Whether you’re starting your baby registry, staring down a mountain of shower gifts or looking into the wide eyes of your days-old newborn (who, surprise, just spit up again!), chances are, you may have that nagging sense that you’re missing some infant wardrobe essentials. And you very well might be—with all the adorable stuff out there, it’s easy to miss the not-so-obvious but oh-so-necessary items. Here, we’ve made a shortlist of the essential baby clothes every new mom should own, along with a few cute options to try.
They’re a shirt. They’re a complete outfit. They’re whatever you want them to be. Infant bodysuits—aka onesies—are must-haves for your newborn’s wardrobe. They’re a go-to shower gift, but it’s a good idea to have varying sizes on hand, so you can keep pace with your quickly growing baby. Plus, with infants going through as many as four or five clean ones in a day (hello, spit up and blowouts), you can practically never have enough.
It’s nice to have a selection of solids as well as prints to easily mix and match—but regardless of the pattern, look for ones with envelope-style necks. What’s that, you ask? Those cute little flaps on the shoulders actually serve a vital purpose: After a major diaper leak, they let you pull the bodysuit down over baby’s torso and legs instead of up over the head for a more sanitary outfit change.
Bodysuits to try
Buy it: Hey Bodysuit 3-Pack, $40, Gymboree.com
Buy it: Carter’s Baby 4-Pack Bodysuit Set, $10, Target.com
Besides being super-cute, these loose T-shirts with side snaps or ties minimize contact with a newborn’s still sensitive umbilical cord stump. Plus, while you and baby are still getting used to dressing, having shirts that don’t have to pulled over your infant’s face can be a real lifesaver. Kimono-style tops come in short and long sleeve options and can be worn as a top or a thin sweater over a bodysuit.
Kimono tops to try:
Buy it: Monica & Andy Hello Baby Top, $18, MonicaandAndy.com
Buy it: 4-Pack Side Snap Tees, $16, Carters.com
Think you don’t need a hat for your summer baby? Think again. There’s a reason the hospital nurses popped a hat on your brand new baby’s head, even before a diaper: Since newborns get cold easily, a hat is a great way to regulate their body temperature. Throw a beanie hat in your diaper bag and pull it out in a chilly restaurant, car or store to keep your little one comfy regardless of what the weather does. Some styles have a tip that you tie into a knot, letting you easily adjust the size as baby grows.
Beanie hats to try
Buy it: Rainbow Beanie, $13, Gymboree.com
Buy it: Bear Garter Beanie, $17, Gap.com
Think of infant socks as teeny climate controllers. Regardless of what month your baby was born, having plenty of socks makes it simple to make sure those teeny feet stay warm, whether it’s cold outside or artic inside thanks to blasting AC. Plus, socks can create an outfit out of anything, even if baby is sporting just a bodysuit. (Think of what a statement your own footwear can make!) Of course, babies are notorious for kicking their socks off, so look for options with sturdy elastic tops. Another shopping tip: Buy several packs of the same color or pattern, so it won’t be an emergency if one goes missing. After all, those tiny socks are hard to keep track of.
Baby socks to try
Buy it: Trumpette Unisex Baby Perfect Little Dozen Milestone Baby Socks, $33 for 12, Amazon.com
Buy it: Robeez 3-Pack Baby Socks, starting at $11, Amazon.com
Sleepers, pajamas, footies—whatever you call them, know that babies can do a whole lot more than sleep in these cozy one-piece looks. A sleeper is great for keeping baby warm and cozy on outings or during playtime at home, and they make for easy diaper changes. Stock up on a few of these, since you’ll likely be going through at least one a night.
Sleepers to try
Buy it: Burt’s Bees Baby Zip Front Organic Sleeper Pajamas, starting at $11, Amazon.com
Buy it: Diamond One-Piece, $30, Gymboree.com
Soft, stretchy baby leggings are endlessly versatile. They’re great for quick walks in the baby carrier, when the weather turns cool and when baby begins to creep or crawl. And there are endless ways to style them: Pulled up over a bodysuit, paired with a kimono top or under dresses or shorts. Look for ones in comfortable fabrics like cotton that won’t pull or chafe.
Baby leggings to try
Buy it: Planet Joggers, $25, Gymboree.com
Buy it: Unicorn Leggings, $6, Carters.com
Also sometimes called a one-piece or bubble, a romper is a top and bottom all in one, usually with snaps at the crotch for easy diaper changes. Not only do rompers mean fewer pieces of clothing to put on a squirmy baby, but they also usually come in fun, fashion-forward styles, making them an ideal option for playdates, family gatherings or photo shoots, or just for a cute warm weather look.
Rompers to try
Buy it: Favorite Star Shorty One-Piece, $25, Gap.com
Buy it: RuffleButts Denim Bubble Romper, $30, Nordstrom.com
Sure, you could get away with not having bloomers—but why would you want to? Bloomers, aka diaper covers, can come in handy regardless of whether you have a boy or a girl. While many parents are familiar with a cute, ruffley underpants-like cover peeking out from under a dress, bloomers can also be paired with a bodysuit or kimono top, worn over leggings on chilly days or simply on its own in hot weather. If you have a girl, remember that bloomers don’t need to perfectly match a dress; mix and match solid colors for a cool look.
Bloomers to try
Buy it: Blue Seersucker Bloomer, $15, RuggedButts.com
Buy it: Pretty Woven Bloomers, $34, BodenUSA.com
Not only do babies in sunglasses look oh-so-A-list, but the shades can also help protect their tiny peepers from the sun’s strong rays. Look for lenses that offer 100 percent UV protection, and pop them on your infant before you head out for a stroll. Remember, sunglasses aren’t just a summertime look—reflections in the winter can be just as glaring.
Baby sunglasses to try
Buy it: Blue Ice Original Navigators, $25, Babiators.com
Buy it: Julbo Looping I Baby Sunglasses, $35, Amazon.com
Published August 2018
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