Lighten Up Your Layette

I love kid clothes. I really do. And my kids are INCREDIBLY lucky that their Grandmere Checklist (this is not a woman who will EVER answer to “Grandma”) lives within three blocks of five super-fancy kid clothes stores on the Upper East Side and periodically sends them enormous shipments of entire SEASONS worth of fabulous chic clothing that I wish to god came in grown-up sizes because I would literally be the most fabulous Mom at drop-off … also they’re not all PINK (and I at this point HATE pink with the same passion Diddy LOVES it) … which is great.

That said, if I had my druthers, I would simplify. My kids would all own three pairs of leggings and two pairs of jeans and five t-shirts and five long-sleeve shirts and three sweaters and one coat. Done. And it would all work together like those packing tutorials that InStyle used to run (do they still? I haven’t had time to look through an InStyle for a million years). And they’d all have their very own, dedicated color palettes for easy laundering and sorting … which, to be fair, I am moving towards — more on that later, but the quick answer, Grandmere and other readers who have an interest in sending my kids swag, is:

  • Diddy — pink and purple and anything with frills
  • Gaga — purple, yellow, anything with apples, cupcakes, or birds or owls
  • Pancake — blue, black, red
  • Sausage — green, brown, orange

I have heard great things about Zara kids clothes, and H&M kids clothes … but I am lazy/efficient so I stick to Target because I’m already there a million times a week and Gap, because they are constantly discounting EVERYTHING and I buy it all online.

And here’s the thing:

MY KIDS DON’T CARE. They think it’s all just fine as long as it’s in a color they’ll deign to don.

And guess what? YOUR BABY WILL CARE EVEN LESS. And, unless he’s anything like my kids, who grow at a glacial pace (Diddy, now 3, still rocks 18 month old leggings), he will outgrow those first infant clothes so quickly that it’s really not worth spending any real money on your layette.

Here’s what I’d do if I had to do it all again:

ChecklistMommy’s LAYETTE LIST

Footed pajamas  x 10
Footed pjs save you the hassle of socks. Infant socks suck, no matter how good they are, because your baby can’t do much of anything but somehow he can figure out how to take off his socks. Seriously. It’s uncanny.

Hats x 2
Babies look cute in hats. And if they’re super-tiny (like mine) or born at cold times of year, hats are essential. Steal them from the hospital if you don’t feel like spending money of tiny hats.

Short-sleeved onesies x 10
In case it’s too warm for footed pjs when your baby’s born — or cold enough that you want an extra layer UNDER the footed pjs. Also, in general, onesies that snap at the crotch are better than t-shirts (that don’t) because t-shirts ride up all the time and baby diapers really just ain’t that cute. Either are thongs like the one I spent all lunch yesterday staring at because the woman at the table right in front of me didn’t think it particularly essential that she keep her ass to herself.

Long-sleeved onesies x 10
For the same reasons as you want the short-sleeved onesies, basically.

Socks x 10
In case you don’t believe me about footed pjs just being BETTER and EASIER and prefer going with onesies+pants. If that’s the case, go with Gap socks. They suck slightly less than other brands.

Zip-up sweaters / hoodies x 3

Huge hooded infant towels x 3

Crib sheets x 3

Changing table covers x 3

Receiving Blankets x 4
For swaddling and for using as a lolling-surface or stroller cover. Again, steal from the hospital! Those blankets are the perfect size. This is one thing I wouldn’t buy at Target — all the receiving blankets sold at Target are too small.

Muslin Swaddle Wraps x 4
These are lighter-weight than your typical receiving blankets and great for spring and summer.

Burp Cloths x 10
You need at least 10 burp clothes because you go through tons every day and if you don’t have at least 10 you’ll run out by lunchtime daily. Also you almost never have one when you need one, unless you have enough of them to stash a few in every room of your house, and in your car, and in your diaper bag … hmm. Maybe make that 15.

… And that’s ALL. That’s really IT. Make life as easy as possible in the beginning, when you’re in charge of what your kid is wearing — because believe me, the moment they decide to “care a rare,” as we used to say, about their own personal style, wardrobing those kids of yours is going to be a major pain in the ass.

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