Layette Checklist

Few things make the imminent birth of your baby more tangible than folding a layette into nursery drawers. Which items are desirable, and which are indispensable? Practicality is the operative word when it comes to furnishing your baby’s layette. This checklist for moms-to-be can help!

Here are the most common layette items you’ll want to consider:

OnesiesEssential to every baby’s wardrobe, these one-piece baby bodysuits with a snap crotch can be a complete outfit in the sultry months of summer or an effective way to layer throughout cooler months. You’ll want at least seven onesies for your baby.
FootwearMany moms can’t resist those precious little booties, but most babies don’t really need shoes until toddlerhood. A good supply of socks (seven pairs) will probably be all that you need to keep little tootsies warm. Winter babies need warmer footwear, such as a cozy pair of slippers.
GownsIn the early days you will be changing your baby around the clock. The easy-open bottoms of draw-string gowns with cotton mittens (to prevent Baby from scratching face) are practical for nighttime diaper changes. Two or three gowns should be enough.
Burp clothsYou will find many uses for these cloths while feeding and cleaning up after your newborn. Cloth diapers make excellent burp cloths and are sold in bulk, so they are fairly inexpensive.
BlanketsDepending on the climate and season during which your baby is born, you’ll want to have at least five cotton, flannel, or fleece receiving blankets for swaddling and snuggling. For days when you are on the go, a stroller blanket is essential.
OutfitsTry to stick to buying clothing for everyday wear. We all know that frilly dresses and dapper suits are not quite necessary, though you may want to have fun dressing up Baby for a holiday or special occasion.
BibsFor everything from drool to strained carrots, you’ll want to diversify when it comes to bibs. To start with you’ll need at least five bibs in a range of sizes to grow with your baby. Don’t be afraid to try out the practical wipe-off bibs for days when you are behind on laundry.
DiapersCloth or disposable? This decision depends on your lifestyle and personal views. If you’ll be using cloth diapers, you’ll need three dozen diapers (or call a diaper service before Baby arrives and arrange for weekly delivery and pick-up), five diaper covers, and a diaper pail with close-fitting lid.
Hooded towelsEssential for every baby’s bath time, these towels stay put while you are drying off your baby and keep him warm. Plan on needing two to four towels and four to six washcloths.
LinensThree or four properly sized crib sheets will keep your baby’s crib fresh and clean. Depending on what type of mattress you purchased you may also want to invest in one or two moisture-proof mattress pads. The safest way to keep Baby warm (after the swaddling stage) is with a baby bag or sleeping bag—a sort of wearable blanket. Flannel crib sheets will also help keep Baby cozy while sleeping.
Bumper padWhile parents of tranquil-sleeping cherubs will find they don’t need a bumper pad, others insist that this essential nursery décor saved their little one from more than a few bumps on the head. Go with your instincts!
SweatersBaby needs to keep warm no matter what time of the year. In summer you’ll find that cotton sweaters will keep the chill out, while fall and winter will be the perfect time for fleece pullovers or jackets that wash up quickly.
SleepersThese footed pajamas are great once your baby is past the sleeping gown stage. Buy four or five sleepers that are suited to the season. If you are in a particularly warm climate you may even find a onesie does the trick.
HatsSummer babies will need one or two wide-brimmed sunhats to keep Baby safe from harmful UV rays. In winter, babies will need a warm cap with earflaps to keep the cold out.
OuterwearDepending on the time of year and your location, your baby will probably need some type of bunting or jacket to keep warm when a chill sets in. For winter babies in cold climates, a snowsuit or heavy bunting with mittens or handflaps will be essential.
SweatpantsWhile not an absolute necessity, one or two pairs of these easy-care pants can be very practical for a newborn. These can be worn with onesies to create complete ensembles.

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