The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Different Types Of Baby Clothing

The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Different Types Of Baby Clothing

Types Of Baby Clothing

There are so many different words for baby outfits that it can get a bit overwhelming. We've made a comprehensive list of the different kinds of newborn clothing items, their confusing names, and their uses. With so many baby clothes to choose from, our guide will help you buy the best baby clothes to build the perfect baby wardrobe.

Chart of Baby Clothing

What Is An Infant One-Piece?

The baby one-piece is the umbrella term for the most common type of infant clothing for babies under a year. If you take a peek in any baby clothing store you will find it is comprised mostly of one-pieces. The baby one-piece includes any article of baby clothing consisting of a top and bottom combined into one.

This includes onesies, bodysuits, rompers, all in ones, snappies, jumpsuits, footies, bodysuits, singlets, creepers, babygro, snapsuits, blanket sleepers, baby gowns, coveralls. Baby clothes brands may add ruffles to baby girls' clothes and alter graphics and necklines for baby boys.

One-Piece baby clothing is the way to go for babies because separates tend to slide up or fall down. Plus, one-pieces hold diapers in place. The problem with a one-piece is how much work is involved in getting a baby dressed in one....8 or 9 times a day. Bodysuits with 3 snaps in the crotch area are manageable but 8-24? Plus, zippers and snaps can become a choking hazard. Thank goodness we invented Mod Union™ baby rompers & baby jumpsuits that don't have any fasteners! Parents, leave behind what you do not need.

What Are Baby Onesies?

Drawing of A Baby Onesie Or Baby Bodysuit

Onesie® is a term trademarked by Gerber to refer to their infant bodysuit. In the US, the general public uses the term ‘baby onesie’ to refer to a baby bodysuit. It is the most searched for term in a long list of baby outfits. Adult sleepers are also referred to as onesies. 

We thought it would be interesting to look at what people are searching for and below are our results. Baby sleepers, baby snowsuits, and baby sleep sacks follow but not closely.

Keyword Volume
Baby Onesies 22000
Baby Sleepers 18000
Baby Snowsuit 14800
Baby Sleep Sacks 14800
Baby Rompers 8100
Baby Outfits 8100
Baby Gowns 5400
Baby Bloomers 5400
Baby Overalls 4400
Baby Bodysuits 3600
Baby Jumpsuits 1900
Baby Footed Pajamas 1900
Baby Layette 1600
Snappies 1600
Blanket Sleepers 1600
Baby Kimono 1300
Baby One Piece 720
Baby Creepers 720
Baby Footies 720
Footed Onesies 590
Baby Coverall 590
BabyGro 320
Baby Grow 320
Baby Singlets 260
Baby Diaper Shirts 210
Baby All In Ones 50
Baby Snapsuits 10
Gathered via Ubersuggest  Janurary 2020


Line graph of search volume on baby clothing keywords

Other names for onesie include bodysuit, snappie, singlet, snapsuit, Babygro®, baby grow & creeper.

Moving forward we will refer to the baby onesie as a baby bodysuit because Gerber is now actively enforcing their trademark over Onesie® for babies.

What Is A Baby Bodysuit?

A baby bodysuit is a baby tee that extends below the waist and fastens between the legs. It looks like a leotard but has fasteners between the crotch for changing the diaper. Baby bodysuits leave the baby legs uncovered.

They are more convenient than baby tees as the closure between the legs prevents it from riding up. Bodysuits also hold diapers in place. Most baby bodysuits come with lap tee (envelope) necks that allow one to pull the bodysuit down over the body rather than up over the head when changing a baby’s diaper. There is a wide selection of bodysuits with varying necklines and sleeve lengths. You can even find some with hoods and mitten cuffs. When dressing your babies, bodysuits are terrific for everyday wear.

shameless plug

We print super fun graphics on 100% cotton and organic cotton baby bodysuits made in the USA. Most all our designs can be printed on adult t-shirts so you can turn your baby gift into matching Daddy and Me or Mommy and me gift sets for some extra joy and bonus points at the baby shower.

What Are Mitten Cuffs?

Mitten cuffs are sleeve cuffs that fold over an infant’s hands to prevent them from scratching themselves. We prefer mitten cuffs and footie cuffs over scratch mitts and socks because they don't fall off.

We offer footie cuffs that turn into pant cuffs as your baby grows. We aren't the biggest fan of mitten cuffs because babies use their tactile senses to learn but they are life-savers if your child has eczema.

What Are Baby Rompers?

Drawing of A Baby Romper

Baby rompers are one-pieces with shorts. Baby rompers can come in many styles with ruffles, hoods, mitts, long or short sleeves or sleeveless. The feature that makes this one-piece a romper is that the baby legs are covered by shorts.

Rompers beat out bodysuits any day because they are a complete outfit. In our humble opinion, a little baby wearing only a bodysuit doesn’t seem fully dressed.

Plug for Unsies

Mod Union™ Rompers

We love one-pieces for infants but hate all the fasteners that come with one. So, in 2007 we invented a one-piece with a pull-down panel in the back like a drop seat. Our super cute rompers & jumpsuits come with no fasteners or elastic bands. This means our one-pieces fit comfy like a glove on baby’s tender skin. They seem to finally be catching on as we have seen our design incorporated into other manufacturer's of baby clothing. It really is so much easier. We think all rompers and jumpsuits should come with a pull down panel in the back.

Mod Unions™ have no elastic waistbands to cut into baby’s tummy. They have no loud Velcro® that can tear up fabrics in the dryer and, no zippers, magnets or snaps to present a choking hazard. The pull-down panel in the back means you can check your baby’s diaper with one quick motion. Check them out in your quest for the perfect baby romper.

What Are Baby Jumpsuits?

Drawing of a jumpsuit

Baby jumpsuits are one-pieces with pants. There are many styles of baby jumpsuits including sleepers, footies, footed onesies and coveralls. The defining feature of a jumpsuit is that the baby legs are covered by pants. Like the baby bodysuit and the baby romper, they come in many configurations. Look for combinations of sleeveless, long-sleeved, short-sleeved, hooded, mitted and footed jumpsuits.

Shameless Plug For Unsie Jumpsuits

Mod Union™ jumpsuits come with the same pull-down panel in the back as our baby rompers allowing for easy diaper checks and no fasteners. They come in various configurations including long sleeve jumpsuits and jumpsuits with comfy hoods.

Mod Union™ also makes modern Union suits for women so you can fashion Mommy & Me outfits. Plus, we no longer have to remove our tops when wearing a one-piece and visiting the loo. Dreams do come true!

What are baby sleepers?

Baby sleepers are jumpsuits made to meet the federal safety standards for children's sleepwear. These requirements include flame-resistant fabric or clothing that is tight-fitting. Other requirements include quality control over small parts like zippers and snaps that can fall off and become choking hazards.

Mod Union Rompers & Jumpsuits have no zippers, snaps, magnets or any other fastener. It's just fabric against your baby's tender skin.

Be aware that all baby clothing under the size of 9 months is exempt from these standards. Even though your newborn might not be mobile, you should still make sure their sleeper is not made from a highly flammable fabric.

Baby sleepers are typically used during cold weather and have long sleeves. Baby sleepers can come with hoods and fabric at the feet to keep feet warm (called footies, footed onesie, footed or footie pajamas.)

What are baby coveralls?

Baby coveralls are the same as baby jumpsuits. When someone says ‘baby coveralls’ a mini mechanics outfit pops into our mind. Folks use coverall to describe a jumpsuit with long sleeves and a hood that is worn for outdoor activity.

What are baby snowsuits?

Baby snowsuits are insulated jumpsuits made for severe weather and should only be used outdoors and never in a car seat as they will compress leaving the straps too loose to do their job. They are also referred to as buntings or a bunting suit.

What Are Infant Separates?

Baby Separates include any item that is not a one piece. Some examples are baby pants, baby shirts, baby tees, baby bloomers, baby diaper shirts, baby diaper covers, baby undershirts, baby leggings, baby lap tees, baby dresses and, baby skirts. Below we describe some of the less common terms used for top and bottom.

What Are Baby Bloomers?

Drawing of Baby Bloomers

Baby bloomers are the same thing as diaper covers except diaper covers are waterproof. Baby bloomers are often made from matching fabrics and used as a fashion item to hide the diaper. Bloomers are often paired with baby girl dresses to hide the diaper when the baby dress rides up (which it does, all the time.)

What Are Baby Nappies?

Nappy is another word for the diaper. Diapers are made up of absorbent layers of fabric worn between the legs to absorb urine and feces.

What Are Baby Diaper Shirts?

We’ve seen this used in various ways. It is used to refer to baby shirts and vests that open at the front, kimono-style bodysuits & baby tops that open at the sides. It is also used to refer to baby bodysuits that snap at the crotch.

Other Baby Clothing Terms

What Is A Layette?

A layette is a set of newborn clothes and accessories. It is your baby’s first wardrobe. A baby registry is a great way to pull one together. Make sure to add some of these items to your baby registry checklist. A layette can be made up of:

  • a going home outfit,
  • a mix of newborn one-pieces (7 days, 4 nights of bodysuits, rompers, baby gowns, sleepers)
  • hats to cover baby's head
  • burp cloths
  • scratch mitts or mitt cuffs on a one-pieces
  • baby socks or baby booties or foot cuffs/footies on one-pieces
  • baby sweater or jacket
  • diapers & wipes
  • baby tees
  • baby pants
  • blankets, swaddles
  • baby bibs
  • hooded towel
  • baby products including diaper creams, baby soap/shampoo
  • nail clipper
  • bulb nasal aspirator
  • thermometer
  • rattle or toy

Don't forget to include a few bright-colored newborn baby clothes for picture taking.

What Are Baby Gowns?

Baby gowns often refer to loose-fitting baby nightgowns or baby sleeper gowns. The newborn baby requires many changes throughout the night. A gown opens at the bottom making this task much easier. The problem with them is they tend to scoot up during the night. We would buy baby a gown that closes with a drawstring or by knotting the bottom together.

Baby gowns can also refer to the Christening gowns used in a baptismal ceremony.

What Are Baby Sleep Sacks?

More of a wearable blanket than a piece of clothing, this is a mini sleeping bag that a baby wears at night to prevent them from kicking off their blankets. It removes any possibility of the baby being smothered by a rogue blanket.

Also referred to as a baby wearable blanket and a baby bunting bag it keeps your little bundle of joy toasty warm in their bed. Look for ones with a hole made for use with a car seat.

What Is Kimono Style Baby Clothing?

Kimono style baby clothing has an opening on the side to avoid having to pull something over your infant’s head. It usually snaps, zips or ties on the side avoiding irritation of the umbilical cord.

This is not an extensive list, but we hope we’ve helped clear up some confusion. Drop us a comment if you come across other confusing baby clothing terminology. We love to hear new words referring to articles of baby clothing or ones we may have missed.

About the Author:

Rosalee Rester has been manufacturing baby clothing for over 15 years. She is the designer of Unsie The Modern Unionsuit.

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