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Top 10 baby girl and boy clothes essentials

Mary Fetzer is a freelance writer and marketing consultant with a marketing degree from Penn State University and 15 years of international business experience. Mary specializes in writing about parenting, children, pregnancy, college, h...

Baby's first layette

Here are the top 10 baby clothing essentials for baby girls and boys -- the clothing, swaddling and comforting items your baby just cannot do without. We ooh and ahh at the adorable baby clothes at stores and baby showers, but so much of it is just fluff. Adorable stuff aside, there are some essential clothing items your baby just cannot do without.

Mom dressing baby

1

Bodysuits (aka Onesies, Snapsuits)

Carters Bodysuits

Next to diapers, the bodysuit is your baby's most important undergarment. Bodysuits keep diapers in place and prevent other clothing from rubbing against baby's delicate skin. Winter babies need Onesies for that extra layer of warmth under their regular clothes. Summer babies can wear them alone as an outfit; bodysuits are available in a wide variety of colors, patterns and sleeve lengths. Make sure your baby's bodysuits snap at the crotch for easy changing. Because it's the layer of clothing closest to baby's skin, make sure each bodysuit is made of 100 percent cotton or organic cotton.

2Sleepwear

One-piece sleeping gowns and sacks are ideal for newborns. The gown (for boys as well as girls) stretches beyond the baby's feet and is open at the bottom for easy 2 AM diaper changes. The sack is a heavier version of the gown but is closed at the bottom. Sleeping sacks replace blankets (which pose a suffocation hazard) so you can rest easy knowing your baby is warm and safe.

3Future Football RomperRompers

One-piece outfits (rompers) make it easy to dress your newborn baby -- no need to worry about matching tops and bottoms or clothes coming untucked. Sound boring? Not to worry: Rompers are available in a variety of styles from denim coveralls for boys to embroidered jumpsuits for girls.

4Footwear

Your little one needs something to keep those piggies warm! Most pediatricians advise sticking with socks and crib shoes (slippers) until Baby is old enough to walk, so don't waste your money on tiny Mary Janes or sneakers. Instead, check out novelty socks designed to make Baby look like she's wearing shoes for all-in-one comfort and cuteness.

5UPF Baby hatA hat

No matter when your baby was born, he will need head protection. A warm cap -- like those given to babies in hospitals -- is recommended for cold-weather months and indoor areas with air conditioning or drafts. Look for knit, cotton or wool-blend hats that fit down over baby's ears. When the days are warm and the sun is bright, your baby needs a wide-brim hat of a lightweight, ultraviolet-protective fabric (UPF).

6Bibs

Babies drool, spit up and vomit. By keeping a clean, fresh bib on your baby, you can catch those little messes and prevent having to change an entire outfit.

7Baby buntingOuterwear

You may need just a light sweater or jacket for a summer baby. Make sure it zips or buttons so you don't have to pull it over her head (babies hate that). If it's cold, invest in a baby bunting. Trying to dress a newborn in a full snowsuit is difficult and unnecessary, especially if you're just going to and from the car. A bunting will protect your baby from the elements and fit nicely over his carseat.

8Mittens

Baby mittens will keep your baby's hands warm, but more importantly, they'll keep your baby's skin safe. Baby fingernails can be long, sharp and impossible to groom, and babies tend to scratch their lovely faces when their arms are flailing about. (You can also find Onesies and gowns with built-in mittens.)

9Aden + Anais Swaddle BlanketReceiving blankets

They're not clothes per se, but receiving blankets are an essential part of the baby's layette. You'll want at least a dozen of these wonder blankets to use for swaddling, burping, changing and covering baby. They're perfect for travel, tummy time on the floor... just about everything!

10Hooded towels

Bathing baby is so much fun, but getting him out of the tub is not. They don't like that wet, naked feeling, so quickly wrap him in a hooded towel. Hooded baby towels are the right size and fabric to keep the head and body of your little one warm and dry.

More ways to prepare for baby:

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