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Everything you need to create a capsule wardrobe for your baby

“How much clothing do I really need for my new baby?"


It's one of the biggest questions pregnant moms ask. Baby clothes are the cutest, and picking out those teeny tiny onesies, sleepers, and socks is for sure one of the most fun parts about becoming a new mom—but it can also be confusing to anticipate what's worth buying, what to skip, and how many of each clothing item you'll actually need when the time comes.

Enter the capsule wardrobe.

If you're not familiar with this (genius) idea, we can't wait to fill you in: a capsule wardrobe is a collection of essential, classic, and versatile pieces of clothing that can all be mixed + matched together. Capsule wardrobes embrace the idea that less is more, and that buying a small group of staple items that are easily interchangeable is the best way to maximize your wardrobe and minimize your spending.

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We are all about the idea of fewer, better, beautiful. We swoon over must-have minimalist baby products, and we think a toy capsule collection is genius. So when it comes to dressing baby? It's a no-brainer: a baby capsule wardrobe is the way to go.

Considering that every family's laundry situation may be different, here's our master list for a basic baby capsule wardrobe. Remember, these are the basics—you can always add on with more accessories, an extra sweater or two for colder climates, and shorts or a swimsuit for warmer ones.

What's in a baby capsule wardrobe

  • 3-5 undershirts/base layers
  • 4-6 sleepers
  • 8-10 onesies/bodysuits (long + short sleeved)
  • 4-6 pairs of pants/leggings
  • 1-2 rompers/overalls
  • 1-2 layering pieces (sweater or hoodie)
  • 1 cap/bonnet
  • 6-8 pairs of socks
  • 1 pair soft shoe/moccasin

We also recommend keeping the following guidelines in mind while you're shopping:

  • Keep it simple + streamlined. Stick to a few brands you love + color palette that fits your style. Capsule wardrobes are all about simplifying your life; don't overcomplicate things with too many options. Choose basic, easy pieces that all work together and can be mixed + matched with ease.
  • Choose comfort + practicality over style. I know, I know—those cute little dresses and tiny little baby shoes are calling your name. But practically speaking, they're probably not the right choice for your little one, who wants soft, comfortable clothing that's easy to move around in and won't irritate sensitive newborn skin.
  • Balance quality + affordability. If you're only buying a limited number of clothing items, you want to make sure they can withstand lots of wear + tear and multiple washings. (Because...spit-up.) You want to find a balance that works for you by choosing brands that fit within your budget, but also stand the test of time.

And now onto the fun part, mamas—shopping! We've pulled together our absolute favorite, gender-neutral baby basics that you'll need to build your little one's capsule wardrobe below. We can't wait to see what you choose!

Base layer bodysuits

Think of the basic white bodysuit as the (much cheaper!) little black dress of your baby's capsule wardrobe collection. It's simple, versatile, and an absolute must-have. This foundation piece is the perfect base layer when it's chilly, under either daytime clothing or as an extra layer at night.

It works with a simple pant or legging for a cute, clean look, or it can be tossed in your diaper bag as an emergency outfit change for those messy moments.



A classic baby registry item for a reason—the price and quality here simply cannot be beat. We recommend a few packs of these in every size, for the first 18 months or so of baby's life, in both the long sleeve and short sleeve styles.

4-Pack Long-Sleeve Original Bodysuits
$13.00, Carter's


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Sleepers

Sleepers are a baby staple for so many reasons, but mainly because babies sleep + lounge around quite a bit in that first year (we hope!) and need something comfy to do it in. A cute sleeper can also double as a daytime outfit, so keep that in mind when choosing colors + patterns.

And because we think snaps are the last thing you need to be fumbling around with during middle-of-the-night diaper changes, we have a hard and fast “zippers only" rule when it comes to sleepers. We're also partial to organic materials; they may cost a bit more, but we truly think they are worth it for the comfort and durability factors.

Here are a few of our favorite picks:



Primary is one of our go-to's for capsule wardrobe pieces. This zip footie is simple, soft, and comes in a huge variety of colors.

The Zip Footie
$18, Primary

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One of our favorites of all time, these legendary sleepers are the perfect combo of style + function. They don't come cheap, but they're hand-me-down quality and we swear they magically grow with baby and last for months!

Night Night Sleepers In Organic Cotton
$32.00, Hanna Andersson

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These super affordable zip footies make a perfect pajama and are ideal for playtime, too.

Zip-Front One-Piece for Baby
$13.00, Old Navy

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Onesies + bodysuits

Onesies + bodysuits are will make up the bulk of your baby's capsule wardrobe. Depending on the season, they can be worn alone or with pants, and they can be a mix of short and long sleeved.

Here are a few we're swooning over:


Bodysuit packs are a great way to get more bang for your buck. We love the natural, muted colors of these cotton bodysuits, and the kimono-style neck, which means you don't have to worry about squeezing baby's head through a tiny neck opening.

Cloud Island Short Sleeve Kimono Bodysuit 4-Pack
$9.99, Target

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This soft cotton footed one-piece features a sweet, gender neutral pattern and a zipper for easy diaper changes.

Favorite Print Footed Zip One-Piece
$18.00, Gap

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These basic bodysuits come in every color of the rainbow and hold up to lots of washes. At only $8 each ($7 if you buy more than three), they're a great value.

The Babysuit
$8, Primary

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We love the sweet pattern on this footed one-piece and the ultra soft feel of the 100% cotton fabric.

Footed Romper
$24.50, Tea Collection

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The sweet graphic and stripe on these one-pieces add will add a touch of flair + style to your baby's capsule wardrobe. We also love the easy on/easy off necklines.

2-Pack One-Piece Set for Baby
$18.00, Old Navy

BUY

Pants + leggings

When shopping for baby pants + leggings, soft material + stretchy fabric are key. Make sure baby has plenty of freedom to move, kick, and eventually crawl.

The options below fit perfectly into a baby capsule wardrobe:


These pants go with just about anything, and the button details add a cute touch of style.

2-Pack Babysoft Pants
$11.00, Carters

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Wiggle pants—the name alone just makes us smile! We're swooning over the stripes, bright colors, and great fit of these super cute baby pants.

Bright Baby Basics Wiggle Pants in Organic Cotton
$20.00, Hanna Andersson

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Everyone needs a pair of joggers, and your baby is no exception ? The pique fabric earns these extra points for style.

Burt's Bees Baby Organic Cotton Loose Pique Pants
$14.95, Target

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The versatility of leggings (aka the best, most comfy pant ever invented) can't be beat. We love these because of the wide, no-roll waistband and the flat seams that won't rub against baby's skin.

The Baby Legging
$10, Primary

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Rompers + overalls

Confession: babies in rompers make us swoon. ? Rompers + overalls are perfect for adding some fun to your capsule wardrobe. Pair them with a cute bodysuit, and you'll have a perfect outfit picked out in no time,


No baby wardrobe is complete without an adorable pair of overalls. These work with almost any onesie, and look great on either a little boy or girl.

Twill Dungarees
$27.90, Zara

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This sleeveless jumpsuit is soft, comfy, and can be worn with or without a onesie underneath.

Sleeveless Jersey Jumpsuit
$12.99, H&M;

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We realize this doesn't quite fit into our “stick with the basics" rule, but...AVOCADOS! We just couldn't resist.

Racerback Shortall
$22.00, Monica + Andy

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Layering pieces

Even in warmer climates, it's important to remember that babies get chilly pretty easily. It's always important to have a few go-to warmer pieces in your capsule, whether for wearing on their own, or as an extra layer.


This chunky knit hooded cardigan couldn't be any cuter. Make sure to size up so you'll get plenty of use out of it as baby grows.

Organic Cotton Hoodie Cardigan
$35.00, Nordstrom

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We heart the simple style of this sweater romper. It's made of 100% cotton so it won't itch baby's skin, and it can be thrown in the washing machine for easy care.

Mixed Knit Jumpsuit
$29.90, Zara

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This sweatshirt jumpsuit works great on its own, or as an added layer on chilly days.

Sweatshirt Jumpsuit
$24.99, H&M;

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Shoes + accessories

Unlike us, mamas, babies don't need all that much in the way of accessories! A cute bonnet, patterned socks, and a neutral bootie can go a long way in changing up the look of an outfit and livening up your capsule.

Here are just a few of our favorites!


Our favorite baby “shoe" around, these moccasins can be paired with any outfit and, most importantly, stay put on tiny feet. They're also easy to take on and off, and make a great soft-soled shoe for very early walkers.

Freshly Picked Classic Moccasin
$49.00, Nordstrom

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This sweet ribbed hat will keep baby's head warm when the temperature dips!

Ribbed Hat with Ears
$14.90, Zara

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Socks that look like sneakers? Yes, please. And, they actually stay put on baby's squirmy feet!

Trumpette Rad Johnny 6-Pack Socks
$26.00, Nordstrom

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This is how we’re defining success this school year

Hint: It's not related to grades.

In the ever-moving lives of parents and children, opportunities to slow down and reflect on priorities can be hard to come by. But a new school year scheduled to begin in the midst of a global pandemic offers the chance to reflect on how we should all think about measures of success. For both parents and kids, that may mean putting a fresh emphasis on optimism, creativity and curiosity.

Throughout recent decades, "school success" became entangled with "academic achievement," with cases of anxiety among school children dramatically increasing in the past few generations. Then, almost overnight, the American school system was turned on its head in the spring of 2020. As we look ahead to a new school year that will look like no year past, more is being asked of teachers, students and parents, such as acclimating to distance learning, collaborating with peers from afar and aiming to maintain consistency with schooling amidst general instability due to COVID.

Despite the inherent challenges, there is also an overdue opportunity to redefine success during the school year by finding fresh ways to keep students and their parents involved in the learning process.

"I always encourage my son to try at least one difficult thing every school year," says Arushi Garg, parenting blogger and mom of a 4-year-old. "This challenges him but also allows me to remind him to be optimistic! Lots of things in life are hard, and it's important we learn to be positive during difficult times. Fostering a sense of optimism allows kids to push beyond what they thought possible, like biking without training wheels or reading above their grade level."

Here are a few mantras to keep in mind this school year:

Quality learning matters more than quantifying learning

After focusing on standardized measures of academic success for so long, the learning environment this next school year may involve more independent, remote learning. Some parents are considering this an exciting opportunity for their children to assume a bigger role in what they are learning—and parents are also getting on board by supporting their children's education with engaging, positive learning materials like Highlights Magazine.

As a working mom, Garg also appreciates that Highlights Magazine can help engage her son while she's also working. She says, "He sits next to me and solves puzzles in the magazine or practices his writing from the workbook."

Keep an open mind as "school" looks different

Whether children are of preschool age or in the midst of high school, "going to school" is bound to look different this year. Naturally, this may require some adjustment as kids become accustomed to new guidelines. Although many parents may wish to shelter our kids from challenges, others believe optimism can be fostered through adversity when everyone is committed to adapting to new experiences.

"Honestly, I am yet to figure out when I will be comfortable sending [my son] back [to school]," says Garg. In the meantime, she's helping her son remain connected with friends who also read Highlights Magazine by encouraging the kids to talk about what they are learning on video calls.

Follow children's cues about what interests them

For Garg, her biggest hope for this school year is that her son will create "success" for himself by embracing new learning possibilities with positivity.

"Encouraging my son to try new things has given him a chance to prove that he can do anything," she says. "He takes his previous success as an example now and feels he can fail multiple times before he succeeds."

There's no denying that this school year will be far from the norm. But, perhaps, we can create a new, better way of defining our children's success in school because of it.

This article was sponsored by Highlights. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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[Editor's note: Motherly is committed to covering all relevant presidential candidate plans as we approach the 2020 election. We are making efforts to get information from all candidates. Motherly does not endorse any political party or candidate. We stand with and for mothers and advocate for solutions that will reduce maternal stress and benefit women, families and the country.]

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Individuals across the country stood up and condemned white supremacy in 2020 and wanted the sitting President of the United States to do that Tuesday night, during the first presidential debate.

But he didn't.

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