If there's one thing during my pregnancy which I had real difficulty getting my head around, it would definitely have to be the topic of baby clothes! My husband and I really had no idea where to begin with it all.
At roughly 12 weeks pregnant, wandering aimlessly around Mothercare, we felt amazed by the huge choice of clothing but didn't know where on earth to begin! We asked ourselves 'What is the difference between a romper suit and a body suit?' 'How many layers should a baby wear?' 'Do they always wear a vest underneath their other clothes?'. I feel we may have looked somewhat confused because a very helpful member of staff came to the rescue. She explained the different types of clothing to us in great detail and also told us to bare in mind the time of year baby was to be born as well as the temperature of our house (very cold!).
Our clothes list for a newborn:
Sleepsuits: These have long arms with feet attached usually. Sometimes also referred to as a babygro.
Bodysuits: sometimes referred to as a vest, this is what the baby wears all the time under their main clothes. It has poppers underneath for easy access to nappy change and it also holds the nappy in place.
T-shirts: Look for T-shirts with wide necks or with poppers on the shoulder for ease of access.
Leggings: These are very useful because having separate bottoms allow you to just change one item of dirty clothing without having to re-assemble the whole outfit.
Sweater or fleece jacket: Build up different layers so if baby becomes too hot, it's easy to remove a layer of clothing.
Pramsuit: If you are having an autumn or winter baby this is essential for keeping baby cosy in the pram. It's an all in one suit which is often fleecy and has a hood.
Socks/booties: Babies hands and feet are naturally colder than those of an adult to keep their feet snug with socks.
Hats: A couple of broad rimmed sunhats for summer to keep the sun off baby's face and then a warm hats to cover baby's ears in the winter.
Before our son was born, we resisted purchasing lots of baby clothes. We simply bought the essentials because a friend who recently had a baby told us that when his daughter was born, almost every friend and family member bought the baby newborn or 0-3 months clothes (we weren't expecting to receive lots of gifts but you will probably also find that you get a significant number of clothes as gifts for your new arrival!)
Secondly, remember that babies outgrow their newborn clothes quickly, whilst some larger babies skip wearing newborn clothes completely, moving straight onto 3 month clothes, while little babies may wear the tiny baby size first. Just so you're prepared, buy a few of the essentials in a range of sizes so your baby will have something suitable to wear when they're born, and then return unused items. (This was advice from Mothercare).
To keep an eye on what we were buying (and to stop me from having the urge to spend all my money of cute newborn clothes) we created a quick and simple spreadsheet on Excel so we could easily track what we had already bought, and what we still needed to buy.
It's easy to create a quick spreadsheet to keep track of those all important purchases.