoodies. Again, unnecessary in my opinion, for the same reason as the shirts. Except: we bought Benjamin a hoodie when the weather stopped being too cold for his outdoor overall, but he still needed the extra layer. We only used it when he was in his car seat or his pram, so he would have the extra layer of protection. The hoodie would protect his head and keep it from getting cold and was comfortable. I do think hoodies are a big no-no for babies if they’re just for “show” or for the baby to look “cool” tho. 

A guide to baby clothes


Hats and Beanies. You should have at least one beanie and one Summer hat. Babies need a few days to adjust their body temperature after being born and these can help them keep warm. Also very practical after baths, when they cool down very quickly!

Tights. Ideal for layering during the colder months or under shorts if it is still not too warm out. My tip: put the onesie over them, so they stay put and won’t roll down.

Socks and gloves. You really won’t need socks for a newborn baby. They are tiny, you have to fiddle to put them on, only to find them on the floor minutes later. IF you find them. Besides, most of their clothes come with footsies anyways. However, you can have one of two pairs to put over the footsies, for added warmth. Gloves, on the other hand, can be very good to keep babies from scratching themselves. Or if it is very cold, obviously. 

Suspenders. Ok, this is really not something you absolutely need. Having that said, if you have a baby that grows slow or is on the smaller side, they can be helpful. Most of Benjamin’s Winter wardrobe from last year was either 74 or 80, which was too big for him. He just started wearing size 80 (9 to 12 months) without it being too big. For the record, he’s 17 months old now. Suspenders make it possible for me to dress him in jeans that are two sizes too big. Plus, they look super badass and cool! 

The Sleep Sack. Not a must, but definitely helpful in the colder months. I swaddled Benjamin in the beginning, but soon realized he didn’t like to sleep that way. This kept him warm and my mind at ease knowing he was safe. I also feel it made him feel snuggly, without giving him the constricted feeling swaddling did. We still use a sleep sack during the Winter months and this way I know he won’t get cold during the night. 

A guide to baby clothes


Cute dresses or suits are pretty to look at, but you probably won’t have much use for them. However, if you know there is a special occasion coming, you may want to get one of those items for your baby to look the part. For example: when Benjamin was two months old two of his cousins got baptized. A month later was Markus’ birthday and my 30th followed two weeks after. I wanted Benjamin to look a bit more put together than usual, so I looked for a cute baby suit. I found one consisting of a white button-down shirt, a pair of shorts and a waistcoat. It cost 25€ and I knew he would have at least those 4 occasions to wear it. He ended up wearing it 6 or 7 times, because it fit him up until the beginning of this year! 

I hope this sheds some light on the world that is baby clothes! If you have any questions, I’d be glad to help you out. Figuring out how much clothes a baby needs is a post in itself and depends on a lot of factors. Let me know what you think of this article!


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