One of the more common questions we hear while people are shopping for outfits for a new baby is, “How do I know what size to buy?” The question can be a puzzling one, with many variables to consider.
Baby clothing sizes are generally based on ages: items may be marked with a specific age (“3 months” or “12 months”), age range (“0-3 months” or “6 to 12 months”) or descriptor (“Newborn” or “Preemie”). It doesn’t take long to realize why this can be confusing… while a footie may be marked as “6 to 12 months,” there clearly can be huge differences in size between a 6-month old baby and a 12-month old.
Much like adults, babies come in many different sizes! There are great variations in size from one 12-month old to the next…and while one new baby may fit perfectly into a footie marked “Newborn," others are born into a 3-month size and bypass the “Newborn” phase entirely. Also as with adults, clothing sizes are not consistent from one manufacturer to the next…so consequently, a 3-month size from one designer may be the equivalent of a 6-month size from another.
With all of this in mind, here are a few general guidelines to think about when purchasing clothing as a baby gift... If you know the baby’s birth height and weight (or better yet, current weight), this can go a long way in helping narrow things down. There are some general guidelines for sizing that can give you a fairly good idea of what size will work best:
As mentioned above, there can be big variations n size from one designer to the next, so don't be afraid to ask at the store if they have sizing charts for specific manufacturers. At Arabesque, we keep the charts for our designers handy, and we can give you guidance on how each company's sizes tend to run.
If you’re not sure of the baby’s size, a good general rule of thumb is to double the baby’s age. For example, if you are looking for a gift for a 6-month old baby, consider a 12-month gift. While this may seem large, this will allow some leeway for a baby that’s on the bigger side, as well as for layering and for shrinkage with cotton clothing.
Another point to keep in mind are the seasonal variations where the baby lives. We've watched people purchase lovely velour footies for a new baby, only to realize too late that the cooler season for velour has already passed at the baby's home in California.
When it doubt, go big! New moms often say that they received so many pieces of clothing for their newborn baby that they never even got a chance to wear them all before they were outgrown. It can be nice for a new mom to have some new outfits to look forward to as the baby gets a bit older.
At Arabesque, we are delighted to help you choose beautiful and special baby outfits in the sizes that will be most appropriate. We also have a lovely collection of blankets, stuffed animals, frames and many other lovely keepsakes for the new little one in your life!