What is a baby layette?
A baby layette refers to a collection of clothes, linen, toiletries and other supplies that a newborn infant will need to have – your baby’s first ever wardrobe. It’s exciting for a parent to be shopping for a baby layette.
Here is a simple guideline / checklist you can follow before you go shopping or starting to take out your sewing machine to make something for the baby
Surely a mom in waiting would have some knowledge on what to buy and what not to buy – knowledge gained from those books every mom-to-be reads when she is pregnant or from advices of relatives and already-mom friends.
But it is nice to have a checklist. Parents eagerly waiting for the arrival of their baby will surely be wanting to collect everything on the list for the precious one.
Some simple guidelines when deciding on what baby essentials your baby needs
Babies grow very fast. Your newborn will outgrow the clothes you bought in a few weeks time. So big expenses are unnecessary unless it is for a crib or a baby monitor which will be used for a long time. Your baby deserves the best, ofcourse. But donot be shy to ask relatives and friends for some of these items they mayhave in their storage. In a few weeks your baby will need a new wardrobe.
The layette should have clothes and accessories which are comfortable and fresh looking. They should be made of cotton which is soft and breathable. Ensure that clothes exposed to the healing bellybutton off the newborn is soft.
The clothes you buy should be enough to keep the baby warm – a good rule of thumb is to give the newborn baby an extra layer of clothing than what you are wearing . Clothes with built in footies work great for giving warmth as well as caps; hoodies also are great. Where hot weather is a problem vests can be made in very thin and soft cotton like muslin
Fastenings in the baby clothes should be baby friendly. Any elastic waistband should be covered . It should not pinch the baby. Nickel free snaps are preferred for baby clothes. Soft hook and loop closure is preferred for blankets. Drawstrings, if any, should always be fastened.
For washing Baby clothes you need a detergent that doesnot have perfumes or other additives which can irritate baby’s skin. Harsh detergents can cause diaper rash. A mild detergent liquid should be selected
Making some of the things your baby needs like the undershirts or a baby quilt or blankets can be very rewarding. Try it.Checkout the common baby quilt and blanket dimensions here.
Baby Layette checklist
4 Jumpers/ onepieces/ onesies / Bodysuit – these are snap-bottom body shirts with wide head openings and loose legs. Some come with hoods, some with footies.
2 One piece pull on Pajama pants ( if they are footed all the better)
7 Chest covers / tops/ Unisex Under shirts with side snaps ( Those shirts/vests in thin muslin is great when baby is still a newborm, especially when weather is warm enough. When they get more active the ties of the these shirts may be dangerous.
Checkout the tutorial to make a nice and simple Newborn baby top – with free sewing pattern and tutorial). When a baby is born and his umbilical cord is cut he needs soft unrestrictive clothing on his body. This is the best top for those first few weeks.
2 Small dresses for girls / suitable gown for the boys – for those mandatory hospital visits or for showing off the baby to grandparents / friends. Maybe an elaborate one for any religious function. But if you want something simple checkout the tutorial for the easiest dress you can make for the newborn baby
3 Socks or footies ( you need one with covered elastic band at the ankles or crocheted footies)
1 or 2 Cardigan Sweaters ( lightweight sweaters are ok for babies in warm climate ; for colder climates thicker ones maybe needed.)
2 caps ( This is needed because they are susceptible to cold and a head covering is needed; try to find double lines ones)
A big carton of diaper ( 24 or more)
24 cloth diaper if you are into ecofriendly products ; Safety pins with lock if using cloth diapers; nylon pants to wear over diaper. Check out the post on making cloth diapers with 18 free cloth diaper patterns
A 40 inch square soft cotton cloth/blanket to receive the baby at birth
2 Swaddle blankets
2 lightweight blankets
2 Top sheets for the crib
2 waterproof sheets/mattress covers
2 Fitted crib sheets
Crib pillow ( It may be dangerous to lay the baby near a pillow while he is sleeping)
Crib side pads ( quilted)
2-3 hooded bath towels to keep the baby warm after a bath
If you have a bassinet buy waterproof sheets and blankets for the bassinet
Old square pieces of soft cotton fabric for wiping spills and such or tissues
Toiletries & other supplies
Baby shampoo & body wash
A bottle of olive oil or baby oil
Soft hair brush
Gentle laundry detergent for delicate clothes
A diaper bag
Thermometer for babies
Gentle diaper cream
Formula if you are not breastfeeding; Good quality feeding bottles with silicone nipples & nipple brush; Sterilizing equipment; Bottle brush. If you are breastfeeding a Nursing pillow
Dirty-diaper bin or bucket
Cot, crib, infant car seat, baby monitor, baby bath tub or a rubber sheet
A small nightlight
Baby Mosquito net if you have mosquitoes and other flies in your place
You may also want to buy and maintain a beautiful baby book for sweet memories
The numbers mentioned in the Layette checklist above is just an indication. You may have to adjust this amount according to how often you plan to launder . If you have more you can be slightly be lax in the frequency of laundering. But it is a good idea to do it every day as burp clothes and other soiled clothes should not be kept long without washing