It is lots of fun shopping for new baby outfits, especially if it's your first baby. But there is no point in spending lots of money on cute little outfits for your newborn if you can't afford it.
But if it's going to be your baby's first ever Christmas, why not celebrate it with a gorgeous personalised 1st Christmas bodysuit, to make this special milestone even more special?
In the early weeks, your baby's clothes will spend a lot of time in the wash and get stubborn stains. Also, babies grow fast and you will need to buy larger sized clothing before you know it.
You'll have to do several outfit changes each day due to unexpected milk vomit and leaky nappies. It's easier to dress your baby in simple vests and sleepsuits. Babies don't care what they wear (there's plenty of time for that when they're older). They just want to be warm and clean.
Also bear in mind that clothes are a popular newborn baby gift idea. You may well find you get given lots of lovely day outfits, perhaps even enough to see you through the first year. So if you don't have money to waste, stick to buying the basics.
Here are the essential items of clothing you need for your baby's arrival:
Sleepsuits are long-sleeved suits with enclosed feet. They have poppers at the front, legs and crotch, and are easy to open for all those nappy changes.
Sleepsuits are comfortable to wear both day and night, and during nap times. Look for sleepsuits with scratch mitts at the ends of the sleeves. You can fold these over to prevent your baby scratching at his face.
You will need about ten sleepsuits, maybe more depending on how often you intend to do laundry.
Bodysuits are legless underwear for wearing underneath sleepsuits or other day clothes. They can be short-sleeved, long-sleeved or sleeveless depending on the weather. Poppers fasten at the crotch for easy nappy changing.
Bodysuits with poppers at the crotch do not ride up underneath baby's outer clothes. They also help to keep the nappy in place and contain random poo explosions.
Look for bodysuits with envelope neck openings. These are easy to slip on and off over your baby's head with minimal fuss. They can also roll down, which is handy if a nappy leaks upwards or out the sides. You don't have to pull the soiled vest over your baby's head or resort to cutting it off and throwing it out.
You will need about ten bodysuits.
You'll need a couple of soft, lightweight wool or cotton cardigans to keep your baby warm. Choose a close knit pattern to prevent his fingers and toes getting caught in the material.
If you know someone who can knit, why not ask them if they would like to knit something? Close knitted patterns are best for safety.
Remember, several light layers of clothing are better than one heavy layer. As a general rule, your baby needs one more layer of clothing than you do.
If you dress your newborn in sleepsuits, or if the weather is warm, you'll find you have little need for socks. When you start dressing your baby in 'proper' day clothes you might need to buy socks. But you may have difficulty keeping socks staying put on your baby's little feet.
On another note related to footwear, tiny shoes look cute and irresistible. But they are completely unnecessary until your child is walking.
Some babies scratch their faces, leaving red marks and even drawing blood. Scratch mitts are a solution but they don't stay on well and have a tendency to go missing because they are so small.
Sleepsuits with integral scratch mitts are useful for scratchy babies.
For a winter baby who will be outside in cold weather, a one-piece snowsuit is ideal. Otherwise a warm cardigan, hooded jacket and blankets will suffice depending on temperature.
Your baby doesn't need to wear a hat at home. Put a knitted hat on his head if it is cold outside, or a brimmed cotton sun hat on warm summer days.
Generally, newborn clothes are premature, tiny baby, newborn/first size or 0-3 months. Unfortunately, you will not know the exact size that is right for your baby until he is born.
Clothes sized 0-3 months will swamp a baby born around the 6lb mark. Tiny baby clothes will be too small for an 8lb baby and will never get worn.
Buying clothes in newborn size or in the 0-3 months age range is a safe bet. If you have a tiny baby you may have to get some smaller clothes at the last minute, but he will grow into the larger ones.