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Do baby clothes drive you nuts as much as they do me? Some tags have a span of months, others just have a month listed. Does that mean they wear them STARTING that month or ENDING that month. And hand-me-downs can be completely different than new due to wear. So how in the world do you deal with baby clothes?
Last year, I had enough. Enough! I was sick of trying to fit my youngest daughter into her sisters old clothes and had clothes with the same size label of different brands that were small and others that were giant. So I decided to scour the stores and find out what was REALLY equivalent sizing. After hitting up nearly every store that I’ve ever purchased kids clothing at, I compiled a spreadsheet of all the height & weight requirements with their label. Stores I shopped included:
- Target (Circo & Cherokee)
- Kohl’s (Jumping Bean)
- Carter’s Brands (Carters, Just One You, One More Year, OshKosh)
- Old Navy
- Gap Kids
- The Children’s Place
- Walmart (Faded Glory & Garanimals)
- K-Mart (Small Wonder & Wonderkids)
- JCPenney (Okie Dokie)
You can download the whole PDF of children’s clothing sizes. They are almost small enough that you could print the PDF and cut out the charts and tape them end to end, to keep a copy in your purse. Personally, I would just save the PDF to Evernote or something.
I did notice several things while I was comparing all the charts last year when I compiled the list.
First of all, Carter’s is the only brand that doesn’t “skip” a size. Every other brand appears to jump at some point. Carters, however, has both a 24 Month and 2T size — and they are different. I keep them both together because they aren’t different enough.
Second, Carter’s tends to be more generously sized until size 2T. Then I find that they are shorter than most other brands. That may be why I tend to quit using them at that point — it’s my favorite brand for birth – 2 years.
Third, I find that there are three brands that tend to run big for the size:
- Carter’s (until you hit 2T)
- Old Navy/Gap Kids
Incidentally, I find that these are also the best ones to find used, quality and shrinkage-wise.
Equivalent Children’s Clothing Sizes
Here is what I’ve found are approximate equivalent (labeled) sizes and approximate weights with any exceptions noted.
NB 5-8 lbs
0-3mos/3mos 7-12 lbs
3-6mos/6mos 12-16 lbs (except The Children’s Place)
6-9mos/9mos 16-20 lbs (except Old Navy/Gymboree, which run big and The Children’s Place/K-Mart which run small)
9-12mos/12mos 19-23 lbs (except TCP which runs small and K-Mart runs big)
12-18mos/18mos 23-26 lbs (except Okie Dokie/Gymboree/Old Navy/Carters run bigger, Target brands run small, and The Children’s Place is HUGE)
18-24mos/24mos 26-29 lbs (Carter’s 24 mos & 2T are both slightly different in length yet fit best into this group)
Once you get past this point, the sizes vary quite a bit more and the chart really is the best way to go.
Why go through all this? Well, because whether an item is big or small, when I find it’s time to change sizes, I pack away all the clothes in that size. It helps me keep it straight in my head easier — see these posts for how I store and manage children’s clothes.
Anyway, I hope that this research might be helpful to anyone struggling with managing baby clothes or even first time parents or grandparents who are wondering what size to buy.
Have older children? Check out these posts printable clothing size charts for girls and boys clothing: