The word layette is a fancy way to refer to the collection of clothing, bedding and baby care items for a newborn.
Buying baby clothes can be fun, but it can also be overwhelming to try to figure out what accessories and items you need.
Are baby washcloths really necessary?
How many onesies do you need?
Does a newborn wear baby shoes?
Let’s break it down.
Before we get into the baby clothes, bedding, and baby care items that belong on your layette list, there’s one absolute-must, non-negotiable item that you have to make sure you have: a car seat.
Car Seat = #1 Baby Layette Item
Your baby’s first car seat should be rear-facing and in new condition. Learn how to install it safely and properly in your vehicle and be sure to bring it to the hospital—they won’t let you leave with your newborn without it!
Baby Layette Checklist
Clothes and Blankets for Baby’s Layette
- A really cute “take home” outfit
- 4-5 receiving blankets
- 5-10 one–piece outfits (long- or short-sleeved)
- 5-7 undershirts that snap at the bottom (sometimes called onesies)
- 5-6 sleeping gowns
- 3-6 pairs socks or booties
- 2+ hats (seasonally appropriate: warmer for winter months, sun-protective for summer)
Diaper Layette Items
- Diaper pail and liners
- Disposable diapers – at least 4 dozen (48) newborn size diapers on hand for baby’s arrival, and/or
- Cloth diapers – cloth diapering parents will want at least 6-8 diaper covers and 18-24 cloth diaper inserts
- Baby wipes
- Diaper rash ointment
Baby Care Layette Items
- Baby lotion
- 3-4 baby wash cloths
- Baby shampoo
- Baby wash
- Baby nail clippers
- Baby comb and brush
- Digital thermometer
- Nasal aspirator, a.k.a, snot sucker
- 2-3 fitted sheets for crib or bassinet
- 2-3 waterproof crib mattress pads
- Crib/bassinet blankets or quilts
- 5-8 bottles if you are bottle feeding or pumping breast milk
- 5-6 burp cloths if not using cloth diapers
Not Essential for Baby’s Layette, but Nice to Have
- Diaper bag
- Stroller (might come with your car seat)
- Babywearing carrier – sling, pouch, or wrap
- Car seat cover
- Baby swing or bouncer
- Baby powder
- Baby bathtub
- Hooded baby bath towels
- Mobile for over the crib
- Breast pump
- Nipple cream
- Breastfeeding pillow
- Gripe water
- Baby monitor
- Lullaby CD and player
- Baby memory book
Saving Money on Your Baby Layette List
If all of the above sounds like a lot to buy—it is! The good news is that you’ll probably get many layette items from friends and relatives, especially if you have a baby shower. Even after your shower, though, you’ll probably have some items to buy.
If you’re short on cash, you may be able to get many layette items as hand-me-downs from friends with older babies. Generally, babies outgrow their clothes before they get too worn, so you can sometimes get things that look new, even if they aren’t. Garage sales and thrift stores are also good places to get inexpensive baby clothes, strollers, swings and bouncy seats.
When purchasing second-hand or using hand-me-downs, however, make sure that bigger items like baby swings and strollers are undamaged and have not been recalled.