You know how they say you shouldn’t go food shopping when you are hungry? Well the same should be said about shopping for baby clothes when you are pregnant. After all, who can resist all the adorableness that fills the shelves and racks of any baby store?
Of course, babies arrive into the world naked and do need to be clothed, but they certainly don’t need everything you see (as cute as it all is). Plus, you’ll probably receive a lot of clothing as baby gifts, most in tiny sizes that will be outgrown almost instantly.
You’ll also get many impractical outfits that may work for those celebrity babies who are already fending off the paparazzi. Don’t save them only for special occasions or you’ll find baby has already outgrown them. Instead, do a fun photo shoot, perfect for Facebook or Instagram posting. You’ll also get some great pictures for thank you notes and grandparent presents.
But what are the practical layette items that baby really needs on a daily basis? We asked baby clothes designer Uli Belenky of Zutano to give us her “Sensational Seven,” essentials for any baby’s wardrobe:
“The onesie is the foundation of any layette,” she says. The side-snap style allows it to lay completely open “so you simply place baby in, wrap, snap and go.” No pulling over the head. Recommended: 6-8 in a variety of colors and prints so they can be worn as a regular shirt or undershirt.
A requirement after the onesie. “After dressing so many newborns, we know how hard it is to pull fabric over delicate, growing noggins,” says Belenky. “A soft body-wrap is so easy to slip onto baby by gently rolling him/her into it because it opens completely flat.” Kimono styles are also very ‘belly button friendly’ and ideal for baby’s comfort until their umbilical cord falls off. Recommended: at least 4-5 so there is always a fresh one on hand.
Note: Be sure to pick up Huggies Little Snugglers Diapers with Umbilical Cord-Cut Outs as well, which are perfectly shaped to protect healing belly-buttons.
Soft and cozy, booties keep little toes warm. Find ones with snaps or ties so they don’t fall off or get pulled off. Recommended: at least 3-4 or as many as you want in different colors and patterns to complete an outfit.
The ultimate garment for flexibility and comfort, especially for the first few weeks of life. These gowns slip on easily and cover the body from neck to toes. Look for ones with fold-over cuffs to keep fingers warm and to prevent babies from scratching themselves. Recommended: 3-4
These one-piece garments also keep baby toasty from top to bottom. Look for those with easy access snaps from neck to tush to make middle-of-the-night changes easy. Recommended: 3-4
Newborn hats are warm and protective day and night. Recommended: 3-4
Wool, fleece or cotton blankets add an extra layer of warmth and can be tucked into the carriage, car seat or swing. Recommended: at least 2-3. Keep one in the car, one in the diaper bag and another at home.
Once you’ve got these bases covered, the sky is the limit. There is no question that you’ll need lots of little outfits. After all, babies are notoriously messy and need to be changed more than any runway model.