The first thing that most new parents notice is that their tiny person tends to create a huge amount of washing. I found that I went from 2-3 loads of washing per week to at least one (sometimes more!) per day.
You will need to allow for at least 3 changes of clothes per day. I found that my sons needed 4-5 changes of clothes per day in the early months due to possits (little vomits) and nappy malfunctions (explosive newborn poo tends to escape from the best of nappies cloth or disposable when babies are in car seats).
So if you don't intend to wash every day, you will need more clothes (and sheets and blankets). However, as babies are growing so quickly at this stage, you won't want to buy too many things as they will soon be grown out of.
I found that I tended to use the same five or six favourites over and over again. These were the softest, most comfortable for my sons and easy to use clothes - generally the organic clothes (of which I only had a few as they were harder to get in those days). I tended to avoid the synthetics as they didn't feel as nice and the few cheaper clothes that we were given soon looked awful as they just didn't stand up to being washed again and again.
So basically, a few practical, better quality items is better than loads of cheap clothes.
As a guideline, if you wash daily you will need:
- 4-5 grow suits
- 4-5 body suits
- 2-3 baby gowns (the 0-6 month sized ones are great value for money)
- 4-5 singlets/singlet body suits (great base layers in winter or to wear with a nappy in Summer)
- 2 or more cardigans/jumpers (except in the middle of Summer - depending on where you live)
- 3 tops
- 3 pants/shorts
- 2 cotton sunhats
- 2-3 cotton hats for warmth in cooler weather
- 2+ dresses or nice outfits for special occasions/photos
- 3+ muslins (a real essential with millions of uses)
- 2-3 cotton blankets (great for layering, swaddling, playmats etc)
This obviously varies on where you live. In Perth I found the Winters mild enough that I never used singlets but just added a hat if we went out. Cooler climates such as Hobart require more layers in Winter.
Another thing to keep in mind is that babies tend to get quite warm when in a car capsule so need less layers while in the car or if you have a capsule that attaches to a pram - the pram. However they will need an extra layer or two when removed from the capsule.