How Many Newborn Onesies Do I Need? A Complete Guide for New Parents

Welcoming a new baby into the world is one of life’s most joyful moments. As you prepare for your new arrival, questions about what to buy and how much you’ll need are common. When it comes to newborn onesies, one of the most versatile pieces of clothing for infants, determining the right quantity to have on hand can be tricky.

This comprehensive article will provide expectant moms and dads with a detailed breakdown on newborn onesie essentials so you can feel fully equipped when your little bundle makes their debut.

Why Onesies Are a Newborn Must-Have

Onesies, also known as bodysuits, are a nursery staple for good reason. Here’s why onesies are practically a requirement for newborns:

  • Comfort: Onesies are made from soft, stretchy cotton that won’t irritate delicate newborn skin. The envelope neckline makes dressing easy without having to pull clothing over baby’s head.
  • Convenience: Onesies snap at the bottom for quick diaper changes. No more fussing with tons of buttons or snaps!
  • Coverage: The one-piece design keeps your infant warm, especially useful during cooler weather. Long sleeve onesies with built-in mittens offer full coverage.
  • Cuteness: From simple solids to fun prints, onesies come in adorable styles sure to melt your heart. Dress your little angle in sweet patterns and colors.
  • Affordability: Onesies are budget-friendly, costing between $5-$15 each. Build a starter newborn wardrobe without breaking the bank.
  • Versatility: Pair onesies with pants, leggings, shorts, or skirts. Use them for playtime, naps, and overnight. Onesies work for any activity!

With this kind of flexibility and practicality, onesies are a must-have during the newborn phase. Now let’s explore how many your baby will need.

Newborn Onesie Essentials to Have on Hand

When preparing your newborn onesie stash, quality trumps quantity. Stick to soft 100% cotton bodysuits with durable snaps and quality construction. Here are the essentials to have on hand:

5-10 Short Sleeve Onesies

Short sleeve bodysuits are ideal for warm weather and indoor use. Look for onesies made from breathable cotton in light colors to keep babies comfortable. Short sleeve styles allow you to layer a shirt or romper over top if needed. Purchase 5-10 short sleeve onesies in newborn and 0-3 month sizes.

5-10 Long Sleeve Onesies

Long sleeve onesies provide full arm and torso coverage, perfect for cooler temperatures. Look for cozy cotton styles with fold-over cuffs and built-in mittens for warmth. Aim for 5-10 long sleeve onesies in newborn and 0-3 month sizes.

2-3 Footed/Footless Sleep and Plays

Sleep and plays combine the convenience of footed pajamas with a onesie top. The zippered closure makes diaper changes a breeze. Have 2-3 on hand in newborn and 0-3 month sizes for overnight and lounging.

2-3 Swaddle Sacks

Swaddle sacks, like the popular Halo SleepSack, safely swaddle baby while allowing arm mobility. Have 2-3 on hand so you always have a clean one when needed. Swaddling helps calm newborns and promotes sleep.

5 Kimono Onesies

Kimono style onesies have side snaps making dressing and diaper changes easier after birth. The looser fit won’t irritate healing umbilical cords. Have 5 kimono onesies on hand in newborn size.

2-3 Double Zipper Onesies

Double zipper onesies unzip from bottom to top for ease of diaper changes. The reversed zipper keeps the zipper hidden and flat, preventing irritation. Purchase 2-3 in newborn and 0-3 months sizes.

By having these essential onesie styles on hand, you’ll be prepared to dress your infant for any occasion, time of day, or weather during their early months.

Extra Newborn Onesie Styles to Consider

While the previous onesie options should meet basic needs, you may want to pick up a few additional specialty styles:

  • Milestone/Month Stickers: Document baby’s growth with removable stickers displaying monthly milestones.
  • Holiday Prints: Outfit your newborn’s first holidays in sweet patterns.
  • Photo/Family Onesies: Preserve memories with custom onesies featuring family photos and names.
  • Ruffle/Trim Accents: Add girly flair with ruffles and lace trim.
  • Fun Sayings: Choose onesies with cute quotes and clever puns for personality.
  • Outfit Sets: Buy coordinating bodysuits, pants, hats and more for complete looks.
  • Going Home Outfit: Pick a special newborn coming home outfit for baby’s very first day.

While not necessities, these special onesies add a unique touch. But resist going overboard on cute prints before assessing your actual needs.

How Many Onesies in Total Do You Need?

With an understanding of the essential onesie styles and options to consider, how many total onesies should you plan to have on hand? Here are some general newborn onesie quantity guidelines:

  • 15-20 total for breastfed newborns requiring less outfit changes
  • 20-25 total for formula fed newborns who tend to go through more clothes
  • 10-15 in newborn size and 10-15 in 0-3 month size

Aim to have at least 15 onesies on hand but depending on your baby’s size and rate of growth, 20-25 offers more flexibility. Go with the higher number if your baby will be in newborn sizes longer based on premature birth or being small/average size.

Here is an example mix of onesie quantities you may want to purchase:

  • 5 short sleeve newborn
  • 5 short sleeve 0-3 month
  • 5 long sleeve newborn
  • 5 long sleeve 0-3 month
  • 2 newborn sleep and plays
  • 2 0-3 month sleep and plays
  • 3 newborn swaddle sacks
  • 5 newborn kimono
  • 2 newborn double zip
  • 2 0-3 month double zip

This sample totals to 36 onesies, providing plenty of options across essential styles and sizes. Adjust purchases based on your budget, lifestyle needs, and season.

Stocking Up on Multiples

While having variety is nice, purchasing multiples of the same onesie you love can simplify shopping and ensure you have backups of essentials. Here are some tips:

  • Buy 3-5 of the same style/print if it’s a winner. Repeats streamline laundry!
  • Stick to classic solid colors like white, grey, yellow, green and blue rather than bold prints. These match everything and transition across seasons. White onesies in particular are a staple.
  • Look for onesies sold in multiple packs for economy and convenience. Many major retailers sell 3-5 packs of basic bodysuits at a discount.
  • Shop big box stores for the most cost effective bulk onesie options. Big retailers have large inventories and great sales.

By purchasing several of the same onesie style, you’ll always have a reliable clean backup ready when you need it.

Preparing Newborn Onesie Basics by Month

Knowing general onesie quantity guidelines is useful, but when should you actually buy and prepare everything? Here is an approximate newborn onesie buying timeline by month:

  • Month 7: Purchase 5-10 newborn kimono onesies for use immediately after birth. Also buy any special “going home” or photo onesies.
  • Month 8: Shop end of season sales and stock up on 15-25 essential onesie styles in newborn and 0-3 month sizes.
  • Month 9: Add any missing onesie styles you still need. Wash new onesies in a gentle baby detergent so they’re ready to wear.
  • After Birth: Assess which specific sizes fit your baby best. Purchase more 0-3 month onesies in the early months if needed. Pass down any unopened newborn onesies to friends/family if baby grows out of that size quickly.

Adjust your onesie buying and preparation based on your due date season and projected size of baby. Seek recommendations from friends on tried and true styles as well.

Tips for Caring and Washing Newborn Onesies

To keep onesies soft, clean, and lasting, follow these laundry and care tips:

  • Wash before first wear with a gentle, hypoallergenic baby detergent to prevent irritation.
  • Fasten snaps before washing to avoid loose, dangling snaps that can snag and tear.
  • Wash similar colors together and avoid mixing with towels or blankets that can pill. Use a gentle cycle.
  • Air dry or tumble dry on low to reduce shrinking. Lay flat to dry bodysuits to their original shape.
  • Don’t use fabric softeners as they can be irritating for delicate newborn skin.
  • Spot treat stains by rinsing in cool water first. Avoid harsh stain removers.
  • Store neatly folded in drawers, shelves, or hanging organizers. Grouping by size makes finding the right ones easy.

With proper care, your baby’s onesies will remain soft, stain-free, and ready for even the messiest moments ahead!

Alternatives for Babies Who Dislike Onesies

While most babies tolerate onesies well, some may strongly dislike having clothing pulled over their head. If your newborn fusses and resists getting into bodysuits, try these alternatives:

  • Side snap t-shirts: Like kimono onesies, shirts with side snaps avoid pulling over baby’s head.
  • Wrap shirts: Wrap style tops fasten underneath baby, great for soothing skin issues.
  • Rompers: Rompers snap at the bottom for easy diaper access. They come in short and long sleeve versions.
  • Gowns: Flowy newborn gowns pull on like t-shirts but allow freedom of movement for restless babies.
  • Pants + shirts: Mixing separate tops and bottoms provides flexibility to find what works. Focus on loose, non-irritating fabrics.

With patience helping baby adjust slowly to onesies, plus trying alternative styles, you’ll find options to keep your infant comfy. Discuss any major aversion to onesies with your pediatrician as well.

Bottom Line

Planning for parenthood involves so many details, but with onesies forming the foundation of a newborn’s wardrobe, getting the right supply helps set your baby up for comfort. Keep quality cotton onesies across essential styles on hand in the recommended quantities. Wash all clothes with a gentle baby detergent before first wear. Be flexible in finding options if your little one strongly resists certain styles. With the right mix of onesie quantities and care, you’ll be prepared to dress your baby in comfort as they grow. The huge smiles and coos you’ll get in return make every bit of effort rewarding.