October 7, 2013

Everything You Need To Know About Layettes


When preparing for a new baby, having the right layette is essential. Owner of Bundle, Allison O’Neill, shares tips for putting together a proper layette.

By Danielle Kraese


When welcoming a new baby, it’s essential to have the right layette—usually consisting of a set of clothing pieces, linens, and even a few fun accessories. Some might enjoy the excuse to go shopping, but if you’d rather rest as much as you can before baby arrives, many shop their layettes online these days too.

Bundle, a popular baby boutique in Soho, is especially known among city moms for putting together exceptional layettes. According to owner Allison O’Neill, the definition of a layette is constantly evolving, which can present a challenge for new parents when shopping.

“Traditionally, women would sew their baby’s layette during pregnancy, which obviously is very rare these days,” says O’Neill. “Then, the process evolved into visiting a local shop to pick your baby’s collection—usually matching pieces—in preparation of his or her birth.”

These days, between the growing popularity of baby showers, gift registries, and online shopping, it’s likely that a baby’s wardrobe will be a mix of both items purchased by the parents and items gifted by others.

“It’s always nice to get gifts, especially when the person giving them passes on her knowledge about what worked for her own children,” says O’Neill, “but it’s also really nice to pick your own things, as people’s styles differ widely.”

Through five years in business at Bundle and firsthand experience with her own daughter, O’Neill has mastered the careful art of gathering a balanced collection. Despite varying tastes, she finds that there are certain staples every baby needs in order to be properly outfitted:

-Gowns (4 or more): “These are so easy for the hourly diaper changing that goes on during those first few weeks. Any minute saved changing the baby on all the sleep deprived nights is a blessing!”

-Two-piece outfits (4 or more): “[These are] also really easy for changing. I like to get sets that mix-and-match, like those by Kissy Kissy, so you are not searching for the right pants when baby is on the changing table.”

-Long-sleeve footies or rompers (6 or more): “Stick to 100% cotton.”

-Muslin swaddling blankets (6 or more): “Swaddling is an amazing practice to help baby sleep, and the swaddling blankets are also amazing for shade when placed over the stroller or as a nursing cover.”

-Caps (3 or more): “[Caps are] important all year long. Babies, like us, lose heat through their heads, so in a chilly air-conditioned nursery, these are just as important in summer as they are in winter!”

-Dresses for baby girls (1 or 2): “I loved dressing my little girl up for visitors and pictures; it was nice to have a few special pieces.”

The most common mistake O’Neill sees parents make is to completely overlook the newborn size, thinking their child will quickly outgrow it.

“Even a healthy eight-pound baby is very, very, small and will be swimming in most zero to three month pieces,” she says. “It’s necessary to buy some newborn sizes to make sure your little one is covered during the first few weeks.”

In addition to its layettes, Bundle is also known for going above and beyond for shoppers who aren’t sure about their baby’s needs.  “We are always happy to help prepare a layette or registry at Bundle and are happy to answer questions any time!”

For more on Bundle, visit bundlenyc.com.

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