The South Bend Chapter of The Christ Child Society and her sister chapters throughout the United States hold in common the wonderful project of assembling and distributing layettes for newborns. The layette program is our longest standing project which started in 1947. It provides clothing and essentials to babies born to mothers in need. Layettes are assembled at the Center and distributed to Saint Joseph Health Systems’ Mishawaka Medical Center, and Beacon Health Systems’ Memorial Hospital of South Bend. Caseworkers at these facilities give out the layettes based on the financial need of the mother. Mothers living at or below 150% of poverty level qualify for a layette for their newborn.
In South Bend, over 300 layettes are given out annually at our Clothing Center and at each hospital. After giving birth at the hospital mothers can ask the Hospital Social Worker, Nurse or Chaplain to help them receive a Christ Child Layette Bag.
Mothers will be able to leave the hospital with one of our prepacked bags complete with:
- Fleece Sleeper (winter)
- Goodnight Moon Book
- Hand Knit Item
- Hooded Bath towel
- Seasonal Outfit
- Sleep & Play Outfits
- Snuggle Toy
- Sleep Sac
- Parenting Pamphlets
- Additional Gently Used Clothes when available
Families qualify for this assistance in the same way they might qualify for receiving clothing for their older children. Referrals are handled by the Social Services Department at each hospital.
If a mother qualifies for a layette, but did not receive one at the hospital, she should contact one of our referral agencies for a referral, then bring it to the Clothing Center along with her child’s birth certificate and her own ID, to receive one.
A small bag of clothes is available, at the hospitals, for premature babies. The new mother will also receive a regular layette bag. Preemie bags consist of small sized new clothing and some gently used clothing.
Items included in Preemie bags are:
- Play Outfits
- Preemie Gowns
- Preemie Sleep & Play Outfits
- Small Blanket
An Angel Layette is a handmade gown, hat and small blanket given out at local hospitals for stillborn babies or babies who die shortly after birth. The Angel Layette is provided to all grieving families regardless of their income level.