Here's a list of initial layette I think first-time Moms should really have, based on my own experience:
1) Mittens - the ones you can tie, because the stretchies are removed easily, at least 10-12 pairs, depending on how often you intend to change them per day. We changed our baby's between 2-4 times a day. You'd use these between two weeks to a month, after that, it is encouraged not to use them anymore so your baby can practice his hand dexterity.
2) Socks - at least 7 pairs, depending on how often you want to change your baby's socks in a day. These keep the feet warm if you don't have frogsuits.
3) Onesies - at least 10 pcs. They are hassle-free when carrying baby because the shirt doesn't ride up due to the snaps. I also used tie-side singlets (both sleeveless and sleeved) because they seemed more airy for a baby in a tropical climate. I just used bigkis as an obi belt for them. Bigkis use isn't really advised anymore too, but I find that using them sometimes (mostly during the day) helped my baby get a waist (when I wasn't using any, his belly was just round and no waist). Plus, others believe it helps with colic.
4) Hats/bonnets - 2-3 pieces will do since you'd only need it when going out with the baby or if it's cold. If you have hooded blankets, you won't require bonnets anymore.
5) Cloth diapers - even if you don't intend to use them as diapers, having around 2 dozen won't be too much. Perfect for when you carry babies and wiping spit-ups. Get another dozen (printed ones for easy identification) for wiping and drying baby's tush after diaper changes.
6) Diaper clips - if using cloth diapers that do not have built-in snaps or Velcro
7) Bigkis - if you want to use on your baby... as part of tradition or as a belt for shirts. 6 pcs should be more than enough.
8) Hooded towel - at least two
9) Hooded receiving blankets - at least 3. Perfect for night or outdoor swaddling because it also covers the head. There are thin flanel ones sold at SM Baby Company for only around P100, which are great for tropical climes, and you only really want your baby to feel snug and secure, not super warm.
10) Receiving/Swaddling blankets - at least 5 which you can use as receiving/swaddling blankets and also as sleeping blankets (both to cover bed or comforter or to cover sleeping baby). If buying flannel ones, avoid the mahimulmol (linty) ones so that your baby won't be inhaling the fiber. Buy one or two thick/heavy ones, and let the rest be thin/light ones
11) Wash/Burp cloths and Bibs - at least 10. And make sure you don't interchange use... burp cloths are used for burping/wiping spit ups and wash cloths are used for washing baby. Plain cloth ones are usually softer than towel-like fabrics. And in infants, whites are better than colored ones (general rule for all infant/baby things, easier to see stains and bugs aside from minimal risk of reactions from dyes). You use the bibs when the baby's older... And yes, cloth diapers can be used as burp cloths as well (so long as you don't use them as diapers).
12) Baby Wipes - not just for diaper changes when going out but also to wipe surfaces with, the baby's face and hands with etc
13) Rubbing Alcohol - 70% Isopropyl for disinfecting hands before carrying/touching baby, for cleaning surfaces (like public changing tables) and for cleaning baby's bellybutton; Ethyl for cleaning baby's toys and plushies (especially those that he will put in his mouth)
14) Rubber Mat - Get at least 2 and even the cheap ones will do... so you don't have to be bringing or getting yours when moving around the house, as well as remembering to pack it when going out.
15) Cotton buds and balls
16) Grooming Kit - especially the nail cutter. You can forego the tongue scraper since you can also use gauze pads wrapped around your finger
17) Thermometer - some conservatives don't like using digital ear thermometers because it's not as accurate as mercury ones. Still, it's the easiest thermometer to use. Unless you plan to be anxious per centigrade point, I suggest you invest in a good one because it really saves you from a lot of struggles with your baby.
18) Trash can with cover / Extra Pails - for diapers
19) Hamper - for babies soiled clothes, not to be mixed nor washed with adults' clothes
20) Cetaphil or Lactacyd Baby (blue) - err on the side of caution and treat your baby's skin with the gentlest soap/cleanser. When he's around 2 months or so, and doesn't seem extra sensitive, then you can use all the usual J&J products out there which are cheaper and easier to find.
21) Newborn disposable diapers - a pack or two will do since your baby might outgrow them sooner than you think. Plus, you can easily buy more.
Other nice-to-haves (items that you won't really need or want until later) include:
~ tub (but you can use a clean basin also)
~ frogsuits (for night-time sleeping and when it's cold, so your baby won't require a blanket and avoid that suffocation hazard)
~ comforter sets (so he has his own pillows and bedding)
~ crib/bassinet/stroller (better buy these last or later, after you've sort of come to a parenting style)
~ changing tables are actually more important and useful and you can be resourceful with this by using any cabinet/table of the right height (we just used two plastic chests on top of each other)
~ night light or lamp at night
~ cabinet/drawer space for his things
~ travelling bag to put his things in when you go out
~ products like oils and lotions, you'd need or should use when baby's a little older
~ slings or carriers... if you believe in babywearing or don't want the hassle of bringing strollers
~ breastpump, bottles, sterilizers and warmers (better to buy these a little later, so you'd really be more invested in breastfeeding and so you can depend your purchase choice according to your lifestyle and needs)
~ carseats are a must in other countries, as mandated by law