Building Baby's Layette - What You Really Need

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Baby booties and hats are part of the layette. Credit: >>>WonderMike<<, Flickr

Sure, the teeny tiny bikinis and baby Uggs are cute and make great shower gifts, but what do you really need when your little one comes home?

The exact number of burp cloths, towels and other linens needed really depends on how often you want to do laundry -- and how often your baby pees, pukes or poops on himself. But this list of must-haves should get you through the early months -- unless you're having multiples. Then you'll need at least double the numbers listed here:

Bath
  • 3-4 hooded towels
  • 4-5 washcloths

Clothing
  • 10 onesies
  • 5-6 sleep sacks
  • 7-10 footed outfits
  • 1 outfit to wear home from the hospital
  • 10 pairs of socks (can also be used as mittens if baby scratches her face)
  • 4-5 hats
  • 1-2 sweaters
  • 1 snowsuit
Bedding
  • 4 receiving blankets
  • 3-4 crib sheets
Miscellaneous
  • plenty of burp cloths
  • diapers, diapers, diapers
Worth it, or Waste of Money?
Technically, the term layette refers to a baby's clothes and linens, but it can also describe the other gear, like a car seat, stroller, bottles (all must-haves) and more. Here, some items that you may or may not need:

Worth It:

  • Glider: These rocking chairs aren't cheap, but when you're rocking a screaming baby for hours in the middle of the night, you'll be so glad you invested in one.
  • Sling or other baby carrier: When your little one just won't let you put her down, you'll be glad you've got a hands-free carrier so you can get things done. Bonus: You may find that fewer strangers are compelled to touch your baby when she's strapped to your chest.
  • Breast pump: They can cost a few hundred dollars, but if you're breastfeeding, pumping is the only way anyone else can feed baby.
  • Bassinet: If you're not ready to have your newborn sleep in his own room, a bassinet by your bed is a safe alternative.
THINK TWICE:
  • Wipes warmer: It's a good idea, in theory: Warm those wipes so they don't freeze baby's bottom, but you'll be so rushed when changing diapers that you'll have no time for this gadget. Same goes for a bottle warmer: You'll save time if you get baby used to lukewarm milk.
  • High-end stroller: Sure, it may have extra bells and whistles, but you're only paying for the label -- and within a year, the stroller will be covered in spit-up, spilled milk, juice, crumbs and more. Just look for a lightweight stroller that's easy to fold and unfold.
  • Baby monitor: If you're like many new parents, you'll probably never let baby out of your sight for the first few months, so you won't need a monitor. Other parents find that monitors only keep them up all night: Every slight noise baby makes is another reason to go check on her.
Related: Pregnancy: Week by Week

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.