Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Clothes Confusion!

I was asked by a friend, who is expecting in august, how many outfits a newborn needs. She stated how she had a whole range of clothes in size 0-3 months, and would this be enough.
Bless her, I then had to break her little heart and say that her baby would NOT fit into these for a while, unless she gave birth so a baby thats 11lb+! All the lovely outfits she thought would fit at birth, on hold until the baby is older. She was truely baffled by the prospect of not just the size 'newborn' but 'tiny baby', 'first size' and even 'up to 1 month'. She couldn't get her head around the fact that size 0-3 months, doesnt mean from birth.

The fact of the matter is, every store uses different sizing. And different names for thier clothes. Some say newborn, some say new baby. Some say early baby, some say small baby. It varies massively. And as we have learnt to dress and shop for ourselves, by finding that particular shops have better sizes for us, personally, you will develop the same sense for your baby. Me, I dress Erica in a lot of Next clothes. I find that thier fit suits her, as shes a very small build, but she still needs a size below her age, because even though thier clothes fit her frame shape, they are quite generous sizes. Don't be tempted to buy purely for 'age' as most of the time, baby is not going to match them. They are there mainly as a guideline, the younger ranges (up to 18 months-ish) use weights on thier labels, these can be more accurate, but not fool proof.

When Erica was born, she was in teeny newborn sizes. But we had to be very careful as, for the size of her, she had very long feet! So whilst we found things to fit her body, her little toes used to curl up in the end of many sleepsuits. But as she got older, and put more weight on, it all evened out nicely.

Here is an 'estimate' of the ages (and weights) that a lot of companies use.

  • Tiny Baby - very newborn, approximately 6-7lb. Probably wont last any longer than 2 weeks, but worth it if baby is petite at birth.
  • Newborn/First Size - Approximately 7/8lb up to 9/10lb. This size can vary greatly, but it is likely that your baby will spend a few weeks in this size. Sleepsuits in this size are very handy as they have lots of room for baby to move if they are slightly larger.
  • Up to 1 month - This is the transitional size from 'newborn' to 0-3 months. Not always available, but useful if baby is smaller. To be perfectly honest, most brands cater from first size straight to 0-3 months with not much fuss.
  • 0-3 months - The actual sizes of these clothes can vary greatly, some brands will fit at a few weeks old, some are bigger and will wait more till 2 months. But by the point where you need this size, you will know your baby enough to know when she or he is uncomfortable in a smaller size. Some 0-3 sizes take smaller babies to 5 months+!

Never worry that your baby isnt progressing through the stages fast enough, as long as your baby is gaining weight at a regular pace, and the health visitor is happy, then so should you be. Just like adults, some babies are smaller and some are bigger. Some are shorter and some are longer. Trust in yourself to know what to look out for, your baby will soon let you know if thier clothes are too tight or uncomfortable. You will come to trust in your favourite brands for your children, just as you do for yourself. And soon enough, you will wonder why you were ever worried in the first place.

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