A VETERAN MAMA’S GUIDE TO THE BABY CLOTHES YOU REALLY NEED (PLUS A PRINTABLE!)

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baby's first year clothes Printable list what you need forPerhaps you’re thinking about what to register for as your first baby shower approaches. Maybe you’ve already had the showers and are filling in the gaps and setting up your nursery. It could be you’re wondering, how many baby clothes do I actually need? Do you have enough? As a mom of six, I have a lot of experience juggling all the things when it comes to newborns, and knowing what really works, and what doesn’t. I share many of mom-to-a-newborn life hacks of dressing baby because I’m a lazy innovative parent.

The Laundry Never Ends

Even though a newborn’s stomach is the size of jelly bean, what comes out the end of that tiny digestive system seems like it could fill a wading pool and you want to have enough clothes that you aren’t doing laundry twice a day. After all, you have those precious newborn eyes to stare into, and that tiny tummy to fill eleventeen times in the time it takes you to read this article.

Disclosure: While this post is sponsored by JustBorn, all ideas, opinions, and funny quips belong to the author.

Your loved ones want to help you feel prepared and want to give you items that you’ll really use and love. That’s why you want to be sure to register for Just Born at Kohl’s. You can do your entire registry there, as Just Born carries everything from crib bumpers to sheets, from bodysuits to sleep and plays.

Just Born at Kohl's what does my baby need newborn clothesJust Born at Kohl’s is made with organic cotton and is as soft as you can imagine, almost as soft as that baby you’re putting in the clothing. Your friends and family will want to give you fancy baby dresses or those cute little sweaters, but honestly, in my experience, those are one use only items that are better found at a second hand store, or given to you from a friend with an older baby.

The clothing you really need from the day to day should be on your registry, so your guests will likely give you more of the clothing you’re actually going to use on the regular. You want baby clothing that is safe, easy to use, and as cute as your baby! Just Born at Kohl’s is completely on trend with llamas, lions, lambs, and dinosaurs (oh my!), and completely functional.

Babies Need Nightgowns

You’re going to be changing a baby in the night, in dim light, with very little sleep. You do NOT want to be messing with snaps and zippers. It’s too easy to pinch a tiny thigh with a fumbling finger while trying to snap a bodysuit or zip their sweet little belly into a zipper when you’re sleep deprived. I seriously think for night time use, you only need the gowns with the elastic at the bottom. Then you only have to change the diaper and not worry about anything else. If you choose co-sleeping, newborns can sleep with only their diaper on. You don’t have to think about keeping them warm, your body regulates his/hers.

During the day time, there is no shame in keeping sweet babe in the gown. He’s a baby. He doesn’t know day from night. The gowns from Just Born have the foldable sleeves that are kind of like mittens to keep baby from scratching himself, perfect for day wear as well as night!

It Doesn’t Matter WHAT Baby Wears; Be Gentle With Yourself

I see Instagram moms apologizing that their baby is still in her pajamas and it’s the middle of the day, and I feel infuriated. Don’t do that to yourself. Please know that baby grows so fast, these baby days are soon over, and you’re too precious to berate yourself for something as silly as what your baby is wearing. The Just Born collection has plenty of snuggly sleep and play outfits, which are perfect for erasing that mom guilt. Clearly, since they’re named sleep and plays, they’re intended to wear all day and all night. Sleep-Play-Eat-Spit-Up-Poop outfits, while more accurate, was probably too long of a name.just born at kohls onesies sleep and play bargain newborn need

What Newborns Need

The average newborn doesn’t stay in newborn sizes for very long, because, despite all the poopsplosions, these little babes are very efficient at putting on weight and growing quickly out of their baby clothes. You’ll want more options in 0-3 sizes, but most babies do need the newborn size for the first month or so.

In addition to the much loved gowns and sleep-and-plays, you’re going to want a couple two piece outfits and 8-10 body suits, both long sleeved and short sleeved, in the newborn size. The body suits are great because if they do poop out of their diaper, (hahaha if) you can pull the bodysuit, and the gowns, down over their body instead of trying to lift it over her head and likely smearing the poop all up her back and over her hair too.

You’ll also want a special going home outfit. The Just Born collection at Kohl’s has the perfect take-me-home sets with a personalized element, soft pants, and will be adorable for the ‘Gram and keep baby warm and comfortable in her car seat. 

As They Grow

As Babe grows, you should have the same essentials on hand in the other sizes. I really do recommend that you register for specifics and especially for all the sizes for that first year. I can practically guarantee that you’ll put babe in the same sleep-and-play she had on last week, and it will look like you stuffed a sausage into a casing because they grow so fast.

You do want the larger sizes now, so you don’t have to think about it later. Six of each kind of basic: bodysuits- both long and short sleeved, footed sleep-and-plays, and stretchy pants is good starting place in planning what baby clothes you want. Just Born goes all the way up to 24 months, so you can add some to your registry now, and be super prepared later on.kohls baby need checklist newborn need clothing onesies

Winter Weather Wear

Here in Iowa and Illinois, you have to consider the seasons when planning for baby clothes too! For cold weather, the best way to do it is wear your stretchy wrap in the car, under your coat. Babe is buckled in his car seat with a blanket over his straps. Don’t add anything under the straps or between baby and the back of his car seat. When you reach where you’re going, you make sure baby’s hat is in place, and you quickly slide baby into your wrap, and zip up your coat. Hands free shopping, baby is snug and warm, and you don’t have to worry about space in your cart for the car seat and all the grand finds you’ll take home from Kohl’s.

You really don’t need winter coats for baby. You can’t have them on in the car seat ever. Once they’re a toddler, you will be happy with a double layered car seat poncho. For baby wearing once they’re a little bigger, look into a fleece cover for the bottom half of baby you can wrap over your shoulder straps. A fleece bunting, similar to a snowsuit, will be handy for trips or when you’re at a parade or zoo outside when it’s cold, and older baby or toddler is at the stage when they want up and down constantly. 

Odds and Ends Babies Need

As far as odds and ends go, you’ll want some drool bibs, both for drool and spit up. Socks are great for under the gowns, but usually I preferred the footed outfits for infants. Just Born at Kohl’s has both, as well as the cutest headbands, which won’t mar baby’s head with elastic, caps, and mittens.newborn drool bib onesie kohls affordable baby clothes newborn need

The Checklist

Make sure you print off the printable I made for you so you can keep track of what you’ve purchased, what you’ve received as gifts, and what you still might want to get so you’re completely prepared for all the clothing essentials and can rest easy. Believe me, you’re going to need to!baby clothes planner checklist what does my baby need

Organizing All the Baby Clothes

To store all of this sounds like you would need to move into a bigger house, but remember, babies (and therefore baby clothes) are tiny! The easiest way is to put each like item of each size together in a gallon baggie. Label it with a Sharpie: “3-6 M Sleep and Plays” or “9-12 M two piece sets”. Then put the baggies in a bankers box or storage tote labeled with the size. If you have enough space in the dresser or on a closet shelf, you could do the same thing in a drawer or smaller basket or bin. If you want to get really fancy, you can suck all of the air out of the baggie with a straw and stack the baggies upright so you can flip through them like you’re at a vintage record store.

For clothes baby was currently wearing, I kept everything on hangers where I could see it, in my own closet. It was just simpler. One of my best hacks is to do what works for you!

Hopefully, after you take some of these recommendations, you’re going to feel more prepared for baby. Well, at least for what baby clothes you need and how to organize them. I don’t think we’re ever fully prepared for baby, and all the amazing crazy of parenting!

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