Before Asahi was born, I struggled to figure out how many clothes I would need and in what sizes. A lot of styles popular for newborns in Japan didn’t seem very convenient to me, so I didn’t want to run out of the sleepers and onesies I am used to! Of course, you never know how big or small your little one will be when they are born, but usually you can estimate based on the final ultrasounds. For reference, Asahi was 3474g or 7lbs 10oz when he was born, which is fairly average and even a little big compared to many Japanese babies. Also, my recommendations are based on my personal laundry schedule which is to do a load every 2 or 3 days. If you do laundry less or more frequently than that, you may want to add or subtract 1 or 2 pieces from each category.
Newborn Size (40-50cm in Japan)
For the first 2 weeks or so, Asahi fit comfortably in newborn size clothes. Here’s my recommendation for what you need:
4 short-sleeved onesies **even in winter, I found short sleeve to be more useful because they are easier to put sleepers over the top of, long sleeve ones tend to get bunched up
4-5 sleepers with feet and built in scratch mits These are crucial! Your newborn will basically live in sleepers. If they have feet, you don’t have to worry about taking socks on and off during diaper changes. Built in scratch mits are sooo convenient also because you can just pull them over their little hands instead of worrying about them knocking off ones that are separate. And it’s less tiny bits to lose in the wash!
**If you have a summer baby, you may want to invest in romper style or just more onesies instead of sleepers with feet since it is quite hot in Japan. However, I think you should still have 4-5 (besides the 4 onesies recommended above) because you may be changing baby’s clothes more often since they will be sweating more in the summer.
0-3 Month Size (50-60cm in Japan)
Once baby is a little bigger and drinking more milk, they tend to spit up more and have more accidents, so you’re going to need a few more options for clothes! Also, you can begin putting baby in 0-3 month sizes even if they are a little big. That way you get more use out of them! I began putting Asahi in 0-3 month size after about 2 weeks and he still fits in them (although we are about to transition out) at 7 weeks.
6 short-sleeve onesies
8 sleepers **I still recommend the ones with feet and scratch mits, although they don’t all have to have that
2 pairs of pants (If you want to occasionally dress baby in something other than a sleeper)
3-4 pairs of socks
2 hats **Something heavier for winter/spring and lighter/sun protective for summer and early fall babies
If you have a winter baby (born October-February or so) then add the following:
2 long sleeve onesies **To pair with pants or as an extra layer
1 winter/bunting suit **If your baby is born October – December, I would recommend buying your winter suit in 3-6 month size so you can get more use out of it through the coldest months. If your baby is born in January or February, then 0-3 month size might be appropriate.
1 heavier jacket **If you have a winter baby this is useful because you can have baby wear the jacket instead of the full winter suit when in the carrier or stroller. It tends to be cooler when you go from outdoors to indoors (such as while shopping) so baby doesn’t get too hot
Along with clothing, I would recommend stocking up on 2 or 3 types of swaddles so you can see what your baby likes. There are a ton of brands out there but mine prefers the Halo Sleep Sack! (Size small!)
I hope this is helpful! I am planning to do a newborn essentials video in the next month so make sure to check back for that!