I have seen a few dozen layette lists during my parenting days and few are really truly what a new parent is gonna need. You can ask any new mom if the list is reflective of what she needs and she will most likely say no. So, for new parents, here is my layette list.
Figure out how often you will do laundry and then multiply it by 4. Unless you are like me and do 3 loads a day. But be honest and know that unless your dh or kids are gonna step up, laundry will take a back seat for awhile after a baby comes. I knew that even though my dh would try his hardest to stay on top of the laundry situation I would still be behind.
- Forget the bibs, side snap shirts, shoes and mittens. At least for now. Its fluff stuff and will usually just sit there looking cute. Bibs for newborns get in the way (they bunch up as you try to nurse, they twist around their little necks, the velcro or snaps can irritate), burp clothes are much easier to deal with. In a few months you will love those bibs, but for a newborn? No. Most babies want to suck on their fingers or at least figure out how to use them, which they can't do inside of mittens. If you are in a cold climate you might want a pair or two for out and about but for everyday normal use? Skip them. Even if you have a scratcher, God gave them long nails for a reason. I am sure they help as they learn how to get those fingers into the right places. Side Snap shirts? Never ever used them. Not a one. Except for the 3 babies that were born in the hospital and only for a day.
- 6-8 Gowns instead of footed sleepers. Changing diapers in the middle of the night is hard enough the way it is. Make it easy on yourself by just pulling up their gown or unzipping their sack sleeper. They will likely pee, poop and spit up on them so have more on hand then you think they will need. If you live where its cold you might want to go with long sleeve shirts and a sack sleeper, if not the regular gowns work fine.
- 6-8 pair of socks. Or more. Babies lose socks, all the time. I'm not sure you can have too many socks. Get all white ones so they match with everything, if you lose one it can be matched with another one that is missing its mate, and you won't feel as bad when you lose a plain white one as you would a cute one for twice as much.
- 6-8 onesies (and pants depending on where you live). I really like onesies. They stay in place, no rug (or blanket) burns on your babies belly from tummy time, no straightening out their clothing every time you pick them up or put them in a car seat. They easily can be combined with other articles of clothing to make an out fit to warm them up or make them picture perfect.
- 6-8 receiving blankets. I use these all the time: swaddling, cover baby while in car seat or stroller, as a quick changing pad, as a diaper (seriously, flannel makes great diapers), as a burp cloth, as a cover up while nursing. Never be far away from a blanket.
- Optional, 3-4 baby hats. If you are somewhere its cold you might want a baby hat, little bonnets or baseball caps if you are where its sunny. I only used them one my 7th to cover up his unsightly hematoma, otherwise I find them sweaty and irritating to babies. Of course I plan homebirths so I always have plenty on hand for the first day, but after that they find their way back to the birth kit for the next time.
If you are on a budget or trying to be minimalist this is the basic stuff you need, its what I use everyday. At night I change the baby into a gown sleeper, when he gets up for the day its into a one piece or onesie outfit with a pair of socks. I carry around a blanket everywhere I go and thats it. Easy, simple, takes up very little space.