BABY | Inconsistent Clothing Sizes

Before my daughter was born, we were gifted a lot of hand-me-down clothing from a local friend. I was ecstatic. Tons of great clothes in tons of different brands that we didn’t have to buy, all ready for the wearing.

I organized based on tag size because, I assumed, children’s clothing was like most adult clothing in which the size was pretty standard across the board. I washed and folded onesies and pants and tee shirts and was quite happy with my setup – all organized how I like it.

Then she was born. And then she started to wear these clothes. And that’s when the problem started.

Turns out, like some adult clothes, a 6 isn’t really a 6. Or a 0-3 month onesie isn’t a 0-3 month onesie across the board. And that threw me for a loop. I didn’t catch on for a few months, just figuring some designers were idiots and others had never used a real child as a model, so I put on what fit and moved aside what didn’t.

The first six months were the worst. She grew at what I felt was an extraordinary rate and wondered, “How on earth is she going to be in a 12 month size when she’s 12 months? If she keeps growing like this she’ll be wearing 2T soon!”

Nope. Just me not knowing how babies grow.

But, also, clothing manufacturers being inconsistent.

So here’s something I learned that may help you.

Once your baby is in a size for more than 5 minutes, measure their length from shoulder to crotch. Legs aren’t usually a big deal because pants can be a little short or long, but if the shoulder to crotch doesn’t fit, the garment won’t fit.

Once you have this measurement, use it when you buy new clothes. And, use it to organize your clothing. Because as I will show you below, there are inconsistencies even within the same brand.

Case in point: Carters.

Take these two onesies for example. Both Carters. Both 12 month size. (Even from this picture I’m sure you can see where this is going.)

2 onesies 1.jpg

The one on the left was made in Cambodia. The one on the right was made in China.

Onesie collage

Innocuous detail. Until you lay them on top of one another.

2 onesies 22 onesies 3Apparently the Chinese specs were for skinny, tall babies, and the Cambodian specs were for short, squat babies.

Once I learned this, my life became a lot easier and I wasn’t racking my brain wondering if perhaps that day I had put the diaper on wrong which was making the onesie tighter, or if my daughter was shrinking and expanding in ways I didn’t know babies could.

Either way, it helps to store your clothes by actual size, not tag size. Hopefully this helped!


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