Once upon a time, there was a little girl called Georgia who had golden hair.
She was looking for some clothes to wear.
She found a big wardrobe, with lots of lovely clothes inside.
Three gorgeous outfits she set aside.
The first item she tried on was just too small.
The label said 0-3 months, had she grown too tall?
The next item she tried on was just too big.
The label said 3-6 months, but made her look like a twig!
The straps gaped an inch above her shoulder,
“Maybe I’ll just have to wait until I’m older”.
If 0-3 were now too small and 3-6 month just too big, what was she going to wear?
This difference in sizes, surely wasn’t fair?
Just then, she spotted her third item and it fitted over her nappy!
Not too big and not too small, it made her very happy.
But what size was it that made her smile?
You may be guessing for a while.
Baby clothes sizing
Not even I can guess what size will fit Georgia one day to the next and this drives me nuts. At three months old, one item of clothes could be 0-3 that fits fine still, while the next item will be too small. Some 3-6 are still way too big, whereas others fit comfortably.
I expected to have put all of her 3 month clothing away in one go, but we are living in a Goldilocks world of too small, too big and just right. But why do baby sizes differ so much?
Different size for different shops
Baby sizes should follow the WHO size charts – you know – the ones found in the back of your red book. There is no other average, so you’d expect clothes shops to follow these as a guide to sizing.
But not every shop will follow the same baby sizing. In fact, I’m yet to find two shops that follow the same weight guide.
For example, Next baby clothes come up big. Their 0-3 month clothes have a weight guide of 10-14lb… which seems to be based on an average boy’s weight. At 3 month old, Georgia is slap bang on the 50th percentile for weight at 12 lb 8oz, so she’ll be in this size for a while. This would be fine if all shops followed the same rules, but no…
Other shops, such as GAP, have a 3-6 month size of 11 -15 lb, which is only a pound different from Next’s 0-3 month range… and fit Georgia comfortably.
Just from these two retailers, you can see the difference in weights used to create their sizing… and they aren’t always put on the label making it even more confusing.
It won’t be long before some of her 3-6 month clothes stop fitting her (especially from GAP), where she wouldn’t have even started wearing other brand’s 3-6 month clothes.
There is just so much overlap between sizes that I really wish that clothes shops would come to some agreement as to which weight to use for clothes so that us mums don’t have to frantically search the labels for weight to see which items should fit and which are now outgrown.
It would then make a very simple transition from one size to the next, rather than a gradual and confusing mishmash between the two.
The one positive out of this situation is that Georgia always has at least one outfit that fits her ‘just right’ at any one time… it’s just hard to hunt for that outfit in a wardrobe filled with Goldilocks dilemmas.