layette

Newborn Checklist and Choosing a Pram

Here are some essential items for your newborn checklist that you should get in place well before the birth.  Choosing a baby layette the right way will save you a lot of hassle in the first few days of your new baby’s life.

NEWBORN CHECKLIST TOILETRIES

Choose the purest kind of toilet soap, free from perfume, and always rinse it off with plenty of water. Alternatively, use a specially prepared baby liquid in the bath. You will also need:

  • baby shampoo
  • cotton-wool for cleaning the face and buttocks
  • soft towels
  • cotton swabs for umbilicus cream for buttocks.
  • Talcum powder is not essential and can be dangerous if a toddler inhales it.

BABY LAYETTE CLOTHES

A new baby needs to be dressed in several layers of light clothing rather than a few bulky garments. A basic layette consists of:

  • 2 dozen nappies
  • 3 pairs of plastic pants
  • 3 stretch suits or long gowns
  • 3 cotton or cotton and wool vestslayette
  • 2 cardigans
  • 2 hats
  • 2 pairs of mittens (for cold weather)
  • 1 shawl
  • 2 angel tops
  • 2 blankets
  • 3 cot sheets
  • 3 pram sheets and 2 pram blankets
  • 6 terry-towelling bibs

When choosing a layette, avoid garments that are made entirely of man-made fibres. These cut off the supply of air, do not allow a baby’s skin to breathe, cause perspiration and are not as warm as natural fibres. Stretch suits are fine but make sure that they are roomy enough for the baby to move freely. Choose simple, shift-style nightgowns with raglan sleeves. Choose cardigans made from a closely worked pattern which button all the way up. Avoid jumpers until your baby is happy to have things pulled over his head.

FEEDING AND STERILIZING EQUIPMENT

The section on bottle-feeding describes the bottles, teats and sterilizing equipment needed. Even if you are breastfeeding, you will need at least two bottles for the occasional feed and for water. If bottle-feeding, you will need between four and six bottles.

CHOOSING A PRAM

If you live in a hilly area, choose a pram that is light to push and soft-bodied; if you have lots of roads to cross, look for one with large wheels, if you have to negotiate many steps or stairs, choose a pram with small wheels. The higher a pram, the easier it is to attend to a baby; it also keeps him out of reach of friendly dogs!

If you are under 1.5 m (5 ft), however, take this into account or you will spend all your time peering over the sides. Put the pram hood up before buying the pram to find out whether you can see over the top! If you travel a great deal, then choose a pram that is light and easy to dismantle. Remember, however, that a light-weight pram is not always the most comfortable for long walks.

Whatever your choice, there are essential points to check before making your purchase:

  • Can you reach the brake easily, when, for example, holding the handle with one hand? A brake is more effective when it works on two wheels rather than on one.
  • The hood should collapse easily, but the body should not.
  • Harness attachments must be safely anchored and the pram must be strong enough not to tip over when rocked by a baby.
  • If you expect to carry heavy shopping, then look for a model which will safely support a pram tray. The harness should be designed to go over the baby’s shoulders and fastened so that he cannot stand up. Are the pram and harness large enough to use until your baby is ready for a pushchair?

BUYING SECONDHAND

All the items mentioned above and on the previous page can be bought secondhand through Ebay, advertisements in local newspapers, clinics, shops or through friends. Always remember to examine the goods carefully, looking for safety factors such as splintered wood, flaking paint and the possibility of needing replacement parts.

Hopefully this newborn checklist should prepare you well.  Babies have their own timing and its always best to have a baby layette to cover the unexpected.