According to The Sunday Express Baby Book, these were the absolute essentials of the 1950s layette: 4 vests - cotton, silk or wool; 4 day gowns, woollen or cotton; 4 short or long nightgowns; 4 matinee coats; 3 blankets or flannel squares, 36in x 36in; carrying shawls; 1 cloak, bonnet, gloves;

1 hood; leggings, overalls, booties, safety pins.