Dress That Baby! Clothes for the First Few Months

As soon as you’ve wrapped your mind around maternity fashion, a whole new challenge arrives: What’s the little guest of honor going to wear? Buttons and bows abound in the world of baby clothes, but what about everyday babywear basics?

Mom with Dressed Up Newborn

What items do you really need to get you through those first few months? Read on for helpful tips from moms!

Plain White Tees, Please
“Little white tees that wrap and snap, and newborn diapers, were all my daughter wore in her first couple of weeks, while we waited for her umbilical stump to fall off,” says Tracy Cutter, a mom of one in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “The tees didn’t pull taut over her belly, which could irritate the stump.”

Introducing: One-Piece Wonders
“My babies lived in one-pieces and footed bodysuits — clothes that won’t come untucked, twist, or rise up — during the first few months” says Jennifer Linney, a mom of two in Fort Worth, Texas. “The last thing that I wanted to deal with while nursing or burping were overall straps that fell down wee little shoulders, shirts that twisted, and bottoms whose elastic waistbands pressed on my reflux-baby’s belly. I held off on those sorts of outfits until my babies were less squishy lumps of love, and better able to support themselves.”

Love That Item? Switch It for a Bigger Size!
“Between spit up, projectile vomit, and the occasional diaper blowout, my son (and I) sometimes went through several outfits a day,” Linney says. “All of those adorable, pricey outfits that I’d bought, or had received from well-wishers? They’d sometimes only last for 20 minutes before landing in the laundry pile. I exchanged most of my nicer newborn and 0-3-month sizes for identical items in 12-18 month sizes, which is when reflux tapers off and bowel movements become less frequent and, well, less messy.”

Have Fun Getting Fancy (Once in a While!)
“I reserved a few cute-but-impractical outfits for special outings with my babies,” says Rosa Ramirez, a mom of twins in Chicago, Illinois. “Although I couldn’t be bothered with buttons and frills on a daily basis, it was fun to put my girls in sweet dresses and (completely pointless) baby shoes once in a while, especially when we spent time with friends and family and everyone wanted a turn posing for pictures with the babies.”

Ready, Set, Swaddle
“My babies loved to be swaddled, 24/7,” says Lauren Bianchi, a mom of two in Austin, Texas. “Swaddle sacks that zip are great; you don’t have to keep re-swaddling your baby all day. Other moms prefer swaddlers made with Velcro, and some blankets, if you prefer those, come with step-by-step swaddling diagrams stitched right onto their edges. I recommend finding the type that works for you, and having four or five on hand for the early baby-wrapping days.”

Know Your Power-Combos
“My son always wore a short or long-sleeved bodysuit with pants pulled on over it, baby socks on his feet, and a little infant cap to keep his head warm. Oh, and baby mittens to prevent him from scratching his face with his fingernails,” says Ashley Reese, a San Francisco, California mom of one. “I bought a ton of each of these items in different colors, kept them in separate clothing bins within easy reach of our changing area, and just grabbed one of each item — randomly mixing and matching — when getting him dressed. Super easy — even for the sleep deprived!”

Hooray for Hand-Me-Downs
“I felt overwhelmed trying to buy my first baby’s wardrobe piece-meal, so I found a mom on Craiglist selling everything her 6-month-old, also a boy, had worn up to that point,” says Rachel Borkowski, a mom of three in St. Paul, Minnesota. “She was so happy I’d arrived to get rid of her ‘clutter’ that she gave me the whole stash, which barely fit into an extra-large garbage bag – and much of which had never been worn – for twenty dollars. Lucky for me, that mom had great taste; I was set for six months, and I didn’t go shopping once!”

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