Getting the Right Fit: Nappies and Baby Clothes

Babies get through nappies at a startling rate and, as they grow so quickly, they seem to be constantly changing clothing size.

With babies growing at different rates and being different sizes to start with, how can you ensure you get the right fit of nappies and baby clothes?


These days there are so many different nappies on the market that it’s hard to know where to start! The two main types of nappies are disposable and real cloth nappies, but within both these types there are all sorts of different sizes, fits and cuts.

Some nappies are sold to fit babies from birth to potty training age, whereas others have different age guidelines on them.

Although the idea of one size fits all from birth to potty training may work for some, it’s inevitable that as babies grow, the fit of a nappy will change and it may be better and more comfortable to move to a bigger size.

Buying the most suitably sized nappy for the age of your baby will help you make sure you get the right fit.

The sizes used on nappies vary depending on the manufacturer, as different brands use different sizing.

As a rough guide, some of the big nappy manufacturers use numbers to represent the sizes and tie it in with the weight of a baby. For example:

  • Size 1 – suitable for newborn babies weighing 2-5kg / 4-11lbs
  • Size 2 – suitable for newborn babies weighing 3-6kg / 7-12lbs
  • Size 3 – suitable for babies weighing 5-9kg / 11-20lbs
  • Size 4 – suitable for babies weighing 8-14kg / 18-31lbs
  • Size 5 – suitable for babies weighing 12kg+ / 27lbs+

The above should only be used as a rough guide, as you’ll find the exact weights and sizes do vary considerably between different brands and different types of nappies.

In order to achieve the best fit of nappy for your baby, it’s worth trying out some different brands and seeing what seems to work best.

Then as your baby grows, you can move up through the different sizes until they eventually grow out of nappies altogether.

Baby Clothes

On the surface, baby clothes may seem a simple matter. Like clothes for adults, they’re sold in set sizes, but with more increments and different sizes available.

When your baby is new-born, you buy new-born clothes, and as they grow you move up to the next size.

In theory, it sounds easy, but like adults, babies grow at different rates and are born weighing varying amounts. So what fits snugly on one baby, may not fit so well on another.

The key to getting the right fit with baby clothes is to be guided in part by the clothes sizing, but not rigidly.

If you’re buying clothes before your baby is born, try and avoid buying tons of items for 0-3 month olds, as it’s hard to know exactly how big your baby will be when born.

Whilst some tiny babies happily wear age 0-3 month clothes for the full three months, others may quickly grow out of them or even find they’re not that well fitting when they’re first born.

By all means do stock up on some essential items, but don’t go mad and buy loads, as you may find they don’t fit rather more rapidly than you’d imagined.

Choosing some 3-6 month old clothes may be worthwhile and give a bit more growing space.

Some parents feel a bit embarrassed to be buying clothes aimed at older babies when they’re still young and nowhere near the size guideline.

However, there’s no need to feel embarrassed. It’s better that your baby wears comfortable, well fitting clothes, rather then being squashed into something that doesn’t fit, and if that means purchasing items aimed at older babies, then so be it.

After all, the sizes are only there as a guideline and can vary considerably between different clothing brands and styles.

See Also
Maternity dress
Choosing the Right Fit for Maternity Wear
Pregnant mum stood by cot
Get the Right Fit: Cots and Beds