Ask Design Mom: Preparing For Baby – Layette

This is part five of a five part answer. You can find links to the other parts here.

Yesterday, I went on a little shopping spree to BabyGap to pick up everything I needed layette wise. It was one of those perfect errands where I felt like I had the store to myself and had plenty of attention from the staff to answer my questions or help me find sizes. I’m feeling so much more prepared for this little one now. Also. Can you tell by the photos, I’m craving super pale colors and neutrals?

In the Layette (or clothing) Category, this is what I like to have for a newborn baby:

– 5 gowns (sometimes called bundlers).
Not everyone likes to use these, but I adore little newborn sleeping gowns. For both my boys and my girls. I like the easy-access diaper changes and I think they look so cozy! These white ones are my favorite. They’re cut a little longer and leaner than most and seem to fit my long, skinny babies the best.

– 5 footless one-pieces.
I could probably just stick with gowns, but I like the little playsuits that snap or zip down the front to mix things up. These typically come in footed or footless varieties. I prefer the footless.

– 10 (or more) onesies.
For this ever-changing Spring weather, I’m using a combination of long and short sleeves.

– Knit cap.
I don’t think I’ll need more than one or two of these during this season, because I think it will get warm here pretty quickly. But I like to have a soft knit cap for my newborns.

– 10 (or more) pairs of socks.
I like the newborn sizes, because they seem to stay on the best. Also. I don’t really buy baby shoes till my babies are older, but I do love having some little crochet slippers on hand. They’re just so cute — even when they’re not being worn and are just resting on the dresser.

– 3 or 4 everyday outfits.
Babies go from sleeping to awake, sleeping to awake, all day and all night. So I’m usually content to have them hang out in their little pajama-like one pieces or gowns or onesies most of the time. But it’s nice to have something not quite as pajama-y, in case we venture out. Plus. Tiny baby clothes are pretty much irresistible. Just try to resist these little flutter sleeves. I could not. I had to have one. Also. I seem to favor pretty much anything with a kimono cut.

– A couple of Sunday outfits.
These aren’t technically necessary, but as long as we’re making the effort to get to church, it’s nice to have something cute to put on your little guy. Yesterday, I had to have this pintucked, ivory perfection (the sash!). I also picked up a little coordinating sweater.

– Outerwear.
This part of the list changes by the season of course. For my little May baby, I’m thinking a soft jacket and some lightweight sweaters are what I’ll need.

I should note that my babies have all been small, so I stock up on 0-3 month sizes. But if your doctor/midwife is predicting a big baby, you might want to buy more of the 3-6 months sizes.

Your turn, Lovelies. What do you like for a layette? Are you a footed or footless playsuit fan? Do you buy baby shoes? Do you prefer to put your new babies in an outfit each day? Or do you keep them in lounging layette wear all the time?

31 thoughts on “Ask Design Mom: Preparing For Baby – Layette”

  1. I can’t believe Gap is still making that dress! I bought that same one in pale yellow a few years ago for my daughter, and it was my absolute favorite.

  2. For my baby, it was a must to have some preemie size clothing. Not because she was a preemie, but because she was so little! She was 6lb 11oz at birth and had lost half a pound by the time we came home. She wore preemie clothes for about a month! Even now, she’s still a little thing – 9 months and still wearing 3-6 month clothing!

  3. Reflecting on each of my babies, I am struck by how one knit cap served them all. People thought it was either a strawberry or a tomato. As for clothing, BabyLegs and a hooded blanket were my must haves, along with fanciful cotton dish towels for discreet nursing and clean ups. Such a sweet trip back…

  4. my son was born in february, so i loved anything that had those fold-overs to keep his little fingers warm, and anything that had footies to keep his little toes warm (i wanted to put off having to worry about losing tiny socks in the washer/dryer until later).
    i inherited two little, knit caps that went over the ears and had a chin strap. i loved those because they were the only caps that would stay on his head for any length of time.

  5. BABY FEVER!! I loved one pieces with feet so I didn’t have to worry about the socks coming off all the time. Also the ones that have the fold over part on the hands to keep them from scratching themselves. When they were tiny they mostly stayed in sleepers all the time, because anything else didn’t seem to fit quite right when they were that small.

  6. I second what Keri said about the onesies with fold-over “mittens”. I loved those for my daughter who was born in December. Not only did they keep her from scratching herself but I didn’t freak out quite as bad when my germ-laden three-year old grabbed her hands when he got home from preschool before I could get his hands washed. Also helps with well-meaning folks (at church, the grocery store, etc) who do the same thing or worse – kiss my baby’s hands. :) I’m not a germ freak but having her in the middle of cold/flu season did make me much more cautious.

    Otherwise, I love onesies – keeps her warm enough at night and can transition to a quick errand in the morning if I don’t have time to get something cuter on her.

  7. I agree with the gowns and knit caps. I never saw the need for shoes but I always had to have socks for him.
    Those dresses are adorable!

  8. My baby girls is 7 weeks old and I just started putting her in outfits; she’s already outgrown all of the newborn sizes I got at my baby shower. I felt like such a dope! But putting a baby who is constantly sleeping in clothes seems cruel and uncomfortable. I’m all about comfort when it comes to infants, so I say skip the outfits ’til they’re awake more and a little bigger. They look cuter then anyway.

  9. Totally agree with ‘the emily’. I had a ton of outfits for my little guys that were simply never worn. I definitely go for comfort – footed onesies (winter baby in Boston) or rompers (summer baby) all the time! Shoes can wait, although Robeez-like shoes do help keep socks on. Even after the first few months, I tend to stuck to easy and comfortable clothes – cotton pants and bodysuits.

  10. Oh! Those are such cute things. You are so lucky you get to buy for a girl. My bank account is probably thankful I don’t have a girl but their clothes are sweet in a way that boys won’t ever be.

    I loved zippered pajamas. When I was changing the 6th or 10th or 12th diaper in the middle of the night, I hated having to line up those snaps.

    And call me insane, but I always changed my kiddo out of his pajamas in the morning. Somehow it made it feel like a new day and would give me a little mental boost when I was exhausted beyond all exhaustion.

  11. I hated having to pull anything over tiny, floppy baby heads! So, kimono-style onesies, gowns and shirts, along with zippered sleeper suits were what we used.

  12. I agree with Tricia – nothing over the head. And I much preferred footy pj’s with zippers. Because my kids are the masters of getting socks off. My 6 month old still will not leave a sock on. I tried putting shoes with it – they both find their way off.

    Both my kids were born in October and I think the #1 purchase for me was the J.J. Cole Bundle Me for the carseat – no having to put jackets and snowsuits on the little one. Just toss ’em in the carseat and zip it up. The one I have is fleece lined and awe.some. Lasted until they were a year and moving to a regular (non-portable) car seat. (I tried one of those covers that had the face hole, but the first tot hated it.)

  13. I am loving these baby posts. I myself am due on the 14th of May and I am really starting to feel the need to get things organized. Your lists are a good refresher of what I am going to need.

  14. Wow, I have to admit that I’m a bit surprised with the Baby Gap choices. I thought for sure you’d have chosen something more interesting and more design-oriented (?) with more color or flair. Tea, Kate Quinn, Zutano? That being said, the simplicity of the BabyGap pieces is lovely and oh-so-soft and cozy. Getting so excited for you and your coming wonder. Yahoo!

  15. I am loving these posts! I am pregnant with my first baby who is due in late August. I was actually in babyGap on Friday staring at all the clothes feeling pretty overwhelmed and realizing I had no idea what babies actually wore. All that to say, this post came at just the right time. Thanks so much! I am now planning to head to Gap on my lunch hour:)

  16. this was a really helpful post! my little one is due in july and i have no idea what she’s actually supposed to wear! i love the Petit Bateau onesies someone recommended in a previous post – i think i’ll stock up

  17. I always had my babies dressed “perfectly” but as a grandmother…the first thing I would do is remove any tight or restricting clothes from my grand babies when they arrived at my house. No overalls, jeans or anything that prevented them from moving freely. I also love bare feet or just a little something to keep baby feet warm. I so wish the baby clothes that are available now were available 30 years ago!

  18. Oh! I’m so excited for you, your family and your mom as your precious new baby girl prepares to make her arrival! It’s been wonderful watching her (and you) grow!

  19. I am loving these posts. Folding brand new, freshly laundered, tiny clothes is my favorite thing about preparing for a new baby.

  20. Well living in Jamaica I can get away with no shoes maybe socks until walking occurs. Though a friend gave me the sweetest little pairs for my twin girls (11mths) and I have been putting them in them for church.
    I love onesies my girls live in them and those bundler things for night time great for sleeping not so great lol foradventurous crawlers. i only dress the girls on weekend- cause we may have visitors and just because they grow so fast and I want them to at least wear some of the cutie outfits once.

    As Jamaican say Happy landing when it comes :)

  21. Footed all the way. Baby socks simply slip off my babies’ floppy ankles, or they manage to rub their feet together and slip them off. So I like footed one-pieces – they are my favorite kind of baby clothes. But when I have them in something non-footed, I LOVE Zutano booties to put on their feet. They are so soft, have adjustable snaps around the ankles so they won’t slide off (key!), and come in truly fun fabrics. My latest favorite for my newest baby (born the day of this post) is a turqoise cotton with multi-colored owls all over.

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