Expectant parents often start making lists of everything baby will need. And the list grows and grows almost as quickly as the baby! The necessities are known collectively as the layette. It can be very basic and inexpensive, or it can be more extravagant, depending on what the parents need and want, and, of course, the gift-givers budget! Here are some items that you might consider including in your baby layette gift.
These are items that every baby will use:
- Pajamas or sleeping sacks.
- Sweaters, sweatshirt, and/or heavier shirt.
You can get one of each, five of one, three of two whatever you choose. Make sure the clothing you choose is appropriate for the weather when the baby is born. A size 0-3 month snowsuit for a child born in April is not going to be a great choice, for instance. Also, it is a great idea to include different sizes. For example, you could include a pack of 0-3 month onesies and a pack of 3-6 month sizes.
When bath time comes around, parents will need:
- Washcloths (these are always handy, whether in the bath or not!).
- Baby shampoo/body wash.
- Baby nail clippers.
- Diaper rash cream.
- Diapers (in different sizes).
You can never have too many diapers, wipes, or washcloths!
Whether the baby has his own nursery or bunks with mom and dad, he will need:
- Crib or bassinette sheets.
- Crib mattress.
- Waterproof mattress pad.
Remember, newborns do not need blankets because they are a safety risk. Instead, if baby is going to be making his debut in the winter months, buy a fleece sleeping sack for him. He will be cozy and safe. That being said, though, blankets do make wonderful gifts for the car, stroller, and post-bath cuddling with mom or dad.
It is also nice to include some other baby essentials: toys and books! Here are some ideas:
- Board or cloth books.
- Bath books.
- Toys with loops (for car seat, strollers, diaper bag handle, etc.).
- A newborn-safe stuffed animal.
- A play mat.
Make sure that everything you buy is easily machine-washable, and it is nice to include the receipts for the items so parents can exchange them for bigger sizes or more needed items.
The Personal Touch
To add a special touch to the baby layette gift, consider adding:
- A monogrammed onesie, bib, T-shirt, or blanket. You can have an online service do this for you, or you could try your hand at embroidery.
- If the parents have chosen a theme for the baby’s nursery or baby shower, include items that relate to that theme. It could be a specific character (Cat in the Hat, Pooh Bear, etc.) or it could be a more general theme, like flowers, sun and moon, or trains. Whatever it is, you can find toys, books, wall decals, or other treats to complement it.
- A homemade gift. Can you knit? Crochet? Sew? Scrapbook? Whatever your skill, turn your talent to the baby and whip up a homemade treasure.
- A handmade card for baby and his parents. You could also include a gift card to a local restaurant (for takeout on nights when they’re too tired to cook!) for the happy, exhausted parents.
Why assemble your own baby layette gift? You can purchase pre-made ones at nearly any baby, discount, or department store, but these tend to be generic. You can customize your gift, and give the parents what they really need, by making your own. If you need to include 10 bibs but no hats, fine. You have complete control over the items that make it into the gift bag, basket, or box. You can also sneak in that personal touch that means so much to parents and baby.