How and what to buy for your newborn

How and what to buy for your newborn

As you prepare for the arrival of your newborn, deciding what clothing they will need can be confusing.

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Many stores have a huge selection of baby clothes, most of which you won’t actually need. It's important to remember that your baby will grow rapidly during the first few months and therefore outgrowing clothes just as fast.

When shopping for your baby’s first wardrobe, you should focus on the basics and remember that many people will be buying clothing as gifts for the new arrival.

Another thing to take into consideration is that newborns spend a lot of their time sleeping, therefore it's essential that they are comfortable above anything else. It might seem sweet to dress them in little jeans or dresses but it's not altogether practical for a baby who needs to be changed up to twelve times a day and falls asleep constantly. It's a far better idea to dress your baby in comfortable sleepsuits for the first few months. Below is gurgle’s list of essentials for your newborn baby’s first wardrobe.

What you might need:

  • 1 coming home from hospital outfit (bear in mind what season your baby is going to be born in and make sure the outfit will keep your baby warm).
  • 6-10 babygrows (with and without feet) to be worn for sleeping and during the day.
  • 4-6 body suits to go under the sleepsuits
  • 10 -15 muslin cloths for burping, moping up milk/sick (these are absolutely essential and can also be used in a variety of ways once your child grows - think blankets for dolls!)
  • 5-10 pairs of socks
  • 1-2 hats (especially for a winter baby)
  • 2-4 hooded towels and washcloths for bathing
  • 2-4 receiving/swaddling blankets - the best to use are cellular blankets which have tiny holes in them, therefore making it easy for your baby to get fresh air as well as keeping her warm.
  • 1 baby sleeping bag - baby sleeping bags are optional. Many parents prefer to swaddle their newborns but baby sleeping bags are great for peace of mind. They're essentially a sleeping bag that your baby wears and that cannot slip over her head.
  • Depending on the season, you may need a woollen cardigan to put over your baby's sleepsuit. In the summer you may need a sun hat to keep the sun away from your baby's skin and eyes.

This list is meant to prepare you and your baby for the first few weeks. Everything should be bought in the same size, based on how big your baby is at birth. If your baby is born at full-term and is average size (between 6-9 lbs) then she will normally fit a newborn size.  If your baby arrives early (before 37 weeks) then you should buy clothing in a premature size. However, if your baby is bigger than average you will want to buy clothing in size 0-3 months, as they will not fit or will quickly outgrow newborn sizes. All of these clothes and sizes are available at most major baby stores, including Mothercare.

Should I buy organic baby clothes?

It's a lovely idea to buy organic baby clothes, but also quite expensive. Bear in mind that newborn babies grow very rapidly so you will soon be buying a new batch of clothes for her.

It is probably better to buy 100 per cent cotton clothing as cotton is a breathable fabric. Try not to buy anything made of synthetic fabrics like nylon, which could make your baby overheat. Also take into consideration how much washing you'll be doing with your newborn's clothes. Newborn babies posset a lot of milk in the early days and can also dribble, so you'll be bunging everything into the wash constantly, and cotton washes much better than synthetics.

To chat to other mums about what they bought for their newborns and what they found useful or not, have a look at our gurgle chat forum.

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