Monday, July 8, 2013

Decoding Infant Clothing Sizes

For some strange reason, sizing on infant clothing is as bad as it is with women's clothes.

Why? I have no clue.

I have figured out a couple tricks to get an idea if an outfit is going to fit my kid.  This isn't fool-proof, mind you, but I've found it works better than just wildly guessing.

Here are the two places to look at when trying to figure out what size a onesie actually is:

- the length [shoulder to leg opening]

- the width [either at the shoulders or the middle]

Here's a few examples to show you what these differences actually look like in real life:

Example 1: Length. Both outfits are size 3 months.  However, when you line them up at the shoulders, the orange outfit is longer than the pink outfit. [In fact, the orange outfit is actually the size of a 6 month onesie - thanks, Circo.]

Example 2: Width. Both onesies are size 6 months.  When you line them up, they are the same length, but the yellow one is wider than the pink one around the middle [the shoulders are the same width].

[See? the 3 month orange onesie is actually the same size as the 6 month yellow onesie.]

Here's what all that means for a growing baby:

- Some onesies actually are wider in the shoulder area. Skinny babes won't need wide shouldered outfits - they usually just fall off the shoulder and look trashy [joke! ha ha].

-The way most babies grow is that they get taller, then gain the weight.  So the skinnier outfits are great for when kiddo first grows into a size, and then later the wider outfits can be worn without your child looking like a deflated balloon.

That being said, I found a pretty decent way to arrange all the baby clothes so that they would actually be sized correctly. Here's how I did the baby outfit organization [this is going to get super nerdy, so if you don't care, you can quit here]:

*Note: This is a great time waster for when you are in nesting mode.*

First, I organized my outfits in the sizes labelled on the outfits, like newborn, 3 months, etc.

Second, I organized each sizing group by length of torso [shortest to longest].

Third, I organized each length group by width of shoulders [skinniest to widest].

Organizing this way helped me optimize [gah, did I say nerdy?] the wear-ability of each outfit when Kiddo fit, instead of finding outfits she grew out of before I even got her in them. I usually put the big-for-their-labelled-size outfits in the size group they really belong in [like that orange one].

By the way, you can do the same thing with t-shirts when you hit the 12 month size and bigger - length of t-shirt [shoulder to bottom hem] and width of the shoulders.

[Here's an example of the variety of t-shirt sizes in the 12 month group.]

Pants are also similar, but I've found they generally are the same length in each size group.

So I totally recognize here that comparing the size of each outfit seems a little overboard.  It probably is.  But it is not time consuming [the organizing can be, though. Especially if you enjoy doing it]. I discovered this pattern simply by grabbing clothing out of my child's closet over the last 18 months. Hangers are great for seeing clothes at the same shoulder height, making it super easy to note that this-here onesie is actually longer than its neighbor. Same goes for the widths.

Looking for some cute and inexpensive ways to organize baby clothes?  Here' s a few fun finds from around the interwebs.

[1] Organize baby shoes with a tension rod and shower curtain clips. link

[2] Use cardboard boxes covered in paper or fabric to organize a dresser drawer [this tutorial is to desk organization with cereal boxes, but the idea is the same]. link

[3] Free downloadable printout of baby clothing dividers from newborn to 6T. link

[4] Make dividers using cereal boxes and paper. link

[5] This tutorial makes dividers with foam and ribbon. link

Do you have any tricks to understanding and organizing your kiddo's clothing?

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