How Long Do Babies Stay In Newborn Clothes?

Whether you are a first-time parent-to-be or a thoughtful gift-giver, know that babies are unique and babies’ development is very “individual.” Most babies grow fast; hence they shortly outgrow those tiny-cutie-colorful onesies, pajamas, gowns, and bodysuits. Gerberchildrenswear recommends that instead of going overboard on newborn clothes, consider having sizes from 0-3 months and 3-6 months. Your full-term baby usually wears newborn clothes up to 1-2 weeks, while some babies extend up to 4-6 weeks, especially preemies.

Guide to baby clothes sizes

Dr. Amna Husain, a pediatrician at Pure Direct Pediatrics in New Jersey, explains that in a wide range, the newborn size represents an average baby at birth up to 21.5 inches long and 5-8 pounds. While 0-3 months clothing ranges 8-13 pounds in weight considering another factor – the length.

In addition to Dr. Husain’s explanation, – for the Gerber brand – listed the following for your reference.

Newborns5-8 pounds17-21 inches
0-3 months6-12 pounds21-24 inches
0-6 monthsUp to 16 pounds17-21 inches
3-6 months12-16 pounds24-26 inches
3-9 months12-20 pounds24-28 inches
6-9 months16-20 pounds26-28 inches
12 months20-24 pounds28-30 inches
Weight reference for changing your baby’s clothes

Dr. Husain added that sorting baby clothes by length vs. what the tag says is helpful since sizes vary between clothing companies and/or brands.

Outgrowing baby clothes so fast

According to KidsHealth from Nemours, most newborns grow about 0.5-1 inch a month and gain an ounce a day.

Talking about outgrowing baby clothes – your baby’s size matters most.

As proven, babies can grow fast, especially in the first year of their lives – the newborn and 0-3 months’ clothes are therefore outgrown within a short time.

Dr. Husain also stated that not all babies would outgrow the newborn-size clothes after 1-2 weeks but a little longer up to 4-6 weeks for some babies closer to the range of 4-5 pounds (preemies).

Sometimes, it’s smart to size up when you don’t know your baby’s exact size. This might be a trial and error during the first few tries, but don’t worry.

Your motherly instinct will let you know how and when to do this exactly next time. So take it easy.

Baby clothes to have on hand

Mom is folding recently washed clothes for her newborn baby.

As a rule of thumb, get your little one’s essentials in sizes newborn and 0-3 but don’t overstock the newborn sizes.

Experience-wise, I suggest buying 1-2 newborn sets, 4-6 sets of 0-3, a minimum of 10 sets for 3-6, and a lot more on 6-12 months’ sizes and larger.

If you want to buy more, choose larger sizes – you won’t regret it.

My son is born bigger than average, and I somehow regret buying him newborn sets. Truly, the bigger sizes I bought were worth it – the number of times he wore it was a good investment. It made me proud.

Need to know before buying baby clothes

The Peanutshell 23 Piece Newborn Clothes Set for Baby Boys | Layette Gift Set Blue

The following important factors may help you understand what is best for your baby, especially now that the market offers so much about baby stuff.

  • Consider safety. Don’t buy baby clothing with decorations like bows, buttons, hooks, and the like – these are choking hazards.
  • Buy baby clothes that are easy to put on and take off like kimono style tops or bodysuits, rompers, onesies, and gowns.
  • Buy clothes your baby needs – consider its functionality rather than style or brand.
  • Babies grow fast – get 0-3 or 3-6 month’s size to get a little longer wear for your newborn. Whenever you’re unsure about sizing, always size up.
  • It’s important to never dress your baby in clothes that are too big especially sleepwear – it can be a suffocation risk.
  • Different clothing companies have different sizing references – don’t always rely on clothes tags. Checking the label and size guide is the key.
  • You’ll probably need to change your baby frequently – the more baby clothes you have, the less often you’ll need to do laundry.
  • Never compromise quality for the price – choose quality over quantity. Your baby is priceless.
  • Buy season-appropriate baby clothing. Think before your purchase, budget-wise – choose thoughtfully.

Dressing your little one to stay warm

If you are a first-time mom, you may worry a lot – this is expected and normal. Like you, I worried about how to dress and undress the fragile tiny human being I brought out to this world.

But let me tell you, nothing will exactly teach us how to do this and that properly – ultimately, our motherly instinct is powerful that considering only the safety and comfort of our babies – we will, like magic, know what to do.

Swaddle Blanket, Baby Swaddle Wrap for Infant (0-3 Month), Adjustable Newborn Swaddle Set, 3-Pack Soft Organic Cotton, Grey

Surely, there will be days when dressing and undressing experiences may be upsetting for both you and your baby, so remember to do it quickly and as calmly as you can.

Here are some tips that might help you in the process.

  • Handle your baby with tender loving care.
  • Talk to your baby like telling him or her what you are doing.
  • Make sure the room is warm enough.
  • Use changing table or the like.
  • Prepare everything you need within your reach.
  • Be careful – babies can get very upset by clothes scraping their faces.
  • Dress your baby as you would dress yourself – don’t overdo it. Simple is safest.

Frequently Asked Questions

Mom is changing her newborn son's clothes on her bed.

How many times a day do you change a newborn’s clothes?

It depends but usually only twice or three maximum – namely after a morning bath, anytime of the day when things go messy or as needed, and in the evening for bedtime.

It’s a personal recommendation to get onesies or any easy to get on and off clothes like kimono-style baby tops or loose T-shirts with side snaps or ties. These clothes provide comfort and convenience and minimize contact with your little one’s still sensitive and healing umbilical cord stump.

For your little one’s safety and comfort, dress them not too small – not too big.

Should you wash baby clothes after every use?

Although clothes with stains should be left soak for easy removal of stains, it is best to wash your little one’s soiled clothes regularly so these won’t pile up. Like we normally do in our clothes, separating whites from colored clothes when washing is a good practice.

A must-do before the arrival of your little one is washing all new baby clothes, blankets, and other washable items – doing so will remove any impurities from the items before using it.

Remember, babies are sensitive and have delicate skin – we don’t want any skin irritations disturbing their peace.


As you know, babies grow and change rapidly. While it’s exciting to prepare your baby’s must-haves, get a grip when buying babies’ clothes – wait until you physically see your baby before buying the additional clothes you think your little one needs.

Newborn and 0-3 size clothes will surely only fit for a short time. In my son’s case, he never got a chance to wear them, so it’s safer to buy only what you need in newborn size or 0-3 and much more on the larger sizes. Believe me. It’s one of my best practices.

Noteworthy, sizes vary between clothing companies or brands, so it’s worth checking the size guide and your baby’s height and weight – not the age, please – before buying some. Again, when in doubt, it’s best to size up.

In addition, choose baby clothes that are easy to put on and off, comfortable for your little one to wear, and easy to wash or maintain.

Lastly, baby clothes shrink the more you wash and dry them, so it’s better to prepare your little one’s clothing with room to grow but, of course, not too big for safety reasons.

I hope you find this article helpful. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Nina is a licensed nurse and a mother of one son, Aidan. She is currently working as a nurse in a mineral processing plant in Mindanao, Philippines. She loves reading, research, and can't say no to camping - all types. If given a chance, she would love to learn horseback riding and martial arts.

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