Shopping for baby clothes is a fun and exciting experience, especially when you’re looking for the perfect boutique outfit that will steal the show at a baby shower, birthday or holiday. But few things are worse than later learning that the eye-catching outfit you picked out doesn’t fit. So how can you find the right baby clothes and avoid the hassle of an exchange? These tips should increase your chances of getting a gift that not only looks great, but also fits.
1. When in Doubt, buy Large
The reason for this advice is twofold: 1) clothes that are too big can always be saved for a few months and worn later, and 2) many babies run a size larger anyways. For example, 3-month olds can often wear 6-month clothes, 6-month olds can go up to 9 months, and so on. A good way to think of size is like an expiration date: 6 months, for instance, is not usually the best fit for a 6-month old, but rather the point when this baby is ready for a larger size.
2. Know that not all Brands run the Same
Even when you buy baby clothes large, many brands will fit slightly different than others. So a 6-9 month outfit that would normally fit a baby might actually run larger just because of the brand. This is simply due to each brand’s interpretation of the dimensions of each age range. For example, Carter's 0-3 month outfits fit babies who weigh 8-12 pounds and measure 21-24 inches, while Children's Place's 0-3 month clothes fit babies who weigh 7-11 pounds and measure 18-22 inches.
3. Ask about the Baby’s Length and Weight
Assuming the baby is already born, a quick shortcut to buying the right-sized clothes is asking the mother about the length and weight. This gives you a general indication of what size to buy and improves your chances of finding a good fit. For example, a baby that weighs 7 pounds or less and measures 19 inches would fit into newborn outfits. Likewise, a baby that’s between 7-12 pounds and measures 19-23 inches would fit into 0-3 month clothes. If you need some help with the sizes, please refer to this chart at About.com.
4. Don’t expect Success Every Time
If you follow the above tips and still don’t pick clothes that fit right, don’t worry – it happens. The problem with buying baby clothes is that it’s difficult to predict what rate they’ll grow. But even with so much unpredictability, it’s a good idea to follow the previously discussed steps just to improve your odds of finding baby clothes that fit.