How To Fold Baby Onesies

Motherhood is exhausting enough without the piles and piles of dirty (and hopefully eventually clean) laundry that come with it. But washing and folding laundry are one of those things that will simply never go away. So, while in reality, your clean laundry might sit in a basket all week as you pull out what you need when you need it in order to keep up with life there are some great benefits that come with folding your baby’s clothes and onesies in different ways to organize your house and life.

The challenge of folding baby onesies (as Moms of 5+ children each AND owners of a business that makes custom onesies we know a thing or two about folding onesies!), beyond just being a Mom to children who depend on you for their every need is that there are so many different things that affect how to fold the onesie - expandable shoulders for the blowouts, odd shapes to snap them at the bottom of your baby’s bum, short- and long-sleeved considerations, hooded onesies, zippers and sleepers, footed onesies, onesies with cuffs or mittens, to fold with pants or not to fold with pants, and the list goes on. But before we dive into how to fold all the different types of baby onesies let’s take a quick look at why (usually) it’s worth your time to fold them instead of just letting them sit in a basket all week. 

Benefits of Folding Onesies

Perhaps the most common day-to-day benefit of folding and organizing your baby onesies based on your preferred method is the time it saves when you need clothing quickly. While it’s okay for babies to cry, all moms know how unnerving it is to have a baby melting down while looking for that one piece of clothing let alone then having to dress your screaming baby. With a little time and effort in advance, your baby onesies and clothing can be easily found and selected no matter the emotional state of your little one or the current “needs” (because everything is urgent for toddlers! :) ) of your other children.   

One of the most practical benefits (and the one that might convince your husband to help fold laundry) of carefully and deliberately folding your baby onesies is the space it will save in your house. There are literally entire books and websites dedicated to saving space and home organization. Baby onesies and baby clothes in general are no different. Folding and organizing them in a way that saves space in your home can have a direct impact on your family’s bottom line. Whether you have one kid or 8 kids, clothing for your family will seemingly multiply overnight and before you know it you either need more dressers or bigger ones. As more “stuff” comes into your home it can eventually lead to space constraints and the need for more square footage. More space means a bigger house which means a bigger mortgage which can lead to undue financial stress that simply put, affects the wellbeing of many people. So, while we’re not saying that folding and organizing your baby onesies is going to by itself prevent you from ever facing the “bigger house” dilemma, keeping your baby (and kids in general) clothing setup under control is definitely going to maximize the space you do have. With the right mindset, one can start with laundry and move into all other areas of the home that can then help maximize the space that is available and possible within one’s budget and personal financial situation. And maybe, just maybe, this mindset helps your family stay in a smaller house with a smaller financial burden!

Another huge benefit of neatly folded and organized baby onesies is the peace of mind that it brings to mom and everyone else. Study after study has shown the positive impact that the principles of minimalism and organization can have on the emotional health of those that apply these principles. Motherhood, especially at the newborn stage with postpartum challenges, sleep deprivation, and more, is hard enough without a cluttered and unorganized house that for many the time it takes to fold and organize baby’s clothes is well worth the time spent doing so. There’s just something about a clean and organized home that puts one's mind at ease and makes it easier to face the daily challenge that is being a mom!

So, whether you fold your onesies so they are ready in a pinch, to help save space and continue to make your current house work for your family, for the benefits that come from keeping things clean and organized, or some combination of all of these reasons we wholeheartedly endorse the effort it takes to carefully fold and organize your baby onesies. Before we jump into how to fold each type of onesie a quick word on Marie Kondo. 

Marie Kondo and The KonMari Method

Given her rapid rise to prominence, it is worth a brief mention of Marie Kondo and her extremely popular KonMari method of organization. For the uninitiated, while Marie has been preaching the benefits of living an organized life for over 10 years, her “KonMari” method of organization went mainstream in 2019 in part due to a Netflix series of her methods. In short, her philosophy is to find and keep only things that spark joy, to organize things by category, and then to make sure that each category of items has a designated place and remains in that place. While this is a very brief overview of Marie’s popular methodology it is easy to see why it is so applicable in the context of folding and organizing onesies. There is no doubt that babies are bundles of joy and each clothing type can be folded, organized, and stored in a particular spot in the home for many of the benefits she preaches and which we have alluded to above. Given the overlap, we’ve made sure to include the KonMari method for folding baby onesies further below.               

Folding Baby Onesies 

Before we dive into the ins and outs of folding your baby’s onesies there are at least a few common principles that all methods share that will be important to keep in mind as you fold this oddly-shaped and diverse clothing item. 

  1. Flat Surface - make sure you have a flat surface as you fold your onesies as it will make it far easier to end with a nicely folded onesie. 
  2. Flat Onesie - in almost all methods making sure the onesie is flat as possible before starting to fold will be a critical thing not to overlook. 
  3. Uniformity - given the legs, sleeves, hoods, and footies that are often part of onesies, it is almost always best to start by making your onesie a more simple shape but also doing so in uniformity (i.e. folding both sleeves in) so that it is easier to fold, stack, file, roll, or otherwise. 
  4. Personal - There is no one size fits all folding or organizing method. How many onesies you have, what types, what sizes, what space limitations you face, how much time you have to fold, who’s helping you fold, and more all impact what works best for you. Thus, while we outline plenty of ways to fold onesies below, in our opinion, the best way to fold and organize onesies is the one that works best for you and your family!

How To Organize Baby Onesies

Before we get to actually folding the onesie it’s worth covering the three main ways of storing or organizing your onesies for easy access and to save space. The three main ways we’ve focused on to organize them are by storing them stacked, filed, and rolled.

Stacked - This could be called the “traditional” method as your onesies will be folded and stacked on top of each other. This is what the majority of people do and it is a great way to organize your onesies. The biggest disadvantages are that you are unable to see all your onesies at a glance and can undo all your careful folding by searching through your onesies in search of a specific one. This is especially applicable when you send a sibling to grab a onesie for the little one! All your time spent folding can be wrecked in a heartbeat if not careful! 

Filed - Organizing and storing your clothes in a “filed” fashion has been popularized by the KonMari method within the past few years. While it seems counterintuitive to file your onesies like you’d put plates in a dishwasher or files in a filing cabinet the main advantage that it serves is the ability to see all your onesies at a glance and the ability to avoid messing up the others (again, depending on who’s doing the grabbing of said onesie) when grabbing a clean one. 

Rolled - The biggest advantage to storing your onesies rolled is the weakness of the former two methods. Rolled onesies are really hard to mess up no matter who is grabbing the next clean one. The only disadvantage noted by some people of organizing rolled onesies is the fact that you’ll button them to store them only to unbutton AND button them again to dress your little one. Whether that little extra work on both ends is worth it or not goes back to principle #4 above - whatever works best for you! 

Aside: We are firm believers in doing what’s best for you as a mom. There is no doubt that there are other ways to organize your onesies and we’ll fully admit that in some phases we’ve simply separated onesies by size or occasion and done no folding at all. It’s easier to just lay them flat in a pile and grab them as they are needed. So, whether it’s a method above, a different one, or a laundry basket full of clean clothes the important part is enjoying your little one and not feeling overwhelmed as a mom!   

Likewise, you can store them anywhere that it might make sense. A dresser drawer, a basket of some sort, or simply on top of a flat surface (with some kind of bookends if you’re filing them) will all work just fine!

Because there are three main ways you might organize your onesies there are different methods for each when folding them! As such, we’ll cover how to fold your baby onesies for each of the three organizational methods outlined above.  Without further ado, let’s take a look at how to fold a baby onesie!

How To Fold Short-Sleeve Baby Onesies / Bodysuits

Depending on your preferred storage method, follow the step-by-step process below to properly fold your onesie. Each method also has a gif to help you follow all the steps! 

Onesie Folding For Stacked Organization & Storage

Step 1: Lay your onesie face down on a smooth flat surface and make sure the onesie is as flat as possible. The first picture shows it face up for reference only. 

 

Step 2: Fold in the right-hand sleeve and side to make a straight edge. 

 

Step 3: Fold in the left-hand sleeve and side to make a straight edge.

 

Step 4: Fold up the bottom of the onesie, the diaper skirt, or where the onesie covers your baby’s diaper and bum, just enough to make a longish rectangle. In our experience, this isn’t quite a ⅓ of the onesie like the “filing” method.

 

Step 5: Fold the rest of the onesie in half from the bottom towards the top so that it is now a square.

 

Step 6: Flip the folded (square) onesie over so it is face-up.

 

Step 7: Stack any additional folded onesies in your desired location to complete your folding.

 

And here is the entire step-by-step process:

 

Onesie Folding For Filed Organization & Storage aka KonMari Method For Onesies

Step 1: Lay your onesie face up on a smooth flat surface and make sure the onesie is as flat as possible. 

 

Step 2: Fold in the right-hand sleeve and side to make a straight edge. 


 

Step 3: Fold in the left-hand sleeve and side to make a straight edge.

 

Step 4: Fold up the bottom of the onesie, the diaper skirt, or where the onesie covers your baby’s diaper and bum, approximately ⅓ the total length of the onesie.

 

Step 5: Fold the onesie from the bottom towards the top another (approximately) ⅓ of the length of the onesie.

 

Step 6: Just like the previous two steps, fold the onesie one final time from bottom to top but leave approximately 1-1.5 inches of the onesie at the very top uncovered as this will form your base for filing purposes.


Step 7: Pick your onesie up, tuck the excess or uncovered part of the onesie underneath, and “file it” vertically in your chosen location. 


Step 8: “File” or add additional folded onesies in your desired location to complete your folding.

 


And here is the entire step-by-step process:

 

How To Roll A Baby Onesie For Rolled Organization & Storage

Step 1: Lay your onesie face up on a smooth flat surface and make sure the onesie is as flat as possible. 


Step 2: Make sure the snaps or buttons are not buttoned at the bottom of the onesie and that the diaper skirt is also laid flat.


Step 3: Fold in the right-hand sleeve and side to make a straight edge. 


Step 4: Fold in the left-hand sleeve and side to make a straight edge.


Step 5: Tightly roll the onesie from top to bottom of the onesie stopping just short of the unbuttoned snaps/buttons at the bottom of the onesie.


Step 6: Turn the onesie over.


Step 7: Roll the already rolled portion of the onesie towards the top buttons, and untuck the other set of snaps from underneath.


Step 8: Use the onesie’s buttons to seal or close off the rolling job by snapping all available buttons.

 

Step 9: Place additional rolled onesies in your desired location to complete your folding.

 


And here is the entire step-by-step process:

 

Happy folding!

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