Bodysuits or onesies are the quintessential baby garment item. They are ideal for dressing any newly hatched little who has never been subjected to clothing before. Looking for that perfect base layer for the first year or two of life? This is it.
Why? It’s a shirt. It’s a complete outfit. It’s whatever you want it to be. Baby bodysuits are must-haves for your newborn’s wardrobe and they’re also a go-to baby shower gift. That being said, it’s a good idea to have a variety of sizes on hand, so you can keep pace with your quickly growing munchkin. Plus, with infants going through as many as four or five clean ones in a day (hello, spit-up and blowouts), you can practically never have enough.
We think a more accurate question would be, when shouldn’t I use a baby bodysuit?! They are universally, pants-down the best starting point to any baby outfit. For all the reasons mentioned below about their advantages, you just cannot go wrong.
Regardless of whether you’re opting for solid colours or outrageous prints (yay, that’s clearly where our vote goes!) for mixing and matching, make sure to find ones with that handy envelope-style neckline.
What’s that, you ask? Those cute little flaps on the shoulders actually serve a vital purpose. Peep this: after a diaper leak or massive blowout (not the kind that makes you feel like you just stepped out of a salon), they allow you to pull the bodysuit down over baby’s body and legs instead of up over the head for a more, er, sanitary outfit change.
Don’t get us wrong, it’s still going to be a massive clean-up operation and mildly traumatizing for the first-time parent, but these practical envelope necklines make the job less stressful and more manageable. Believe us.
These styles also stay put on those squirmy babes and protect their back and belly, especially that umbilical cord stump, so they’re covered and protected at all times. The crotch snaps are also essential for making speedy and (relatively) smooth diaper changes without having to disrobe your little from head-to-toe. You can get’em cleaned up and they won’t get chilly in the process.
A long-sleeve kimono or wrap-style bodysuit is also a great choice. These snap across the front, so they don’t need to be pulled over your little one’s head. Easy-peasy.
As mentioned earlier, you almost can’t have too many baby bodysuits on hand. Taking into account the sheer quantity of mishaps, accidents and just the colossal amount of drool these little humans generate, you can guarantee you’ll be changing your little one multiple times per day (sorry!). So, a steady rotation of bodysuits is essential.
Babies are notoriously bad houseguests.They eat, the spit up. They eat, they poop. And we mean well beyond what you would think is humanly possible for something that tiny. Once they begin teething, look out - they become veritable drool factories, cranking out the spit like it’s their job. Oh, and sweat too. Babies sometimes get sweaty in their sleep (ours did), so we would regularly change our son after nap because his back would be all wet. They are also expert at knocking things over, so spills come with the territory...you get the point. Babies exist to get soiled.
All this to say, you can’t really overdo it in the bodysuit category. Besides the messes, they are the classic base layer piece for any outfit, any season. Incredibly versatile and with all the features you need, they become the simplest uniform for at least the first year of life but, often, even well beyond.
We remember what a sad day it was when we transitioned our son out of bodysuits, rompers and footies to shorts, pants and tees when he was nearing two years. It was a milestone for sure, but, wow, did it feel like those years passed by in an instant. Enjoy the baby bodysuit years - they are fleeting!
Ahhh, we have to laugh at this question because it’s truly the other way around. Your baby will signal when it’s time to change their outfit. As per the aforementioned points: spit-up, blowouts, drool, sweat and spills, it would be a modern-day miracle if you could go through a full day without having to change baby’s outfit at least once.
If you somehow manage to get through an entire day mess-free, mark your calendar and celebrate that anniversary for the rest of your life. Then consider how often you change your own clothes. A good rule of thumb is daily and, with your babe, you might want to dress them in something different for naps or for bedtime than what they were wearing all day, depending on how warm or chilly it is, and also taking into account comfort.
Next time you’re dealing with a leaky diaper situation, we recommend trying these tips for removing icky stains from baby’s clothes:
- Sunshine! Just wash’em and throw’em out in the sun. It can be a pretty effective stain remover. Of course, if you need something more intense, see below…
- Moms everywhere swear by OxiClean powder for all kinds of stains. It comes in a bottle or a spray because sometimes it’s easier to spritz and rub.
- Resolve is another fan favourite. Just spray and let sit. You can also add OxiClean or Borax to the mix and the results are pretty stellar.
- Last but not least is Goop. Yes, Goop. The one from the automotive section. If it can take greasy oil stains out in a cinch, it should be no match for your baby’s mess!
All that being said, we think it’s important to choose a liquid detergent when talking about washing your babe’s bits and bobs, as it tends to rinse more thoroughly, especially if you have hard water. Powders are more likely to leave flakes on clothing that can irritate baby’s skin and to strip flame-retardants from clothes. If your babe’s skin does seem irritated or she seems itchy, try a detergent that’s free of dyes and fragrances (this still doesn’t necessarily need to be baby-specific). If you still notice a reaction, try rinsing the clothing twice or use a baby detergent until she is at least a year old. Allergies to fragrances in laundry cleaners are rare, but they do occur occasionally, so unless you have a specific concern, whatever detergent you are using for the rest of your family is just dandy.
Good question. Since babies come in all shapes and sizes, it can be a challenge to size according to traditional measurements like chest, waist, hip and length. Typically, what you’ll find is sizing based on age and sometimes cross-referenced against weight, which is also how we do things.
Premature or “preemie” baby clothing is marked as PM and newborn clothing is marked as NB. Infant clothing is indicated by month, like 0-3M; toddler clothing is marked by age, like 2T for two-year-olds). However, there are some hiccups with these conventions. Ask any seasoned parent and they’ll probably tell you that their baby’s clothing didn’t perfectly match his or her age. Maybe they wore newborn clothing well into their third month or maybe they were already in 3-6M at 9 weeks old.
For this reason, it’s important that you pay close attention to those other factors - baby’s height and weight. When purchasing new baby clothes after baby is born, reference our size chart and buy the size that corresponds to baby’s weight, rather than their age. The fact is that babies grow at their own pace, so you’ll get a much more accurate fit when you go off your babe’s size, not their age.
A comfy, cozy baby is a happy baby, so we don’t need to tell how important the right fit is! Make sure that you pick baby clothes and bodysuits that are snug but not tight—especially around the neckline and leg openings—so, baby doesn’t get irritated throughout the day. When your bundle becomes more and more mobile, you’ll want clothes that don’t restrict their range of motion when they’re crawling, dancing and, eventually, running!
Here are some pretty solid guidelines to go by:
- Eyeball it: If you’re in an actual brick-and-mortar store, sometimes it’s better to go by the look of the size than the actual size. Some brands do better than others at accuracy, and some clothes shrink or stretch more as they are worn and washed.
- Sort by length: sort by length and not by what the tag says, especially if you’re faced with multiple brands and hand-me-downs.
- Get familiar with what sizes mean: anything labeled by a specific month, instead of a month range, will fit on the smaller side. For example, 3 M versus 3-6 M.
- Some brands run small or large: this is something you’ll discover pretty quickly, by talking to other mamas or checking out mama message boards. We like to think we hit that sweet spot but, honestly, it all depends on what brands you’re used to and most familiar with.
These styles are for absolutely everyone! Boy, girl, lil monkey, wee peanut, whatever it is you have - it’s the ultimate gender-neutral style for your tiny human. At this stage of life and every stage, your child’s gender has nothing to do with the clothes they wear. It starts off with being about comfort, function and ease of changing and then shifts to fit preferences and personal style, so have fun with it!
It doesn’t get much cuter than teeny tiny baby clothes (insert AWWWWwwwww) but you’ll want to pick out practical baby things that will keep that newborn comfy and cozy.
When it comes to buying for your own sweet babe or gifting to a friend or family member, here’s a list of baby must-haves:
- 4-8 onesies (envelope neckline at the shoulders and snaps at the crotch)
- 4-8 shirts (kimono or wrap-style with snaps or envelope folds at the shoulders)
- 4-8 footies (footies can be a great option)
- 4-8 one-piece pajamas with our without footies
- 1-3 rompers or other dress-up outfits
- 1-3 sweaters/cardigans or jackets (front buttoned)
- 4-7 socks or booties (shoes are unnecessary until baby starts walking)
- 1-3 newborn hats (broad-brimmed for a summer baby or soft cap beanie that covers ears for a winter baby)
- No-scratch mittens, which can also be found on many full-sleeve rompers and footies
- 2 wearable blankets for winter
- A bunting bag or fleece suit for the winter
- Lightweight and heavy stroller blankets
- Gentle laundry detergent
We know, it’s a lot, but you’ll find this list offers a hoard of mixing and matching options and can take you and your baby through all four seasons seamlessly.