The Ultimate Guide to Buying Baby Clothing: How Many Clothes Does Your Baby Actually Need?

by Bailey Bouwman

Hey, new parents! Congratulations on your upcoming arrival! We know how exciting it is to prepare for your little one’s new arrival - and there’s something just easy and joyful about shopping for baby clothes.

 But with so many options out there, it can be tough to know how much clothing you actually need for your newborn - spoiler, you really don’t need much and I’d argue this list is a little intensive. That's why we've put together this guide to help you navigate the world of baby clothes and get started on feeling prepared for your new arrival.

Villervalla Newborn clothing is a favourite for their cohesive collection of coordinating basics from newborn pants to kimono style bodysuits, and matching accessories including bibs and blankets. This safari collection has been a favourite coming home outfit for Canadian babies. 

Building Your Baby's Wardrobe: Things to Consider

There are many ways to build a baby wardrobe - here's a few things we'd love you to consider as you decide what pieces you need and how you shop. Every family is different and for many of us, we don't learn how or what we want in our baby clothing collection until baby is here.


What to think about


How often do you plan to do laundry? Or do you have any limitations to accessing laundry?  This will impact how many outfits you'll need on hand. Remember more isn’t always better - but if you don’t have in house laundry maybe this means having a little more on hand.


How often do you plan to go out? When you do go out, do you need to dress up? For some of us, we plan on a few weeks at home to rest and heal, or perhaps you have a special event or other gathering to attend. These moments will influence if you need dressy pieces or not. 

Gifts & Hand-Me-Downs

Are you expecting to receive gifts or hand-me-downs from friends or family? This can help you determine how much clothing you need to purchase, or look for. Newborn clothing doesn’t get much use, and its often the bigger sizes that are harder to source. You might have boxes of great quality newborn clothing, but need sizes 6 months plus. 


How do you choose the right size for your baby? Remember that babies grow on all sorts of schedule. This isn’t something that’s easy to predict - you don’t usually know you’re having a premie and need premie clothing until it happens. Because of the challenges with predicting growth patterns, less is more. You can add pieces easily by shopping with your local baby shops, consignment stores, and connecting with friends and family as baby grows.


What's the climate like during the season in which your baby is born? This will impact the types of clothing you'll need to keep your baby comfortable - from fleece to summer hats. Think about the seasons that come next. We are noticing that climate forecasting isn’t as consistent as it used to be, but it can be helpful in gathering must-haves.

Sustainability Values

Are you interested in purchasing clothing made from organic or sustainable materials? Or perhaps you have a strong Fair Trade value statement - consider looking for brands that align with this, shopping second hand, and ensuring the long term durability of your baby’s wardrobe.

Skin Sensitivities

Do you have sensitive skin? Generally, baby skin is quite delicate and baby clothing is therefore made with soft cottons and fibres. You might look at your clothing options with this lens and choose textiles and designs that are less irritating and more breathable. 


How much are you comfortable spending on baby clothes? And is your budget realistic when you consider other values and experiences you want. Your budget can often dictate many of these other considerations - and your budget also can be a great reminder that you really need less. 


Are you able to find clothing that is easy to put on and take off? Consider options like snaps and zippers that make dressing your baby easier. This is especially important for parents with disabilities or limited mobility. You might prefer a double zipper, or hate snaps. These designs are easily found in many different products as such. 

Pro tip: Did you know that organic cotton clothing is not only better for the environment, but it's also better for your baby's delicate skin? At Nest & Sprout, we're passionate about providing sustainable and safe clothing options for your little one. We choose cotton over bamboo where possible for these reasons.  Check out our selection of organic cotton clothing and learn more about the benefits of choosing organic for your baby.



Things I Remember: At the last minute, I was gifted a box of hand me down clothing for my kids. This easily sustained us during the first few months. However, what was most appreciated was gifts of clothing for older ages and stages. These simple all-season basics like a size 2 Hoodie, T-shirt in 18 months, and lightweight jackets for toddlerhood are the things I desperately needed when I needed it. If you’re shopping for someone, consider how you can support them throughout their new parenting journey with clothing for the next stage of life. 


A Guide to the Must-Have Clothing Items for Your Baby

You want to make sure your baby is comfortable and dressed appropriately for the weather, but you also don't want to go overboard and buy too much. If this is your first time, and you're not sure what you're vibe is... Here's a quick list of the essential clothing items your baby will need:

  • 7 Bodysuits
  • 3-5 Pants
  • 4+ Sleepers, footies, or gowns 
  • 1-2 Hats
  • 7 Socks
  • 2-3 .Swaddles (sleepwear)
  • ... and maybe one outfit, that you're really proud of for if you go out, or come home from.

For some families, they’ll only use sleepers - where others might prefer the bodysuit and pant life. There’s a touch of seasonal lifestyle in this - for my first summer baby, he lived in short-sleeve bodysuits and loose cotton sleepers. My second, a winter/spring baby was more likely to be dressed in sleepers, bodysuits, and pants because it was consistently colder.

Bodysuits (Onesies): Seven is a good starting point

Bodysuits, onesies or diaper shirts (whatever you call them) are essential clothing items for newborns and infants. They are versatile, easy to put on and take off, and can be worn as a base layer when sleeping, during the winter months, or maybe just as is during the summer.

 This basics collection from Nest Designs features a simple 2 pack of organic cotton onesies. Perfect for everyday wear, layering, and matching with any outfit. 

Here are some benefits of bodysuits:

  • Comfortable: Bodysuits can be made of soft and breathable materials that won't irritate your baby's sensitive skin, and provide full torso coverage.
  • Easy to change: The snap closures on bodysuits and rompers make it easy to change your baby's diaper without having to completely undress them.
  • Versatile: Bodysuits can be worn as a base layer under other clothing or on their own as an outfit.
  • Stylish: There are many different styles and designs of bodysuits, from solid colors to patterns and prints.

Sizing considerations: brands typically offer newborn, 0-3 months, 3-6 months and usually stop around 18-24 months. Some of our European brands measure in cm based on the length of the child. While children grow fast, you don't want to size up too drastically, otherwise you'll get a poor fit that falls off the child.

Sometimes long torso babies will need to size up quicker than their weight or length; this can also be remedied with bodysuit extenders. 

If you are using cloth diapers, you may consider sizing up for a better fit and cloth diapering experience.

Material options: Bodysuits can be made of a variety of materials; including cotton, organic cotton, bamboo, TENCEL, and synthetic brands. The type of material used often influences the price point. 

Styles and designs:  Some onesies  have short sleeves, some have long sleeves, and some have no sleeves at all. Some are kimono style for easy dressing an undressing. Some have fun designs or patterns, while others are more simple and classic. 

Kimono Style Onesies - Nest Designs easy access bodysuits are available in basics series or decorative seasonal prints that are neutral and perfect for all babies. This is also common feature on Villervalla Newborn collection. Graphic baby bodysuits with cute sayings - this collection from Finn & Emma features different graphics for making a cute or cheeky statement.


Pants: Three to five pairs

Pants are another essential clothing item for babies; and arguably pretty boring. I would say most gift givers give onesies, but not baby pants, but you need pants in the winter! Even in the summer, because pants are the best way to protect from the sun and bugs. Be sure to add this simple two-pack of baby pants to your cart or registry. 

In the same idea, you can also get baby shorts. These are best suited for summer babies and not always available in sizes under 6 months. 

Here are some benefits of pants:

  • Comfortable: Pants made of soft and breathable materials won't irritate your baby's sensitive skin.
  • Versatile: Pants can be paired with a bodysuit for an easy outfit, or with a dressier top for special occasions.
  • Warmth: Pants provide extra warmth during colder months or in air-conditioned spaces.

Sizing considerations: When choosing pants, consider cloth diapering - you'll want a looser fitting pant.

Material options: Pants can be made of a variety of materials, from cotton to fleece to even denim for babies! You'll want to find something soft, stretchy, and with a waistband that doesn't dig into the child while still being easy to pull on and off. 

Styles and designs: There are many different styles and designs of pants to choose from, but perhaps one of the most popular choices for baby is a harem pant. This gives you room for a disposable or cloth diaper, while having that comfortable fit for moving babies. 

 This tapered pant from Villervalla is a fantastic legging choice for baby! available in a few different colours it has a comfortable waist, extended bum, and a nice fit!

Sleepers, Footies, or Gowns: Four is a good starting point

Four is good, but you might want 7-10. As an experienced mom, honestly don't think you can have too many sleepers... but maybe that's my personal leisure lifestyle.

Sleepers, footies, and gowns are essential clothing items for newborns, as they provide warmth and comfort during sleep and playtime. 

It's worth noting that not all 'sleepers' are sleep safe. We often use the terminology when referring to one-piece baby items, but rompers are day use items that don't meet Canada's fire hazard recommendations for sleep, and sleepers fall into a different category. 

 Here are some benefits of sleepers, footies, and gowns:

  • Comfortable: Sleepers, footies, and gowns are made of soft and cozy materials that won't irritate your baby's skin. They provide extra warmth during colder months or in air-conditioned spaces - sleepers paired with a onesie is a fantastic way to layer for sleep or outside time.
  • Easy access: Sleepers and gowns have easy access for diaper changes, which is important during those first few months when you'll be changing a lot of diapers. You'll want to look for snaps or a double zipper.
  • Versatile: Sleepers and gowns can be worn as pajamas or during the day, and can be layered with other clothing items for extra warmt

Sizing considerations: Sleepwear should be a tight and comfortable fit to mitigate burn and fire risk. Daywear can be looser. When purchasing sleepers for sleepwear stick to your size, instead of sizing up.

Sleepers without feet can be worn for longer periods of time than footed sleepers. They often have fold over cuffs to act as hand mitts and foot mitts for additional warmth. This is a popular design by many boutique sleeper brands.


Material options: Sleepers, footies, and gowns can be made of a variety of materials, from cotton to fleece to bamboo. There's a little of everything on the market to suit your needs. If you're looking for a bamboo sleeper consider the TENCEL from LouLou Lollipop, and if you want cotton sleepers than Parade Organics. Sleepwear selection is always changing. 

Styles and designs: There are many different styles and designs of sleepers, footies, and gowns to choose from. Some have snaps or zippers for easy access during diaper changes, while others have no closures at all. Some have fun patterns or designs, while others are more classic and simple. And some are fun daywear for leisure - including this adorable designs from Villervalla

Feet or No Feet Sleepers? Feet are amazing for warmth, but feet make it so easy to grow out of sleepers. 
More and more no feet sleepers are on the market with a rolled cuff. This is great for growth, while also easy Babywearing.


Hats: Two for warmth and sun protection

Hats are important for keeping your baby's head warm during colder months and protecting their delicate skin from the sun 

Hats are also great at doing those jobs during the odd season. a newborn hat is invaluable during the first few weeks to keep the warmth in baby - you might even be sent home one from the hospital.

Here are some benefits of hats:

  • Sun protection: Hats with wide brims or UPF protection can help shield your baby's face and neck from the sun's harmful rays.
  • Warmth: Hats made of warm materials like wool or fleece can help keep your baby's head warm and cozy during colder months.
  • Style: Hats are a fun and cute accessory that can add some personality to your baby's outfit.

Sizing considerations: Consider measuring your baby's head circumference and comparing it to the hat sizing chart to find the right fit. It can be hard to find small hats for premies and newborns.

Material options: Hats can be made of a variety of materials, from cotton to wool to polyester.

Styles and designs: There are many different styles and designs of hats to choose from, including beanies, bucket hats, and sun hats. Each hat has their own purpose.


Designed for your baby's ultimate comfort, this cap has simple neck ties and elastic at the back of the head, ensuring it stays secure and in place. There are no annoying adjusters or clips, making it perfect for newborns and infants sleeping on their backs.

Winter hats for small newborns are much harder to source than sun hats. The options for warm knits is small and we do try our best source them. Most Jan & Jul winter knit hats do come in small for babies. 


Socks: Seven pairs for each day of the week

Socks are a small but important item in your baby's wardrobe. Here are some benefits of socks:

  • Warmth: Socks can help keep your baby's feet warm and cozy, especially during colder months.
  • Protection: Socks can protect your baby's feet from scratches and keep them clean and dry.
  • Comfort: Socks made of soft, breathable materials can help keep your baby's feet comfortable.

Sizing considerations: When choosing socks, make sure they fit well without being too tight or too loose. Consider your baby's foot size and compare it to the sizing chart to find the right fit. The biggest sock challenge is them falling off, and while many people have tried to design amazing socks - I can't say with certainty your toddler doesn't have enough force to rip them off.

Material options: Socks can be made of a variety of materials, from cotton to wool to bamboo. Look for socks made of soft, breathable materials that are gentle on your baby's skin.

Styles and designs: There are many different styles and designs of socks to choose from, from basic white or black socks to fun, colorful patterns. Some socks like the collection from Q for Quinn are designed with flat lock seems and no annoying toe seams. While other socks like Olivia J are designed with fashion in mind with newborn knee highs, and stay on styles of both boys and girls.

Keep in mind that socks with non-slip soles can be helpful for babies who are starting to crawl or walk.

Swaddles or Sleep Sacks: Two to three for sleep time

Swaddles (or newborn sleep sacks) are an important sleep item to consider. They can be simple blankets or speciality sleep garments like the Love to Dream Swaddle Sack. Having some sort of swaddle material is a must. 

Here are some benefits of swaddles:

  • Comfort: Swaddling can help your baby feel secure and comforted, especially during the first few months of life.
  • Sleep: Swaddling can help promote better sleep by reducing the startle reflex and keeping your baby snug and secure.
  • Safety: Swaddling can help reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) by keeping your baby on their back and preventing them from rolling over.

The Swaddle UP is a favourite sleep solution for many new parents looking for a simple way to calm new babies. The Love To Dream Swaddle UP Original features a patented design that allows you to swaddle your baby with their arms up in this more natural position that new babies feel most comfortable in.

Sizing considerations: When choosing swaddles, consider the size and weight of your baby. Most swaddles come in sized variations and will have their own recommendations for sizing. You'll want to ensure a snug fit for sleep safety.

Material options: Swaddles can be made of a variety of materials, from muslin to bamboo to cotton. Look for swaddles made of soft, breathable materials that are gentle on your baby's skin. 

Styles and designs: From stretchy blankets made of TENCEL, to cotton blankets, and muslins there are a variety of different types of swaddling blankets. There is also a variety of different newborn sleep swaddles including arms up and arms out designs. Every Childs swaddling experience and needs are different and it can be difficult to guess ahead of times. 

Keep in mind that some swaddles come with Velcro or zippers to make swaddling easier, while others require a little more practice to get the perfect swaddle


This blanket is the perfect all-around, multipurpose baby gift. Use it as a swaddle, use it in the car, use it as a nursing cover, use it in whatever way you need.

Our customers find this stretchy blanket has the perfect amount of stretch to make the baby burrito when swaddling.  


Adjusting for climate: Consider seasonal variations

When building your baby's wardrobe, it's important to consider the climate and time of year they expect to be born, and then grow up in. Here in Prince George, BC we experience four distinct seasons, and a rather chilly spring/summer/fall.

You'll want to consider outerwear needs - though many babies are happy to be wrapped up in blankets in their car seats. Baby outerwear such as coats and sweaters can be challenging to find! This is where ensuring the right hat, socks, and body layers can help retain heat when needed. 

Depending on where you live and the season in which your baby is born, you may need to adjust the types of clothing you buy. Here are some tips for adjusting for climate:

  • Winter babies: If your baby is born during the colder months, you'll need to invest in warm clothing to keep them comfortable.This might include items like sweaters, winter coats or buntings, and slippers or booties to keep their feet warm. Mittens are also a must-have to keep their little hands toasty.

A one-piece fleece suit is a must-have for winter babies. Perfect for coming home from the hospital, and if the correct fit, these are often snug enough for the car seat, and for walks!  These typically come into stock in early Fall. 

The best bootie for fall and winter babies, the Stay-Put Cozy Booties from Jan & Jul keeps your little one’s feet cozy and secure as they ride in the stroller, baby carrier or just toddle around.

  • Summer babies: If your baby is born during the warmer months, you'll need to focus on clothing that is lightweight and breathable. A sun hat is a must-have to protect their delicate skin from the sun, and lightweight blankets can be used to provide shade when needed.
Many parents wait 4-6 months before introducing baby to the pool (when they can regulate their body temperatures better), summer babies can benefit from UV Clothing like swimwear for hotter days, or lounging at the lake.  The baby cap also features a perfectly sized soft brim and neck flap, comfortably shielding your baby's face, ears, and neck from the sun. 

Remember to keep in mind the specific climate in which you live. For example, if you live in a particularly hot or cold region, you may need to adjust your baby's wardrobe accordingly.

The fun thing over the years has been the unpredictability of weather patterns, and you might find yourself looking for things when they aren't in season.

Pro tip: if you're having a January/February baby don't delay in purchasing winter gear when it comes in the early Fall. Many retailers will sell out of stock during the months' up to christmas, and it can be a scramble to find the right products during the early part of the year as retailers start to shift into spring/summer fashions. 

How to Dress Your Little One in Style for Special Occasions

Dressy clothes and the coming home outfit are special occasion outfits for new parents and their newborn babies. These outfits may not be the most practical, but it's still important to look for comfortable styles you'll use for the months ahead.

For dressy occasions, we recommend searching for second-hand products to find a more unique collection of options. If shopping new, consider the softness of the material as it might fit a young floppy child wearing a diaper. 

Note: overalls on new babies are cute but incredibly impractical as the straps always get up in their face. Consider a dungarees or soft romper instead. Dresses are cute, but if there's too much tulle it can be difficult to hold them or place them in a car seat. 

The coming home outfit is another important occasion that new parents often plan for. This is the outfit that your baby will wear when leaving the hospital and going home for the first time. Many parents choose to make this outfit extra special by selecting something that is personalized or has sentimental value.

Tips for Buying Baby Clothes

When it comes to buying baby clothes, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Sizing considerations: As mentioned earlier, sizing can be tricky when it comes to baby clothes. Keep in mind that sizes can vary from brand to brand, so it's a good idea to check the size charts before making a purchase. Sometimes you'll be able to skip sizes based on clothing and size charts. Don't purchase too many newborn outfits, spread your size selection out amongst products. 
  2. Material choices: Choosing the right material is crucial when it comes to baby clothes. Look for materials that are soft, breathable, and gentle on your baby's delicate skin. Organic cotton is a great choice, as it's free from harmful chemicals and pesticides.
  3. Safety features to look for: When buying baby clothes, safety should always be a top priority. Look for clothing that is flame-retardant, has no small buttons or embellishments that could be a choking hazard, and has no long ties or ribbons that could become wrapped around your baby's neck. These are things we look for when sourcing products, but not all products are right for all scenarios.
  4. Organic and sustainable options: If you're concerned about the environmental impact of your baby's clothing, look for organic and sustainable options. These clothes are made from eco-friendly materials and produced using sustainable and ethical manufacturing practices.
  5. Gender-neutral options: If you're not finding out the gender of your baby or simply want to avoid gender stereotypes, consider gender-neutral clothing options. We love Villervalla and Nest Designs for their commitment to creating kids for kids that can be worn by all genders and all kids. 
  6. Secondhand options: Buying secondhand is not only budget-friendly, but it's also an eco-friendly option. Look for gently used baby clothes at consignment stores, thrift shops, and online marketplaces.

At Nest & Sprout, we prioritize sustainability and offer a wide range of organic and sustainable baby and kid clothing options. 

Tips for Caring for Baby Clothes: Keep Your Baby’s Clothes in Good Condition

As a new parent, it's essential to keep your baby's clothes clean and in good condition. But with all the diaper changes, spit-ups, and messy meals, it can be a challenge to keep up. Here are some tips for caring for your baby's clothes and extending their life.

  1. Washing instructions: Every fabric and material requires different washing instructions, so it's important to read the care labels and follow them closely. When in doubt, stick to cold water and hang to dry - this will be beneficial to both your energy bill and clothing. 
  2. Stain removal tips: Babies are messy, and their clothes are bound to get stained. Parents can use gentle, baby-safe stain removers or natural remedies like the sunshine to remove and lessen stains. 
  3. Storage tips: Store baby clothes in a clean, dry place, and avoid storing them in plastic bags or containers, as this can trap moisture and lead to mold and mildew growth. 
  4. When to replace baby clothes: As babies grow and develop, they outgrow their clothes quickly. It's important to check baby clothes regularly to see if they still fit well and are in good condition. 
  5. Donating or selling gently used baby clothes: Consider donating or selling your gently used baby clothes to help reduce waste and support other families in need.

Final Thoughts and Advice for New Parents:

We understand how overwhelming the task of finding clothes for baby can be - once you start thinking about it, it's like holy shit that's a lot of clothing we need.

But you could keep it as simple as 5 sleepers and one hat. Add in a few bodysuits or pants, and you've got everything you need. 

Adding a drool bib can help reduce the number of clothing changes throughout the day! 

As your baby grows, versatility becomes increasingly important - that's why we carry a collection of options from kimono style onesies to standard onesies, or footed versus non footed sleepers. As our collection of baby clothing expands for Northern BC, we continue to bring you more options to find the right styles and clothing designs for your growing family.  



At Nest & Sprout, we believe in providing high-quality, safe, and sustainable clothing options for your baby; we carry brands like Villervalla, Piccalilly, Toby Tiger, LouLou Lollipop, and Jan & Jul. We focus on organic cotton clothing for its sustainability and skin sensitivities, while searching for products that meet your needs as a Northern BC family in Prince George, BC - Not local to us, we ship across the country!

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