How to dress your newborn

The new mum’s guide to getting your tiny baby dressed for the outside world...


The prospect of getting those little newborn arms and legs into clothes can be daunting. But it’ll become easier with time – which you’ll have plenty of – just be gentle and patient until you both get the hang of it.


Warm and cosy Your baby is very likely to cry as you take off her clothes as she doesn’t like the cold and prefers to feel snug and secure. Try not to get flustered, just keep your movements quick and smooth; talk and reassure her in a soothing voice, and keep the room warm. Support me!

Newborn’s heads are floppy, so you might find it easiest laying her on a non-slip surface, such as a changing mat. You could rest her head on your hand, but it’s useful to have both hands free.

Head first Scrunch the vest up and stretch the neck as wide as possible, so that you can ease it over her head in one go, avoiding her face. You may feel all fingers and thumbs at first, but you’ll pick it up pretty quickly. Encourage your husband to help so that you both get the hang of it. Arms up It’s basically the same principal for the arms. Widen one sleeve or armhole as much as possible, concertina up the sleeve and ease your baby’s arm through. Do exactly the same with her other arm. All-in-one Lay your baby on the open sleepsuit. Gather up each sleeve and guide her fists through. Open up each leg and gently guide her feet into the suit. Finally, do up the fastenings. Undressing Undo the fasteners and gently lift your baby’s legs out. Grasp each sleeve by the cuff and gently slide your baby’s hand out, and then remove the sleepsuit from underneath her. If she’s wearing a vest, unfasten the poppers between the legs and slide it up her chest. Gently pull her arms out of the sleeves. Spread the neck wide open and lift the vest over your baby’s head, keeping it clear of her face. How many layers does your baby need?

  • Cute baby clothes are tempting but, in the early days, babies tend to live in vests and sleepsuits, so save your money for later.
  • Buy around five all-in-one sleepsuits – the more you have, the less washing you’ll have to do.
  • In the summer months, a sleepsuit alone is fine, but when it’s cooler, layer up with a vest, too – also known as a body suit. Vests can also be worn alone if it’s very hot, and rompers (footless sleepsuits) are also useful in warm weather.
  • You’ll also need a cardigan, plus a coat and hat for cold days.
  • Remember that young babies can easily get too hot or cold, so be prepared to add or take off layers depending on the temperature.More valuable newborn advice:

    How to top and tail your baby

    How to look after newborn skin

    Start a routine for your baby

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