From Baby Sleepsuits To Dresses: A New Parent's Guide To Newborn Fashion Essentials

The birth of your first child is getting closer, and becoming a parent will no longer be a dream but a beautiful reality. Congratulations! There’s no better feeling in the world than welcoming your bundle of joy into your life. 

When your newborn arrives, one of the most important areas you want to focus on is their clothing needs. From baby sleepsuits for them to comfortably snooze into mittens and socks for extra protection, we understand there’s plenty to consider here, but you don’t have to be worried. We’ve put together a clothing and fashion essentials guide so you can lean on us whenever you need some help.

Baby fashion tips from head to toe 

There are so many different items of clothing out there available for babies these days that it can be a little confusing exactly what’s needed. And considering the fact that newborns aren’t able to regulate their own temperatures, it becomes clear how important it is to choose the right items.

Here is a list of the essentials to include in your newborn’s clothing closet:

1. Baby sleepsuits

Baby sleepsuit for newborn

The baby sleepsuit is one of the main clothing essentials for any newborn. For good reasons, your little one will be clad in one most of the time. They keep your baby warm and cosy without overheating them while they are asleep. It also allows for plenty of movement when you’re playing cuddles with them on the bed. These come with a popper-buttoned design right to their bottoms, making dressing and nappy change a breeze. With many colours and patterns to choose from, such as our Mothercare selections, you’d be spoilt for choice, and we can completely understand why!

2. Swaddles

A swaddled newborn baby sleeping in a crib

A good night’s sleep doesn’t just stop at the baby sleepsuits. The next on your list to stock up your nursery with is the swaddle. Swaddling your baby while they are asleep has many benefits. For example, you can protect them against their natural startle reflex. In addition, securing their hands ensures they don’t unknowingly scratch themselves. The swaddle also keeps your baby on their back while they are asleep, which is important to prevent them from moving about too much, which could otherwise hurt their neck and cause breathing difficulties.

When selecting swaddles, you may consider those made from 100% cotton muslin, as they ensure breathability and reduce any risk of your baby overheating. They also come in various sizes, so you’d be able to find one you can wrap your little one in. Alternatively, you may also purchase swaddles designed for easy fit. For example, the Love To Dream Swaddle comes with unique patented wings that allow for natural arms up position for soothing sleep without facilitating movements. There’s also a twin zipper for quick nappy changes. It offers a snug fit without the loose layers from the traditional swaddles that could kick off during sleep, making it the perfect option for parents such as yourself who’re just getting used to caring for a newborn.

3. Baby bodysuits

Folded blue and pink baby bodysuits clothing.

With Malaysia’s tropical weather, having your baby in a sleepsuit and further swaddled up may cause them to feel too warm and, therefore, uncomfortable. Well, here comes baby bodysuits – or onesies – to your rescue! Many of these come with a stretchable envelope neck design, which makes it easy to pull it up over your baby’s head and even down past their feet. And with convenient snaps and closures, there’s no hassle when changing their nappies too.

These bodysuits are also useful during tummy time; they won’t ride up as your baby wiggles around on the mattress. And if you’re taking them out in the stroller and want their legs covered up, just put on a pair of leggings, and you’re sorted!

5. Tops & bottoms

Baby tops and bottoms clothing hanging on the rope

Apart from the bodysuits, you can also purchase a couple of t-shirts so you’d have some options to switch between. Baby t-shirts typically come with proper fastenings at the shoulder so putting them on and taking them off is less of a struggle. Beyond their functionality, you can rely on them if you’re looking for some comfortable yet stylish outdoor wear to dress your baby in. Pair any t-shirts with matching baby shorts or trousers. For your baby girl, a cute skirt is all you need to doll them up!

6. Baby dresses

A baby girl summer dress

We mentioned skirts, so how could we not share more about dresses? Perfect for outdoor activities or simply to style your little one up for a home gathering, baby dresses are adorable must-haves. You won’t need to worry about putting these on your baby girl, either. Baby dresses are always designed with breathable fabrics and functional features to make dressing convenient for the parent. For example, you can find dresses made from stay-cool technology, which wicks sweat away from the skin and onto the fabric itself, which helps in reducing odour and keeping the skin dry. Popper fastening at the back and softly bound neck with taped seam mean your baby stays comfortable when dressing and removing. 

7. Mittens & socks

Mitten and socks for newborn baby

As we shared earlier, it’s important that your baby keeps their hands away from their face so they don’t scratch themselves. When your little one is not swaddled up, such as when you have them in your arms for some nice cooing while they’re awake, cover their cute palms with some mittens for added protection. If they are in a bodysuit, t-shirt or dress, it’ll be helpful to cover their feet with socks too, so they don’t end up scratching either of their legs. 

8. Jackets & cardigans

Baby cardigans for cold weather

Having a couple of jackets or cardigans can be handy, especially during the rainy weather or when your baby is in an air-conditioned environment. In such cooler conditions, the sleepsuits, swaddle, or bodysuits may not be enough to keep them warm. Putting on an extra layer of clothing can help ensure their body temperature stays at the optimal level and reduce the risk of them falling sick. These will also go great with any baby dress or a t-shirt and pants combination.

How to dress your baby properly and with minimal fuss

When it’s time to dress your baby up, whether for a nap or a stroller ride down the street, consider these tips for a hassle-free experience: 

  • Set up the room so it’s warm and the clothes are laid out and ready to go
  • Place your baby gently on a soft surface such as their cot bed 
  • Give them a raspberry on their tummy (optional, but not really)
  • Stretch out the clothing a little, so it fits easily over their head and limbs
  • For tops:
      1. Carefully guide your baby’s head through the neck hole
      2. Guide bub’s arms through the sleeves
  • For bottoms:
      1. Bring both legs through at the same time
      2. Gently shimmy up over their nappy
  • For bodysuits/sleepsuits:
    1. Unzip or unbutton the suit and lay bub on top
    2. Bring each arm and leg through the holes one at a time
    3. Secure the buttons or zip

Our list above is customised to newborn clothing and fashion essentials. Once your baby grows, it’ll be ready for more activities. For example, when they turn 6 months old, you can bring them to the pool so that a supportive baby swimsuit will be necessary. Your baby girl may also grow out their hair, so a hairband matching their dress will be lovely. Once your baby’s head has developed further, you can also pop on a cap to protect them from the sun when they’re out. A pair of sunglasses will be an excellent choice too. And let’s not forget that once your baby starts to walk, you can begin a collection of baby shoes in captivating designs for both girls and boys.

When it comes to purchasing essentials for your baby, there are many items to consider, but you don’t have to think about all these at once. Make incremental changes to your baby’s wardrobe every few months as they grow, and you’ll be well in control of what your little one needs. 

And, we’re always here to lend a helping hand – you don’t have to feel you’re alone!

FAQs about baby fashion and clothing

1. How should I wash my newborn’s clothes?

While it’s absolutely fine to wash bub’s clothing with your own, you should avoid fabric softeners and stronger detergents. Look for detergents which are labelled as either sensitive or gentle.

2. What are the best fabrics for baby clothing?

At the end of the day, you want bub to be as comfortable as possible. That means you should be on the lookout for garments that are soft - and straightforward to wash. Stretchy materials can be good for bodysuits and sleepsuits, and zips at the front make changing a breeze. 

Cotton is a great material as it’s nice and breathable, soft against their skin and easy to clean. 

3. How many changes of clothes should I buy?

For parents of a newborn baby, you’ll find out very quickly that - for a number of reasons - you go through a lot of clothes. That means it’s a good idea to have multiples of some items.

We suggest getting

  • 7 bodysuits (sleeve length depending on what weather it is when you’re buying), all a size larger than bub wears
  • 4 - 5 baby sleepsuits (sleeve length same as bodysuits) 
  • 3 swaddles suitable for the changing weather
  • 5 feeding bibs
  • 1 baby beanie to keep your little one comfortable
  • 3 pairs of mittens 
  • 6 pairs of baby socks 

On top of this, you’ll need a few other items, such as booties, baby swimsuits or jackets, as detailed in the list above, depending on whether it’s warm or cold. 

Buy baby swimsuits, sleepsuits, dresses and more in one place

When shopping for your lovely bub, we know how much of a hassle having to buy from multiple different places is. That’s why at Mothercare, we stock all the baby fashion and products you could ever need!

So whether you’re after strollers, baby girl dresses, bathtime products, or sleepsuits, Malaysia’s favourite children’s store – Mothercare – can deliver them to your door.

So take a look at everything on offer at Mothercare today and save.

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