10 Tips for Choosing Baby Clothes

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10 Tips for Choosing Baby Clothes

Before having a baby, I thought baby clothes were cute and you selected them based on which ones were cutest or cheapest.  Needless to say, I’ve learned a lot in the past 9 months, so here are my 10 tips for first-time parents choosing baby clothes.

My Top 10 Tips

  1. Don’t register for or buy clothes in newborn or 3-month size.  People love to gift you with tiny baby clothes, you will have way more clothes than your tiny human can wear before growing out of them.  If you
    see something that you have to have, buy it in a bigger size.
  2. Know that sizes don’t line up with actual age.  A newborn baby may wear newborn clothes for a while or start out in 3-month clothes.  My 9-month old is wearing clothes ranging from 9-18 months.  It depends on the brand, material and style what size fits when.
  3. Make sure what you buy is weather appropriate.  Along with above, make sure if you live somewhere super hot like us that you aren’t buying long sleeved shirts your baby will grow out of before it finally gets cold enough for them.
  4. For newborn-6 months, don’t get any shirts that don’t have the layette (snaps at the bottom). Until baby can sit up on his own, shirts that don’t have the snaps will ride up constantly.  T-shirts were super
    annoying until Paxton could sit up. However, now they are great. 
  5. For shirts without layettes, plan to always be one size ahead in these compared to the rest of the clothes.  Because these can ride up, you want them a little bigger so that baby’s belly isn’t sticking out.
  6. Sleepers are great.  When you pick out ones that baby will wear before 4 months or so, get ones where the zipper starts at the top and ends at the bottom.  This probably seems like a really random detail, but when you are changing diapers and swaddling and unswaddling multiple times a night, only having to unzip part way is a lifesaver.  Once baby is generally sleeping through the night and not swaddled, the direction of the zipper doesn’t really matter.  Pro tip: Target
    has a good selection of ones that zip from the top down, but not every style they carry does this.
  7. Stay away from the thick sweaters and coats in tiny sizes.  Even if it’s cold, these aren’t recommended in car seats because the straps won’t fit right.  These may be super cute on a tiny baby but when it’s cold, you are going from one building to the car to another building.  Often times you do all this without taking baby out of the car seat. Even if you do take baby out, it’s so much effort to get those tiny, flimsy arms into thick sweaters and jackets, you likely won’t bother.  Save these for when baby is a little bigger and can at least help get them on.  In the meantime, dress baby in long sleeves, pants, socks and a hat and tuck a blanket around him once he’s in the car seat. You can also get a car seat cover to help keep the wind out.
  8. You don’t need plain white anything.  Babies always find a way to get their clothes dirty.  Exactly how will vary with age, but plain white is way more work to clean than it’s worth.  You will also have so many cute clothes for baby to wear, that using something plain white seems like a waste of a cute outfit opportunity. 
  9. When baby gets older, go with sleepers that don’t have feet.  This helps them fit a little longer than the ones with feet.  
  10. If you plan to take baby swimming, get a rash guard so that baby is completely covered on the top half.  We got Paxton a one-piece suit which had long sleeves, mid-length legs and a hood.  This was super cute and great for keeping me from worrying about sunburn. 

Related Content

With regards to shoes, you don’t need them right away. However, there are some important considerations (and they are super cute). Get tips for selecting shoes here.

If you want more suggestions on what to register check out my real registry checklist here and my review of what nursery items are really needed here.

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10 Tips for Choosing Baby Clothes

18 thoughts on “10 Tips for Choosing Baby Clothes

  • October 12, 2018 at 1:54 am
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    These are such great tips. My biggest one is no buttons!

    Reply
    • January 27, 2019 at 3:05 am
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      It is definitely tough handling buttons with a baby, but it’s even tougher with a wiggly toddler. I love the look of cute button-up shirts but getting him to sit still long enough to button them straight is definitely a battle, and I’ve learned to choose my battles.

      Reply
  • October 12, 2018 at 2:22 am
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    Rash guards are for sure my favorite things of all! We spend a lot of time on the beach and in the sun! I also am a HUGE fan of two piece sets (shorts and baby tees) rather than onesies or rompers! Its SO much easier when changing them! haha!

    Reply
    • January 27, 2019 at 3:06 am
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      I never even knew what a rash guard was until I bought my son a swim suit. However, he will never go without now that I know about them. I’m also thinking I need one for myself. Once my son was old enough to sit up I started liking two pieces sets because they are easier for changing. However, when he was tiny, the shirts just rode up.

      Reply
  • October 12, 2018 at 3:27 am
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    As a mom of 4, I second all of these tips! Great post!

    Reply
    • January 27, 2019 at 3:07 am
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      Thanks! I’m sure you’ve had a lot of experience figuring out all the best clothing hacks for kids!

      Reply
  • October 12, 2018 at 11:00 am
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    Awesome post! I agree 100% with all these tips, I can’t even decide which is my favorite they are all spot on! I wish a list like this had been out here 10 years ago when I had my first child.

    Reply
    • January 27, 2019 at 3:08 am
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      Thanks! I never knew any of this until I became a mom. I wanted to share with the hopes of helping other knew moms that had never dressed a baby before.

      Reply
  • October 12, 2018 at 4:25 pm
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    All great tips for baby clothes! I totally agree with not buying little sizes. Most of the clothes I got from my shower were 0-3 and 3-6.

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    • January 27, 2019 at 3:09 am
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      I have a huge storage tote dedicated to only sizes 6 month and under. I didn’t get many newborn outfits, but surprisingly my son actually fit into newborn size clothes for about a month. I had to go buy a few newborn things until he fit in 3 month. However, he barely managed to wear all the 3 month stuff once before he outgrew it because we had so much.

      Reply
  • October 12, 2018 at 6:58 pm
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    Great tips. And I 100% agree, no white. It may look cute but it’s so hard to keep clean.

    Reply
    • January 27, 2019 at 3:10 am
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      Anything white is stained after the first use. My son has all these cute white and off-white shirts, but I never use them because they have stains from a single wear.

      Reply
  • October 12, 2018 at 7:56 pm
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    These are great tips. thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • January 27, 2019 at 3:11 am
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      Thanks! Hopefully I can help out some other first time moms with no baby experience prior to becoming a mom.

      Reply
  • October 12, 2018 at 11:36 pm
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    I wish I knew now what i didn’t know before I had my daughter! I didn’t follow many of those and quickly learned the harsh reality!

    Reply
    • January 27, 2019 at 3:12 am
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      That’s why I wrote this post! There is so much I had no clue about that I quickly figured out. I could have saved so much money and drawer space if I had only known what I know now.

      Reply
  • October 12, 2018 at 11:39 pm
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    These are great tips for the first time mom! Wish I read this before my daughter.

    Reply
    • January 27, 2019 at 3:12 am
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      Thanks! I hope that it helps out some soon-to-be mamas!

      Reply

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