Thursday, February 21, 2008

Preemie Clothes

Depending on how small or sick your preemie is, they may spend a long time in just a diaper until they grow bigger and stronger. So the day that they get to finally wear some clothes is very exciting. Although it has gotten easier, it can still be a bit difficult to find clothes that will fit your little one. I’ve created a list of stores that carry a range of preemie clothes – both online and in stores to help you on your search.

Here are some tips to make buying preemie clothes easier:

1. Check with the hospital. Every hospital has a set of guidelines about when your baby will be allowed to wear clothes. It is usually based on weight, how your baby is doing and whether or not they are in an open crib. Some hospitals also have specific rules about what types of clothes are allowed for your baby. For our son, the hospital required all clothes to have snaps down the front so that they had easy access to his wires if need be. For our daughter the hospital didn’t have any restrictions on what she could wear. So before you go and spend a bunch of money, find out the rules.

2. Your baby’s size – Although there are some companies that make clothes to fit micro preemies (1 – 3 lbs), most hospitals prefer that babies remain in only a diaper during that critical growth period. Unless your hospital allows it, I wouldn’t bother purchasing clothes in this size range. On the flip side, even if your baby was born in the 4-5 pound range you may still want to purchase some preemie clothes to start because the 0-3 month size can be quite big for babies that size.

2. Your baby’s growth – All babies grow at different rates so take stock of how your baby is doing before you buy a bunch of clothes. Our son was a slow grower so he fit into his preemie clothes until he was about 3 months old so we got a lot of use out of them. Our daughter was in the NICU much longer and gained weight a little faster so she only got about 1 ½ months use out of her preemie clothes.

What type of clothes are best?

Regardless of your hospital’s rules, clothes with snaps up the front are easiest in the beginning. Onsies and sleepers are probably all you will need until your baby comes home because they will still be spending a lot of time bundled up in their crib or isolette. Once they get home it is up to you however keep in mind any special requirements your baby may have including an apnea monitor, feeding tube, etc. that might limit their clothing options.

Where can I buy preemie clothes?

Many stores are starting to offer preemie sized clothing which makes it much easier to find things for your little one. Major stores including Babies R Us, Gap, Gymboree, Carters, etc. have begun to come out some preemie lines however they aren’t always available in the stores.

Here is a list of online only and regular retail stores that offer preemie-sized clothes. Please leave a comment if you know of any other great stores that people should check out!

Online Only Stores

The Preemie Store – They have a large variety of preemie clothes in a number of styles that are very cute and fun.

Nurture Place – They also have a lot of choices for preemie clothes including some great onesies that snap on the shoulder to make access to wires and tubes much easier.

Preemies R Us – Another great store with adorable clothes that are separated by category so you can easily find what you need.

The Shepard’s Cradle – They offer heirloom clothes and have a line of preemie christening outfits that are very pretty.

Retail Stores

Baby Gap – I don’t think a lot of their retail stores carry the preemie clothes but you can order them online. They have preemie clothes up to 5 lbs. and newborn clothes up to 7 lbs.

The Children’s Place – They offer clothes that are sized for babies under 7 lbs. Both their online site and retail stores stock this size.

Babies R Us – Babies R Us has offered a small section of preemie clothes for a few years now. They are usually separated by gender and include a lot of cute outfits that go beyond just onsies and sleepers. They also offer Gerber’s preemie shirts and onesies that do have snaps up the middle or side. Their online store also offers preemie clothes.

Carters – Carters recently added a preemie size to their line of newborn clothes. I’ve never been able to find any in their stores but you can buy them online. The website might tell you which locations carry the preemie line.

Gymboree – Gymboree carries clothes that are for babies up to 8 lbs. You can buy this size online or in stores.

Burlington Coat Factory – I’ve haven’t shopped here for preemie clothes but I have had several people tell me that you can find some clothes for babies under 5 lbs. Their website doesn’t offer much of anything so I would advise going to the actual locations if you can.

Walmart – Walmart carries a surprisingly large selection of preemie clothes that are well priced. This is a good place to go for onesies and sleepers, particularly if you think your baby will grow out of things quickly.


AvaBaby's Boutique Preemie Clothes said...

I am the grandmother of 2 preemies and have recently opened a online store specializing in preemie clothing and accessories. Our website is inviting and most of all "easy" to navigate for weary parents and family memembers of preemies. Please check uus out at

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Julian said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
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AdorableNess said...

Your advice is amazing! Always check with the hospital and nurses before you buy, just in case. I've had luck with Itty Bitty Baby clothes - while I never had to use their NICU gowns and t-shirts, their sleepers and nightie bags were just the right size for my preemie. The sizes start at 3lb-7lbs (micro-preemie), but I found that my LO was about 8lbs before she outgrew their smallest size. I was fortunate enough to find a boutique that carried them nearby, but you can always check out their site at:

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