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How Long Do Infants Wear Newborn Clothing?

by Maria Magher

Most people can't resist those adorable little onesies or sweet little dresses for newborns. However, most babies aren't able to wear them for very long as they grow very quickly in those first few months. Some babies may never be able to wear them as they are born with a higher weight. There is no guarantee for how long newborn clothes will fit a baby -- if at all. The only safe bet is to keep your receipts.

Typical Newborn Sizes

The size of infant clothing is not as important as the height and weight of the baby when shopping for clothes. Every manufacturer has different height and weight guidelines for its infant clothing. Some babies may be able to wear newborn clothes for up to three months; other babies may never wear newborn clothing. For example, newborn Gerber onesies fit babies from 5 to 8 pounds and from 17 to 21 inches in height. Naartjie newborn clothing fits babies up to 7 pounds and up to 17 inches.

Estimating Sizes

If you are buying clothing as a gift, you may not know the baby's height or weight. Consumer Reports recommends a general rule is to double the baby's age to determine size. For example, if you are buying for a 3-month-old infant, buy garments sized for a 6-month-old. For newborns, purchase clothing for a 3-month-old baby. The baby can always grow into the clothes if they are a little too big.

Premature Babies

Newborn clothing may be too big for babies who are born premature. Premature babies can weigh only a few pounds, and it can take weeks or months to grow into an average birth weight. Some manufacturers sell premature clothing that is specially created to fit these infants. Some premature babies may be able to wear newborn clothing, though it may be slightly bigger on them. Premature babies will be able to wear newborn clothing for several weeks or months longer than other babies, depending on their size when they were born.

Predicting Growth

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the average weight for baby boys and girls when they are born is about 8 pounds. However, their weight changes rapidly in the first year. By 6 months, the CDC says that the average weight for girls is double; for boys, it is just over 17 pounds. When you are shopping for your new baby, or for gifts, it is important to keep this rapid growth in mind and to buy slightly larger clothes. Otherwise, new parents may find themselves shopping for new clothes every couple of months.

About the Author

Maria Magher has been working as a professional writer since 2001. She has worked as an ESL teacher, a freshman composition teacher and an education reporter, writing for regional newspapers and online publications. She has written about parenting for Pampers and other websites. She has a Master's degree in English and creative writing.

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