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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Preparing A Layette For Your New Baby

Whether your new baby is going to be your first or fifth, taking that baby back home from hospital requires a lot of preparation. It is far better to have the essentials ready to make for a smooth return home with your new arrival. The last thing you will want to do in those first few days after the baby arrives is to run around buying any little necessities that you forgot. You will undoubtedly feel much more at easy, and able to concentrate on the baby, if you have everything prepared well in advance.
If you can get everything you need for the layette, whether bought new or second hand, or even borrowed, then you can feel relaxed about being able to deal with the initial practicalities of taking the baby home.
While it is nice to have everything brand new for your baby, it is worth thinking long and hard about whether that is at all necessary, or even desirable. One thing is certain, babies get to be very expensive, and they grow into even more expensive children and teenagers later on. Unless you are financially super secure long into the future, you may appreciate in the long run saving as much as you can in the early days.
Baby clothes especially are very expensive new, when you consider their tiny size. Whatever item you buy, your baby will soon out grow it, so new does not necessarily mean good value. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Remember, you are buying things for your baby, and your baby cares not one iota if the clothes you adorn them with are new, second hand or fourth hand. The baby will grow quickly, and the clothes may get soiled quickly if you are unlicky. All the baby needs is your love and care, plus comfort for sleeping and resting. It is all about security and love in the early stages. Your baby is not a fashion model.
Of course, you want the baby to look nice in what they wear, and they will pretty soon become conscious of their clothes. But if you are buying on a budget, there are plenty of low cost sources for all baby's needs. And they can look just as cute in second hand clothes as something brand new.
In practice, most people will go for a mix of new, quality seconds, and second hand clothes for their baby. You will, for sure, know the prices of the new clothes in the local stores. If you buy some second hand, the savings will soon mount up. To give yourself an incentive, why not set aside those savings into a bank account for the baby? You'll appreciate that later on, and so will the baby when they see the little nest egg growing as they get older.
Here are a few tips about buying for your baby layette:
Shopping For Your Layette In Quality Seconds Stores
As with adult clothing, baby clothes manufacturers sometimes have manufacturing errors. Usually, the missed stitch or not-quite-perfect seam is not anything that will affect wear, especially in the short time the clothing item will fit your baby. You could save as much as 70% off department store prices if you buy baby layette items at your local discount and seconds stores. Your new baby won't know, nor will she care.
Buy Layette Items In Charity Or Other Second Hand Stores
Newborn baby layette items are nearly always hardly used. Most babies just do not wear them long enough to do much damage. A visit to local charity stores, such as a Salvation Army thrift store, may enable you to buy a whole load of layette items that still look good, all for a few dollars.
Buy New Born Baby Clothes A Size Up
Many newborn babies hardly spend a month in the 0-3 month sizes. What you can do is save the smallest size for special occasions, as a good fit obviously looks smarter. Such occasions could be coming home from the hospital, the first visit to or from grandparents etc. Otherwise jump right to the 3-6 month size for any fitted clothing. For the same reason, stick to comfortable, stretchy cotton and terry knit materials for one piece sleepers. They should fit your baby fit much longer.
Easy Access Night Gowns
Drawstring bottom night gowns are just about the most convenient single item for your new baby at home. When baby needs her diaper changing, you can just pull up, change her, and then pull back down again. Do not be distracted by the reference to "night"; when your baby comes home, whether it's dark or light outside, it will always be night as far as she's concerned. She will be sleeping, lying their waking up, or falling asleep, just about 24 hours a day. The distractions will be for feeding and changing. In the middle of the real night, you will appreciate being able to change her with ease, rather than fiddling, in your half asleep state, with lots of poppers, zips and layers of clothing.
Multi Purpose Cotton Diapers
If you decide to use disposable diapers, do not rule out the purchase of some 100% cotton diapers as well, even if it's only one pack. They really are great to have around when you have a new baby, and even when baby becomes a young child. They are very useful as burp rags, laid over your shoulder or lap, as you burp the baby. But you will also find yourself using them for other things, such as wiping away dribbles, or worse. Rarely, a baby will even adopt one for comfort to suck at night. However, I am sure my 24 year old son would not want me to go further into that matter!
Wash Fabric Layette Items Before Baby Is Born
It is worthwhile using a very mild laundry soap, such as Dreft or Ivory Snow, to wash away any remnants of dyes, chemicals or starches. Babies have notoriously delicate skin, and allergic reaction can be a real problem. Bleaching used items is fine, but you must give a thorough rinsing before baby comes into contact.

Top 5 Christmas Gifts for Toddlers

1. Automoblox Cars
These cars are hot. Super sleek design, fantastic colours, smooth wooden bodies. And now they're available as minis. They're build your own toys and the best part is that the pieces are interchangeable between models so your toddler can really create the car of their dreams. This toy is great for encouraging creativity and imagination and can become quite an enviable collection. They cost from £8.99 for the minis, are suitable from 3 years plus and not surprisingly, they've won many awards too. I'm thinking hot, hot, hot stocking fillers.
2. Push Along Toys
The classic push along toy, great for encouraging balance and walking. Orange Tree toys make some super bright and colourful wooden ones which are just the ticket for babies on the verge of walking. Although my toddler, who's mastered the art of walking still loves hers and brings it out to play everyday. Choose from a monkey, cow, elephant and more. The little beads on the wheels make a clacking noise when pushed which just adds to the fun. And with prices from £6 -£10, they're fantastic value too. You can find a good selection on Amazon.
3. Elephant Elements - A book about opposites
Books. No toddler can have too many. Elephant Elements is one which ranks very high on my toddler books list. It's got cool illustrations, it's entertaining, it's a great way to teach opposites. Every page has two elephants doing opposite things. The book is funny and clever and will appeal to parents too. It costs £9.99 from Amazon and makes for a smiley, happy stocking filler or a main gift for your own toddler or for some elses'. This book is oh so lovely!
4. Food
Play food, that is. The talented folks at Ikea have got some super-duper cloth play food in their new collection. And as always with Ikea, you get style and design without the chunky price tag. Checkout the Ikea Duktig food range which has a fourteen piece vegetable set, a nine piece fruit set and a fifteen piece breakfast set. And the best bit, they're just £5.99 each. They're bright, they're beautiful and include details like cutting boards and fruit baskets and can be stuck in the washing machine too. They're only available in store at the moment so you'll have to get down there.
5. A Cool Kimono Top
Sorry boy owners, this last ones just for the girls. If your girl is a budding fashion queen, she'll love this kimono top (and so will you!) from a lovely online shop called Isak. The graphic print in sunshine yellow and turquoise blue is fresh and cool. It comes with a detachable sash in the same print which can also double up as a super trendy hair band. It's 100% cotton, free of nasty toxic dyes, available in sizes from 1year to 5 and costs £9. It comes from the house of Isak, a shop full of stuff that's oh, so stunning!