A layette describes the first items of clothing you gather together for your new baby. Also known as newborn clothing, these clothes are designed for the first weeks and months of your baby's life. After they outgrow their layette clothes, you'll need to check out the infant clothing guide.
The first thing you are going to need is an outfit to take your baby home from the hospital. Depending on your child's birth weight, you may need to look at preemie clothing (usually for babies under 6 or 7 pounds). Good Web sites to try for premature baby clothes include: Itty Bitty Bundles or The Preemie Store.
The basic items you'll need will include: a hat, blanket, top, bottom and socks or booties. Depending on the climate, you may also need a sweater and snowsuit.
It's not as easy as dressing yourself in the morning -- newborns require a little extra TLC. Here are some things to consider when shopping for your new baby:
* Most likely, your baby will have a tender umbilical cord. The cord area needs air to heal, so one-piece outfits are not ideal until the cord dries up and falls off. For more information on umbical cord care visit CNN"s health page.
* Babies are tricky to dress, they wiggle, squirm and generally don't cooperate. Look for easy fastenings until you get the hang of the situation.
* Little necks are very delicate. Try to skip the pullover tops until you are more confident in your skills. Opt for button or tie-front closures.
* Wash all of your baby's clothing before you pack you bags for the hospital. Residual dyes and chemicals can remain on the surface of garments. Use a gentle fragrance-free detergent to clean the clothing.