Clothes Tips & Hacks

What Should Your Baby Wear Home From Hospital?

Bringing your precious new arrival home from hospital is one of the greatest days in any parent’s life.

But with safety and comfort top of mind, one thing you’ll definitely want to think about beforehand is how you’re going to dress you little one for the journey home.

The choice of going-home outfit will largely come down to the weather, but in general you will need: onesies, hats, socks, blankets and potentially booties, mittens and a car seat cover in colder weather.

But those aren’t the only things you’ll need to pack for your little one.

So in addition to the clothes that mom will need during her hospital stay, let’s take a look at what your baby will need for the journey home.

What Should Your Newborn Wear Home From Hospital?

When it’s time for your baby to leave the ward, you’re probably going to want to dress your newborn in something that’s super cute and that’s been pre-selected by mom and dad for this special occasion.

This is often the first time parents dress their baby themselves, so you’ll want to be well prepared for this momentous occasion.

The general rule when dressing a baby is to dress them in one more layer than your would wear.

The clothes you choose should be light, breathable and easy to get on and off, especially because diaper blowouts require swift action!

Layering is your best friend in your bid to keep your new arrival safe and warm, and you’ll want a few spares in case items get dirty or lost (ask any parent and they’ll tell you socks never stay on for long).

What Should Your Baby Wear Home From Hospital In Summer?

The first thing to think about in summer is how much time will your baby actually spend in hot weather once they leave hospital.

For example, if you are driving straight home in an air conditioned car, then the temperature inside the car will have more of an effect on their outfit choice than the external air temperature.

In summer, you’re likely to find that having the following list of items will ensure your baby is the right temperature, both outside and in air conditioned spaces:

  • Short-sleeved onesie
  • Long-sleeved onesie
  • Socks
  • Hat
  • Blankets

How to Dress Your Newborn In Winter From Hospital?

Again, the thing to consider is how much time will your new arrival actually spend in cold weather once they leave hospital?

If you’re driving straight home in a car which has been pre-heated, then they may only be exposed to the cold outside temperature for a very short period, such as getting in and out of the car.

For winter babies, having the option of multiple layers will help ensure your baby is the right temperature both indoors and outdoors, so you’ll probably need:

What Clothes Are Easiest For Newborns?

You’re probably going to be changing a newborn’s diaper every 2 hours, so ease of access is an important factor when selecting clothing for your baby.

Opting for clothing with zippers and snaps will make your life that little bit easier.

You also want clothing that not only looks adorable, but is also soft and breathable (see below).

What’s The Best Material For Newborn Clothes?

Depending on the climate you live in, the best materials for baby clothes are natural fibers such as cotton, bamboo, linen and wool.

You can’t go wrong with cotton as it’s not only natural and breathable, but also soft, durable and easily washable.

But one thing to keep in mind is organic cotton may be a better choice for your baby because unlike conventional cotton, it isn’t produced using harmful toxins and pesticides.

See Also: The Complete Guide To Buying & Caring For Baby Clothes

Wash Before Use

The skin of a newborn is much more sensitive and delicate than your own skin.

Given a baby’s skin is around 30% thinner and considerably more absorbent, it will be more prone to irritation.

For this reason, it’s a good idea to pre-wash anything that touches your baby’s skin to avoid unnecessarily irritating their skin.

When washing the items, use cold or warm water and regular liquid detergent, but skip the softener and dryer.

Do You Need A Baby Car Seat When Leaving Hospital?

Yes, if you are planning to drive home from hospital, your are obliged by law to use a car seat, and your hospital will check your have one installed before you can leave.

Other Essential Items

Car Seat

The safest option is to go with a rear-facing seat with a 5 point harness.

These seats have 2 straps that go over the shoulders and a buckle around the waist.

If you’re wondering what the 5 points are, it’s 2 shoulders, 2 hips and one between the legs.

It’s a good idea to install the car seat well before your baby’s due date, and for extra piece of mind you could get your local police or fire station to carry out a check and to ensure your safety seat has not passed its expiration date.


Your maternity ward might provide these, but you’ll probably want some of your own, especially if you’re expecting a smaller or larger baby based on your most recent scan.

Many hospitals only have size 1 diapers available, so there’s no harm in bringing a size up (which your baby will grow into in a few weeks), and perhaps a size down (you can always donate these if you don’t need them).


Blankets are super useful, because you can use them to wrap your baby up in hospital and to keep your newborn warm when being carried to and from your vehicle.

Placing a light blanket on the car seat or over your baby’s legs is also a great way to keep your little one warm and comfortable on the journey home, especially in winter.


Hats aren’t just a super cute baby accessory, they also help prevent too much heat escaping from your baby’s body.

In the first few days, your newborn is adapting from the warm and cozy womb to the big outside world, so a hat will help with your baby’s temperature regulation.

Socks & Booties

As with hats, the purpose of socks are to help keep your baby warm (given they cannot self regulate their temperature yet).

Babies don’t need to wear shoes until they start walking, but you might want to pack a pair of booties.

These are soft, semi-structured footwear (think something between a sock and a shoe).

The advantage of booties is they offer more protection against the cold than socks, so they’re ideal for keeping your winter baby warm in colder weather.

Tori is mama to 3 year old Isabella and co-founder of Rockinbaby. She has a BSc in Psychology, is a certified yoga teacher and is a working mom. In her free time Tori loves cooking delicious foods and baked treats, entertaining and working out. Learn more about Tori here.

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