The Sizing of Baby Clothes

The Sizing of Baby Clothes

When I was pregnant with my first son, we were blessed with a ton of clothes from our showers and hand-me-downs.

I had so much fun organizing his little clothes. I sorted everything by size, putting newborn items in one drawer, 0-3 month and 3-6 month clothes in another drawer. I had two totes underneath his crib containing clothes that were 6-12 months and the other stored clothes that were larger than 12 months.

I thought I was super organized and ready for baby. The 0-3 and 3-6 month clothing would get our April baby through the summer and we had a ton of 6 month sizes for fall and 9 months for winter. He was set, I thought I wouldn’t have to buy a stitch of clothing for him because everything was so perfectly planned out!

I look back and laugh. I believed that because a little tag said 3-6 months on it that my child would wear it when he was in the age range of 3 to 6 months. I never even considered the fact that some of those 3-6 month items were as small as some newborn items we had or as large as some 12 month items. The tag said it, so I believed it!

My son was born weighing 8 pounds, 8 ounces and quickly began growing, my organized system was thrown out the window. He was wearing 9 to 12 month rompers and bodysuits by 3 months because he was so long! Items that he could have worn, never were worn just because the tag didn’t say he should be able to fit in the garment. And my perfectly planned out fall and winter wardrobe didn’t fit him so perfectly.

Once I finally realized that the tag doesn’t matter, I started talking to friends who admitted to me that they also thought the same thing when they were a first time mama.

With my second and third babies, I organized their clothes based upon what they looked like. If the tag said 6 months but was teeny tiny, I put it in the drawer with the newborn clothes. If it said 3 months but was big, it went in the bin of clothes to grow into.

So mamas, the reality is the size on the tag doesn’t really matter since all babies are different.

Of course you can still stock up on all sizes of baby basics like cotton bodysuits, pants and sleepers since babies wear them year round. And those new baby clothes you receive, leave the tag on them until after baby arrives in case you need to exchange.

As my children have grown, I’ve stopped focusing so much on what the tag said. Cecilia currently has clothes ranging in size 6 months to 2T in her wardrobe, the majority are 12-18 months but depending on the garment, the size may be smaller or larger. And, Weston has clothes ranging from 18 months (shorts) to 4T.

At the end of each season, any item that currently fits with a bit of room is tucked into their off season clothing storage bin. I’ve been surprised at the number of items, both tops and shorts, that they’ve been able to wear over the course of 2 summers or 2 winters.

Did you focus more on what the tag said than what the garment looked like with your first baby too?

responses to “The Sizing of Baby Clothes” 5

  1. Yes, with my first I initially focused on the size tags because that's all I had to go by. But I left items that still fit in his drawers as I removed the items that were getting too short and pulled in clothing from the next size. I soon realized which brands ran bigger or smaller, and that helped me to know when to pull it into my rotation. By the time my little guy (who was long and skinny) was in 6-9mo stuff, I had a wide range of sizes in his drawers. With my second, like you, I did it by how it looked instead of the size label.

  2. As I was just today checking my toddler's clothes, this topic was also on my mind…
    It always struck me as odd, how in the US the baby sizes are given by months – this is so totally subjective! I have to admit that I prefer the European system, that refers to the actual length of the baby/toddler in cm, a new size every 6 cm. For me this has proven as quite reliable so far, though kids do come in different shapes, of course (so some brands expect a bay to be broader, skinnier etc.). For my kids there also seems to be a discrepancy between pants and shirts, as they have relatively broad shoulders, they need the next size shirts earlier than expected given their body length.
    As we were blessed with lots of hand-me-downs, we had room to experiment without buying unnecessary items.

    Here is another point of the "unknown" with the first child: I realized that different parents seem to find different clothing items practical or must-haves. For sure when I compare what we inherited from my sister in law with what we actually used (she gave us so much that we could easily pick out enough that was practical for us…)

    (I've never commented before, even though I am a long time reader – since about the time when you (and I 😉 ) were pregnant with the first baby)

  3. This is so true! After my son was born, an experienced mother I know sent a huuuuge box of "under 10 pounds" newborn clothes to me that she no longer needed…..except that my son was BORN weighing slightly over NINE pounds! (No C-section either……yikes!) Which she knew! I was unfortunately not able to use a single thing in that box. (But passed it along to Goodwill) I feel like this is so common. I wonder why clothing manufacturers haven't caught on. My daughter was the same way, born at 8.5lbs, always wearing tag sizes well above her age.

  4. Baby cloths are very important thing for any parents and their baby. If they are of bad quality it may gonna harm baby's skin. So it is advisable to buy a good quality baby clothes made from the good quality materials.

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