Toddler Wardrobe Essentials: 8 Everyday Items You Should Have for Your Toddler

When your baby was still a newborn, you may have dreamt about all the cute ways you would dress him or her as a toddler. Now that your baby has entered into toddlerhood, you’ve probably realized that dressing an adventurous little tot is easier said than done! 

For one thing, your toddler is now walking, talking and expressing their preferences for certain clothes (or, let’s face it—no clothing at all). To help you build a suitable wardrobe for your little one, here are a few must-have toddler essentials you need to keep your tot happy and safe.

1. Cute and Functional T-Shirts

No toddler’s wardrobe is complete without a few cute and functional t-shirts. For the hotter months, you can’t go wrong with organic cotton t-shirts for your little one. Not only are baby clothes made with organic cotton soft and gentle on baby’s sensitive skin, but they’re also breathable.

During the winter season, make sure that you have several long-sleeve t-shirts for your toddler—preferably, ones made from wool, polyester and other moisture-wicking fabrics. You can use them as a base layer for your toddler’s winter layering outfits.

2. Training Pants

Has your toddler been dropping major hints that she wants to start potty training? If so, now is a good time to toddler boy training pants or toddler girl training pants to help her dress for potty training success! 

Although potty training can be a daunting prospect, the right training pants can make the transition out of diapers so much easier. To get potty training off on the right foot, we recommend starting with waterproof training pants for the first few weeks before switching to all-cloth styles. 

Stock up on Training Pants for Your Toddler

3. Pull-On Leggings and Pants 

On a similar note, try to avoid toddler pants with snaps or complicated buttons. Instead, look for pants and leggings with elastic waistbands and lots of stretch. These are quick to pull on and off, which will make dressing an excitable toddler much easier for you. When your toddler starts learning how to dress, it will also be easier for them as well. 

Best of all, toddler pants and leggings work for a variety of occasions and seasons. For example, you can dress up toddler girl leggings by pairing them under a cute skirt or keep it simple for playtime by dressing her in a comfy tee.

Smiling mom watching her toddler playing in living room

4. Comfortable Sleepwear 

According to Cleveland Clinic, toddlers need roughly 12-14 hours of sleep each day. If you’re worried that your toddler isn’t getting that much, there is one simple way to promote a better night’s sleep: dressing them in cozy toddler pajamas. A comfy pair of footed fleece blanket sleepers or lightweight cotton pajamas can make a world of difference to your toddler’s sleep quality—that, along with establishing a solid bedtime routine.

5. Shorts and Skorts

When temperatures start to rise, make sure that you have a few pairs of shorts and/or skorts stocked for your toddler’s summertime wardrobe. While there’s nothing wrong with letting them run around in the buff at home (’tis the season for it), you’ll need to dress them for summer barbecues, park outings and neighborhood walks. 

6. Outerwear

No matter where you live, your toddler needs at least one waterproof jacket. If you live in an area with chilly temperatures, you may want to invest in a well-fitting snowsuit. A toddler’s head is particularly susceptible to the cold, so be sure to stock up on infant and toddler sun hats as well. Don’t forget their scarves, gloves and a pair of waterproof boots.

7. One or Two Pairs of Quality Shoes

Toddlers don’t actually need to wear shoes unless their environment requires it. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, letting your tot go barefoot whenever possible helps promote healthy foot development.

Even so, you’ll still need one or two well-fitting pairs of shoes for your toddler in case they want to walk outside. Resist the urge to buy one size up for their fast-growing feet! Your toddler is learning to walk, run and balance. They need all the support and comfort they can get.

8. Swimsuit 

Between water fountains, beach outings and trips to the pool, many toddlers practically live in their swimsuits during the summertime. In addition to applying a generous amount of sunscreen, wearing sunglasses, be sure to choose UV swimsuits for your little one for added protection from the sun.

Additionally, keep in mind that potty training a toddler girl in a one-piece swimsuit can be tricky. Instead, consider opting for swim separates (i.e., a rash guard and swim bottoms). It will make bathroom time a lot simpler.


Silly toddler girl in pink top wearing sunglasses.


Choose Quality Over Quantity

With so many cute toddler clothes available, it’s easy to overdo it on your toddler’s wardrobe—believe us, we know! But if you’re not careful, your little one’s dresser is going to be overflowing with clothes that they rarely (if ever) wear.

By sticking to these toddler wardrobe essentials, you can prioritize quality over quantity. Not only will laundry day be simpler, your little one is guaranteed to be comfy and cute for any occasion.

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