Baby Clothing: What Do You Really Need?

Going into a shop that's bulging with baby goods can be a little overwhelming. How do you know what you really need straight away? Here's a list of basic layette items to get you started for your baby's early days. Some of the amounts may seem like a lot, but with extra items on hand, you won't have to do washing every day.

First Baby Layette Items

  • 2 or 3 soft, baby-size bath towels and 6 to 10 baby flannels

  • 6 to 8 receiving blankets

  • 6 front-snapping stretch jumper suits, newborn gowns or onesies

  • 6 to 10 cotton-knit, front-snapping T-shirts

  • 1 or 2 jumpers

  • 2 to 3 sleep suits

  • 3 or 4 cot or bassinet sheets (be sure they fit tightly on the mattress)

  • 2 to 3 thin blankets or quilts (fluffy blankets pose a SIDS risk), tucked in around the mattress

  • 4 to 6 pairs of socks or booties

  • Nappies sized for newborns. If you're planning on using disposable nappies, look for the kind with a notch cut out of the front for your baby's umbilical cord stump. Cloth nappies can just be folded over.

  • At least one wide-brimmed hat to protect your baby's head and face from the sun during outings.

  • A snow-suit if you live in a cold climate.

  • Mittens if you live in a cold climate. Don't bother with the thin hand covers sold in many shops; infants need their hands free for exploring.

Clothing Safety Tips

Keep these guidelines in mind when shopping for all children's clothing.

  • Stick with all-cotton or cotton blends, which are soft and easily washable.

  • Check labels for the phrase 'flame retardant'.

  • Don't dress your baby in items with strings (like hooded sweatshirts with drawstrings); these can twist around little hands, fingers, toes and even necks.

  • Buy tops with generous head holes so that dressing your infant is easy for you and comfortable for her.

  • Check regularly for loose buttons, which pose a choking hazard.

  • Avoid outfitting your baby in clothes with decorative items like beads or ribbons, which are tempting for little hands. If they come loose, they present a choking risk.

For information on setting up your baby's nursery, read more about baby gear.

At this stage, you might also need information on setting up your baby's nursery and on other baby gear essentials. To stock up on these types of items, it could be useful to gently request some of these items be gifted to you by loved ones at your baby shower. To help you organise a special baby shower, check out our baby shower checklist, you might also like to select a special theme for your baby shower.

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