What you actually need to dress a newborn

There’s a plethora of cute baby stuff out there. A whole Pinterest-worthy industry full of it. It’s not uncommon for first-time parents-to-be to fill drawers with detailed little outfits in fancy fabrics, only to have the baby arrive and realise that dressing a tiny, fresh human is hard, and all you really want to put them in is the easiest, softest and quickest options. Those cute little “hand wash only” outfits never come out of the drawer. Sad but true. Don’t let that discourage you (or the Instagram account you may or may not be planning to open in your child’s name), there will be plenty of time for bows and braces and asymmetrical cuts down the track, but for those first months you want to keep it simple.

We’ve curated the best babywear essentials — the ones that will get worn, washed and worn again — so that you fill those drawers with outfits you’ll use and nothing you won’t. Here’s what you actually need to dress your newborn.


These all-in-ones are the greatest. Growsuits cover feet and have features like fold-over mitt-sleeves to protect from scratching with a two-way zips for speedy nappy changes, or in the case of Susukoshi Kimono Gowns, a long gown bottom that can be knotted into a swaddle. They are also super easy to get on, just unzip, lay open on the change table, lay your baby on top, put arms and legs in their holes and zip up. Easy.


The current guidelines for dressing your baby say that they should wear the same number of layers as you, plus one to keep them warm. The easiest way to do this is to start with a singlet under all their outfits. We love Purebaby singlets. They have press studs so that they don’t bunch uncomfortably or roll up around your baby’s back. Genius. Top tip for putting them on: stretch the neck out and pull on from the back, not letting it touch your baby’s face. You’ll soon find out babies hate stuff being pulled over their face.


We love hats for two reasons: they keep baby warm, and with a matching suit, they make for an adorable outfit. Organic cotton hats are super soft and comforting for newborns (be sure to pack some in your hospital bag), and if your baby is due in the cooler months, you’ll want something woollen for extra warmth when you’re outside. In summer you’ll be keeping your babe in as much shade as possible, but for extra (irresistibly cute) protection, these baby sun hats are perfect.

Seasonal essentials

A winter baby isn’t likely to need short sleeve bodysuits, they won’t provide enough warmth alone and will bunch under outer layers, but for a summer baby they provide the perfect amount of comfort while keeping your baby cool Kimono Short Sleeved Bodysuits. Winter babies will need cardigans like these gorgeous layers from Wilson and Frenchy and Nature Baby. They are so much easier than jumpers that needs to be pulled over their head and can be done up or worn undone depending on how much warmth is needed.

You can download our printable newborn clothing list here so you can tick things off as you shop. Liked this? Read up on how to be eco-friendly with a new baby here.