What to prepare for boys and girls: Baby coming home outfit

Baby is coming home - See our outfit recommendations for each season

By Ashley N. Johnson
What to prepare for boys and girls: Baby coming home outfit

What are the basics of preparing a baby coming home outfit?

Whether you're expecting your first baby, or you’re a seasoned birth warrior, the to-do list to prepare for a new addition can be long. Something that many expectant mothers are adding to the already lengthy list is a coming home outfit for baby. In case this is new for you, a coming home outfit is simply the carefully crafted ensemble your baby will wear home from the hospital or birthing center. Though not as crucial as say, a car seat, having a coming home outfit planned in advance is a worthy endeavor several reasons.   

Clothing Comfort is Key

Some baby clothes are uncomfortable.  If you haven’t yet experienced the shrill cry of a baby who HATES being stuffed into a pair of stiff corduroy overalls (my son), or a baby who makes a rather loud protest in the wee hours over a scratchy tag that was hidden in some sleepwear (my daughter), I sincerely hope you never do.

There is no paucity of adorable duds for baby boys, girls, and unisex, but you'll find that the clothing manufacturers do not always keep comfort and practicality in mind with their designs. Tutus and lace are irresistibly feminine, but they are also scratchy. 

You might be surprised to know that clothing can impact an infant's safety, especially garments which are worn while strapped into a car seat. Do not go for outfits which are too loose, that potentially obstructs baby movements. Or overlapping pieces of garments that can cover the baby's face. Any zips, snaps or buttons can be a sensitive issue when the belt buckle overlaps - another red light on why your baby is fussing. It could also be very uncomfortable for a baby to be strapped in on a car seat for long hours during longer travels with a snap closure prickling his neck.  

Picking the Right Clothes for the Seasons

The clothing needs of your baby will depend on the season in which he or she is born.  A Summer baby will have different clothing needs than a Winter baby based on the temperature outside.  The same is true for Spring and Fall. The way you are getting baby home with effect his or her clothing needs as well.  For example, babies who are riding home in a car will have less exposure to the elements than babies who will have to wait outside for public transportation. 

Of course, you may live in a part of the world where the climate remains mostly unchanged throughout the year.  While there is still useful information for those types of climates within these recommendations, just know they were written with the assumption that there are four distinct seasons. 

Size Matters

Some babies are big, and some are small.  There is no way to know whether you'll be taking home a cantaloupe or a watermelon until you have bore the fruit, so to speak.  While technology and family history can help us to make an educated guess about the size of your baby, no method is truly reliable. An ultrasound, for example, can be up to 1 lb off in weight estimations in either direction!  The is a HUGE difference (pun intended)! 

Also, babies are rarely born on their due dates, which is roughly 40 weeks after conception.  This is especially true for first babies, who are reputably late.  Since babies gain about a pound a week for the last few weeks of pregnancy, a later baby might also have more heft.  On the flipside, babies born prematurely are often smaller than babies born at term. 

Make a S.M.A.R.T Selection

S.M.A.R.T is an acronym that can help you weed the poor clothing choices from the great ones.  Apply it to garments you are already considering , or use it to help give direction to your search:

Safety/size: Safety first, remember?  Things to consider: Does the garment fit properly? Will the car seat straps fit properly over baby's clothing? Are there hoody drawstrings that could become entangled around baby's neck?   Pack more than one size of clothing just in case your baby is smaller or larger than expected.

Material: Cotton is king.  It is least likely to irritate sensitive skin, is breathable, easy to clean, and comfortable. Some other materials that are popular for baby clothes are fleece, terry cloth, wool blends, chiffon, tulle, lace, corduroy, denim, and chenille.  While there is a time and a place for some of these materials, none are as soft and comfortable as cotton. 

Accessories: Are there bows, ruffles, buttons, ties, hooks, snaps, etc. that will be uncomfortable to baby once he/she is in a car seat?  Who doesn't love a baby ruffle butt?  A baby who is sitting on a lumpy wad of ruffles for the sake of vanity. Tags are also culprits for discomfort, so add them to this category when considering a coming home outfit.

Reuse: Can this garment be worn again?  Will it hold up in the wash?  How easy will it be to get stains out of it?  Can I use it for another baby, whether mine or a friend's? Am I getting a good return on my investment here?  

Time: How much time must be invested in the clothing on and off? How much time and effort will it require to change this entire outfit should a massive diaper blow-out ensue? How much time will I have to invest in caring for the garment (washing, drying, stain removal, etc.)?

What outfit to dress newborn baby going home during Summer

The warmer weather in the Summer means you don’t have to worry about bundling as much. A simply onesie with optional bottoms, socks, and a hat or bow are perfect. Rompers are widely available for summer baby boys and girls and are an excellent choice as well. Choose a fabric that is breathable, such as cotton (remember: cotton is King!), and stretchy.  You’ll want to avoid heavy fabrics, such as fleece or other synthetics such as polyester and rayon, as they retain heat and can induce unwanted sweating. 


A romper is the perfect garment for a summer baby because it contains a top and bottoms in one. They are typically available with both snaps and zippers.

What is cuter than a brand new tiny baby? A brand new tiny baby dressed like delicious seasonal fruit! Nom nom!

If you’re bringing a baby girl home from the hospital, you might be tempted to put her in a frilly dress dress or skirt.  While these are adorable, there will be plenty of other opportunities for playing dress up with your little lady that do not involve a car ride. Spaghetti straps, though popular with summer infant clothing, are also not recommended as the carseat straps can rub your baby's skin raw. Ouch!

The cut of this summer romper is appropriate since the fabric is a barrier against the car seat straps. The accessories are also made of soft pom poms.

The same considerations should be made for baby boy clothing and unisex.  There are Many adorable options.  Bodysuits with screen print are typically more comfortable than bodysuits with large embroideries. 

This grey bodysuit is perfect for a Summer baby boy or girl. Customize your perfect outfit by visiting an online shop, such as Etsy.

What outfit to dress your baby coming back home during Autumn

The cooler autumn weather is the perfect opportunity to accessorize your baby with a little hat or beanie for some added warmth (and cuteness!). Pumpkin hats are an adorable unisex option, and can be worn appropriately during all of the Fall months.  

Foxes have become a unisex look in recent years. This adorable hat is perfect for a Fall boy or girl.

Autumn weather can vary quite a bit.  If you are due to fall in love with your newest edition in the Fall, a long-sleeved cotton onesie with cotton bottoms is probably your best bet during this season. A lightweight sleeper is also an excellent and comfortable choice. Layering clothes can be done too as long as safety is kept in mind.

This is a great outfit for a Fall girl. There are ruffles, but not in a place where it will cause any safety issues or discomfort.

Aside the buttons, this is a cute unisex outfit than can be layered over a solid colored bodysuit.

Booties might be appropriate for a Fall baby as well.  There are many websites that sell hand-knitted baby booties in just about every imaginable color and style, so having a simple and comfortable outfit with Fall accessories is the perfect way to celebrate bringing your autumn baby home.

Thanksgiving falls on the cusp of Fall and Winter. This adorable turkey bodysuit is perfect for a baby born this time of year. The minky fabric can be on the warmer side, so keep that in mind.

Another great outfit for a Thanksgiving baby. More ideally, the onesie would have long sleeves. Leg warmers are comparable to pants for the most part, but do not cover everything. Keep your baby bottom warm and covered if the weather is cold.

What outfit to dress baby coming home during Winter

Your baby may not exactly be walking in a Winter Wonderland at birth, but this season is touted as "the most wonderful time of the year", and welcoming a new addition is no exception.

The chilly winter air makes for very different clothing considerations for a Winter baby.  It can be tricky to keep baby warm enough in transit, while also observing car seat safety. Still, there are options out there, and with a little bit of planning, the baby will be roasty-toasty warm despite the company of Jack Frost.

Choosing fabrics that retain heat, such as fleece, can help strike a balance between warmth and safety for winter baby going home outfits. Fleece garments that are one piece and have maximum coverage, such as sleepers/footy pajamas, are ideal.  There are all kinds of prints for winter, from polar bears and ice-skating penguins to gingerbread men and Santa.

This is also the time of year for warm fuzzy hats and booties. Infant Santa hats and elf stocking caps are always abundant around December.

Babies born in December are often surrounded by family who are gathered for the Holidays.

To add warmth without adding layers of clothing, which can be dangerous in an infant car seat, you might consider getting a car seat canopy.  These come in a variety of styles and price points, and are designed to fit over the infant carrier to block wind, rain, and other elements. Some even double as a nursing cover! Using baby blankets can also protect baby in the same way and add a layer of warmth safely.

High top sneaker booties for Winter babies born to Basketball loving parents.

What outfit to dress baby coming home during Spring

Spring babies are born into a season that  is a metaphor for rebirth.  For that reason, there are many cute clothing options for babies born during these months.  There is no shortage of floral patterns, honey bees, ladybugs, bunnies, and frogs.  Ducks and bunnies are great gender neutral themes and are abundant this time of year as well.

Floral prints are very Spring. These Kimono onesies are unique and have details that likely won't get in the way of car seat straps.


The perfect going home outfit is within reach.  There are many clothing options out there for newborn babies, so many in fact it can be overwhelming! Using the SMART formula will help you choose an outfit for this special occasion wisely, and sort through the sea of choices.

Your baby will have many special occasions in his or her life. Going home is the first one and worth thinking about in advance. Planning that perfect going home outfit is a great way to keep your eye on the prize in those typically uncomfortable last days of pregnancy, and to get excited about the day you will finally bring your newest family member home forever.