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Baby's First Layette

Katlyn Joy |31, August 2011


Baby's First Layette

For many moms, this is when the real fun starts. Finally after daydreaming you get to buy those teeny-tiny adorable outfits you've had your eye on since before the stick turned pink. However, it can be a bit confusing. How many little snap side shirts can one newborn need and will baby really go through a whole package of drool bibs in those first few months? There is not a standard list, however there are some simple guidelines to get you started on your baby's first layette.

Do an inventory. Chances are, you have relatives with toddlers and they've been saving their best or favorite hand-me-downs for your baby. Don't turn up your nose either. Many days you'll just be sitting home so it doesn't really matter if baby is wearing something a tinge used.

Talk to recent moms about what they used the most and what items never left the drawers. While everyone is different, a picture may emerge of what may be a rarely used or needed item./p>

Take your mom or another close friend or relative with you on your planning and shopping trips and listen to what they recommend and prompt them to explain why or why not to buy certain layette items.

Consider whether you want to buy specifically girl items, boy items or gender neutral. Or you may buy a mixture and return what you don't need.

Understanding Baby Clothing Sizes

In order to buy what you need, you first must understand baby sizes in clothing. Here is a general guideline:

  • Newborn: Length: 10 to 20 inches/Weight 5 to 9 pounds
  • 0-3 Months: Length: 20 to 24 inches/Weight 9 to 13 pounds
  • 3-6 Months: Length: 24 to 26 inches/Weight 13 to 17 pounds
  • 6-9 Months: Length: 26 to 28 inches/Weight 17 to 20 pounds
  • 12 Months: Length: 28 to 30 inches/Weight 20 to 23 pounds

Many people only get a small amount of the layette in the newborn sizes, especially if they expect a bigger baby. Lots of time will be spent in the 6-9 month size range, but you'll need to determine what season it will be when baby fits in this size.

Layette Item List - The Basics


Quantity: 4-6 newborn and at least 6 in each the next two sizes as well.
These generally include t-shirts and one-piece bodysuits or onesies. These are often just purchased in white, but you can get them in prints or a variety of colors as well. The t-shirts for newborns are often side snaps, so that you won't have to grow a third hand to put it on your weak-necked newborn. For little older babies pullover style will be fine. For bodysuits, most will be short sleeved but in cooler weather you may want some long sleeved ones as well. In the summer, you may often dress baby in simply a tee and diaper especially when chilling at home.

Infant Gowns

Quantity: 4-6 newborns.
Wait to see if you and baby want more in bigger sizes later on. These are typically lightweight long gowns with elasticized bottoms. Some offer sleeves that fold over the hands to protect baby from scratching himself. They come in neutral colors or gender specific shades and patterns. Some are a bit heavy weight than others, and some blends are softer. Buy for preference and the temperature of both your climate and your home.


Quantity. About 6 newborn and at least a few in each of the next few sizes.
These are one piece items that cover the entire leg and foot section and are long sleeved. They may be lighter weight or heavy for winter in fabrics like fleece. Pay attention to how the sleeper goes on the baby. Some are more convenient than others with snapping crotch and leg openings making it easier to change the diaper of a sleeping or alternately wriggling baby. These may be your baby's most often worn item. Buy more as you find out baby's growing pattern and how warm a sleeper you'll need for her.

Wearable blankets or Swaddling Sleepers.

Quantity: 0-2
These are especially good for winter babies. You can't cover an infant with a blanket due to SIDS concerns, so if it's chilly these sleepers are a perfect answer.

Additional Baby Clothing Items

Depending on your preference and needs, you may want teething bibs, perhaps a 6 pack, you'll need booties and socks for sure and receiving blankets as well. How many depends on your particular situation. Plan to have at least a dozen well fitting socks or booties. You want them to be elasticized and soft. If you get a bunch of different ones, be prepared to go crazy looking for tiny little sock mates. Receiving blankets are often given by hospitals and as gifts so you probably will get plenty. Don't forget a couple caps to keep the warmth in. Baby doesn't regulate his own temperature in the beginning weeks and a little soft cap helps.

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