Parenting Checklist: Clothing Essentials for Your Newborn

If you opened this article, that means you already are feeling overexcited and can’t wait to hold your baby in your arms. In the midst of all the feelings you are experiencing, you may find occasional bouts of panic. The panic usually arises when a new or new-to-be parent is feeling that they haven’t done everything to prepare or that they are forgetting something that needs to be done.

The truth is no one is ever 100% ready to raise a baby. Even after reading all the baby books and going to all the pre-natal classes, some things will just have to learned on the job—e.g., after baby arrives. However, you can be fully ready to dress your baby properly! With so many amazing brands for baby clothing online, you can preorder everything and have a clear picture of what your baby is going to wear. Moreover, you can order some items after the baby arrives so you don’t have to stress too much about having absolutely everything ready before baby arrives.

With that in mind, here’s a simple but thorough checklist to ease your mind about having everything clothes-related ready for the new baby. So take a deep breath and let’s do this!

Parenting Checklist: Clothing Essentials for Your Newborn

Why Do You Need a Checklist for Clothing Essentials?

When preparing for a newborn, things can get a little hectic. There are so many things a newborn needs and there will be so many things you think your baby will need. When it comes to clothes and clothing accessories, the choices are infinite—and infinitely cute. There are so many different brands, designs, and styles that can turn shopping for baby clothes into a never-ending headache (or expensive buying spree).

Do start shopping for baby clothes in your third trimester. You may want to start watching for sales and good deals at your favourite stores.  Talk to your mom friends about their absolute essential baby clothing items. Read articles in your favourite parenting magazines or books. Start a list of everything that seems like an item you or your baby may need. When you do purchase something, make sure to check it off your list so you don’t end up with two dozen onesies for your new baby (which he’ll soon outgrow!).

What Should Definitely Be on Your Clothing List?

You can very easily forget some essentials while being in awe of the cuteness of all the other clothing  items. That is where this checklist comes in handy. Try to stay on track and buy only what you need for baby’s first few weeks. There will be plenty of time to get cute outfits.

I strongly recommend waiting until the baby actually comes to buy some items on this list. Why? Because of the size. Baby clothes sizes are organized by their age. However, not every newborn weights 7 lbs 8 ounces like my oldest. Some babies are born bigger and some are smaller and some are premature. Remember that baby clothing sizes are estimates. Try to get a few items in size newborn and size 3 months, and then wait and see what size your baby is when she is born.

If you are confused by sizes, just look for the height and the weight marks of the clothes and try to match them with your baby’s height and weight.

Flat lay of a baby onesie, shoes, teddy bear, and toys on a pink background.

Bodysuits or Onesies

This is the first piece of clothing that you should buy for your baby and buy a couple of them. For the first three months, you will probably need at least 10 bodysuits. Bodysuits are shirts with buttons between the legs to keep them tucked into leggings. Babies can wear them as shirt or undershirts. This is something that your baby will wear the most and will definitely get dirty the easiest.

You can buy multiple different colors and different sizes since the baby will need them for a long time, not just the first 3 months.


Also known as “bodysuits for the night” or tiny tiny cute pieces of clothing called pajamas. As an unofficial rule, you need the same amount of sleepers as you do bodysuits. Make sure that they are made from natural fibers and are machine washable. I also recommend getting sleepers with zippers rather than snaps, because who wants to be snapping up a squirmy, fussy baby in the middle of the night.


Baby’s arms are protected with the bodysuits, so you will need to protect her legs also. Leggings with stretchy waistbands or leg warmers are most comfortable. Jeans are super cute at this age, but also stiff and less forgiving for that adorable baby pudge. Leggings will also provide additional protection to keep diapers where they are supposed to be.


No matter the weather or the season, always put a hat on your baby’s head before going out. The hat isn’t just for protection from the cold but also serves as protection from the sun. Have 2 or 3 hats on hand for each season. It’s handy to have a velcro strap under baby’s chin to help keep the hat in place, especially once baby is a bit older and able to take it off and drop it beside the stroller while you’re out for a walk.


Don’t waste too much money on buying some kind of special sock, keep it simple and buy them in bulk if you can find them. Babies outgrow socks and shoes the fastest.


The easiest way to dress a newborn is with a jumpsuit. You won’t worry about matching a sweatshirt with pants, and it takes less time to actually put it on the baby. Look for jumpsuits that are comfortable, breathable, and a little loose so your baby can move with ease in them. Buy ones that open in the front so you can easily put them over everything else.

What was on your must-have list for your newborn? What did your baby use most?

Pink background photo by Mediamodifier on Unsplash. Grey background photo by Minnie Zhou on Unsplash.

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