Minimalist clothes for kids wardrobe

how many clothes do kids really need? (with free checklist)

From newborns to teenagers – no matter how old your child is they need clothes.

But how many clothes do kids actually need and how much is just too much?

The smaller the kids are the faster they also grow which means you will need more clothes a lot faster.

Newborn babies will grow out of their clothes in a matter of weeks so you should only start with a small number of clothes in different sizes for your baby.

Especially if you are living in an area where you have all four seasons or mostly hot or cold weather.

I know it’s super tempting to buy a ton of those adorable little outfits and onesies with cute sayings – oh and of course all the seasonal stuff like valentine’s day, halloween or christmas outfits.

When it comes to cute baby clothes our brains just shut off and we moms want to buy all the clothes but instead of buying the 10th outfit your baby will outgrow shortly you could invest in more useful baby items like diapers for example.

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How many clothes do kids need?

When buying clothes for kids there are a few things to consider.

Depending on the age of your child, what your personal budget is and how dirty your kid gets you might need more or less than the recommended amount of clothes for your child.

You should also consider how often you do laundry.

If you only build a basic wardrobe with an occasional extra cute outfit you won’t need a lot of storage space so it is easy to have a fully stocked wardrobe even in a small apartment.

How many clothes do babies need?

You can already start your baby’s wardrobe while still pregnant with just a few basics.

Don’t go overboard and buy all the outfits you see in the same size.

For my first baby, I was definitely buying way too much plus I also got some used clothes from friends and clothes gifted for our baby shower so we ended up with a few outfits she never even got to wear.

It makes sense to just get a few clothes in newborn size with the most important basics and buy more clothes as they grow.

Babies really only need a few basics and it’s best to start with a simple collection of basics.

I like to start with about 5 of everything in newborn size.

  • 5 short sleeve onesies
  • 5 long-sleeve onesies
  • 5 pants
  • 2-3 light hats
  • 5 pair of socks
  • 4-5 Pajamas
  • 2-3 Cute outfits

Depending on the season the baby is born in you should also add:

  • 3-4 Sweaters or light jackets
  • extra socks

Of course, you can also add a few cute outfits to the mix with the basics in clothing for your baby.

It’s always best to layer up and I personally prefer to put a blanket over the baby instead of an extra jacket.

Usually, when you go outside with the baby it is in a stroller or the car seat so it makes more sense to add an extra car seat swaddle blanket.

They are super useful and can just stay in the car seat with holes where the car seat belt goes through so all you have to add is the baby.

I really had to discipline myself the second time around to not buy so much and it makes things a lot easier and my baby will actually get to wear all the clothes we currently have.

If you do end up having a baby that spits up extremely much during the day or had multiple blow-outs – by all means go get some more clothes to change so you don’t spend all day every day just doing laundry.

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How many clothes do toddlers need?

Toddlers like to play outside and get dirty a lot faster than a baby so it makes sense to have a few extra outfits on hand.

But you also do not have to go overboard with buying clothes for your kids here either.

A simple wardrobe for a toddler girl could look something like this:

  • 6 Tops
  • 6 Bottoms (pants or skirts)
  • 4-5 Dresses
  • 3 Pajamas
  • 10 Pair of socks
  • 10 Pair of underwear
  • 2-3 Pair of shoes
  • 1-2 Jackets for outdoors
  • 1-2 Hoodies

For toddler boys you should have the following in their dresser:

  • 6 Tops
  • 6 Bottoms
  • 3-4 Pajamas
  • 10 Pair of socks
  • 10 Pair of Underwear
  • 2-3 Pair of shoes
  • 1-2 Jackets for outdoors
  • 1-2 Hoodies

That way all the clothes can fit in one drawer or one smaller section of the closet and when you wash every day like probably most of us moms with kids this basic wardrobe will last.

If you don’t get around to doing laundry a lot it makes sense to have a few extra outfits for your kid in their dresser.

And depending on the climate you live in and the weather you get there you should also add the following to your kid’s closet:

  • Rain Jacket
  • Snow Jacket
  • Winter Boots
  • Sandals or Flip-flops
  • Rain Boots

And that’s it – you have successfully created a fully equipped wardrobe for you kid with all the clothes kids really need.

How many clothes does a teenager need?

Teenagers need the basics in shirts, tops, and pants like a toddler would plus a few extra clothes they like with their interests.

For teenagers, it is best to involve them in their own clothing choices to build their wardrobe.

Rule of thumb here is to have one outfit for every day of the week.

If they have to wear special school uniforms it makes the choice even easier but in general, you should go with one complete outfit for every weekday at least.

Great online stores to buy clothes for babies and kids:


I absolutely LOVE Carters simply because their clothes have a great quality and when you buy during their sales you can get some really good deals on multi-packs and cute outfits.

They usually run a big sale twice a year – that is how I stocked up my baby closet while I was still pregnant while saving quite a bit of money.


Buying clothes for babies and kids on amazon is great because of their simple return process in case something doesn’t fit or is not how you wanted it and you can find pretty much any brand on their website.

The Children’s Place

Always free shipping – that is one of the great things about the children’s place and they have adorable clothes for really affordable prices.


Target has its own brand called Cat & Jack with the cutest outfits for babies and toddlers.

I like the fit of their clothes for my toddler girl and they last pretty long so the quality speaks for itself.


Shein is a super popular site based in China where you can find tons of baby and kids clothes for a affordable price.

Just keep in mind that it might take a few weeks to get your order and ALWAYS read the reviews before you buy anything.

Their quality and how the clothes fit can vary a lot – I bought some cute swim suits for my toddler thinking they would be a bit bigger for the coming summer and they ended up being exactly her size she needs right now.

Sending clothes back is a bit of a hassle too and mostly not worth it.

Old Navy

Old navy has regular sales on clothes as well and a rewards program that will help you save even more on future purchases of kids clothes.


Besides the Carter’s website Kohl’s has great deals on multi-packs of onesies for babies and you get rewarded with Kohl’s Cash that you can use for future purchases as well.


I absolutely LOVE shopping on vinted.

Vinted is a great place to get used clothes for a fraction of the price you would usually pay at the store.

I bought maternity and baby clothes there finding a great deal for gently used clothes.

Only downside? You are buying from other people and not a business so you can not send stuff back and have to pay shipping for each order you place from different people.

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How can you save on clothes for kids?

Since kids can go through a lot of clothes from wear and tear or simply because they grow out of them there are a few ways to save extra money on kid’s clothes.

Buy used clothes

Facebook marketplace or local facebook groups are a great place to find gently used clothes for kids of all ages for a small price or even for free.

Other places to get good used clothes can be thrift stores or the website I mentioned earlier – Vinted – where you can find pretty much everything for a great price.

Hand me downs

I am pretty sure you know somebody in your life with kids older than yours that might be able to give you hand-me-downs from their kids.

I love getting hand-me-downs from friends and family – it is like digging through a little treasure box exciting to see what cute clothes you will find.


If you do not like to buy or use used clothes in general you should always keep an eye out for sales on kid’s clothing.

Many of the big retailers and clothing stores will have at least one sale a year that can be really worth it.

Especially stores like Walmart or Target will always have some extra deals and discounts on clothes.

Off-season shopping

Now this only makes sense if your kid is not growing faster than the speed of light anymore.

For babies and toddlers there is no way to predict what size they will need in the following season but if your child is older and not growing much anymore you can save a ton of money by buying clothes off-season.

For example when the stores start changing from summer to winter clothing you can get highly discounted summer clothes.

Free printable checklist for kid’s clothes

If you want to make it even easier going shopping for your kids make sure you download the free pdf file checklist you need for your kid.

Every checklist includes all the basics you need to build a minimalist children’s wardrobe depending on their age.

To download the free checklist in pdf file format simply click on the picture. (It will then open in a new tab where you can download or print it as often as needed)

Baby clothes checklist

Baby clothes checklist

Toddler clothes checklist

Toddler basic clothes checklist

These two different checklists will make it a lot easier to stick to a minimalist wardrobe and only buy clothes your kid really needs without going overboard.

Do you have any extra tips to build a basic minimalist wardrobe for kids that you want to share with other moms?

Let us know in the comments below.

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