Baby Clothes

Outfitting your baby from head to toe

There's no denying it: whether it's baby girl clothes or baby boy clothes, baby fashion is adorable. Tiny baby shoes, snuggly baby sweaters, those itsy-bitsy baby socks... but what baby clothing does your baby really need?

Baby Basics

A comfortable baby is a happy baby (most of the time), so start with baby clothing you can layer on or remove as needed. Young babies usually need one more layer than we do, but if your baby's body feels too warm or if they're starting to sweat at the neck, lose a layer. For preemie baby clothing, a good guideline is two layers more.

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Bodysuits

A packet of onesies or undershirts is a good place to start. Onesies can be all your baby needs to wear in summer, and are perfect to wear as undershirts in winter. Bodysuits are your next essential. These long-sleeved, one-piece outfits come with or without feet, and make for great pajamas or daytime baby clothing. T-shirts, long-sleeved shirts and soft, stretch-waist pants are next on the list. They can be relatively easy to pull on and are also stylish, but be warned: any clothing you have to pull over your baby's head or can't undo with snaps can be a hassle to remove if your tyke ends up smeared with milk, food – or something else. A few bodysuits, some light and some cozy, are all a young baby really needs.

Preemie Baby Clothing

Preemie clothing can be hard to find, but fear not – add an extra layer underneath, and a baggy bodysuit will work just as well and last you several months. Go ahead and get creative. Some parents make their preemie's clothes or copy some dolls' outfits. Keeping your baby swaddled in a warm blanket can also help to fill the gap in her wardrobe.

Baby Shoes

As for shoes, indoor baby hats and those irresistible socks – you don't really need them yet. Babies who wear hats indoors can become overheated, and you'll spend more time hunting for missing socks than admiring them on your baby's feet.

Once Junior starts crawling, you might consider non-slip padders or slippers to protect his tiny toes. Later on, standing and walking will call for sturdier shoes with ankle support.

Dinnertime

When it comes to baby bibs, every parent differs. Some swear by hard plastic, while others prefer absorbent cloth. The best bib depends on your baby's age and eating habits. For a neat nurser, a bit of terry cloth is perfect, but bring on dripping bottles or puréed squash, and you'll need bigger, hardier bibs that you can wash easily.

The Great Outdoors

Going outside with your baby can be fun, with the right apparel. In summer, infant sunscreen is always the first step. Next, a sun hat will shield baby's eyes and protect his head. As for sunglasses, skip them – sometimes, the lenses are warped, and that can negatively affect your baby's vision.

Cooler weather means layers and outdoor hats, essential for retaining your baby's body heat. To bundle him up, a bunting bag is cozy and easy, but there are hardier, wind-resistant snowsuits for longer periods outdoors. Surprisingly, baby socks make the best mittens; they're warm and they stay on.

Smart Style

Buying baby clothing can be fun, but it's easy to forget one thing: babies grow. So while one pair of baby Levi's can jazz up your tot's wardrobe, outfitting him with five pairs will cost you when nothing fits in two weeks' time. To stay thrifty, buy a few slightly oversized pieces and roll up the sleeves or ankles, so your baby can still wear it in a month. Happy shopping!

By Mae Michaels