Newborn size clothes are made to be irresistibly adorable! and it can be very tempting to get too many newborn-size outfits without even knowing how long your baby will actually wear them for. Is it days? weeks? or months?
Full-term babies born with the average birth weight will typically wear newborn size clothes for anywhere from two to six weeks, but some might need to move up sooner while some might skip the newborn size clothing altogether.
Newborn size clothes usually go up to 9 pounds and about 22 inches in length, but how long your baby will get to wear them will depend on a few parameters. Here are the main factors that determine how long your baby will stay in newborn size clothes:
Your Baby’s Weight at Birth
This is the main factor that determines how long your baby will wear newborn size clothes. The average weight for full-term babies who are born between 37 and 41 weeks of gestation is about 7 pounds. If your baby is born on the smaller side, they will likely stay in newborn-size clothes for a little longer.
If your baby was born early (before 37 weeks gestation), then they might fit into preemie size clothing first and then move into newborn size after a few weeks or when they reach their birth weight.
On the other hand, if your baby is born bigger, they might not fit into newborn-sized clothes and skip that size all together and go to 0-3 months size clothes right from birth. My daughter weighed 8 lbs 12 oz at birth, she was a big girl, and we only got to use newborn size clothes for a couple of weeks which was a bummer because I had bought a whole bunch of cute newborn size outfits in anticipation of her arrival.
To get a more general estimate, I asked mom friends in my circle who had babies born at different weights and lengths, and here’s what I found out about how long you can expect your baby to stay in newborn size clothing based on their birth weight:
- 5 lbs – 8 to 10 weeks (Your baby might fit into preemie size first, and then go to newborn size)
- 6 lbs – about 8 weeks
- 7 lbs – 4 to 6 weeks
- 8 lbs – 2 to 3 weeks
- 9 lbs or bigger – go straight to 0-3 months size
While it’s difficult to predict accurately your baby’s weight before birth, you can get a good estimate with ultrasound weight estimation during pregnancy, which is typically 20 percent off but gives you an idea about what to expect in terms of birth size.
The Length of Your Baby’s Legs and Torso
Another factor that determines how long babies stay in newborn size clothes is the length of their legs and torso. Even if your baby is born with low weight, if they have long legs, they might not fit into newborn pants and pajamas for very long and you might have to move up to 0-to-three months size sooner.
Your baby’s length together with your baby’s weight and head circumference are key measurements that your healthcare provider takes shortly after birth to assess the overall health of your baby.
The average birth length for full-term babies is about 20 inches, but some babies are born at 22 inches lengthwise which is just at the top of the newborn size range. If your baby is on the taller side, they might not fit into newborn clothes for very long.
Related: Do You Need Baby Hangers?
How Quickly Your Baby Gains Weight
How long your baby will stay in newborn size clothes will also depend on their appetite! Newborn clothes usually fit babies who are between 5 and 9 pounds and 18 to 22 inches long.
If your baby is eating well and gaining weight quickly, they might outgrow their newborn clothes sooner. On the other hand, if your baby is not gaining much weight or has a small appetite, they might stay in newborn-size clothes for a little longer.
All babies are different and will grow at their own pace, so don’t worry if your baby is on the smaller or larger side. The most important thing is that they are healthy and happy!
Keep in mind that babies lose some weight right after weight. In fact, healthy newborns are expected to lose up to 10 percent of their birth weight during the first days of life but should regain it during the first weeks after birth.
The Clothing Brand
One other factor that plays into how long your baby will stay in newborn-size clothes is the clothing brand. Some brands tend to run larger than others, so take that into account when you are shopping for newborn clothes.
For example, if you buy Burt’s Bees brand, you might be able to use some of their newborn size clothing longer because their newborn size clothes run both larger and longer (up to 9 lbs in weight and up to 21.5 inches in length). On the other hand, if you go with newborn clothes from GAP or Old Navy, keep in mind that they run a bit smaller than average (up to 7 lbs in weight and up to 18 inches in length).
Here’s a table with the weight and length limits for the newborn size clothing from major brands to help you get a better idea:
|Baby Clothing Brands||Weight Limit||Length Limit|
|Burt’s bees baby||6-9 lbs||up to 21.5 in.|
|Carter’s||6-9 lbs||up to 21.5 in.|
|GAP / Old Navy||up to 7 lbs||up to 18 in.|
|Gerber Childrenswear||5-8 lbs||17-21 in.|
|Cat & Jack||6-8 lbs||up to 17.5 in.|
|Little me||up to 8 lbs||up to 21 in.|
|Disney||up to 7 lbs||Up to 18 in.|
How You Like Your Baby’s Clothes to Fit
Finally, how long your baby will stay in newborn size clothes will also be down to your personal preferences. Some parents like their baby’s clothes to fit snugly, while others prefer a looser fit.
If you prefer or don’t mind tighter fitting clothes for your baby, they might actually stay in newborn size for longer because they will have a harder time outgrowing them. On the other hand, if you prefer looser fitting clothes, your baby might move up to 0-to-three months size sooner.
There is no right or wrong answer here, it’s all down to your personal preference!
So how long do babies stay in newborn size clothes? It really depends on a few different factors, including your baby’s weight, length, and how quickly they gain weight.
Additionally, the clothing brand you choose can also play a role in how long your baby will stay in newborn size clothes. And finally, it also comes down to personal preference regarding the fit.