How many clothes does a newborn need?

Posted by seetal singh on

Ok so this is a tough one. Exactly how much should you buy to be fully prepared and yet not be over the top with too many things that the baby will never wear?

We all (well at least half of us) would remember that episode from "Yummy Mummy" where Valentina (a young first time mom from Adelaide) had a whole walk in wardrobe for her unborn daughter. Being a minimalist and looking at the sheer size of that wardrobe just made me super anxious. How is it possible for that cute little baby, to go through every item in that closet at least once if not at all? I get it, its the excitement and in some families, buying a lot is a way of showing love and perhaps even proving to yourself that you're ready and you are going to provide the best for this child. As a new parent, we all want to provide the best and go above and beyond to bring our child up in the best nurturing environment possible. However, as a mom of two, I can say that all a newborn needs more than the "stuff", is to be fed, burped, cleaned, clothed and loved. For a newborn the entire world is new. Everything is mesmerising and a learning curve. There don'd need a brand new toy for each time you visit the pharmacy or grocery store. At age 1, my little daughter was more excited that I'd leave my bottom drawer full of plastic containers open, so she could take her time to take everything out and examine and play with them. 

Back to clothes…. how much is enough? If you're conscious about what you wear and have a lot of clothes, then sooner or later your baby will pick up on this, and they will feel the same way too. But we're not like that are we? We are minimalists (at least I hope half my readers would be). So when we buy way too many unnecessary clothes for our kids and yet only stick to a minimalist wardrobe ourselves, this will confuse our babies. As our babies grow, they will tend to follow our footsteps and we will only be too frustrated that they refuse to wear all those dresses that we had picked for them. I learnt this the hard way. My husband wanted to see his daughter in beautiful dresses and I would dress only in jeans and t shirts all the time. And because I spent a lot of time around my daughter, she only wore jeans and t shirts. Fast forward a year later, I started wearing dresses in hopes that she would emulate me (which she did). But of course, today, 6 years later, she is fully in charge of her wardrobe and as a parent, I have so much more to do for her (more important nurturing business) than to merely pick her wardrobe. So the answer in short…. it doesn't matter. You really should buy clothes as you go. Before the baby is born, have 8 to 10 sets of onesies depending on the estimated weight of the baby (have only one size 000/0000 just so the baby looks cute in their first onesie photo), and then keep the rest at 0 (even if its big) as the baby would be swaddled most of the time anyways.

A pro-tip for taking photos of babies in big onesies: pull the onesie back a little and use a safety pin or elastic band to keep the excess behind them. Be sure to be safe with the pin and definitely keep their back comfy under a soft (very thin) cushion for the photo. Or dress all in black or green while you hold the excess fabric out of the way so you can crop that part out. The magic of Adobe Photoshop (not sponsored). And really, why take pictures of babies in onesies at all? Sit them in their diapers and wrap them up in a muted muslin cloth! 

Even as a minimalist, we might feel pressured to dress our babies well when we go out or when people come to visit. It is important to continue the practice of minimalism and remind ourselves of why this way of life is important to us. Reading more material on minimalism from time to time or even listening to podcasts and watching youtube videos, will help us stay true to our journeys. After all, being a first time parent is overwhelming enough and to have a kazillion options of baby wear to buy at reasonable prices, only makes being a minimalist all that difficult.

Thank you for stopping by and having a read. Do leave a comment below. I would love to know how you handled (or are currently handling) having a newborn.

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