How does the Japanese newborn clothing system work?

When I was pregnant with my son, I was very confused about newborn clothing here in Japan. It wasn’t anything like what we have in the UK. Since becoming pregnant with our second child, I started to look through my son’s old clothing and thought I’d try explain how the system works here.

First of all, the system works on the principle of layering. There are many combinations of layers that can use the same products to make it suitable for summer, winter or the seasons in between. 

The design has been well thought through and there is no need to put anything over the baby’s head when getting them dressed. All of the Japanese clothing items for newborns, you just lay the baby in them and fasten them up. You can also set it up so that you can put all clothing on at once, then fasten them all one after each other negating having to pick baby up several times. 


Typically for Spring and Autumn you would pair the short underwear with the combination underwear to make an outfit. If it’s a bit chilly you could pair either the short underwear or the combination underwear with the coverall. 

For Summer, here in Japan it gets much much hotter than what I was used to in the UK. All is needed is one layer. If we were staying at home it would be the short underwear and if we went out, it was the combination underwear. 

For Winter depending on the temperature if is recommended to pair the short or combination underwear with a thick coverall. The coveralls often come in different weights suitable for warmer or cooler weather. If it’s very cold outside you can layer all three of the above for extra warmth. 

My son was born in Summer and this baby will be a Winter baby however I can use the exact same clothing, just in a different way. This has saved me buying more clothes. 




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