Your baby's layette will be comprised of some basic wardrobe needs. To help you get started (and to help gift-givers) we've put together a chart of the main items for your baby's layette and the appropriate baby's age it applies to followed by an explanation of each item.
Note: Ages are approximate guidelines. A blue "x" is considered a must have, a black "x" is considered optional.
|Item||First 3 Months||2 to 24 Months||24 to 48 Months|
|1. Side-Snap Tees||X|| || |
|2. Receiving or Swaddling Blankets||X|| || |
|3. No-scratch mittens||X|| || |
|4. Gowns||X|| || |
|5. Footies||X||X|| |
|6. Bodysuits (short & long sleeve)||X||X|| |
|7. Bibs and/or Burp Cloths||X||X||X|
|10. Separates (Pants, T-Shirts, Sweaters)||X||X||X|
|12. Shoes|| ||X||X|
|13. Blanket Sleepers/Wearable Blankets|| ||X||X|
|14. Seasonal Items||X||X||X|
1. Side-Snap Tees:
- Side-Snap Tees don't put pressure on the baby's tender bellybutton while the umbilical cord is healing.
- It is easier to get on and off than a bodysuit.
- Long-sleeve Side-Snap Tees have a turn-cuff mitten feature which prevents the baby from scratching themselves until you are able to cut the baby's finger nails.
- Allows for easier access for diaper changes.
- They are usually 100% cotton.
- This is what most hospitals dress a new born in. Typically hospitals dress a baby in a Side-Snap Tee and cap, and then wrap the baby in a receiving blanket.
2. Receiving or Swaddling Blankets:
- Wrapping a baby in a receiving blanket is called "swaddling." Newborns lose body heat easily and need to be bundled up (unless the weather is very warm).
- A swaddling blanket acts like a receiving blanket but is designed to provide clear places for the baby's arms and legs.
- Swaddling creates a snug feeling of being in the womb by containing baby's arms and legs as most babies prefer this sensation until they can control their own ligaments.
- The standard size of a receiving blanket for swaddling purposes is 30" x 30".
- They usually come in knit cotton, thermal, or flannel options.
- Most hospitals keep a newborn swaddled in a receiving blanket except at feeding or diaper changing times.
3. No-Scratch Mittens (you need one to two pairs)
- These mittens keep baby from scratching themselves until you are able to cut their nails.
- Mittens sold alone have elastic at the cuff so they don't slip off.
- Long-sleeve Side-Snap Tees and many long-sleeved bodysuits have them built in.
4. Gowns (you need two to four)
- Gowns are convenient for night-time diaper changes.
- They have elastic at the bottom to keep the gown from flowing up over the baby's body, keeping the baby warmer and safer.
- They typically come in one size (up to 11 pounds), and are not used after the first couple of months.
- Some styles come in a "convert-a-gown" style which has snaps in the front and back allowing the gown to convert to a footless coverall/jumpsuit (thereby extending its usefulness).
5. Footies (you need four to eight)
- Footies are one piece outfits that cover the baby from neck to toes, usually with snaps or a zipper down the front center and then down one leg.
- It is usually what the baby will wear during the day time for the first three months, and then wears to sleep after the first three months.
- You will want a progression of sizes as footies remain a clothing staple during the first through second year.
- An important note: The law requires that children's sleepwear above the 12 months size must be flame retardant (this is why most sleepwear is 100% polyester).100% cotton sleepwear can only be sold up to size 12 months (while baby is less mobile) and it is designed to be tight fitting (which is why cotton pajamas look like they are cut too small).
6. Bodysuits - short and long sleeves (you need four to eight)
- After the umbilical cords falls off, bodysuits are the staple for the first to second years. They are easy to work with as they pull over the head and snap at the crotch. They keep baby protected by keeping the top in place (versus a regular T-shirt that could ride up).
- The neckline on a bodysuit is called a "lap shoulder" because it makes it easy to slip the baby's head through.
- Some long sleeve bodysuits in newborn size offer turn-cuff mittens built into the sleeves.
- You can purchase snap extenders to prolong the use of the bodysuit as baby gets longer.
7. Bibs and/or Burp Cloths (you need at least six to eight)
- Burp cloths primary purpose is to protect mom's clothing, surrounding furniture and baby's clothing. For the first three to six months burp cloths are used to absorb spit-ups and drips.
- Bibs are also useful once baby is eating solid foods to protect baby's clothing.
- Bibs come in a variety of styles designed to match an outfit.
- Different styles offer a variety of features:
- Waterproof backing to prevent food from being absorbed into
- PVC-Free plastic which easily wipes food off.
- Flip pocket to catch any mess before it hits the chair or floor.
- Broader coverage to better protect a wider area of baby's
- There are two ways a bib can be put on baby:
- A Velcro closure that secures in the back.
- A pull-over bib for when baby is strong enough to pull off the
- Either can be put on or off quickly.
8. Caps/Hats (you need one to two)
- Many newborns do not have much hair and babies lose body heat through their heads. Plus a cap is essential to protect baby's head from the sun's rays.
- Most hospitals even keep the baby in a cap while in the hospital.
9. Socks (you need nine to twelve pairs)
- Babies can lose body heat through their feet too. It is important to always keep baby's feet covered for warmth.
- Elastic cuffs make the socks kick-off proof increasing the odds that the socks will remain on baby's feet.
- Good quality socks are at least 85% cotton, with some lycra or polyester blended in to keep the sock's shape.
- Buy skid-proof bottoms once baby starts attempting to walk.
10. Separates: Pants (need three to five), T-Shirts (need four to six), Sweaters (need two to four)
- Once baby starts crawling separates provide the most flexibility for movement.
- For parents the fun of coordinating separates begins as you pick styles to go with your baby's personality.
- You will want a couple of outfits for those special occasions and picture taking times. None more so than on the day you bring baby home from the hospital.
12. Shoes (you need one to two pairs)
- Soft soled shoes (or bare feet) are recommended until baby is fully comfortable walking by him/herself. Soft sole shoes allow for baby's toes and feet to curl more easily, thereby making it easier to learn how to balance.
- Even before baby is walking, soft soled shoes also help provide extra warmth for baby's feet during colder weather and protect baby's toes and feet while crawling or learning to walk.
- Once baby is comfortable walking and walking is the mode of getting around, parents should switch their child to hard soled shoes.
13. Blanket Sleepers and/or Wearable Blankets (need two to four)
- Blanket sleepers (especially in winter), provide extra warmth for baby at night, without the danger of having a loose blanket in the crib.
- Blanket sleepers come in both footed (making walking while wearing possible) and footless versions.
14. Seasonal Items
- Baby should be protected against weather-related changes:
- In Winter: For babies - Bunting or Pram; for older children -
Heavy winter coats, hats, mittens and snowsuits.
- In Spring: For babies - Jackets; for older children -
Raincoats, rainboots and umbrellas.
- In Summer: For all - Swimsuits, swim diapers, swim goggles,
sun hats, sunglasses and sandals.
- In Fall: For all - jackets.
- And don't forget it is also fun to dress up your baby for different holiday occasions through out the year.