Welcoming a new baby into the world means a wide variety of emotions and an endless shopping list. The Children's Place and Babies R Us understand that newborn clothes will be on that shopping list. Newborns grow quickly, so it can be frustrating to try and decide how much newborn clothing to purchase. While you want to make sure you're well prepared before baby arrives, no one wants to spend a lot of money on clothing that their newborn will outgrow before they ever wear. Understanding a few basics about infant clothing as well as how your child grows will help make shopping for newborn clothes fun and exciting without the added stress that can sometimes come along with shopping for the newest member of your family.

Before Baby Arrives

The trick to having the right amount of newborn clothes is having patience. Although it would be fun to get all your shopping out of the way before baby arrives, it is not the most practical decision. No mother knows exactly when her child will be born or how large that newborn will be. A good rule of thumb is to buy just enough clothing to get your through the first week or two until you see how large your newborn is and how quickly he or she is growing. You'll want to focus on just purchasing the basics for those first two weeks. Focus on having between 7-10 bodysuits in both long and short sleeves. You'll also want to have about 5 body suits for your child to sleep in at night. These should be heavier to keep your newborn warm while he or she sleeps. Have a few pairs of socks and one or two pairs of pants on hand as well. These inexpensive basics will get you through the first week. If you're dying to purchase something fun, purchase one outfit special for bringing baby home and to wear when guests are coming over.

Once Baby is Here

Your doctor will be seeing you several times in the first weeks of baby's life. In this time your pediatrician will begin to chart a growth curve. This allows you to see how quickly your child is gaining weight, and places your child on a continuum with older children his or her age. This allows you to see if your child runs large or small for their age. Once you pair this information with how large or how tiny your baby was at birth, you'll have a better idea of how long your child will be in size newborn clothes. Knowing that your child runs on the small side can help put your mind at ease when purchasing those very tiny newborn clothes. Likewise, a baby who is large at birth and gains quickly will not wear newborn clothes for an extended period of time, leading you to begin purchasing other sizes more quickly. A word to the wise- you may want to avoid buying holiday and special occasion clothes in advance all together or at least until you know your child's growth rate.