Baby Clothing: What do you really need?

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Going into a store that’s bulging with baby goods can be a little overwhelming. How do you know what you really need right 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 laundry every day.

  • 2 or 3 soft, baby-size bath towels and 6 to 10 baby washcloths
  • 6 to 8 receiving blankets
  • 6 front-snapping stretch jumper suits, or onesies
  • 6 to 10 cotton-knit, front-snapping T-shirts
  • 1 or 2 sweaters
  • 2 to 3 sleeper suits
  • 3 or 4 crib or bassinet sheets (be sure they fit tightly on the mattress)
  • 2 to 3 thin blankets or quilts (fluffy blankets pose a SIDS – Sudden Infant Death Syndrome 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 diapers, look for the kind with a notch cut out in the front for your baby’s umbilical cord stump. Cloth diapers 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 Bunting or snowsuit for cold weather
  • Mittens. Don’t bother with the thin hand covers sold in many stores; 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 him.
  • 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.

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