Tuesday, November 07, 2006

what is a layette anyway?*

In an effort to calm me down a bit, Josh suggested that we make a list of the items we need and take shopping trips over the next few weekends to get all those necessary items.

So I need help. What do I really, really, really, REALLY need. What makes up this "layette" that people keep talking about?

How many onesies? How many diapers? How many pairs of socks? How many pajamas? What else?

I'm only looking for enough to get me through the first couple of weeks, and then once the baby is here and we know the sex, we'll look for more clothing and blankets and all that for the coming months.

Help help help! Tell me what we can't live without!
*I'm thinking that a sled is not part of the layette.


chris said...

Get twice as many diapers as you think you will need, and half as much of everything else.

Those first few weeks the baby isn't going to wear any "real" clothes. Unless you are taking a photo.

I think in New England the sled should definitely be part of the layette.

Ninotchka said...

I've generally bought about a dozen of everything before each of our girls' births:

- onesies (since your baby is a winter baby, I'd buy both short and long sleeve ones)
- those cute little baby pants
- receiving blankets
- hooded towels
- washcloths
- sleep n' plays (pj's)
- the little "sweetpea" pjs/sleeping gowns are GREAT for the first few weeks. Warm with easy access for frequent diaper changes. You can always layer with a onesie on cold days/nights
- baby socks

A sweater or two. A few knit caps. And you should be set. But what do I know? (grin) Seriously, you'll know best after baby. But these are all good basics.

Hint: I always got a double layette. Size newborn and then 3-6 month. Just to be (and feel) ready.

mc said...

I think "layette" is a marketer's word for "way to make you buy a lot more stuff than you could ever possibly use because you have no idea what you're doing." Or maybe that's just me.

Ess was 6 weeks early. We hadn't had a baby shower yet, her room wasn't even close to done and we did not have diapers. Luckily we had some hand-me-down clothes... and some doting grandmas to buy a few things for the wee girl. But, really, a dozen onesies and, for a winter baby, several footy sleepers and a handful of caps are really all you'll need for clothes. Socks are more trouble than they're worth for such a little one.

Beyond that, you'll need enough diapers to change the kiddo 7-10 times a day for the first couple weeks. The question there is size - whether you'll need newborn or size 1. We were advised to buy one package of newborn and a couple size 1. I have no idea if that was good advice, since she stayed in newborns for quite a while since she was such a tiny peanut.

A good thing to remember: You will have lots of people wanting to help you out in those early weeks. So if you forget something that you desperately need, you'll have all manner of people you can send out for supplies. And take advantage of them!

Dixie said...

My biggest bit of advice is to recognize that babies wardrobes are not like adult ones. When I went out shopping for our first baby I bought a bunch of unisex clothing. And I thought, since I had a lot of mix and match outfits -- misc. shirts and misc. pants -- that that's what the baby needed to. So, I ended up with a lot of random onesie shirts and regular shirts -- mostly in colours to masculine for a girl and too girly for a boy.

Kids tend to wear "outfits" -- and hopefully not ones with bears or rainbows all over them. So, my advice is don't go and buy 10 pairs of pants for the kid and 15 shirts. Plus, people seem to take great pleasure in buying outfits that are size 0-3 months -- which on my kids, last about 0-1 month. You'll get a lot more use out of larger sized outfits, instead of a million small ones.

And as far as what you need coming home -- lots of diapers and wipes, I'd get some saline drops, gripe water, and baby tylenol (so you don't have to run to the store at midnight the first time your baby has a sniffle or upset stomach), and we had about a dozen really small onesies and sleepers (and then a dozen or two the next size up) -- they tend to soil one or two (or more!) outfits a day with poop up the back or spit up the front. Oh the joy!

And my secret for not having to wash crib sheets everyday (since they spit up on those too) is to put a receiving blanket (that matches the bedding, of course) down where the baby is laying. So when it spits up, you only have to wash a little blanket!

Oh, and the most important thing for the "layette" -- lots of casseroles in the freezer! :)

Dee Dee said...

You definitely want a bunch of the sleep and plays (footed pjs), hooded towels and wash cloths, newborn diapers, alcohol swabs for the belly button, not more than 6 receiving blankets (you'll be doing laundry so much anyway), sensitive baby wipes and loads of burp cloths (cloth diapers).

I'd also recommend Mylicon drops (generic is fine - don't spend the $$ on name brand b/c you'll go through it so fast if your baby is as gassy as mine were.)

Good luck! Let us know what you decide on.

Maribeth said...

I will say that it's been too long for me to give any good advice here. But long sleeves up here are a must in the winter. That and lots of diapers!

chatty cricket said...

Onesies, Nino's right, some short and some long sleeved. Just get a bunch of the white ones and then get cute ones after you know who the baby is! Plus, the white ones are practical AND look great in the bazillions of pictures you will be taking. :)

Little tiny footie pjs. Lady lived in these until she was 6 months, and I suspect Little Mister will do the same. Little tiny socks are IMPOSSIBLE to keep on the little tiny feet, so I prefer things with feet attached. Not to mention that little tiny socks seem destined to get eaten by the dryer.

Blankets for swaddling (but make sure you swipe the blankie from the hospital too!!)

A few little caps. "Little" being the key word.

As many diapers as you can comfortably store. And ditto on the wipes.

I second Nino's suggestion to get a bunch of things in newborn (or one month) size, and then a few things in 0-3 or 3-6 month size. You won't believe how tiny this baby is in real life. Lady (although ridiculously petite) did not fit into anything 0-3 month sized until she was creeping up on three months! Her coming home outfit was a one month size and I thought it would fit her for a day, but she wore it all the time because it was the only thing that did not fall off of her! It's so funny to see it now, and I can't even believe she was that tiny- I'll show you!

Oh, and burp cloths. Those white cloth diapers are the best.

And of course, Dreft! But we've discussed how I think it smells live Heaven on Earth.

A couple of other things I wouldn't say are part of the "layette" but are things you'll want?

Mylicon for gas.

Pacifiers (if you plan to plug the baby)

Mild Shampoo or body wash (hurrah! for pretty smelling baby!)

Butt Paste- it's milder than Desitin or Balmex and works like a charm on diaper rash.

chatty cricket said...

oh, and also- as it relates to anything in the "medicinal" category, like Mylicon, Tylenol or Motrin...best piece of advice I got was to go for the dye free! You'll be happy not to have pink or purple stains all over the babe.

Karen said...

I never knew what a layette was either ... still don't really. In addition to all the clothes and blankets/burp cloths, one of the best suggestions I received was to buy some no-rinse cleaning fluid (Mustela makes some great stuff called PhysiObebe). When your baby is really tiny and you're nervous about bathing him (and before the umbilical cord has fallen off), it's nice to have something that doesn't require gettiing him wet. Also great for spot cleaning. It's been gentle enough to use regularly with Jack, who has somewhat sensitive skin.

Geggie said...

Now, I've never had a baby or been married, but I think the layette is similar to the bridal trousseau. It's obsolete! Stuff, it really just means stuff. Have fun buying said stuff!

Summer said...

Deep breaths. Take deep breaths, and repeat to yourself the following mantra: Target is open 7 days a week. Target is open 7 days a week. Anything you discover that you need, you can buy when you need it.

But as the mother of a winter born baby, I can tell you that you will definitely need the following in order to take your baby home:
Wipes or baby washcloths
Car seat and car seat cover
Hats (get a couple of different sizes)
Something to keep feet warm -- footie sleepers, socks (again, get different sizes, some babies like mine are born with monster feet) and the smallest size of soft Robeez-type shoes to keep socks on
Some clothing of some sort
Blankets, blankets, blankets (don't just take ONE from the hospital, get as many as you can snag. Those hospital blankets are the best for swaddling.)
Unscented or baby laundry detergent
Stain Stick for poop/spitup stains
Baby nail clippers

If you've got those things on hand, you'll be able to survive. If you realize that you need or want something else... see mantra above.

liz said...

Everybody else did a good job of listing clothing and stuff, (don't forget diapers in both Newborn and size 1! You don't want to have no diapers in the larger size since the baby will grow completely out of newborn overnight.)

Just as important, though, is to stock your freezer with meals for you and your husband for 3 or more weeks. Casseroles, lasagnes, etc. The last thing you're gonna want to do or have time for is cooking after the baby comes. So stock up on things that only need re-heating.

Oh! And Dreft. It's an excellent detergent and it is scentless.

SRH said...

costco sells giant size bottles of dreft (just in case).