Preparing for a new baby can be SO overwhelming. From birth prep to baby gear to budgeting adjustments, not to mention all of the emotions that come with such a monumental life change… especially if it’s your first baby! The good news is babies don’t actually NEED a ton of stuff (see my minimalist baby registry post for my two cents on the topic).
If you’re feeling in over your head right now, consider curating a minimalist baby wardrobe!
Benefits of a Capsule Baby Wardrobe
You can curate a quality, stylish baby wardrobe on any budget. Because you’re investing in fewer items, you can choose to spend more on high quality, beautiful fabrics or save on basic cotton onesies and leggings.
I also recommend saving on lesser used special items like dresses and rompers, jackets, and other special accessories by purchasing them second hand.
By only purchasing the items you need and nothing more, you are already taking a step in an eco-friendly direction! Textile waste is a huge environmental challenge so minimizing your baby’s wardrobe is an important step in minimizing your contribution to environmental strain.
Bonus: because babies and kids grow SUPER quickly, people constantly donate their kids’ clothes to local thrift stores! Shopping second hand for kids is seriously the way to go. It saves you money and minimizes textile waste.
Second hand clothes can also be healthier for your baby! Often new textiles manufactured overseas are treated with health-compromising chemicals that help prevent mold, mildew, and insect damage from happening during transit.
By purchasing baby clothes second hand, you minimize any concern of dangerous chemical exposure as the clothes have likely already been washed a handful of times and “off-gassed” any chemicals they were treated with during the manufacturing process.
Lastly, a capsule baby wardrobe will save you time! A good capsule wardrobe will include a variety of items that all “go” together. This means you can quickly grab an available onesie, legging, sweater, and hat and trust that the outfit will be coordinated.
In my experience, my brain worked SO slowly right after having my babies. The fewer decisions I had to make during my mornings the better off I’d cope throughout my day!
Considerations for a Capsule Baby Wardrobe
Color and Pattern
The best functioning capsule wardrobes tend to live within a coordinating color palette. With that said, the color palette or pattern mix is a decision entirely up to you!
If you are excited about the idea of dressing your babe in bold bright colors, go for it. Love the look of mixing stripes and polka dots? Have fun!
When choosing a capsule baby wardrobe for my own kids, a question that helped guide my decisions was “can my husband mess this up?” In other words, if my husband was to go into my baby’s closet and randomly pick out an outfit, would it result in something presentable?
With this question in mind, I personally made sure to choose onesies, pants, and other accessories with simple or no patterns in complementary colors that worked well together in almost any combination.
Weather or Temperature
Because you can never be 100% sure how big/small your baby will be at birth (or how fast/slow they will grow into future sizes!), it can be tricky determining what sizes to stock up on for future seasons.
Layers will be your best friend. Make sure to invest in base layers that can be worn in any/every season (e.g. short sleeve onesies) as well as a few layering items. As your baby grows into a new size, you’ll be ready for them with the basics with time to source additional weather-appropriate items as needed.
Once you determine the color palette and size / weather considerations, you’ll want to think about your laundry schedule. Are you a person who washes multiple loads per week? Or are you a laundry on Sundays kind of person?
No problem either way… but if you’re washing baby clothes just once a week then you will need to stock up on a few extra basics in each category.
What to Include in a Minimalist Baby Wardrobe
Recommended quantities are listed as a range to accommodate parents who plan on washing clothes multiple times a week vs. once a week (or less…).
Baby Wardrobe Basics
10-15 onesies/bodysuits (long + short sleeved)
Onesies serve as the base layer of any simple outfit… or as the entire outfit depending on the weather! I liked having an assortment of nice, basic, neutral colored onesies that paired easily with leggings, hats, and sweaters depending on the weather.
4-6 pairs of pants/leggings
No need to overthink this. A few leggings plus a pair of baby jeans and your baby is ready for any type of outing.
People have strong opinions on the “best” types of sleepers. If your budget allows, I have heard MANY moms swear by magnetic sleepers. If not, go for a zipper sleeper – I used both zippers and snaps with my kids and both worked fine… but zippers were definitely easier!
1-4 rompers/dresses/overalls (optional)
Treat yourself (and your baby) to a handful of all-in-one outfits. Have fun!
Unless your baby is born during a heat wave, it’s a nice idea to have a few soft baby hats on hand for cool days and evenings.
6-8 pairs of socks
Because your baby won’t be wearing shoes just yet, socks are important for keeping their feet warm in cooler weather.
1 pair soft shoes (optional)
None of my babies wore shoes until they were old enough to scoot around in a baby walker outside (around 6 months old). With that said, some moms swear by baby moccasins! They’re certainly cute so if you’re into baby shoes go for it but they aren’t essential.
Add for Winter Babies
1-3 layering pieces (sweaters)
2 warm beanies
1 bunting sack or winter coat
1 pair mittens
Add for Summer Babies
1 sun hat
Minimalist Baby Wardrobe Shopping Guide
Baby Clothes Basics:
- 10-15 onesies/bodysuits (long + short sleeved)
- 4-6 pairs of pants/leggings
- 4-7 sleepers
- 1-4 rompers/dresses/overalls (optional)
- 1-2 hats
- 6-8 pairs of socks
- 1 pair soft shoes (optional)
For Winter Add:
- 1-3 layering pieces (sweaters)
- 2 warm beanies
- 1 bunting sack or winter coat
- 1 pair mittens
- 2 pairs of slippers or warm booties
For Summer Add:
- 1 sun hat
Kait is the founder and editor of A Clean Bee. She is passionate about discovering natural, eco-friendly, and sustainable ways to clean and organize her home. Kait has been featured in online publications such as NBC News, Oprah Magazine, BuzzFeed and PopSugar for her expertise in natural cleaning techniques. She enjoys spending her off-time outside in her garden with her husband and their two small boys.