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Baby Layette Must-Haves

When it comes to baby things, I go for simple.  While I find all these boutique clothing and bedding sets beautiful, I just can’t afford to buy them.  I’m betting that many of you are in the same boat!

So, after having two babies, I thought I’d share my real must-haves list with you.  Baby items that you really do need and some suggestions on buying them without breaking the bank.  Today’s focus is the “layette,” or clothing and bedding.  Later this week we’ll talk about the “bigger” items.  Are you ready?

First, it’s important to note that these are my must-haves.  There may be a few items that are not on my list that you end up loving or really needing, depending on your family, location, weather, etc.  So this is not an exhaustive list by any means.  It’s just about the basics. :)

Also, I’m a little, um…obsessive about planning ahead.  I usually (still) have my kids’ wardrobes bought a full year in advance.  I like to do this for my babies too.  And so far I’ve gotten lucky and guessed right on sizes and seasons!

Linens and Things:

  • 3 – 4 fitted crib sheets
  • 2 mattress covers
  • 2 – 3 large receiving blankets (not the tiny packs of them)
  • 2 – 3 bassinet sheets (if you’re using it)
  • 3 – 4 burp cloths or cloth diapers
  • 24 cloth diapers, prefolds + covers for newborns, then pockets (if you’re using them; these are my preferences in style)
  • OR at least 2 packages disposable diapers in size 1
  • 24 cloth wipes, or 1 box of disposable wipes (large size)

That’s about it.  You do not need dust ruffles, quilts, bumper pads, matching sheet sets, baby towels, and so on.  You can buy them if you like, but your baby does not require them.  You may find that special “swaddle blankets” are lifesavers for you.  Or sleep sacks.  My first baby really liked these; my second hated them.  You don’t really need to buy them in advance, just keep them in mind if your baby is struggling to settle at night.

0 – 3 months Clothes:

  • 6 – 8 onesies
  • 4 – 6 pairs of pants (soft ones)
  • 6 – 8 sleepers
  • 2 – 4 “cute outfits” (cheap ones you can buy at Walmart or something)
  • 2 – 4 pairs of socks (it’s likely your baby will just kick them off so you will rarely use them)
  • 1 light, warm jacket, if needed (fleece; think about buying this in 3 – 6 months so it will last)

I like to get my babies dressed in the morning.  At least most of the time.  And I like having layers when it’s cold out.  But, they mostly lived in onesies and sweat pants unless we were going out, with sleepers at night.  They almost never wore socks because the things never stayed on.  Babies do not need a ton of expensive outfits or bibs or shoes at this age.  Hitting up Good Will, Once Upon a Child, Walmart, or Target will get you some very cute outfits for only $2 or so apiece.  Much more affordable!

3 – 6 months

  • Same as 0 – 3 months
  • 4 – 6 bibs (if you’re starting solids OR baby is teething and drooling)
  • An additional outfit or two (you’ll be going out more now)

Yup, not much else. :)

6 – 12 months:

  • Same as above (in 6 – 9 and 9 – 12), minus “cute outfits”
  • 4 – 6 pairs of pants
  • 4 – 6 shirts
  • 1 – 2 sweaters or sweatshirts (if needed)
  • 1 pair soft baby shoes (babies should not wear hard shoes until they are walking outside)

I like to buy the full year of clothes BEFORE my babies are even born.  It’s not necessary.  You will want to have 0 – 3 and 3 – 6 on hand, though.  Babies born at 6 or 7 lbs. actually may be too small for anything but newborn size for a few weeks…but you won’t know this until the baby arrives, and even then it will not last long.  Babies born at 8 or 9 lbs. (or bigger!) may barely even wear the 0 – 3 size, and you’ll be scrambling for 3 – 6 while you’re still recovering if you don’t yet have it.  At least buy the onesies and sweat pants, and you can send friends and family out for any additional needs (which I have done each time…and anticipate needing to do again!).

It’s a good idea to wash all of these items and put them away 4 – 6 weeks before your due date, so that you’re not caught off guard.  Even earlier is good if you are at risk for a preterm baby (though you likely won’t bring a preemie home right away).  Plus, it’s just fun to set up the baby’s room!

What are your baby must-haves?

Top image by Joe Shlabotnik

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