Guidelines for buying baby clothes


Have you ever wanted to buy a birthday or Christmas present for a niece or nephew and had no clue what size to buy?  Sure, you know that they just turned one, but what size baby clothes does that translate to?  Are all baby brands sized the same?

I’m here to help.  Here’s some things to keep in mind…

  1. If clothes are slightly big, kids can grow into them.  So when it doubt get a size bigger and a gift receipt (in case you really miss the mark, and buy baby Timmy a Christmas onesie that wouldn’t fit until July).
  2. It’s best to let parents pick out the “baby’s first” outfits. This is one of those parent’s rights that turns out to be a “big deal.”  The first 4th of July, Birthday, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day are important “firsts” outfits; ESPECIALLY if it’s someones first child.  By the second baby, things are more relaxed.
  3. Guideline #2 does not mean you can not buy holiday themed clothes.  Just DON’T buy the ones that say “Baby’s First _____” or “My First ____” on them.  Babies rocking red, white and blue or dressed like a pumpkin are adorable, so DO buy holiday themed outfits.
  4. For new parents, zippers are much easier that snaps.  So for sleep-n-plays which come with both zippers and snaps; buy the ones with zippers if the size you are buying is newborn or 0-3 months.  For those of you who don’t know what sleep-n-plays are…they are pajamas with the feet built-in.
  5. All baby sizes are not created equal.  Here are tips for sizing of popular baby brands.

Popular baby brands sizes



In general, it is important to note that some babies skip the newborn size all together.  So if you are going to a baby shower, try to limit buying all the ridiculously cute, tiny newborn outfits (if the baby weights more than 7 pounds, it probably won’t fit).  For my son, he typically grew out of sizes a month early.  Which translates to….

He wore 0-3 month clothing until he was 2 months old.  Then they were too small and we bumped up to 6 month clothing.  At 5 months, he out grew his 6 month clothes.  So at 6 months, he was wearing 9 month clothes.  This trend stayed constant.  Now at almost 15 months he wears 18 month, 24 month, and even some 2T clothing.  In case you are wondering, he has always been average for his age in height and weight.

Baby sizing means “up to.”  Therefore, 6 month sized clothing is for “up to 6 months.” 9 month clothing is “up-to 9 months.”  Weird, I know.  Most babies follow the trend of being in bigger clothing than their age.  Babies born premature won’t fall into this category since they start off super tiny.

2 thoughts on “Guidelines for buying baby clothes”

  1. Keep in mind that hand me downs may have shrunk. As a mother of six I learned this early on. I kept a measure tape handy, measure the clothing, then pin a slip of paper on the clothing containing measurements and the adjusted size

    1. That’s a great idea because baby clothes do tend to shrink! I will keep that in mind. I am constantly getting hand-me-downs from friends.

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