A layette is an assortment of all of the essential clothing your newborn will need upon arrival. You should purchase a layette in advance and include at least 6 onesies (simple, cotton one-piece bodysuits with snap and pop fasteners), 6 side snap T-shirts, 6 receiving blankets, 6 pairs of socks (Baby will likely kick these off, but you will keep trying), 3 lightweight nightgowns, 5 tops with pants or one piece outfits, 2 hats (the hospital will likely give you one), and 1 bunting or snowsuit if you live in a cold climate. It may sound like a lot, but babies need to change clothes an insane number of times; sometimes it feels as if they change every 15 minutes. Plan to keep a big laundry basket nearby at all times.
Here's what to consider when buying baby clothes:
- Look for pieces that allow easy diaper changing access.
- Layering works well in winter. Snug clothes look and feel good on babies. Two onesies and 2 romper suits in the winter will keep your little one pretty cozy.
- Do not spend more than you can afford, but do splurge occasionally.
- U.S. brands tend to be sized bigger than international brands.
- As for colors, we recommend clean white for most clothes — even if it only stays clean and white for 5 minutes. If you want your baby to display flair and style, don't be too gender conservative. The days of boys just in blue and girls just in pink are over, so enjoy experimenting with color and texture.
- When choosing fabrics, opt for cotton first. Wool is usually too scratchy. Many children's clothing designers now use cashmere/ silk/cotton mixes for sweaters that are luxurious yet affordable. Artificial fabrics should be saved for outerwear.
You can buy ahead, but there's nothing less fun for a child than wearing all oversized clothes — just like you, children want their clothes to fit. Do buy T-shirts and onesies in a range of sizes so that they can be layered. And when pajamas with socks attached become too small, chop the bottoms off. Also, clothes made of stretchy fabrics are more forgiving and more versatile, and will fit right for longer.