How to Fold Baby Clothes

Baby clothes

Verywell / Photo Illustration by Madelyn Goodnight / Getty Images

New parents have so many things to think about, starting with how to care for their tiny new little one! It’s not uncommon for things that may seem trivial, such as how best to fold their baby’s onesies, sleepers, and pants, to fall by the wayside. But keeping your baby’s drawers neat and organized can actually do wonders for your psyche—especially in those early days.

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How to Fold Baby Clothes

Benefits of Well-Folded Baby Clothes

A tidy baby dresser is a boon for your stress levels.

“Keeping baby clothes neat and organized can be particularly helpful in two scenarios: when you are tight on space, and for those middle of the night, in the dark diaper changes,” says June Doran, a parenting and decluttering expert at This Simple Balance. “When you're standing there, bleary-eyed and exhausted, with the mother of all blowouts on your hands, knowing exactly where you put the zippered pajamas filed neatly in the drawer might just save you from a complete and total meltdown.”

Taking the time to fold your baby's clothes also helps combat one of the biggest challenges new parents face: exhaustion.

“When I’m tired, it’s hard for me to think, let alone find things,” says Caroline Dilbeck of Organize Nashville, a former pediatric nurse. “Keeping baby's clothes neat and organized saves so much time and energy! As a mom of two under 2, I can testify that this is essential. Plus, I want my time to go to baby snuggles, not looking for a onesie.”

Here, learn about some of the different folding methods and the best ways to fold and store baby clothes.

Folding Methods for Baby Clothes

There are two common methods for folding baby clothes—the traditional method and the KonMari method (aka file folding). With the traditional method, folded clothes are stacked in a pile inside the drawer, while the KonMari method (popularized by Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up) prioritizes being able to see all the clothes in the drawer at once.

Which is best? According to mom-of-five Doran, there’s no contest. “When I had three kids under five, every time I would put away stacks of traditionally folded clothes, the drawers got messy and disorganized in less than a day. Finding the clothes I wanted for each kid took forever, and putting away newly folded clothes also took forever because I had to reorganize the drawers first,” she shares.

June Doran

Discovering the KonMari folding method was—yes, I know it sounds dramatic—life-changing.

— June Doran

“Discovering the KonMari folding method was—yes, I know it sounds dramatic—life-changing. I could easily find anything I was looking for and grab matching outfits for my kids in seconds. The best part? The drawers stayed organized," says Doran. In addition to helping you stay organized, the KonMari folding method is a super space-saver. "I was able to fit all of my fifth baby's clothes comfortably in a single dresser drawer."

Doran uses the KonMari folding method for all baby clothes except jackets and dresses, which she prefers to hang on a hanger or hook. Dilbeck agrees, though she also uses the tuck method for pants (more on this method below).

How to Fold a Baby Onesie with the KonMari Method

This method works for both short-sleeve and long-sleeve onesies. When you're done, you should be able to stand the onesie up on its edge in the drawer, so all your onesies are "filed" in a way that you can see each of them.

  1. Lay the onesie on a flat surface and smooth out any creases.

  2. Fold the onesie in half vertically, sleeve to sleeve.

  3. Fold the arms in so they are on top of the body.

  4. Fold the onesie in half horizontally, buttons to collar.

  5. Fold the onesie in half horizontally again (so it's in fourths).

It might take a few tries to get the method down pat, but once you do, it'll be smooth sailing from here on out. Once you've folded all the onesies, neatly place them in the drawer.

How to Fold a Baby Sleeper with the KonMari Method

If your sleeper is too thick (such as fleece ones for winter) to fold into fourths, you can use thirds or simply roll it up.

  1. Lay the sleeper face-down on a flat surface and smooth out creases.

  2. Fold in half vertically, leg to leg and sleeve to sleeve.

  3. Fold the arms in so they lay flat on top of the body.

  4. Fold in half horizontally, feet to collar.

  5. Fold in half horizontally again (if you can).

How to Fold Baby Pants (Two Methods)

Baby pants and shorts can be folded using the KonMari method as well. But if your baby's pants are so packed into the drawer that a few tend to unfold each time you pull one out, Dilbeck recommends the tuck method (which can also be used for baby shirts). You can still file pants folded with the tuck method into your drawer the same way as those folded with the KonMari method.

How to Fold Baby Pants with the KonMari Method

  1. Lay the pants on a flat surface and smooth out creases.

  2. Fold them in half vertically, leg to leg.

  3. Fold in half horizontally, ankle to waist.

  4. Fold in half horizontally again (so the pants are in fourths).

How to Fold Pants with the Tuck Method

  1. Lay the pants on a flat surface and smooth out creases.

  2. Fold in half vertically, leg to leg.

  3. Fold just the ankles up, as if you were cuffing the pants.

  4. From the waist end, fold the pants down, then down again to line up with the other end.

  5. Tuck the folded edge into the top ankle opening and smooth flat.

A Word From Verywell

When you have a new baby to learn how to feed, soothe, bathe, and parent, folding their itty bitty onesies may be the last thing on your mind. But learning how to organize tiny clothes into tidy drawers may just save you some midnight aggravation. If you have a partner, encourage them to learn these methods as well so they can help with all the baby laundry.

At the end of the day, a happy, healthy, fed baby is the most important thing to focus on right now. If those perfectly laid out drawers have to take a back seat for now, that's a-OK. Enjoy the baby snuggles; laundry can wait.

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