How many sleepers do you need for a newborn?

As a new parent, determining how many sleepers your newborn needs can be overwhelming. Sleepers, also known as onesies, are a staple for babies in the first few months of life. Having the right number of sleepers on hand can make those hazy newborn days a little smoother.

How many sleepers does a newborn go through per day?

Newborns need to be changed frequently, going through multiple outfits per day. On average, most newborns will go through at least 5-7 sleepers per day in the first few months. However, every baby is different. Some babies may only go through 3-4 sleepers, while others may go through upwards of 10. Factors like how often your baby spits up, drools, has diaper leaks or blowouts will all impact how many outfit changes are needed.

Reasons for frequent sleeper changes

  • Diaper leaks and blowouts
  • Spit up and drooling
  • Accidental pees during diaper changes
  • Dirtying the sleeper during tummy time
  • General messiness – newborns are prone to getting dirty!

In those early days, you may find yourself changing baby’s sleeper after every feeding or nap. Having plenty of backup sleepers on hand will make it less stressful when you inevitably go through multiple outfits in one day.

How many newborn sleepers should you have on hand?

As a general rule of thumb, most baby experts recommend having at least 10-12 sleepers on hand for a newborn. This accounts for laundering sleepers between wears and ensures you always have a spare outfit or two even on your newborn’s messiest days.

Consider the following factors when determining how many newborn sleepers to purchase:

  • How often do you plan to do laundry? If you’ll wash sleepers every 2-3 days, you may need less. If you plan to launder sleepers weekly, have more on hand.
  • Do you have easy access to stores to buy more sleepers if needed? If you live far from stores, stock up.
  • Does your baby spit up frequently or tend to have blowouts? Have extra changes available.
  • Do you plan to reuse sleepers between washes for non-messy changes? You may need less.
  • Will you be staying home with baby or out and about? More changes may be needed if going out.

Here are some recommendations on how many newborn sleepers to have based on your laundry habits:

Laundry Frequency Recommended # of Sleepers
Every 2-3 days 8-10
Twice a week 12-15
Weekly 15-20

Types of sleepers

Not all baby sleepers are created equal. Consider adding different styles to your newborn’s wardrobe:

Basic sleepers

Simple cotton or jersey knit sleepers with snaps or zips down the front. These are versatile for both day and night.

Footless sleepers

Perfect for warmer weather. The footless design keeps babies cooler.

Sleep sacks

Wearable blankets that replace loose blankets in the crib to prevent SIDS. Useful for naps and nighttime.

Sleep and plays

Outfits with foot coverings to keep babies warm. Great for colder temps.

Kimono style

Pull-on sleepers without snaps or zips. Easy for diaper changes but can ride up.

Double zip

Sleepers with zips at both the top and bottom. Allows access for diaper changes without fully removing.

Convertible gowns

Gowns that can convert to sleepers for flexibility. The gown style is great for quick diaper access.

Sleeper safety

When selecting sleepers, prioritize safety:

  • Choose flame-retardant, tight-weave cotton to reduce fire risks.
  • Avoid sleepers with hoods and neck ties which can pose a strangulation hazard in the crib.
  • No loose strings that could wrap around fingers or toes.
  • Avoid sleepers with snaps or appliques that could come loose.

Fabric considerations

Pick soft, breathable fabrics:

  • Cotton: Natural and breathable. Sticks to moist skin.
  • Jersey knit: Soft, stretchy, and flexible. Great for newborns.
  • Polyester: Quick-drying but can be scratchy.
  • Wool: Naturally temperature-regulating. Can be pricey.
  • Bamboo: Super soft, sustainable, and antibacterial.
  • Modal: Breathable and doesn’t shrink. Blends well with cotton.

Avoid slick satin or polyester blends which tend to be hot and irritating to a newborn’s delicate skin. The softer and more breathable the fabric, the more comfortable your little one will be.


Newborn sleepers typically range in size from 0-3 months or up to 12 pounds. However, babies grow rapidly in the first few months. To maximize use, choose sleepers in the following sizes:

  • Newborn: For babies under 8 pounds.
  • 0-3 months: For newborns up to 12 pounds.
  • 3-6 months: For babies who have outgrown newborn size.
  • 6-9 months: Head to toe designs to extend use.
  • 9-12 months: With foldable feet and cuffs to roll up long sleeves/pants.

While it may be tempting to only buy newborn sizes, your baby will outgrow these within weeks. Having the next sizes up in sleepers will enable you to get more extended use of each sleeper as baby grows.

How many sleepers of each size?

Aim for this sleeper size distribution:

  • Newborn size: 3-5
  • 0-3 months: 5-7
  • 3-6 months: 5-7
  • 6-9 months: 3-5
  • 9-12 months: 2-3

You’ll need more of the smaller sizes upfront when baby is going through frequent outfit changes. Slowly build up larger sizes over the first 3-6 months as your newborn grows. The above sizes should take you from newborn through baby’s first year!

Matching accessories

Extend the use of each sleeper outfit with the following add-ons:

  • Socks or booties to cover feet when outgrown sleepers have foot coverings.
  • Hats, headbands, and mittens to match.
  • Bibs to protect necklines from dribbles and spit up.
  • Burp cloths to layer over clothes.
  • Jackets or sweaters to layer over sleeveless designs.

Mix and match accessories to build complete outfits. You’ll need fewer sleepers this way.

Storing and organizing

Keep sleepers neat and accessible with these tips:

  • Use labeled bins or drawers to separate by size.
  • Store in closet near changing station for easy access.
  • Refold or hang up clean sleepers immediately after laundering.
  • Place multiple sizes in diaper bag when on-the-go.
  • Install hooks or shelves to store extra sleepers around the house.

An organized sleeper station makes dressing changes a breeze when you’ve got a crying newborn in your arms!

Buying tips

Maximize your sleeper budget:

  • Stock up during sales, clearances, and member events.
  • Buy multi-packs versus individual sleepers.
  • Mix expensive and budget-friendly brands.
  • Register for sleepers or ask for gift cards to purchase your favorites.
  • Shop consignment stores for next-to-new sleepers at reduced prices.
  • Swap with friends as babies grow into different sizes.
  • Stick to classic solid colors and patterns for reuse with future children.

With some savvy shopping, you can get a full sleeper wardrobe without breaking the bank.

Laundering tips

Proper laundering keeps sleepers clean and safe:

  • Wash daily or every other day to prevent odors and bacteria buildup.
  • Use a mild baby detergent and avoid fabric softeners.
  • Wash in cold water to preserve fabrics and colors.
  • Air or machine dry on low to prevent shrinkage.
  • Avoid using bleach which can irritate baby’s skin.
  • Check for torn seams, loose snaps etc and discard if present.

With frequent laundering, you can safely reuse sleepers multiple times before needing to permanently retire them.

Other frequent outfit changes

While sleepers are the wardrobe staple, also have multiples of these other items:

  • Bodysuits: 5-7 basic short sleeve bodysuits.
  • Pants: 2-3 pairs of soft pants or leggings.
  • Socks: 10-12 pairs of soft baby socks.
  • Hats: 2-3 hats to protect baby from elements.
  • Bibs: 6-10 bibs to protect outfits during feedings.

Having backups of essentials like bodysuits ensures you always have something clean for layering under sleepers.


Dressing your newborn doesn’t have to be complicated. Focus on having 10-12 soft, breathable sleepers in the first 0-3 month sizes. Then gradually build up a selection of sleepers in larger sizes to take your baby through the first year. With the right amount of spares on hand, you’ll sail through countless diaper changes and outfit rotations with ease!

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