I first encountered the term layette when I began writing in the family history in my new baby book. I have to admit up to this point I haven't really given baby clothes to much consideration. I have been afterall to busy putting a roof over our heads or lately to exhausted to go shopping. Aren't baby clothes just clothes after all? I have picked up a few adorable sleepers that I couldn't walk past. Like the Carter's zippered soft, bright yellow one that matches the striped, yellow hat my knitting girlfriend made or the white, lamb sleeper complete with fuzzy ears on the head.
In a June 1954 copy of Canadian Homes and Gardens I read an article on the baby layette. First, it admonished no ruffles as it would cause needless ironing. The merits of gauze vrs. knitted cloth diapers and the "new" diaper was discussed in some detail. A quick google search informed me that the first pre-formed, pinless, snap-on "new" diaper was invented by a woman in 1950 who sold the patient for money to build a house. I wonder if she was a single mom. The article went on to suggest how many kimono's, baby wrappers, t-shirts and nightgowns with drawstrings on the neck and sleeves and baby slips (in case it's a girl) that I would need.
Since I have begun shopping or more accurately now that my mother has finished shopping I have yet to see a baby slip, kimono, or wrapper or nightgown with drawstrings. I have two closets and two dressers full of sleepers, onsies, pants and tops made of every soft fabric imaginable. And yes, ruffles and ribbons on everything pink. A special thank-you to my amazing mom. Baby will be well-dressed for the next two years whether it is a boy or a girl. I have yet to decide what to write on the single line in the baby book other than well-stocked.