Your Complete Guide to Creating a Baby Layette
Expecting a baby? Preparation is key. The first few days and weeks with a newborn are often a blur as you adjust to your new role as a parent. One way to help make the transition a bit smoother? Have all the necessary supplies ready to go and close at hand. That’s where a layette comes into play. Baffled by this new term? Don’t worry; we’re here to help explain what a baby layette is, and share all the essential clothing items you’ll need for your newborn. Keep reading to discover our picks of the best newborn basics, plus pre-made layette sets from our favorite brands.
In this article:
What is a layette?
Where to buy a baby layette set
Baby layette checklist
A layette is a coordinated collection of clothes for a newborn, though the term is also used to refer to basic supplies for an infant. A basic layette set will include a few bodysuits, pants, pajamas and hats. Layette inclusion is a bit subjective though, and some sets also feature accessories, such as headbands and mittens; layers, such as blankets and burp cloths, and toiletries like body wash and baby shampoo.
Baby will be tiny upon arrival, but infants grow quickly, and newborn sizes will soon be too small. Opt for slightly larger sizes (0 to 3 months), and don’t buy too much in advance. Once baby arrives, you’ll have a better idea of what sizes and styles work best. Choose soft and comfortable material, fasteners that close easily and finished seams. Check for snaps, buttons and tags that might irritate sensitive skin, and be careful with zippers, which can pinch.
When it comes to infant apparel, it’s best to opt for natural materials like cotton or bamboo as they’re soft and breathable. Remember, you’ll want to dress your newborn in lightweight layers rather than heavy-weight fabrics like fleece. With this in mind, here are three of the best baby clothing brands that offer ready-made layette sets made using the finest fabrics.
Monica and Andy: This beloved baby brand offers thoughtfully curated layette boxes, which include the softest GOTS certified, organic cotton blankets and clothes.
Baby Mori: Looking for an eco-friendly option? Check out the layette sets by Baby Mori. The brand’s signature fabric is made from a blend of sustainable cotton, bamboo and viscose that’s naturally breathable, thermoregulating and moisture-wicking.
Carter’s: This online store is our go-to for affordable baby clothing. Build your own layette or pick up a newborn bundle (priced between $50 and $75).
Here’s a list of the basic items that form the foundations of a newborn layette. Remember, this list isn’t exhaustive; rather, think of it as a helpful guide. Exactly how many of each item you’ll need depends on how often you do laundry (don’t forget to pick up some gentle detergent)—our suggestions are only estimates.
Bodysuits or onesies (4 to 8): Opt for styles with envelope necklines and fasteners along the inseam.
Pants (2 to 3): Go for baby leggings or joggers with a stretchy waistband.
Pajamas (4 to 8): Long-sleeved styles with foldover mittens will keep baby warm and prevent them from scratching themselves at night.
Rompers (1 to 3): Make sure rompers have snaps under the crotch for easy diaper changes.
Hats (1 to 3): Knot caps are a good option as they can be adjusted for a snug fit.
Socks or booties (4 to 7): Babies like to kick off their socks, so go for styles with secure cuffs.
Seasonal layers: Depending on the season, you may need extra layers of clothing to keep baby warm. Consider a soft cardigan, kimono tops and baby bunting to keep them cozy, whatever the weather.
Accessories: Accessories—like a receiving blanket, baby bow or mittens—are totally optional but many people choose to include such items in a newborn layette.
Bodysuits—also known as onesies—are essential to baby’s wardrobe. These all-in-one garments can be worn solo or layered underneath other items for added warmth. The best bodysuits have snap fasteners along the inseam and are crafted from soft, organic cotton that’s gentle on the sensitive umbilical cord stump, which typically falls off within two weeks after birth. Worried about wrestling with snaps and buttons in the (likely) event of a poo-nami? A kimono-style onesie or one with an envelope neckline allows you to gently remove baby’s arms and pull the bodysuit down over the torso and legs for a more sanitary outfit change. Between diaper changes and spit up, infants can go through as many as five bodysuits a day, so it’s worth stocking your bureau with plenty of options. Luckily, many brands offer affordable multipacks; keep scrolling to discover our top choices.
Buy it: Carter’s Little Planet Cotton Rib Bodysuits, $16 for a set of 3, Carters.com
Buy it: Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Essentials Organic Short Sleeve Baby Bodysuits, $27 for a set of 5, BurtsBeesBaby.com
Buy it: Kissy Kissy White Kissy Basics Long Sleeve Cross Bodysuit, $26, KissyKissy.com
Pants with footies keep little tootsies warm—and eliminate the need for socks or booties. But if you like pairing separates, there are plenty of baby leggings and joggers available in newborn sizes. Either way, it’s best to buy a few different pairs as infants grow out of newborn attire in a flash. The best pants for babies are made from soft fabrics and have stretchy waistbands, so you can whip them on and off for quick diaper changes. In terms of style, go for pants that are easy to pair with the baby bodysuits in your child’s layette. Bold prints are great, but neutral colors are easier to mix-and-match with other items. Check out three of our favorite multipack sets below.
Buy it: H&M 3-Pack Pants, $15 for a set of 3, HM.com
Buy it: Honest Baby Clothing Organic Cotton Footed Harem Pants, $25 for a set of 3, Honest.com
Buy it: Gap Baby First Favorite 100% Organic Cotton Pull-On Pants, $35 for a set of 3, Gap.com
Although many people include a blanket in a layette, it’s important to note that infants shouldn’t sleep with soft bedding until they’re at least 12 months old. Instead, opt for a pair of long-sleeve footed pajamas to keep baby warm and safe all night long.The best options have full-length zippers down the front, which allow you to change baby’s diaper without fully undressing them. Here are our favorite sleepers to incorporate into baby’s layette set.
Buy it: Carter’s Baby 2-Way Zip Cotton Sleep & Plays, $38 for a set of 4, Carters.com
Buy it: Gerber Childrenswear Baby Neutral Comfy Stretch Avocado Sleep 'N Plays, $30 for a set of 2, GerberChildrenswear.com
Buy it: H&M 3-pack Jumpsuits with Zipper, $30 for a set of 3, HM.com
Also referred to as a bubble, a romper is a one-piece outfit that can be worn on its own or layered over a bodysuit. Practical and cute, these garments are perfect for tummy time, family outings or newborn photo shoots. Rompers come in tons of cute prints and patterns for baby boys and girls, but just make sure they have snap-fasteners along the crotch for easy changing access. From pastel options to a sweet s’more print romper, check out our favorites below.
Buy it: Burt’s Bees Baby Multi Stripe Organic Baby Bubble Rompers, $23 for a set of 2, BurtsBeesBaby.com
Buy it: Monica and Andy Sweet Baby B Romper, $25, MonicaandAndy.com
Buy it: Cat & Jack Baby Girls’ Floral Ruffle Jersey Long Sleeve Romper, $10, Target.com
Newborns lose heat through their extremities, meaning they can easily get cold. Keep that noggin warm with a baby beanie. These super-cute accessories are actually an essential part of a layette, as hats help infants regulate their body temperature. Some caps have a tip that you tie into a knot, letting you easily adjust the size as baby grows. Browse the best baby hats to add to baby’s wardrobe here.
Buy it: Gerber 4-Pack Baby Girls Comfy Stretch Flower Pot Caps, $18 for a set of 4, GerberChildrenswear.com
Buy it: Geyoga Newborn Baby Hats, $13 for a set of 6, Amazon.com
Buy it: Loulou Lollipop Top Knot Beanie, $14, LoulouLollipop.com
Socks or booties
Young infants don’t need shoes, but socks or soft booties are helpful if you’re venturing outdoors or simply want to keep baby’s toes warm. It can be a challenge to keep socks securely in place, so opt for a pair with a secure cuff that won’t slip down. Our advice? Buy several packs of socks in the same color, as they’re bound to go missing. From soft cotton boots to unisex crew socks, check out three top-rated styles below.
Buy it: Old Navy Unisex Crew Socks 6-Pack for Baby, $10 for a set of 6, OldNavy.com
Buy it: Bombas Baby Socks 12-Pack, $54 for a set of 12, Bombas.com
Buy it: Zutano Organic Cotton Gripper Baby Bootie 3 Pack, $57 for a set of 3, Zutano.com
Seasonal layers, extra outfits and accessories
Aside from the basics, you’re going to need a few seasonal layers and accessories. Before you create a layette, consider the climate in your particular area. Winter babies may need extra outdoor clothing, such as a snowsuit or a warm sleep sack. On the other hand, summer babies can forgo these items in favor of tees and other light layers. In terms of accessories, mittens are a good choice as they prevent newborns from scratching. We also can’t resist a baby in bloomers and a matching headband—too cute! Keep reading to discover a few more optional items you may want to add to your newborn’s layette.
Mittens keep little digits warm and prevent newborns from scratching themselves. Goumi mitts are the best in the game. Crafted from a cotton-bamboo blend, the mittens have a two-part closure system—meaning they’ll stay on no matter how hard baby tries to shuck them off.
Buy it: Goumi Mitts in Gingham, $14, GoumiKids.com
Cardigans are the perfect layering item, as they’re easy to remove. This pick by Hanna Andersson is made from soft organic cotton and has large, easy-to-fasten buttons.
Buy it: Hanna Andersson Baby Cardigan In Organic Cotton, $50, HannaAndersson.com
Pajamas are great, but undressing your newborn every time you need to change their diaper can be a pain. The solution? A knotted gown. Simply untie the bottom of the gown for easy changing access. This pick by Posh Peanut is buttery soft and boasts foldover anti-scratch mittens.
Buy it: Posh Peanut Pastel Blue Knotted Gown, $35, PoshPeanut.com
A sleep sack is another item parents sometimes include in a layette. The comforting cocoon-like shape helps your child feel cozy, warm and secure; it’s great for littles who don’t love the swaddle. Baby Deedee’s sleep bag features a two-way zipper and shoulder snaps for easy access.
Buy it: Baby Deedee Sleep Nest Basic, $22, BabyDeedee.com
Newborns need to be kept warm, meaning they’ll need extra layers of insulation in colder climates. With this in mind, you may want to add baby bunting to your layette checklist. This fluffy option boasts foldover mitts and a snap-up front for an easy, fuss-free fit. And get a load of those sweet bear ears on the hood!
Buy it: Nordstrom Baby Hooded Bunting, $49, Nordstrom.com
You can also add a couple of coordinated outfits to baby’s layette. We like this two-piece look from Spearmint Love. Made from 100 percent cotton, the set includes pants with built-in footies and a wrap top.
Buy it: Spearmint Love Organic Waffle Kimono & Pant Set, $36, SpearmintLove.com
Add the finishing touches to your little one’s outfit with a baby bow. These headbands are made from cotton with a touch of spandex for added stretch.
Buy it: Ely’s & Co. Size 0-12M 3-Pack Bow Headbands in Pink/Ivory/Tan, $24, Target.com
Don’t have the time (or the inclination) to build a newborn layette from scratch? We hear you—as do many of our favorite brands. Instead of buying everything individually, pick up a ready-made layette set that includes all the essentials you’ll need. Better yet, add one of the options below to your registry.
This top-rated layette set comes with everything your newborn needs: bodysuits, beanies, mittens, blankets, burp cloths and even a sleep bag. It’s made from 100 percent cotton, and the sunny yellow color is perfect for a baby girl or boy.
Buy it: The Peanutshell Size 0-3M 23-Piece Sunshine Jungle Layette Set in Yellow/Grey, $59.99, Target.com
This layette set has everything you’ll need for baby’s early days in the hospital to their first weeks at home. The nine-piece cotton set includes pants, tops, bodysuits, rompers and more. For a unique touch, you can even add a monogrammed blanket into the mix.
Buy it: Monica + Andy Mini Modern Layette Cuddle Box, $175, MonicaandAndy.com
This baby layette set offers multiple adorable outfit options for your little one. Made from a soft fabric blend, the set includes four rectangular burp cloths, four bodysuits, three leggings, three knot caps and three sleep suits in a neutral gray palette.
Buy it: Cloud Island Baby Layette Set, $45, Target.com
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