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How to Dress a Newborn When Leaving the Hospital

You’re about to have a baby. It’s one of the most momentous events of your life thus far. Just think: soon you’ll be bringing your little one home, snugly dressed in—

Wait a minute. What do you dress your newborn in as you’re leaving the hospital? It’s the first time you’ll be dressing them. What should they wear? Do they need anything special? Should you try to make a fashion statement?

Relax. Here’s everything you need to know about newborn hospital clothes.

Dressing for Weather

A lot of new parents have a tendency to overdress their newborns the first time out. They’ll swaddle them in far too many layers, or put them into some complicated outfit that requires an engineering degree to get them out of again. So the first step in dressing a newborn is, don’t overthink it.

On the day your baby is to leave the hospital, look at what the weather is like outside. Think about what you’re going to be wearing yourself, to be comfortable outside. Then, dress your baby based on that.

If it’s going to be cold, give them a nice, warm, wool onesie, and maybe a wool hat to match. You may want to add layers, but only as many as they need. Consider some mittens and leg warmers.

If the weather is going to be warmer, then a T-shirt and some cotton pants will do just fine, or maybe a light, cotton onesie. If there’s going to be a lot of sun, consider giving them a hat. If it’s raining, dress them in something to protect them from the wetness.

Dressing for Practicality

Think about the accessories you will and won’t need. If your baby is dressed in a onesie, does it have footies, or not? If it does, then socks aren’t necessary, but otherwise, they’ll need a pair. Shoes, on the other hand, your baby won’t need them until they start to walk. You may be considering buying them a pair right away, just as a cute fashion accessory, but remember: you’ll be the one who has to put those “cute fashion accessories” on your child’s feet. And they’ll be the ones kicking them off at every opportunity, whether you want them to or not.

This brings us to outfit practicality. Remember that you’ll have to dress them, and it’s something they’re not used to. They may squirm or resist, so don’t dress them in something that requires a lot of pushing and pulling of arms and legs in order to get on.

Likewise, avoid complicated outfits that involve a lot of buttons or snaps. Remember that you may need to get those clothes off them in a hurry, in order to change a diaper.

If you’re able, bring a small bag of baby clothes with you to the hospital, so you have a couple of options when you leave. Play it by ear, with regards to the factors discussed above, and decide on the day what’s going to be easiest for you and most comfortable for your baby.

You may have all sorts of cute patterns and fun colors and styles planned out in advance, but when the time actually comes to bring your baby home, fashion will likely be the last thing on your mind. Dressing in something cute and fashionable is fine, of course. But first and foremost, keep it simple, keep it functional, and keep it comfortable. As long as you remember that, you’ll both be just fine.

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