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Most first time parent wonders how much clothes to buy? and What to buy? before the arrival of their newborn. I’m no different. I ask all my experienced friends, relatives and colleagues. Search and read every article I can find online.

So, I thought I’ll share with you all my experience. Before I buy any clothes for baby R, I always keep these 5 points in mind. Even till today, I still do.

  • Newborn / Toddler grow very fast!
  • Easy to wear and remove
  • Easy to wash and dry
  • Soft, Stretchy and Simple
  • Never buy Full price whenever possible


  • Newborn / Toddler grow very fast!

Seriously, they grow very very fast, especially in the first 12 months. One minute they look like they are drowning in the clothes, the next thing you know, it’s too small.

Bear in mind that you will tend to receive quite a fair bit of clothing as gift from friends / family. So, don’t get crazy buying every piece of cute and adorable clothing out there. (I know it’s hard to resist…I fail many times myself.)

The way I try to limit my purchase is to keep a tab on how much clothes baby R has at any one time. All her clothes are separated into category and whenever any clothes don’t fit anymore, I remove them into a separate basket. Once the basket is full, I vacuumed pack them accordingly. That way, all the packs are kept away accordingly to size. This way, I get to see immediately if any of the piles are getting lower, which means it’s time to re-stock.

  • Easy to wear and remove

Newborn are extreme fragile and soft. Most of their body are quite limp. So, if you are a first time parent handling them, it is really a scary experience to cloth them. Picture this scenario, limp baby crying with poo all over them and while halfway trying to clean up, the baby peed. (YES. It happens)

Being easy to wear does not means it is easy to remove (E.g. Rompers which only snap at the bottom)

These are BAD for me. When the baby poo and leak out… Do you really want to remove it over their head?! If you really like rompers button bottom, please make sure it has enveloped neckline. (these are the foldovers you see at the shoulders. If you push them apart, you can then slip the rompers downwards over their body. Or, you get rompers which can easily be open in the middle (mostly are style like a wrapover type)


Example of Enveloped Neckline – From Mothercare

In fact, when baby R was a newborn, she only wear FRONT button down shirt (Yes- FRONT button down is important. It’s really hard to button babies on the back and I seriously think it’s not comfortable for them).

I’ve seen many baby clothes with back zipper and I seriously think it is really uncomfortable for the poor wee thing since they spend most of their time lying down on their back.

I dressed baby R in Long sleeves shirt for night time and short sleeves in the noon. No pants. Diaper only. Why?

Because Asian loves to swaddle the babies up really well. The believe is that the baby will not grow up to be well behave?! RIGHT?! But I like swaddling baby R because she seems to sleep better. Baby R surprisingly still loves to be swaddle even at 5-6 months old. In the afternoon, we just drape the swaddle blanket to cover her half body (bottom half).

It is always a good idea to keep your baby warm even though at times you might think it is very uncomfortable for the baby. Since the baby is already well bundled, it is pointless to put on pants since she’s wearing diaper. On top of that, newborn tends to poo and pee almost every 2-3 hours, which requires the constant need to take off and put on their pants.

After baby R turn 3-4 months, I prefer to buy the semi-jumpsuits (it’s like jumpsuit without the long pants and long sleeves) which opens up right in the middle down for noon time. And night time is 2 piece (long sleeve shirt and long pants). This way, if you REALLY need to change the pants at night, you only need to remove the pants without disturbing the upper torso.


This is typically how Baby R is dressed at night. She’s wearing a WrapOver Longsleeve bodysuit and Long pants from H&M, Beanie and Mitten from Mothercare

I only start putting on the full jumpsuit on her at night after she’s 6 months old. That was when swaddling no longer work and she roll all over the place in her cot. I also start her on wearing her sleeping bag then.

  • Easy to wash and dry

Newborn and babies goes thru clothes like crazy. I recall on certain days, baby R actually had to be changed like 4-5 times. And then, there are the mittens, booties, bibs, handkerchief / napkins, beanie and swaddle.

Hence, it is essential to check that clothes are machine washable / and quick to dry. That way, you can minimise the quantity you need to buy. I once bought a really cute outfit and turns out certain “soft” area takes FOREVER to dry due to the padding.

Some clothes are so fragile, it needs to be hand washed, dry flat and under shade. AVOID ‘em unless you REALLY truly love it.

  • Soft, Stretchy and Simple

Newborn skins are very delicate. So, try to get textile which are soft. I prefer cotton or bamboo. And you will need to hold onto your baby quite often (especially if you are breastfeeding), so you will also benefit hugging onto something soft! ;p

I love anything which has stretch for the babies. It’s so much easier to manoeuvre while trying to put on the baby’s cloth with minimal gymnastic movements on the wee thing. Clothes which stretch also fit better for a longer time (longer means 2-3months in baby world). I kid you not; they can outgrow their clothes in 2 weeks!!! Especially the newborn stage (first 1-2 months).

Keep the clothing simple. No ribbons sticking out here and there or anything detachable. It’s really dangerous. Be really careful especially on the mittens you buy. The baby loves putting their fist into their mouth and chewing it, making it wet and slimy within 2-3 hours. I had to keep changing them to make sure her tiny finger stays fresh.

  • Never buy Full price whenever possible

There’s always surprisingly good deals for baby clothes everywhere all the time. Some of the brands I really love (e.g. Mothercare, Poney, H&M and etc) have at least 2-3 times sales every year. It is essential to plan your purchase and buy periodically.

Whenever I get notice of a good sale, I’ll always raid baby R’s cupboard. Then, I’ll make a list of items and how many pieces I need. That way, I can head out to the sales making informed purchase. (Of course you will have impulse buying… but, at least you will control that knowing what are the thing the baby needs and what are the thing “you” think the baby need. LOL)

Always remember that IF you don’t find any good deal this round, there’s always next round.


For those of you who would like a list, below are just some suggestions of what I think are essential (bear in mind that I stay in a tropical Asian country and the baby laundry is done on DAILY basis)


Newborn (0-2 months)

4 x Long sleeve shirt

6 x short sleeve shirt

4 x swaddle blanket

6 sets of mittens

4 sets booties / baby socks

4 x beanie (very important to keep baby’s head warm)

10~15 pcs of napkin / handkerchief (get those big soft thin layer types – you go thru em like crazy)


Baby (3-6 months) – Additional from the Newborn sets

4 sets of 2 pcs Pyjamas (long sleeve shirt & long sleeve pants)

3 x short sleeve shirt

3 x pants (short / long depend on you)

4 x rompers / semi jumpsuit

4 bibs

** 3-4 sets of really cute outfit since you will be bringing your little one out for show and tell more during this stage (You will also need a good BIG diaper bag now)


Have fun shopping !