“How should I dress my newborn?” a question we get asked time and time again here at Little Mash - and with the endless options available this can understandably be an overwhelming task for a lot of new parents. So if this is you, rest assured that you are not alone and we are here to help.
Before we dive in to the "you need this, this and this" it is important to first consider the following:
Babies cannot regulate their own temperature and I have heard Renata say more than once that babies must wear wool. Merino wool is a perfect option for newborns, not only is it soft and cosy but it is breathable and absorbs body moisture meaning it stays warm even when it is wet - magic!
Some of the best advice I received during my pregnancy was to dress babies in things you genuinely love. This is especially important on the hard days - it makes them extra cute and weirdly easier to parent (a useful tip for toddlers and big kids too). I know it sounds silly but it really works. With this in mind I recommend you purchase items that fit within a specific colour scheme or aesthetic and ditch everything else. Yes that includes the pair of shorts your mums-friends-nanas-cousin gave you (you know the ones). There really is no point in holding on to anything that will be difficult to style - you won’t reach for it, trust me.
Practicality is also key. Gowns are great in those first days & weeks. Suits with zips too. No one wants to do 12 domes at 2am. You'll need less newborn sized items than you think, they grow FAST. 0-3M sizing will serve you well.
To give you an idea of what your baby will actually use I have included a checklist below. Be sure to stocktake regularly to avoid over buying and ensure your pieces work well together. Snap a photo on your phone of the items you already have before a shopping trip - if you're anything like me you’ll have those teeny tiny clothes out of their drawers just to stare at anyway (and to wonder if something could really be that small), easy peasy!
Your Newborn Checklist;
- 6-10 bodysuits and singlet bodysuits both cotton and woollen - depending on the time of year and temperatures where you live
- 3-4 kimono wrap bodysuits and jackets - the kimono style makes dressing easy as you don't have to pull it over baby's head
- 3-4 pairs of drawstring pants or footed rompers - drawstring pants last longer as the folded cuff extends to give extra length, and footed rompers ensure cosy toes at all times
- 1 vest, cotton or woollen - perfect as a soft, flexible outer layer to keep baby's chest and back warm
- 1 cardigan, cotton or woollen - easy to get on and off with buttons down the front, super soft, keeping baby cosy
- 2 hats, cotton or woollen - baby's head is so vulnerable to the elements, a hat is essential to prevent heat loss
- 2 scratch mittens - perfect to stop babies scratching their face
- 1 pair of booties - with elastic or ties to keep them on and those toes cosy
- 2-3 pairs of socks - lovely long socks designed to sit comfortably under baby's knee keeping legs and feet warm.
*This checklist was taken from the Nature Baby journal - the original article can be found here & photo credit to Ayse Hay
And while we're here, I also suggest you choose your baby's first outfit ahead of time. Pack it separately in your hospital bag and label it clearly. I have vivid memories of my midwife pulling out random onesies and asking me what I wanted her to use - I was still on the gas and mumbled "whatever". Long story short I was so disappointed in my daughters outfit I burst in to tears (thank you, hormones).