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What Clothing Size Do I Buy for a Newborn?

What size clothing size should I buy for my newborn? And how quickly will he grow into larger sizes?

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What size clothing size should I buy for my newborn? And how quickly will he grow into larger sizes?

The Bump Expert

Stock up on baby clothes in a range of sizes. But don’t cut off the tags of all the newborn clothes yet, says Ali Wing, founder and CEO of baby store Giggle. “Babies come into this world in all shapes and sizes, so don’t buy everything under the sun before you meet your own son or daughter,” says Wing.

While the size marked on the label make it seem like it’s based on baby’s age, it’s really based on size. For example, “preemie” (P) usually fits babies up to 17 inches long and five pounds. “Newborn” (NB) represents an average baby at birth up to 21.5 inches long and five to eight pounds.

Yep, “newborn” fits a wide range of sizes, so chances are your baby will fit into it at birth. “Parents should expect clothes to be a bit loose; no clothes are made to be grown out of in a week,” says Wing. “How fast baby grows into new sizes depends on how well he eats. Trust the market and follow the sizing charts until you learn more about your baby.”

Wash a few of baby’s newborn clothes for his first days now, and then see just how they fit him at the time of birth to help you gauge how many you might need in the coming weeks. If he’s a big baby or hits an early growth spurt, you can exchange any extras for the next size up: 0 to 3 months, which usually fits babies anywhere between eight to 12.5 pounds.

Over time, you’ll figure out more about your baby’s shape and your preferences, and will have a better idea of what will work best for him. “It has just as much to do with things like neck and head shape and whether you will prefer crew necks or kimono-style onesies,” says Wing. So definitely don’t buy a full wardrobe just yet.

Plus, More from The Bump:

Why You Should Wash Baby's Clothes Before Delivery

Adorable Outfits Baby Can Wear Home From the Hospital

Checklist: Newborn Clothes


The Bump Editors

Q&A: What clothes sizes will I need for a newborn?

I would say to buy several preemie outfits even though your baby isnt a preemie, unless you expect a 10 lbs.baby!! Because, with my first I really didnt know and I thought that the NB looked so small, until he got here, he was 7lbs2oz and the NB clothes were huge on him, same w/ my second child, 7lbs2oz, but this time I bought a few preemie outfits and they were still somewhat big, she wore them for at least 3weeks, but fit so much better than NB, then w/ my 3rd baby, he was 8lbs and I knew by then to buy several preemie outfits, and well for #4 thats due in Oct. I have already been buying several preemie outfits :-)

sweet03 |

Q&A: What clothes sizes will I need for a newborn?

I would talk to your OB about this, my first child was 8 lbs 15oz and never fit newborn clothes so we had a lot of wasted money spent on unused clothes. Save your receipts also!

sissydahl617 |

Q&A: What clothes sizes will I need for a newborn?

think our baby will be newborn to 3 months for at least two months. Maybe big enough for 6 mos by Aug or Sept. he is due april 24th

shannykay9 |

Q&A: What clothes sizes will I need for a newborn?

My Son was only 7lbs 13 oz and 21 inches at birth but he wore newborn clothes just fine for like 2 weeks then he wore 0-3 months and then he moved through sizes fairly quickly now he is 3 months old and wears size 9 months. I was not prepared for that and made the mistake of getting the 6 month clothes for winter cause he would not be 6 months old till it was cold now i think he will be in 12 months clothes in a couple of weeks . . .

mommatojustin |

Q&A: What clothes sizes will I need for a newborn?

HE IS A BOY AND ACCORDING TO THE DOCTOR HE IS SMALL

filesity |

Q&A: What clothes sizes will I need for a newborn?

it also depends on the brand of clothes - Gerber tends to run on the smaller side, whereas Carter's tends to run on the larger side, even though they might say the same "size". but babies definitely tend to grow the most/fastest in those first 3 mos...

MKMN77 |

Q&A: What clothes sizes will I need for a newborn?

Different brands will run bigger or smaller, just like adult sizes. DD was a preemie and barely anything fit. Carter's ran big but the dollar store stuff fit her just fine.

Mamawillis |

Q&A: What clothes sizes will I need for a newborn?

It's also perfectly fine if clothes are too big in the first few weeks--it makes it that much easier to take them off and put them on.

briarraindancer |

Q&A: What clothes sizes will I need for a newborn?

I am sure any shop assistant will know what to exactly recommend you for a newborn. More than that, even websites have found ways of advising you and give you options on which sizes fit best. My daughter is mad about boutique baby girl clothes and I got used to ordering the right sizes on websites for her.

conquerer |