Whether you’re starting your baby registry, staring down a mountain of shower gifts or looking into the wide eyes of your days-old newborn (who, surprise, just spit up again!), chances are, you may have that nagging sense that you’re missing some infant wardrobe essentials. And you very well might be—with all the adorable stuff out there, it’s easy to miss the not-so-obvious but oh-so-necessary items. Here, we’ve made a shortlist of the essential baby clothes every new mom should own, along with a few cute options to try.
They’re a shirt. They’re a complete outfit. They’re whatever you want them to be. Infant bodysuits—aka onesies—are must-haves for your newborn’s wardrobe. They’re a go-to shower gift, but it’s a good idea to have varying sizes on hand, so you can keep pace with your quickly growing baby. 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.
It’s nice to have a selection of solids as well as prints to easily mix and match—but regardless of the pattern, look for ones with envelope-style necks. What’s that, you ask? Those cute little flaps on the shoulders actually serve a vital purpose: After a major diaper leak, they let you pull the bodysuit down over baby’s torso and legs instead of up over the head for a more sanitary outfit change.
Besides being super-cute, these loose T-shirts with side snaps or ties minimize contact with a newborn’s still sensitive umbilical cord stump. Plus, while you and baby are still getting used to dressing, having shirts that don’t have to pulled over your infant’s face can be a real lifesaver. Kimono-style tops come in short and long sleeve options and can be worn as a top or a thin sweater over a bodysuit.