When you are shopping for a baby’s clothes, it starts very simple. You think of buying a cute outfit for your baby, and when you start looking for the right outfit, it is a confusing mess. Halfway through it, you may even find yourself rethinking if you need to shop, will this outfit look cute, or how does sizing baby’s clothes work?
New parents often say they hate shopping for baby’s clothes because the baby’s clothes sizes drive them crazy! Buying the right clothes for your little one may be a challenge for you too, but it doesn’t need to be. Don’t let the baby’s clothes sizes confuse you while looking for a good baby’s outfit.
Just like adults, baby’s clothes come in many sizes. Your baby does feel uncomfortable in ill-fitting clothes, just like you do.
Some babies grow taller and leaner, while some gain baby weight. There is a baby size for every baby that every parent needs to know for buying a good outfit.
If you are thinking of shopping for your arriving baby or your toddler, here is everything every parent should know. And by the end of this article, you’ll breeze by your baby’s shopping and love it! Let’s start by understanding why sizes are so important and then move on to the baby size charts.
Why do baby clothes sizes matter?
When they say a baby grows up in the blink of an eye, they are not lying. One moment the baby is in your arms, and in the next moment, they are already crawling. In the first month, you may see a drop in the baby’s weight gained back in the coming months.
Soon after, in the third month, you may see a weight gain in the baby’s arms and legs. It is this time when the baby learns to use their arms and legs and shows movement. And from the first couple of weeks to six months, the baby gains four to 8 ounces (120-240 grams) per week, doubling their birth weight.
Eventually, if you measure your baby’s growth you’ll find a baby’s growth rate is very high. Sometimes they grow tall but don’t gain much weight, and sometimes their height growth isn’t proportional to their weight gain. And a parent must decide the baby’s clothes and get them the comfiest outfits possible.
Keeping their rapid growth in mind, every parent needs to understand sizing baby clothes and the importance of selecting the right amount of clothes too.
But the main issue lies in deciphering clothing sizes. What does a 2T mean, or what category does your 3 months old baby fall in? Let’s solve all your queries and understand the nitty-gritty of baby’s clothing sizes.
When you look at a brand’s clothing sizes online or clothes’ tags, you’ll see a few familiar terms or categories. Mainly, the baby’s clothing sizes have these categories:
- Baby (Preemie, 0-24 months)
- Toddler (2T-6T)
- Little Kid (4-6X)
- Big Kid or Tween (7-16)
Your baby falls in one of these categories. But what do these sizes mean, and what if your baby doesn’t fit into the designated size?
To help you with the baby clothes sizing confusion, this article has these charts of baby and toddler sizes that’d be helpful while deciding on the right size for your baby. With these size charts, you can select the right baby outfit with age and size.
Baby Clothes Size Chart
|Baby Clothes Size Chart|
|Size Based On Age||Baby’s Height||Baby’s Weight|
|Premature Newborn||Less than 17 inches||Less than 2.2 kg/ 2 pounds|
|Full Term Newborn||Less than 20 inches||2.2 to 3.6 kg/6 to 7 pounds|
|Newborn to 3 months||20 to 23.5 inches||3.6 to 5.7 kg/9 to 12 pounds|
|3 months to 6 months||24 to 25.5 inches||5 to 7.5 kg/up to 17 pounds|
|6 months to 9 months||26 to 27.5 inches||7.7 to 9.3 kg/ 21 pounds|
|9 months to 1 year||28 to 30.5 inches||9 to 10.6 kg/20 to 30 pounds|
|Toddler Clothes Size Chart|
|Size Based On Age||Height||Weight|
|Around 1 year||28 to 29.5 inches||8.8 to 9.9 kg|
|1 year to 1.5 years||30 to 31.5 inches||10.2 to 11.8 kg|
|1.5 years to 2 years||32 to 33.5 inches||12 to 13.6 kg|
|2 years to 3 years||34 to 37 inches||13.8 to 15.4 kg|
|More than 3 years||38 inches and more||15.6 kg and above|
Premature newborn: The babies who get delivered before their expected terms are called premature babies or premature newborns. Premature baby clothing is the smallest in size and will fit a baby who arrived early. Usually, these clothes fit babies who weigh less than 2.2 kgs or 6 pounds, and their height is less than 17 inches.
Full-term newborn: If a baby is delivered at the scheduled time, the infant clothes’ size you are looking for is a full-term newborn. The baby is considered average, and most of the brands in the market cater to this section.
You’ll see many clothes that are meant for babies around 6 to 7 pounds in weight and are 21.5 inches. You’ll have no trouble finding the right sized garments for your baby.
Newborn to 3 months: Up to 3 months old is a good baby’s clothing size when you have a newborn, and you’re looking to size up. It works for babies who are about to get 3 months old, and the babies grow into and out of this site very soon.
Typically, these clothes fit right for babies who are 21.5 to 24 inches long and weigh 9 to 12.5 pounds.
Don’t be afraid of buying these clothes for newborns as they’ll grow even before you realize it.
3 to 6 months: As your baby grows up and falls in the 3 to 6 months old category, you have a much wider variety of clothing options than before. This site is readily available, and you’ll have a lot more designs to choose from for your baby.
These 3 to 6 months-year-old clothing comes for babies who weigh around 17 pounds and are 24 to 26.5 inches tall. And your baby will still keep growing fast.
6 to 9 months: As your baby grows older, the baby clothes options will keep on increasing. You’ll get more styles, more fabrics, more accessories, and more accessibility easily.
All your baby clothes sizing issues will fade away as your baby grows into the 6 to 9 months clothing bracket. It is the perfect size for babies who are less than 28.5 inches tall and weigh around 21 pounds.
9 to 12 months: Yay, your baby is turning one! You can plan your baby’s birthday presents with this size and get them the right sizes ahead of time.
When your baby is 9 to 12 months old, they weigh around 25 pounds, and they are about to reach the 30-inch tall mark. When you buy clothes for a baby’s birthday, you can go creative and have some fun!
12 to 18 months: Your baby is a toddler now. Just a while ago, you must be buying a baby’s newborn outfit, but here your baby has grown into a toddler. For kids between 12 to 18 months, the average weight is 25 to 28 pounds, and they are around 32.5 inches tall.
You can go for this size when the baby turns one; they will be big but still comfortable till your child needs a size up.
24 months: At 24 months, your baby has learned and grown so much. They are two years old, and they have grown out of their baby phase. At this stage, you can ask your baby what they like in clothes too.
This size is suitable for a baby around 32.5 to 34 inches tall and weighs from 28 to 30 pounds. It can also be mentioned as a 2T size under some size charts.
Insight: When your baby becomes a toddler, their clothing sizes are designed with a “T.” For example, a garment meant for a 5-year-old child will be marked as 5T.
How to measure your child for sizing baby clothes?
We know clothing sizes differ with different clothing brands, but the measurements stay constant. So to find the right-sized clothes for your baby, the best way would be to measure your child, instead of just relying on the brand’s age and weight categories.
Before starting the steps, you need to know that you should measure the baby’s body while they are in tight clothing or naked; it gives you an accurate idea of sizing the baby’s clothes.
While you’re buying pants, pajamas, and jeans, you should definitely refer to the brand’s size chart. Look at the chart and cross-check your measurement.
Here is the very basic procedure on how you measure your baby to get the babe clothes sizes spot on! You can take someone else’s help if your baby doesn’t stay calm. All you need is a measuring tape.
Tip: If you don’t have a measuring tape handy, you can take a ribbon or a thread and measure the tread against a scale for an approximate estimation.
- Length: Make your child stand upright with someone’s help, and with one end of the tape at the crown, measure to the baby’s heel (without their shoes on).
- Chest Width: Put your baby’s arms on their side. Now holding their shoulders firm, wrap the tape under their arms and around the widest area of their chest.
- Waistline: Just put the measuring tape around your baby’s waist to get the size.
- Hip Size: With someone’s help, make your child stand straight and measure around the widest part of their hip for the right measurement.
- Inseam: To measure inseam for pants, lay your child down and measure from their crotch to their ankle or just above it.
- Torso Length: Place the measuring tape at the highest point of the shoulder and take the tape to the crotch through the chest; note this measurement. Then, take the tape across the crotch and run it back to the top; it’ll be the total measurement.
How to choose the right clothes for a baby’s size?
Knowing the baby’s clothes’ size gives you a heads up on buying the right clothes for your baby. But you still need more insight into how to pick the right size that is comfortable for your baby and stands the test of time. Below are some tips and advice that experienced parents follow and share for happy parenthood.
1. Look at the outfits
According to parents, when it comes to sizing baby clothes, eyeballing any garment you like for your baby gives you the best idea of how it’ll fit them. It’s sometimes even better than going with the brand’s sizes because they have general categories, and you know your baby’s size better.
2. Check the dimensions
Clothes and their sizes differ from brand to brand. Some brands’ garments run long, some are wider, and some are large overall; only a few clothing brands are true to size.
These can work in your favor too. Maybe your baby is growing taller without gaining weight, or maybe your baby is gaining more weight, garments from different brands will help your baby’s specific needs.
Instead of the baby’s age, let your baby’s measurements guide you.
Research about the brand you are shopping from on their website and check if they fit your requirements. All brands are not the same, and that’s okay; different brands suit different babies.
3. Know what the sizes mean
Another useful piece of advice new parents should know is in which categories the infant outfit sizes fall. Always remember, if your outfit is labeled with a specific month like mentioned in point 1 above, it falls under the smaller range.
For example, if the baby’s outfit is labeled 12 months, it will fit in the 9-12 months category rather than the 12 to 15 months category. This will save your money from buying smaller clothes for your little one.
4. When in doubt, size up
Sometimes, no matter how much research you do and how accurate the sizes claim to be, shopping is challenging. So if you want to buy clothes that are comfortable yet fit the baby, you should go for a size up. The baby’s going to grow up fast after all.
Tip: If you are in doubt, you can always keep the tags intact on the clothes. Try it on the baby, and if it doesn’t fit, you can return it.
What are some tips while buying the right sized baby clothes?
We hope the steps above will help you figure out the right sizing of baby clothes. But apart from the size, you also need to get the right clothes too. Don’t worry; this article has all the essential tips every parent needs to get the right clothes for their baby.
1. For long term purchases, consult baby growth charts
Baby growth charts are your baby’s growth analytics doctors, and healthcare providers use to keep a check on your baby’s health. It has data from other children of the same age to assess your child’s growth, and you can use it as a reference to buy the right size of baby’s clothes. The areas you need to take into account for sizing baby’s clothes are:
- Head circumference
- Weight and length according to age
- Weight for length
2. For newborns, go for 0-3 months
While buying clothes for your newborn baby before or after their birth, it is recommended you buy clothes meant for 0 to 3-year-old babies. These clothes won’t be too big for the baby, and they will grow into the clothes soon.
You shouldn’t dress them in clothes bigger than that as they pose risks of suffocation and hazards. When the baby grows up, you can size up to 6 months old’s clothing.
3. Don’t go overboard
Since babies grow at a fast rate, you need to understand that there is no point in buying too many clothes in the same size. Buy just what you need and be frequent with the laundry. Good quality baby clothes withstand rough washing, and by the time they lose their charm, your baby will already outgrow them.
After getting an idea of the baby’s sizing guide and some tips on choosing the baby’s right clothes, let’s answer some of the most asked questions. You might find the answer to your baby clothes sizing question and help you in more ways.
1. What does it mean when a baby clothes tag just reads 12 months?
Different clothes and different companies have a different way to mention a clothing size, but the basic sizes remain the same. So if a manufacturer has only mentioned a single month or age, it means the item can fit a baby up to that age.
For example, if the clothing’s tag says 12 months, it means it can fit a 12-month-old baby. And as mentioned above, these alphabets and sizes have different meanings. So you can assume, according to the age mentioned, what’s the maximum age a manufacturer expects a baby to fit into their garment.
But don’t be very strict with it, different babies have different bodies, and every baby might not fit into the general category. It’s safe to assume that a garment labeled 12 months might fit a 9-14-month-old baby, but some 6-month-olds and some older babies might fit into the outfit. It depends on the size of the outfit and your baby. But the tag acts as a good reference.
2. How to tell if a baby’s clothes are too tight?
We all find baby clothes cute and want to preserve them forever. They remind you of when your baby was so little they couldn’t walk, and it is a great piece of nostalgia.
But your baby can’t keep wearing them on and on; there comes a time when your baby needs a size up. But most of the time, you realize that your baby needs a size up when it’s too late.
First of all, you need to ask yourself if your baby’s clothes are tight. If the answer is maybe, they probably are. But a simple question won’t let you figure out if the clothes are tight for sure.
Here are some pointers you’d like to know to tackle your baby’s clothes sizing issues. Your baby’s clothes are tight if:
- It is hard to put on their sleeves without being rough.
- You can’t get the sleeve on without asking yourself if it’s cutting off the baby’s circulation.
- The baby’s t-shirt is always exposing their belly button.
- The clothes make it uncomfortable to move without breaking a button, stretching a thread, or riding up.
- The baby’s pants or pajamas have been digging their stomach and leaving evident marks.
If you realize your baby’s clothes are tight, don’t wait for long. Tight clothes make the baby uncomfortable and irritate them. Moreover, the child is always fussy, which means you’ll be irritated too.
No one wants their child to be uncomfortable or fussy, so go ahead a size up when the baby needs to.
3. How many baby clothes should I buy?
You must have learned from this article that babies grow up fast, really fast. By the time you get finished with buying the first set of clothes, you have to get them a size up. So I would suggest not stocking up on a particular size until your baby isn’t exponentially growing.
You need to get a couple of everything for the first trimester at first; then, you would get the idea of what you’d need. Just have some good baby bodysuits and baby t-shirts ready.
4. What should a parent look for while buying a baby’s clothes?
Many parents buy baby’s clothes just because they feel soft and look cute. But that isn’t all you need to look for while buying. Below are some well-researched features every parent needs to keep in mind while shopping.
When your baby is between 0 to 6 months, the baby has absolutely no control over themselves. They spit, drool, puke, and need diaper changes all the time. During this time, your focus should be more on the utility of clothes and less on the aesthetics.
As this stage will be a mess, you need to know there is going to be a lot of washing. And your baby doesn’t understand why they are changing their clothes; it’s uncomfortable for them too. Thus, you need clothes that are comfortable, easy to change, and easy to wash.
Now that your baby is older, you can try to have some fun with their clothes. Ensure your number one priority should be a comfort, so try to steer clear from stiff fabrics like denim.
Also, avoid garments with embellishments and beads, as it’s easy for the baby to pull them and put them into their mouth, that’s a recipe for hazard. Finally, try to find cute outfits that are made of breathable fabrics like cotton. It’ll keep your baby comfortable and stylish.
After your baby gets used to clothes, changing, and you get used to a routine, you can experiment with your baby’s clothes. You can go with denim, corduroy, or whatever you like.
Just make sure they are still comfortable and move freely. After all, they are growing up.
What are basic baby clothes sizes?
Newborn to 3 months
3 to 6 months
6 to 9 months
9 to 12 months
12 to 18 months
What to measure for the perfect baby size?
Baby’s body length
How to choose the right clothes for a baby’s size?
- Look at the outfits: Eyeballing any garment you like for your baby gives you the best idea of how it’ll fit them.
- Check the dimensions: Instead of the baby’s age, let your baby’s measurements guide you.
- Know what the sizes mean: Get familiar with different sizes.
- When in doubt, size up: The baby’s going to grow up fast after all.
We are sure this article will help you understand baby clothes sizes to get the perfect clothes. Your baby will have a good time with their clothes, and you won’t need to worry about them. Read all these good and trusted tips to help you shop for the best clothes for your child.
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