Baby clothes are confusing. What do the sizes mean? What’s the difference between a Onesie, a sleep sack, and a sleeper? Shopping for your baby’s wardrobe can be fun, but it can also be extremely overwhelming! Let me help you out. Here’s everything you need to know about baby clothes…
Baby Fashion Vocabulary Lesson:
Onesie – “Onesie” is Gerber’s trademarked name for their baby bodysuits (think t-shirts that snap around the crotch). However, much like how we use the word “Kleenex” when referencing tissues, this word is used by many to describe any one-piece baby garment. Sometimes Onesie is confused with sleeper. They are not the same thing (see below).
Sleeper – a one-piece, footed pajama outfit. It comes in snapped or zippered versions.
Sleep sack – another word for a wearable blanket.
Layette – basic clothing for newborns. You’ll see this word used to describe comfy basics for baby’s first few weeks. Layette items often come bundled in gift sets that include complete outfits.
How do I figure out sizing?
Baby sizing is confusing. Obviously not all babies are created equal, and not all brands are created equal when it comes to sizing. However I’ve found this to be the general rule of thumb when buying ahead for babies. Remember to keep all receipts and not to remove tags until you’re sure that size is going to work out for the appropriate season. Most baby stores do not have strict return policies.
What exactly does my baby need?
For each size, you should have approximately:
4 pairs of pants
8 pairs of socks
1 pair of tights (for girls)
For Newborn and 0-3 Months:
more nightgowns for late night changing
replace the sleep sack with 2 swaddle blankets
2 pairs of mittens
Keep in mind:
You’ll probably have a lot more than my recommendations, but this is a general idea of what you’ll need. If it seems like a lot of clothes, remember that there are times that your kid will go through 6 outfits in one day.
You’ll still want long sleeves and pants during summer months, especially if you have air conditioning.
You’ll receive lots of random (and cute!) Onesies as gifts. You’ll want to have a good supply of bottoms on hand to pair them with.
Shoes are cute, but not necessary. Don’t buy season-specific shoes in advance because kids’ feet grow at different rates, it’s too hard to predict what size sandals or boots they will need.
As your baby outgrows his or her clothes, sell them to make money to buy the next size. You can read my guide to selling kids clothes on eBay here.