Shopping > Clothing > Baby clothes > Buying for a new baby

Buying for a new baby

Advice on the layette essentials you'll need to buy for your new baby.
Your first few days at home with your newborn are an exciting but very hectic time as you adjust to life with your new little person. In all likelihood the last thing you're going to want to be doing is running around panic buying everything you need. For this reason its best to get the basics sorted (often called a layette) before baby arrives so that you are all prepared and know where everything is.

Whilst its tempting to buy an array of gorgeous little outfits and 'must have' baby bits before your little one arrives you should try and remember that newborns grow incredibly fast and have a habit of being more than a little messy so for the first few weeks at least its only really worth investing in the bare essentials - you can always get more when you figure out what you need. It's also incredibly likely that you'll receive lots of baby clothes as gifts once junior arrives and these will help to build up the more 'ornamental' side of your baby's wardrobe.

Here's our guide to the layette basics that are worth investing in before your baby is born.....

Clothing essentials
  • 6 - 8 babygros (with inside leg poppers) - footed babygros should be bought to fit but footless babygros can be purchased the next size up and rolled up - a mix of both is always good
  • 6 - 8 bodysuits (again poppers essential) - these can be worn under babygros in winter and on their own in summer
  • 1 - 2 cardigans or sweaters
  • 4 - 6 pairs of socks
  • 1 - 2 booties
  • A winter suit (if baby is born in winter)
  • A wide brimmed hat (if baby is born in summer
  • 2 - 3 hooded towels
Changing essentials
  • 24+ cloth nappies
  • 5+ nappy wraps
  • nappy liners
  • nappy grips (if your nappies aren't fitted with fastenings)
  • disposable nappies
  • nappy sacs
  • baby wipes / cotton wool and baby lotion
  • nappy bin
  • changing mat
Travel essentials
  • rear facing car seat (remember to keep in the car ready for coming home day)
  • sling or front baby carrier
  • pram or pushchair (needs to be reclining so baby can lie flat)
  • changing bag
Feeding essentials

If breastfeeding.....
  • 3+ nursing bras
  • nursing pads
  • nipple cream or soothers
If bottle feeding.....
  • formula powder
  • 6 small bottles complete with teats
  • bottle steriliser
  • kettle
  • bottle brush
Bedding essentials
  • cot, crib or moses basket
  • cot/crib mattress (most are sold separately)
  • waterproof mattress protector
  • 3 - 4 cot sheets
  • 1 - 2 cellular cotton blankets
  • nightlight
Other essentials
  • muslin cloths - a must have for mopping up anything and everything
  • maternity pads/pants (for after the birth)
  • baby bath or washing up bowl (either will do!)
  • washing power and fabric softener suitable for sensitive skin

Chat or Ask a Question:

If you have a question about this article or something else, visit our friendly forums & ask the AskBaby community.

Chat about buying for a new baby with our friendly community...

Your Comments:

We'd love to hear your comments on this article...

Login to add your comment:

Email: Password:
Not yet a member? Join thousands of other parents and parents-to-be... Sign Up Now!
Forgot your

Baby clothes are really expensive, and because your child grows so fast in the first couple of years, these clothes are going to have a very short life. To maximise the wear we need to look at how we take care of them, how we can get wear from them, for longer and how we might save money, if we buy the right things initially.


* The first thing to remember when buying children's clothing is, they must be comfortable to wear, easy to put on and above all else, washable.

* Buy clothes with elasticated waistbands and trousers or skirts with shoulder straps. This makes letting down or adjusting easier.

* Buy socks without shaped heels they can then grow with your child. Try to stick to one or two colors and brands this way you will always have a replacement if you lose one.

* Put extra buttons on dungaree, skirt or dress straps � This way you can lengthen them as your child grows.

* Always try to buy natural fibres, rather than man made .The man made fibres don't breathe as well as natural fibres and this can cause your child to get too hot, especially in summer.
by babycribs 26th Nov 2010, 5:11pm
i found when my son was new born up untill around 4 months its was so much easier to dress him in all in one outfits there are some really cute outfits in mothercare and most supermarkets and you can add layers if needed and much cooler for summer months. i dont mean to offend but there is nothing worse than seeing newborns in jeans and shirts they look so grown up!!!! keep them cute and young while you can because my son is growing so fast. also the less struggling the better lots of individual layers may baffle your baby..i play peekaboo with him and he laughs his heart out its so cute. i hope this helps xxx
by leaxx 28th Aug 2009, 8:25am
hi i am in my 31 weeks of pregnancy and stay in Dublin, Ireland and i am due on 20TH of October. i am making a list of shopping for my new arrival. when my baby arrives it would be winter and the temperature would fall to 5 degrees or less than that. i am not sure what to purchase to keep my baby warm. especially when i will be discharged from hospital, it could take some time to get into the car, so what should the little one wear when he or she is discharged from the hospital. is a baby grow, cardigan and blanket enough for the baby as the baby would be placed in the car seat. and if i add a snow suit to the baby then do i need to on the heater in the car. i am confused with the temperature changes and the effect of the same on the little one. please guide me in this matter.
by anjum 18th Aug 2009, 9:40am
This shopping list is a great help for first-time mom's, or dad's in case of an early birth. It would be even better if it also included what to by for mom; such as nipple cream, maxi pads, etc...
by marlstar 15th Jun 2009, 9:34am
There is also a great range of Fairtrade certified footless playsuits available to buy from
by HOTCOTTON 19th Jan 2009, 9:53am
Hi MCCABE, you can buy footless organic fairtrade babygrows in unisex designs and colours at there is a good selection of unisex onesies too, my son has been wearing his footless playsuit for months and they wash well and are a generous fit so last longer than the ones i got him from asda!!
by evielou 5th Jan 2009, 9:25am
for people who are planning on using reusable nappies , ask friends and family to buy clothes that are made to go over them as it is good to have a few essentials that fit over esp night nappies!!
by outoftheblue 23rd Dec 2008, 9:17am
I gave birth to my baby at 28weeks weighing 1lb 8oz and i got some lovely clother from a premature website,asda and mothercare but please be aware its going to be a roller coster ride of ups and down...its all worth it in the end when you see your beautifull baby...
by Mshell 24th Sep 2008, 9:42am
GAP have a first size up to 7lbs this might help you, this will probably still leave a little growing room too. Jo x
by jostank 18th Aug 2008, 9:17am
hi im currently 25 week pregnant, and i have been told that i will be giving birth to my baby anytime after 28 weeks, due to medical reasons please can somebody help me because i have no idea what size clothes to buy for him or her, also i dont know how many of each size to buy.
by lmalisa 16th Apr 2008, 8:55am
With so many baby clothes shops around, I just had to recommend a baby clothes website which I found on google called They offer a great range of designer baby clothes from newborn to 5 years at very affordable prices. I have been using them for 2 years now. All the clothes are great quality and the colours have never faded in the wash. And most importantly what an easy way to shop without having to drag your babies around on those cold, blustery, rainy days!
by Penska 13th Mar 2008, 8:36am