What’s a Layette Anyway?
We get asked this question all the time. Technically, a layette includes anything that a baby is going to need in their first year. This could be anything from a bazillion diapers to a crib. Some people associate a layette with a baby’s first wardrobe, while there are others who fall somewhere in between, throwing in a few things for mom too along the way. That’s the type of layette a new mom really needs.
First Things First, Forget the Basket!
To be practical we encourage you to think outside the basket towards something that a new mom really needs, like that infant bathtub, and then fill it up with the layette. It doesn’t even have to be a bathtub. You can fill a baby themed laundry hamper, or even a diaper genie with baby supplies. You could also think towards the future and fill up a potty seat or a toy wagon for baby to play with later on. A personal favorite is to use an oversized diaper bag as a gift carrier for the baby layette items you choose. However you can never go wrong with a beautiful basket that Mom can always use for storage.
The Layette Wardrobe
As much as we would like to think that newborns spend their days wearing Prada dresses or Ralph Lauren short sets, the truth is that most babies spend their first year in their pajamas. With this in mind you are going to want to have an assortment of the following filling up your gift basket:
- One outfit to be taken home in. This can be designer duds, as new babies should be allowed to make a stunning first appearance to the world.
- 5 or 6 bodysuits or “onesies” as many people call them.
- 3 or 4 coveralls or footed pajamas.
- 7 or 8 sleep gowns, and yes these are for boys too. A sleep gown gives you the advantage of being able to change a diaper without having to disturb a sleeping baby.
- 24 burp cloths or cloth diapers.
- 4 or 5 receiving blankets.
- 2 Baby blankets.
- 5 or 6 pairs of socks.
- Baby mittens. Not because they will be playing in the snow, but to protect them from scratches from their own fingernails.
- Sweater or infant jacket.
- Baby wipes.
- Disposable diapers.
Shop our selection of amazing layette items here!
Save your receipts in case mom has been given an overabundance of newborn clothes and pajamas. With the receipt, you can always exchange for the next larger size for when the baby gets a little bigger.
Layette Bath Essentials
Bath time accessories are always appreciated in a layette. Look for cute infant towels with little hoods or even a terry cloth robe. She’ll also need soft wash clothes or a bath sponge and of course a rubber ducky to make bath time fun. Don’t forget about adding shampoo, baby soap, oil, wipes, lotion, powder, and diaper cream.
Other practical items that the new mom will want are a baby thermometer, baby nail clippers, hair brush, cotton balls and q-tips. A small bottle of rubbing alcohol is a nice touch as she will need that for cleaning the belly button.
Layette Feeding Essentials
Even if you know that the mom is going to be breastfeeding, it can never hurt to put a couple of bottles inside of the basket with extra nipples. During warm weather these can also be used to get a baby to drink some water. You should also include a bottle brush for cleaning or a portable warmer. Don’t forget about a few baby bibs for when he or she is ready to start on solids, and a baby spoon with plastic bowl.
What About Gifts for Mom?
It is easy for a new mom to get overlooked with all of the excitement of a new baby in the house, but if you think ahead, you can add some gifts for her in the layette that she will definitely appreciate. Think about adding a nice pair of PJ’s for her next to the tiny baby jammies, or a pair of easy to slip into slippers for those midnight walks to the crib.
If you really want to cater to her upcoming needs, a gift card for a mani-pedi or a cleaning service to take care of the house once a week is the way to do it. You can also give her a NetFlix gift card so that she can catch up on her favorite shows around the baby’s schedule. She may not know it now, but those kinds of presents will be greatly appreciated after spending one or two months at home with a newborn.
Arranging Your Layette Basket
Once you have everything, and the right carrier for it all, you can go ahead and put your layette together. Arrange it so that the larger items are standing towards the back, with your smaller gifts in the front. Save burping cloths, towels, and washcloths for last so that you can use those to help hold the other items in place.
Once you have it all arranged, make it pretty with colored tissue paper before wrapping it up in cellophane. Tie it off with colorful ribbon and a big bow and you have created the perfect layette basket for the new mom.
Creating your own layette adds a nice personal touch to a baby shower gift. The time and effort may be greater than just choosing the first baby stroller you see, but with all the small details already taken care of, a new mom will be able to lay back and enjoy those first few months with her precious new baby.