The Baby Layette – What a Newborn Baby Will Need Most

A baby layette, which comes from the French word for “little box,” includes all of the clothing and essential items that a newborn infant will need upon arriving home for the first time. When the term originated, the little boxes probably consisted of far fewer items than the layettes of today do, but it’s actually a matter of personal preference as to what to include. 

Some clothing items for baby’s layette should include: 

– A “going home” outfit 
– A Christening, naming, or bris outfit, if needed 
– Booties, one or two pairs 
– Coat, outerwear 
– Hats, one or two depending on the time of year and climate 
– Pants or rompers, two or three pairs should suffice 
– Several pairs of socks, five or more pairs is best 
– Sweatshirts or heavy tops, at least two 
– Undershirts, “onesies sleepers,” or similar sleeping gowns or pajamas (at least five.) 

As a general rule of thumb, between four and seven of each item should be enough to cover all of baby’s needs in the layette. Of course, this is dependent upon on how often you plan on doing the laundry. It’s usually always better to have a few more items handy than not enough, especially when it comes to simple items like t-shirts or bibs, but do remember that the majority of newborns outgrow clothing in the 0-3 month size range within the first month or two. 

Keep this in mind before going overboard and stocking up too much, although the clothes baby outgrows, or those that aren’t used, can always be donated to charity later on. Also, choose clothing and blankets for the layette that are of neutral colors, unless the sex of the baby is already known, or there’s a particular nursery theme to follow. 

Much needed items for diaper changes and bath time include: 

– Baby hairbrush, comb, bows, and ribbons 
– Cloth diapers and pins, if needed
– Baby lotion, oil 
– Bibs 
– Baby nail clippers 
– Baby powder 
– Baby wipes  
– Diaper cream 
– Digital thermometer 
– Gentle baby wash, soaps, shampoo 
– Several packages of disposable diapers, in newborn sizes 
– Towels, either hooded or plain 
– Washcloths 
– Waterproof changing pad 

It’s not unusual for newborn babies to easily go through ten or more diapers in a day, so you’ll want to be sure to have a decent supply for the first month, but not too many of this small size in the event the baby quickly outgrows them. 

A few of the items you’ll want to have on hand for the baby’s crib and bedtime are: 

– Crib blankets 
– Crib sheets 
– Quilted mattress pads 
– Receiving blankets 
– Waterproof pads 

A baby layette may also refer to a gift set that comes prepackaged and will usually include a few of the basics such as socks, hats, and bibs, or sleeper sets with tiny matching booties. Many boxed layettes also come with a soft, matching blanket for baby as well as a rattle, bottle, or similar small toy.