Bodysuits: Equipped with a stretchy or "envelope" neck and snaps at the bottom, these one-piece wonders will be your newborn's most oft-worn outfits. Also called onesies or jumpers, they can be worn with shorts, skirts or pants, or on their own.
Side-snap shirts: These kimono-style shirts are perfect for newborns and don't have to be pulled over your newborn's floppy head. Side snaps and no side seams spell comfort for your bundle of joy.
Infant gowns: Think 2 AM diaper changes, and you'll understand why infant gowns are made with a banded, open bottom. Many of these pajamas also feature built-in cuffs in the sleeves that can be used as mittens to prevent your sweet pea from accidentally scratching herself.
Sleepers: Made to keep your little one warm, sleepers have long sleeves and built-in feet with snaps or zippers down the front. Sleepers come in a variety of levels of warmth, from lightweight cotton for warmer nights to cozy fleece for cool months.
Your baby will burn calories trying to regulate body heat, so keeping her appropriately clothed can help her gain weight. Start at the top, with her noggin. "Newborns are unable to regulate their body temperatures," advises Dr. Hana R. Solomon, MD, board-certified pediatrician, and contributor to nasopure.com and MommyMDGuides.com.
"Of course, weight, age of gestation, and climate are factors. But in general, a healthy, average-weight newborn requires one thin layer more than Mom is comfortable wearing, plus a cap, since much heat is lost through the head. If the infant is large and has a lot of hair, a hat is not absolutely necessary."
Babies also lose heat through their feet, so keep her toes toasty and help her regulate her body temperature with socks and booties.
Your tiny package may arrive with nails that need trimming; combine those with flailing arms and hands, and your sweetie pie's face may end up scratched. Slipping on mittens over her tiny hands will help prevent accidental scratches.
Tip: How many pieces you buy for your newborn baby layette is ultimately determined by how often you want to do laundry. Given how quickly kids grow, buying too many basic baby items can exhaust your baby clothing fund fast. So don't be afraid to take Grandma along or to ask a seasoned associate at the baby store for advice. You'll soon be on your way to building your newborn's very first wardrobe!
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