Newborn clothes: sizes
Size 000 is intended to fit babies from 0-3 months, and size 00 is for babies from 3-6 months. Some bigger newborns might be ready to go straight into a size 00. You might have to roll up the sleeves, but it won’t be for long.
Sizes vary between types of clothes and manufacturers, so it’s worth comparing clothes to other garments you already have, rather than relying only on the size on the label.
Babies grow very fast, so it’s best to buy the minimum number of clothes in each size.
How many newborn clothes?
You’ll need plenty of changes of clothes for a newborn baby. Here’s a guide to get you started:
- 6 singlets
- 6 jumpsuits
- 2 jumpsuits for nightwear
- 3 tops
- 2 cardigans or jackets (if it’s winter)
- 3 cotton bunny rugs and 3 muslin (gauze) wraps
- an infant sleeping bag (as an alternative to wraps)
- 2 cotton hats
- a few pairs of socks.
Choosing newborn clothes: soft, comfortable and easy care
Clothes should be comfortable, soft and easy to take care of.
Stretchy jumpsuits that fasten at the front are best, as well as tops with envelope necks, which are easier to get over your baby’s head. Jumpsuits with zips can make dressing your baby quick and easy too.
Clothes made from cotton are a good choice. Cotton clothes will keep your baby cooler in hot weather than clothes made from synthetic fibres. Cotton also washes well and is gentle against your baby’s sensitive skin.
It’s also important to look out for clothes with a low fire hazard label. Newborn rompers and jumpsuits should have this label.
It’s best to avoid buying newborn clothes with beading, threads, ties, drawstrings and attachments. These can be choking risks and strangulation or suffocation risks.
Dressing newborns for warmth
Newborn babies need to be kept warm. So in cold weather it can be easiest to dress your baby in layers. Then you can take off layers when you’re at the shops or in other warm places.
As a guide, dress your baby in the same number of layers you’re wearing, plus one extra layer for warmth.
Although it’s important to keep newborns warm, it’s just as important that your baby doesn’t overheat, especially during sleep.
When you’re dressing your baby for bed, make sure your baby is comfortably warm – not hot, sweaty or cold. It’s a good idea to dress your baby in layers of fitted clothing so that you can add or take away layers as the temperature changes.
Dressing and undressing newborns: tips
Many newborns are upset by being dressed and undressed. The quicker and calmer you are, the less stress there is for both you and your baby.
These tips might help:
- Make sure the room is warm enough, and then place your baby on a soft surface.
- Put a nappy on your baby in case they do a wee.
- Stretch the neck of a singlet and, supporting your baby’s head, put the singlet on from the back. As you pull the singlet over your baby’s head, try not to let it touch your baby’s face. Babies can get very upset by clothes scraping their faces.
- Do the reverse when undressing, once again trying not to let the clothes touch your baby’s face.
- Gently place your baby’s arms through the armholes.
- If you’re dressing your baby in a jumpsuit, unbutton or unzip it and lay your baby on top. Place your baby’s arms and legs into the holes and do up the zip or snap fasteners.
- Make sure your baby’s legs and arms are clothed for going out in the sun – but it’s better to keep your baby out of direct sun altogether if you can.
Try talking, singing nursery rhymes, smiling and making faces when you’re dressing your baby. This can distract your baby during dressing and undressing. Talking and singing are also good ways for you to bond with your baby.
Washing newborn clothes
It’s a good idea to wash all baby clothes before your baby wears them for the first time. This can get rid of excess dyes and chemicals, reducing the chance of clothes irritating your baby’s skin or causing an allergic reaction.
You can wash baby clothes with the rest of your laundry, but try to avoid using strong detergents and fabric softeners. Laundry detergents labelled ‘sensitive’ or ‘gentle’ are less likely to irritate your baby’s skin.
Clothes with poo on them need to be soaked in nappy sanitiser before washing. Nappy sanitiser also makes a handy pre-soak once your baby is eating solids. Even with a bib, your baby’s clothes will get covered in food and drink.