Welcome to the fascinating world of newborn fashion! As an expecting or new parent, one question that will come up is:
How long do babies wear newborn clothes?
You may be very tempted to just buy all those adorable tiny newborn clothes you see in the store or to add them to your baby registry. But you will want to try and hold yourself back.
This is because newborn clothes can only be worn for a short period of time. You don’t want to waste your money on baby things you don’t end up using.
In this article, we’ll explore the perfect fit for newborn clothes and demystify the weight and age ranges for those teeny-tiny garments. From those tiny socks to the cutest onesies, we’ve got your covered.
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How Long Do Babies Wear Newborn Clothes?
Parenthood is full of first times and this even goes for cleaning out your little ones closet or drawers. The first step in this process will likely be with newborn clothes.
So, how long do babies wear newborn clothes? This is a valid question because all babies differ and grow at varying speeds.
This is not a straightforward answer. Your baby may wear newborn clothing for the first 6 weeks of life, while another baby may grow out of them within a week or even days (yes it happens).
Newborn clothes are specifically designed to fit infants from birth until they reach a certain size. Typically, newborn clothing tends to fit babies for the first few weeks of their lives.
During this time, babies grow rapidly and their bodies quickly outgrow these tiny outfits. It’s not uncommon for parents to find themselves swapping out newborn clothing for the next size up sooner than expected.
As your baby grows, you’ll notice subtle changes in their body shape, weight, and length. Their onesies and other clothes will start to be tighter or shorter.
This is the perfect time to transition to the next size of clothing. After the newborn stage, babies progress to 0-3 months or 3 month clothing.
Something else to consider when it comes to newborn clothing and the duration your baby will wear them is whether you have a premature baby. Preemie babies are a lot smaller than average. If you have a preemie you can expect your baby to wear newborn clothes on the longer side.
What Size Baby Do Newborn Clothes Fit? (Newborn Clothes Weight Range)
Generally newborn clothes fit a newborn baby from day one. This size of clothing is meant for babies weighing roughly 5-8 pounds.
When we look at the length of your baby, newborn clothes are designed to fit a baby up to 21.5 inches long. The size range will vary slightly depending on the type of newborn clothing, the brand, and the materials the clothes are made of.
However, it’s important to note that every baby is unique and may have different growth patterns. These factors will impact the duration newborn-sized garments are worn for each infant.
Do All Newborns Fit Into Newborn Clothes?
For the most part, yes, they do. If your baby is of average weight when born, he or she will fit into newborn clothing.
However, some babies are born a fair amount bigger than average. They may not be able to fit comfortably into newborn clothes. These babies will need to go a size up, to 0-3 months, right away.
Additionally, as mentioned previously, if you have a preemie baby then you may need to start in preemie clothes depending on your baby’s size. From there, as your baby grows he or she would eventually go into newborn clothes.
You can use newborn baby clothes for preemies depending on their size. Just keep in mind, the clothing will be very loose on them, but it gives them lots of room to grow as well.
For example, my twin girls were born at 35.5 weeks. They were 5 lb 12 oz and 5 lb 13 oz at birth. I was able to avoid having to spend money on preemie clothes.
They wore newborn clothes that were pretty loose fitting to start. My twins ended up spending a longer time in newborn clothes than a full term baby would.
The ideal situation is to make sure you have a few pieces of clothing in various sizes, just in case. You can always swap out items that are not used at the store for a bigger size.
Things That Effect How Long Babies Wear Newborn Clothes
There are a few things that effect how long babies wear newborn clothes. These need to be considered when you are purchasing items for your bundle of joy.
Understanding the factors that affect the duration of newborn clothing usage can assist parents in making informed decisions about purchasing and stocking their baby’s wardrobe. Below I have gathered information on some of the more common factors that you should be considering.
Size At Birth
Size at birth is one of the biggest factors to take into consideration. At your last OBGYN visit before your baby’s expected arrival, they will tell you how big they expect your baby to be when born. But do keep in mind this can differ greatly once your little one arrives.
If your baby is larger than expected and larger than the average newborn, you will need to have 0-3 months size clothing on hand because newborn attire will not be comfortable. If your baby is on the bigger side for a newborn (close to 8 pounds), your little one will most likely grow out of newborn attire within the first week.
For babies on the smaller end of the newborn size range (around 6 pounds), you will definitely need newborn clothes. Your little one will get at least a few weeks use out of them too.
Have you ever noticed how you purchase a pair of denims from one store in your size, and they fit perfectly. Then you visit another store, buy the same size and same style, but they are too small or too big? The same thing happens with kids clothes, especially baby clothes.
A newborn onesie from one store may fit your baby from day one, but a onesie bought elsewhere may not fit at all. If you find a clothing brand that fits well in the beginning, my advice is to stick with that brand for the first few months of your baby’s life.
How Fast They Grow
The next factor on our list is how fast your baby grows. We already know that all babies are different and they will grow differently too. It’s also important to keep in mind that newborns often initially lose weight after birth before they start gaining weight.
If your baby is growing a lot faster than average, then you will find that you may need to go up a size sooner than expected. A good rule of thumb is to have various sizes of clothing available and on hand. This way you are prepared when a growth spurt hits.
How Many Newborn Clothes Do I Need?
The amount of clothing you have for your newborn is really dependent on your child. Additionally, it is also about personal preference.
For instance, how often do you plan to do laundry? I will tell you I did laundry a lot more often than anticipated because baby clothes have a tendency to get very dirty (hello diaper blowouts and leaks).
As a guideline, I have provided a list for how many of each baby clothing item I recommend to have for your newborn:
- 6-8 onesies or bodysuits (short or long sleeve)
- 4-6 footed sleepers or pajamas
- 6-8 pairs of pants or leggings
- 3-4 baby hats
- 4-6 pairs of socks or booties
- 2 pairs of no-scratch mittens
You can add little dresses or rompers to this list as applicable. You will also want take into consideration climate and the time of year. If your baby is born on the cusp of a new season, you may want to have items to suit all types of weather.
Finally, remember you can always exchange any excess, unworn newborn clothes for a bigger size at the store where they were purchased. Just make sure you check the returns and refunds policy ahead of time.
Signs a Baby Is Outgrowing Newborn Clothes
You have a closet filled with newborn clothes and your baby is growing steadily. You may be wondering when it will be time to move on and go up a size.
Can you get just one more wear out of that gorgeous little newborn baby outfit? Maybe, but to help you make the decision, here are a few common signs that show your baby is outgrowing his or her clothes.
- The leg snaps pop open – this is a sure sign that a onesie is getting too small and restrictive
- You take off your baby’s pants or onesie, and there is a line where the elastic irritated the skin
- Shirts roll up over the belly
- When you push the sleeves up, it cuts off circulation
- Pants with feet no longer go over the diaper
- Pants do not reach the ankles any more
- Any kind of puckering or restriction
If you notice any of the above, you will want to start looking at packing away the newborn gear and bringing out the 0-3 months clothing instead.
The Best Newborn Clothes
There are so many different brands of baby and kids clothing available nowadays and it grows by the minute. Making an informed decision as to which is the best newborn clothes can become overwhelming.
You will want to take into consideration the material used and how sustainable the item is. But remember, the price tag does not always determine the longevity of the item. Here are a few of my favorite brands for newborn clothes and why I think they are great.
- Carter’s – offers a wide range of newborn essentials that strike the perfect balance between comfort and style
- Burt’s Bees Baby – dedicated to using organic cotton and natural materials, their baby clothing is super soft
- Garanimals (Walmart brand) – I was shocked to find out the Garanimals brand was actually Walmart, but I loved these baby clothes
Understanding how long babies wear newborn clothes and how many you will need can be tricky.
But the good news is, shopping for the clothing and seeing your bundle of joy in his or her new outfits is so satisfying. On average, babies typically wear newborn clothes for at least a few weeks.
You can use the guidelines provided to ensure you have enough newborn clothes. Keep an eye on how the clothes fit your baby, and go up a size as needed.
Having too many newborn clothing items is not necessarily a problem, you can always exchange them. It is a good idea to have a few items of baby clothing available in the next couple of sizes up.
Overall, just enjoy the experience of filling your little baby’s closet with adorable clothes, while also buying consciously.
Finally, before I sign off if you are currently pregnant you might be interested in the grabbing these FREE resources. Fill in the form below to get both a baby registry checklist and a pregnancy checklist categorized by trimester.
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