How Many Onesies Does a Newborn Need? A Guide for New Parents

As an expecting parent, you likely have a million questions running through your head. What kind of crib should I get? How do I give a baby a bath? And most certainly: How many onesies will my newborn need?

It’s an excellent question, as onesies are absolutely essential items for babies. The simple, one-piece garment makes diaper changes a breeze. The soft, stretchy material provides comfort for delicate newborn skin. Many parents find themselves relying on onesies almost exclusively in those first few months.

But with so many cute prints and styles to choose from, how do you know how many to stock up on? Get this wrong, and you may find yourself frantically running out to the store at 2am when your little one has an explosive diaper incident.

After talking with dozens of experienced parents and pediatricians, here are the key things to know about building the perfect newborn onesie stash:

The 3-4 Key Takeaways on Newborn Onesies

  • Stock up on at least 15-20 onesies to start. More is ok too! You’ll be surprised how quickly they go through them.
  • Focus on simple, basic styles in sizes newborn and 0-3 months. No need for fancy patterns or snaps those first couple months.
  • Choose breathable 100% cotton fabrics. These are gentle on delicate newborn skin.
  • Buy some extras in larger sizes up to 6-9 months. Babies grow fast so sizing up ensures you’ll get plenty of use out of each onesie.

Follow these tips, and you’ll be fully prepared with plenty of onesies for all of baby’s needs. Keep reading for more details on building the ideal newborn onesie wardrobe!

Why Onesies are So Essential for Newborns

For parents of a newborn, onesies quickly become your best friend. While adorable as baby clothes, onesies serve some very practical purposes:

Easy diaper changes: Onesies snap at the bottom for quick diaper access without having to fully undress baby. This comes in handy for those midnight changes!

Comfort: The soft cotton and stretchy fit feel gentle against delicate newborn skin. The simpler the better for irritation-prone newborn skin.

Better temperature regulation: Onesies help keep baby warmer than separates and are easily layered. Open back styles are great for warmer weather.

Contain messes: Whether a diaper leak or spit up, onesies contain messes better than separates where shirts can ride up. Less laundry for you!

Cuteness: Of course we can’t forget fashion! Onesies come in adorable colors and prints perfect for those newborn photo shoots.

With all these benefits, it’s no wonder onesies are practically a wardrobe essential those first few months. Now let’s talk about how many you actually need.

How Many Onesies Should You Stock Up On?

When it comes to onesies specifically for newborns (size 0-3 months), here are some tips on quantities:

  • Minimum of 15-20 onesies to start. You can certainly get by with fewer, but more is better. Some parents recommend 30+ newborn onesies.
  • More for frequent spitters or blowouts. If your baby tends to have frequent accidents that soil onesies, have extra backup.
  • At least 3-4 per day. Plan on going through a few onesies daily.
  • Buy more neutrals than prints. 2-3 prints for variety, but focus on basics like whites and grays.

With a stash of 15-20 simple cotton onesies in newborn or 0-3 month size, you’ll be fully stocked for daily needs, spit ups, blowouts, and washing cycles.

Having too few makes laundry a daily chore. But don’t stress about overdoing it either – many parents swear they used every single onesie. Some babies even go through multiple onesies in a single day!

Choose Basic Styles and 100% Cotton Fabrics

When shopping for newborn onesies, opt for the simplest styles and 100% cotton fabrics. Here’s why:

Seek Out Side-Snap Styles

For the newborn phase, choose a classic side-snap onesie style. Unlike bottom snaps that go under the crotch, the side snaps make diaper changes much quicker and easier. You’ll appreciate this when you’re changing a dirty diaper at 3am!

Soft, Stretchy Cotton is Best

Look for onesies made of soft 100% cotton jersey or cotton knit fabric. This super stretchy material moves with baby comfortably. It’s also gentle on their sensitive newborn skin which can be prone to rashes, irritation, and eczema.

The organic cotton option is ideal as it’s chemical free. Stay away from harsh fabrics like polyester.

Avoid Buttons, Zippers and Velcro

Cute as they are on clothes for older babies and toddlers, buttons, zippers, and velcro can irritate delicate newborn skin. The simpler the better those first couple months when their skin barrier is still developing.

Minimal Designs and Neutral Colors

Newborns don’t need anything fancy! Stick to simple solid colored onesies or basic patterns. Neutral whites, grays, and yellows will get the most wear and hide stains.

Consider getting a few prints, but know that plain onesies will match better when layering or for photos.

Size Up For Maximum Wear

Here’s an insider tip from the parents of many babies – size up on onesies!

Newborn sizes are only worn for a short time before most babies grow into 0-3 months. But you’ll get more use out of larger sizes.

Newborn Size

This size fits babies under 8 lbs. Stock up on plenty of these for the early weeks when baby will be the smallest.

But know many babies skip this size quickly, especially if over 8 lbs at birth.

0-3 Months

For most babies, this is the ideal size for the majority of the first 3 months. Aim for this size in the bulk of your onesie stash.

3-6 Month and 6-9 Month Sizes

Mix in some onesies in the next couple sizes up too. Babies grow fast and larger sizes will get them through those growth spurts.

Bigger onesies also work great as sleepers in the early months when you want something roomier for baby to move around in.

With a range of sizes, you can maximize how long baby wears each onesie. That makes every purchase more cost effective!

Stock Up During Pregnancy to Save

The best time to shop for onesies is before baby arrives! Here are some benefits to stocking up on onesies and other necessities during pregnancy:

  • Take advantage of discounts and coupons. Keep an eye out for sales and promos you can use for baby clothing and items. Sign up for store newsletters for coupons.
  • Spread out purchases over time. Building a baby wardrobe and nursery over 9 months allows you to budget and hunt for deals. No need to buy everything at once.
  • Buy ahead of time for peace of mind. Having essentials like onesies ready to go means one less thing to worry about once baby arrives. Enjoy newborn snuggles without worrying you have nothing to dress them in.
  • Get hand-me-downs. Ask friends and family if they have any onesies in great condition they’re done using. Second-hand onesies are also inexpensive.
  • Add to your baby registry. Let friends and family know you’re collecting onesies on your registry! They’ll love picking out adorable prints to gift you.

Taking advantage of your full pregnancy to stock up on onesies helps you save money and reduce stress. You’ll be so glad to have a full stash ready to go when baby makes their arrival!

Used Onesies Can Save Money

If looking to save on onesies, used is a great way to go. Gently worn onesies often still have plenty of wear left in them, especially simpler styles.

Check Thrift Stores and Consignment Shops

Visit local thrift stores and kids consignment shops to browse their selection of used onesies. You can often find large packs for just a few dollars.

Look on Facebook Resale Groups

Search Facebook for local kid’s resale groups. Fellow parents often sell discounted bundles of onesies their children have outgrown.

Accept Hand-Me-Downs

Tell family and friends you’re on the hunt for used onesies. Many will be happy to pass on extras in great condition that their little ones no longer fit in.

Buy Used Online

eBay, Mercari, and Kidizen are great sites to find deals on new and gently used onesies being resold. You can search lots by exact sizes and styles.

Going the used route is an economical way to get all the onesies you need at a fraction of retail cost. From barely worn to brand new, pre-loved onesies are a smart baby buy.

Swaddling Options Beyond Onesies

While onesies are ideal for daily wear, you may want some additional options for swaddling your newborn. Here are a couple to consider:

Sleep Gowns

These are like onesies but with a gown-style bottom that makes diaper changes and nighttime changes even simpler. The looser style allows room for the swaddle.

Swaddle Blankets

Super stretchy, oversized swaddle blankets make swaddling straightforward. Look for breathable cotton styles at least 45″ x 45″. Muslin style blankets are perfect. Not into wrapping? There are also zip-up swaddle sacks.

Sleep Sacks

These wearable blankets combine the comfort of swaddling with the safety of a sleep sack. Arms-in sacks are good for newborns. Later on, transition to arms-out sacks.

So while onesies are clutch, having a few swaddling-friendly alternatives can also come in handy during the newborn days.

Example Newborn Onesie Shopping List

Here’s an example of what a newborn onesie shopping list might look like with recommended quantities and sizes:

  • 10-15 short sleeve onesies in newborn size
  • 15-20 short sleeve onesies in 0-3 month size
  • 5 long sleeve footed onesies in 0-3 month size
  • 5 short sleeve footed onesies in 3-6 month size
  • 5 short sleeve footed onesies in 6-9 month size
  • 2-3 multipacks of onesie prints/designs (will likely be in 0-3 or 3-6 month size)
  • 2 kimono style side-snap shirts to pair with pants
  • 2 sleep gowns
  • 2-3 swaddle blankets
  • 2 sleep sacks

This will provide plenty of onesie options for mixing, matching, and layering. Note the focus on smaller newborn sizes and neutral solids, along with some fun prints and patterns. Sizing up on footed styles extends use.

Adjust quantities as needed – some parents prefer even more basics on hand! This list provides a great starter onesie wardrobe.

Handling Onesie Laundry

With babies going through multiple onesies daily, laundry piles up quick. Here are some tips for managing:

  • Follow clothing care labels – most onesies can be machine washed and dried.
  • Wash in a gentle cleanser – skip the harsh detergents, fragrances, and brighteners.
  • Wash whites separately – this keeps them looking brighter longer.
  • Dry on low heat – high heat can damage elastic and fabrics.
  • Fold right after drying – this prevents wrinkles which onesies are prone to.
  • Treat stains promptly – don’t let stains set before washing. Use an enzyme-based stain remover.
  • Stock up on multiples – having extras makes it easy to rotate through laundry.

Staying on top of onesie laundry ensures you always have a clean stash ready. That unavoidable pile of baby clothes laundry will be a bit more manageable if you’re prepared!

Helpful Tips and Tricks for Making the Most of Onesies

Over their newborn months, you may uncover some helpful onesie hacks. Here are a few clever ideas:

  • Layer onesies under pants, shorts or skirts for fuller coverage.
  • Use oversized onesies as makeshift nightgowns to sleep in.
  • Only snap the bottom for access during diaper-free playtime.
  • Choose darker onesies and patterns to help hide stains.
  • Keep a spare in the diaper bag for accidents on-the-go.
  • Unbutton leg openings for easier access to apply creams and lotions.
  • For cloth diapering babies, choose onesies a size up for a better fit.

With some creativity and smart use, onesies can cover all of baby’s needs in those early months. They truly are the ultimate newborn wardrobe essential.

Common Onesie Questions from New Parents

If you’re feeling unsure about your onesie needs as a new parent, you’re not alone! Here are answers to some of the most common questions that come up:

How many onesies do I need if I’m washing laundry frequently?

As a rule of thumb, you’ll want at least 5-7 onesies per day if you’re able to do laundry every day. Any less and you risk running out if baby has a couple blowouts or spit-up incidents.

How many onesies for 2-3 days between laundry?

If you’ll go 2-3 days between wash cycles, plan on having 15-20 onesies in rotation to get you through. Washing less frequently means having more extras on hand.

Is it worthwhile getting both short sleeve and long sleeve styles?

Yes, having both short and long sleeve is smart to be prepared for varying weather and temperatures. Even in warm climates, parents suggest having some cozy long sleeve options for chilly nights or air conditioned spaces.

Should I bother getting fancy designs or stick with solids?

Fancy designs are absolutely adorable but not totally necessary. Aim for mostly simple solid color onesies, and just get a few special prints or patterns you really love. They’ll come in handy for photos and special occasions.

What if I don’t know exactly how big baby will be?

Since exact newborn size can’t be predicted, buying a range is best. Get some in preemie or small newborn, along with bigger newborn and 0-3 months. Having options ensures you have some that will fit baby perfectly right from the start.

Take the Guesswork Out of Stocking Up

As a first-time parent, determining how many onesies and other essentials you’ll need for a newborn can seem overwhelming. But now you’re armed with insider tips to take the guesswork out of the process.

Just remember:

  • Plan on at least 15 basic cotton onesies in smaller sizes
  • Mix in some larger sizes too so you get extended use
  • Focus on simple side-snap styles in neutral solids
  • Feel free to buy used onesies for cost savings
  • Add in some swaddlers and sleep gowns for versatility

Following this advice will help ensure you’re fully prepared with plenty of onesies for the countless diaper changes, accidents, and sleepy newborn snuggles ahead. With a well-stocked onesie supply, you can check one worry off your list and focus on bonding with your precious little one. Congratulations on your bundles of joy to come!