Clothing- How Do U Estimate Future Size??

Updated on March 04, 2013
S.E. asks from Caldwell, NJ
13 answers

is there any way to estimate what size clothing your little one will be in x-months from now. Every time i go in babies r us they put the neext seasons clothes out so early!.. they had bathing suits out a few weeks ago when i was there.. they had such cute things and i really wanted to buy one for my daughter but i couldnt decide wether she will be in 12month or 18 month. Shes just over 7 months now and is 6month clothing but has quite a few outfits that are getting pretty snug on her. .. she will be a year old the end of july.. is it safe to assume that she will need a 12month bathing suit??
I had the same issue when looking for a little halloween costume for her to wear.. they had them out in august! i had no idea what size she would be in by the end of october so i waited and by the time i went back they had basically nothing left but a small rack of whatever people didnt buy.. (i got lucky in that i found a really cute girraffe costume in costco, but had i not found that she wouldnt have had a costume) .. i mean is it better to just go with the bigger size if youre not sure??
i was looking through her clothes today and i realized i have all of these 9 month outfits for her that are very wintery.. i already took the tags off them so i cant return them (theyre things i got at my babyshower and along the way that ive gotten from family- everyone said they are never in the size that they are, like 6mo clothing at 6months, and that its usually the next size up..but obviously thats not the case with my daughter, for the moment anyway) so i figured she should just start wearing them now or she never will ... well as i said before some of her 6mo outfits are tight but the 9mo ones i tried on her are huge.. she can fit in the onsies and the pants but the fleece jackets that go with them are so0 big shes like swimming in them.. so im a little lost on the size issue here... how do you moms figure out what size things to buy your kids when these stores put out their seasonal stuff months in advance??

--just to add i origionally assumed 9mo for spring stuff and 12mo for summer stuff but i look at these 12mo bathing suits and think they look like they could fit her now!.. my fiance said the same thing.. he was like you really think this is going to fit around her butt 6months from now??

one more thing- as far as the 6month clothing goes shes over the weight range they list on the tag but not even in the range for height.. she is 24 1/2 inches tall but is 17lbs 10oz

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So What Happened?

thanks everyone!.. i really like the idea of a swim diaper and a swim shirt.. im not sure why i never thought of it, my daughter has her daddys skin, we've been joking that shes going to need spf 1000 sunblock when summer comes, so maybe i swim shirt is a better idea!

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answers from Beaumont on

I forgot most of that stuff but what I do remember is that they were in 24 mth. clothes FOREVER!!!!! There is no "assuming", they grow at their own pace. Another thing I remember is that they always wore bigger than what they "should"....i.e. at 6 months they wore 12 mth. clothes...
Hope that helped somehow...

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answers from Los Angeles on

I say stick with 12 mo for swim suits. Its the one article thats better too small than too big, plus with use, they stretch out.
My oldest always needed a size up, and my youngest always needed a size down from her age. My first was in the 80th percentile for size until she leveled off to 50th when she was three or so. My youngest has consistently been in the 3rd percentile and wears 18 mo at age 2.5. Look at your childs percentile size status and decide if she runs large small or med. Based on that buy her the size for her age (med), a size up (larger), or a size for her age or smaller for runts.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

My daughter was 4 and still wearing her size 12 month bikini. She just got taller and lost the diapers...

I know my granddaughter is in a size 1 shoe now. She tends to grow slowly I the feet so I know if I found a pair of Easter shoes that I loved I'd get her a 1 1/2 or a 2 at the most. If they don't fit her by Easter then she'd wear them during Summer.

If I am buying her clothes for next year, like now, when so much stuff is on clearance from Winter, she's just going into a 7-8. I'd buy her some 10-12 and even some larger because she'll eventually wear them.

For a baby? I'd go with a slightly larger size so she could wear it longer.

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answers from St. Louis on

I always had to guess at that age. For the most part my children would wear 12 months at 12 months etc... Now that they are older that isn't so much true. My 8 y.o. will only be in a size 7 short this summer and would be in a size 7 jean, but his legs are to long for them. Shirts very from 7 to a 10 depending on the brand. After a few seasons you get a feel of which clothing runs true to size. My 3 y.o. wore an 18 month skirt to church yesterday, but at 18 months there is no way she could have kept it up.

I would go with a 12 month 2 piece suit that way if she has a long torso it won't matter. Also at 12 months old we just did a swim diaper with no swim suit and lots of sun screen.

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answers from Washington DC on

One thing you could do is size up and figure that you can turn the cuffs. Keep in mind that Gerber runs small and Carter's runs big, so if you want more room, get Carter. If there's a brand that consistently fits her well, buy more of that. And bear in mind that a lot of things can be worn big. Babies grow fast. Better to size up than down. For the swimsuit, bear in mind that 1 yr olds need swim diapers so the butt can be bigger. If you think she'll fit a 12 mo suit, then get one. IMO, get a tankini. 1. easier for changes and 2. will fit her better if she is long.

You can also fill in some of the basics from thrift stores and then only get what she needs when the season starts from someplace like BRU. When she is older, it will be easier to guestimate. I'm buying 5s for DD because she's in 4s now and I bet she'll fit 5s by fall so I'm getting this year's end of season sales. If you have a skinny girl, then look inside pants for the elastic waist adjusters.

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answers from New York on

Well, you can think of it two ways.

First, if she'll be somewhere between those sizes over the summer, it wouldn't hurt to get a few things in each size -- some for early summer, some for late.

Second, though, if they're putting those things out now, they're probably full price. You can save quite a bit by waiting until closer to the season, when they start to mark things down. And then you'll know her size.

Finally, this is probably the last year you'll have this dilemma. By next year (or definitely a year after) she'll be "a size a year" -- if she's 3, she'll wear a T3, etc. What I do now is buy my son's wardrobe for the following year when things are on markdown. This past summer, he turned 6. Around August, I grabbed what I could in size 7-8 on clearance. Now I have most of his clothes for this coming summer, only I got them at 75% off.

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answers from Kalamazoo on

Always go with the bigger size.

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answers from New York on

How do I estimate future clothing sizes? Badly - that's how. My kids were always the tallest kids in their grades and they always grew out of their clothes quickly. At 3 months they were wearing 6 month size so for a while I thought if I doubled their size I'd do well - and it did work sometimes. Try a swap with yoru firneds. If the clearance items are cheap enough $3 or under? Then buy it and maybe swap it out with another mom if you get to the size before or after the seaon. Once I got a deal at a StrideRite outlet store for extra wide shoes (my son has a high instep) so I bought the next size up too. by the time I realized he had outgrown his sneakers he had also outgrown the next size up since he went through one of those growth spurts. I gave them to another mom who was thrilled to have them (pre-Craigslist days...)

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answers from New York on

At this point, you have a good idea of how your child grows and what their body type is. My son is tall and slender and has been since 3 months. So I have always had a good idea of what size he will need. The only thing I warn you about is I would buy what looked like a "good deal" up to 2 years in advance and then when I would put it on him, I would wonder why I even bought it. Like a put on a dino t shirt recently and it looks so stupid and babyish on an almost 5 year old. You should be ok buying things a year in advance, especially if it's a coat or a bathing suit. I would wait on a bathing suit for now since they are not on sale but yes, she would probably need a 12 month bathing suit for this summer.

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answers from Detroit on

it is hard to predict when they are tiny babies.. my daughter was born in december.. in june she was 6 months old.. I had a bunch of 6 month clothes ready for her to wear..but my daughter was so tiny..she wore 3-6 months all summer...

now she is 7.. she wears size 6 shirts and 7 slim pants.. tall and skinny..with very long legs..

When kids move up a size in clothes.. (size 6 months gets too tight) and you move up to the next size.. the next size is huge.. absolutely crazy big.. it happens all the time... I get tired of too short pants so i get the next size up. an the pants are so long you have to roll them up.. but kids grow.. anything too big today.. will be just right in a week or a month then it will quickly be too smal..

you cant really go by the sizes on the clothes or the chart of what htey should wear.. it all depends on the child.

for example gymboree run super big.. those clothes are huge... but childrens place runs small.

you have to know your child and what size she is and what brands of clothes fit her. it is not unusual for a kid to wear a different size top and pants.. both of mine do...



answers from Portland on

With my 3 grandchildren it's worked well to buy the size that matches the age. With each one I bought clothes ahead of time in 3 mos, 6 mos, 12, mos, 18 mos, 24 mos. etc. all during the months before birth and continuing. I bought all those sized all along. For example before birth I had a few of most of those sizes. Then when they reached the size of the clothes, no matter what their age, they wore those clothes. Most of the time the age and size were close. But not always. My nearly 2 yo granddaughter is still wearing 18 mos clothes. She wore 12 mos at 18 mos but it's looking like she'll be in 24 mos soon after she's 2. she's having a growth spurt.

So, in shopping now, I buy size 3 for next winter because there isn't a 2 1/2. Last winter I bought size 18 mos for this winter. I look for clothes that will go into the next season. i.e multi season styles. Long sleeves and long pants work into mid summer here. She wasn't ready for the 18 mos size until February but she had a growth spurt and she's started into them this month. She had 12 mos clothes left over from summer to wear.

It's OK to wear clothes a bit tight and also too big. We roll up waistbands and legs often.

What clothes look like in size can be misleading. I've bought clothes that looked too big that weren't and vice versa. I just don't worry too much about the size. She can wear them when they fit. Maybe I can do this because Oregon temperatures are pretty much cool except for a couple of months in the summer and even then there are only a few days that are over 85 or so. We need jackets for evenings even in the summer.

As to the swim suit. She'll most likely be growing in length and so her butt will be close to the same size she is now. And buy a swim suit that has stretch in it to account for growth.

I suggest that you buy an assortment of sizes and then she'll grow into them when she grows into them.



answers from San Francisco on

It's definitely tough because you don't know when or if a growth spurt will happen. Also, some brands run big and some run small, which might explain why she is outgrowing some of the 6 month outfits but the 9 month ones seem huge.

If the swim suits look small (or fit her now), then I'd go for the next size up. Or maybe find a suit that is 12-18 months. They tend not to be as big as 18 months but bigger than 12 months.

For swimming, you could just do a swim diaper as suggested and then get a cute swim shirt to help protect from the sun. It won't matter as much if it's big. Plus I tend to go a size up on my kids for swim shirts. It makes them easier to take on and off.

If you do for a swim suit and you are putting it over a diaper, chances are the diaper will help keep it up even if it's a little big.



answers from New York on


This gets easier as they grow older and its easier yet, when you have a boy. Boy's clotghing is much more mix and match. We stetched garments by layering. the onsie could be worn under a sweater. A t-shirt could be worn over a long sleeved onsie. a long sleeved shirt could be worn over a muscle t. etc.

Just remember, as is the case with infant clothes, toddler clothes also has the listed size as the generally good till size. i.e. if something is marked 3T, you can probably use it anytime after the 2nd birthday till sometime before the third birthday.

I buy some things the next size up when I can find them on discount. I don't bother with returns (can't be bothered). I just pass on my cast offs, whether new, or used. I come into other people's misestimates, so on average, I figure I am doing ok

good luck to you and yours,
F. B.

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