Clothes for early or tiny babies
For most new parents, the premature arrival of a baby is a shock and a surprise. While you’re coping with a range of emotions, one of the practical things that needs sorting is finding baby clothes that fit well and won’t swamp your early baby.
And it’s not just size. Some of you may have a baby who’s in a special care baby unit, high dependency or neonatal intensive-care unit, and who needs special clothes that allow doctors and nurses to complete procedures with ease.
The good news is that there are specialist places and even some supermarkets and high street stores that stock a range of clothes for premmies, suitable for the tiniest and the neediest. Many will also deliver within 24 hours.
Here’s our pick of the best places to buy premature baby clothes…
Baby Prem has a range of premature baby clothes for babies as tiny as 1.5lbs and offers next day delivery.
Baby Prem bodysuits are specially designed to be suitable for babies who are staying in a Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) or Neonatal Unit. They also open fully with popper fastenings, allowing easy access to all parts of your baby, which can be very reassuring.
What we really like is the fact the descriptions on the website are so informative, showing how well Baby Prem knows its stuff.
Pop N Grow
The children’s charity Pop N Grow makes specially designed clothes for babies weighing between 2lbs and 6lbs. It also donates garments to parents with premature babies who may be going through physical, mental, emotional and financial strain.
The clothes are specially made to allow for space and comfort around wires, tubes or lines your premmie baby may need during a stay in hospital. The adorable little sleepsuits have special designed ‘mitten’ style feet, which allow for oxygen saturation monitors and a side front opening so there is no interference to delicate belly buttons.
Early Baby Store
Specialising in clothes and accessories for babies in the neonatal intensive-care unit (NICU), high dependency unit (HDU), and special care baby unit (SCBU), the Early Baby Store is run by parents who have experienced an early arrival themselves. It stocks sizes from as small as 1lb and also offers a next day delivery service.
We like the detailed labelling of the clothes – so you know how to get the right outfits for your baby’s needs. For example, the Premature Baby Hospital Body Vest ‘opens fully to accept leads and wires’ while the Premature Incubator Romper is ‘designed for use in NICU’.
Aside from clothes, you might find other things you haven’t thought of yet such as The Tiny Traveller which makes sure even the smallest baby fits in a carseat and buggy.
Cheeky Chums has a wide range of clothes suitable for babies of every size – even catering for babies under 1lb.
Again the website descriptions are detailed. For example, scratch mittens are offered at £1.85 with a cute description of why your “little wriggler” would need these in NICU.
If your baby arrives around Christmas time, then Cheeky Chums even has a great range of festive premature baby clothes to choose from, including gingerbread and snowmen patterned outfits.
Mothercare stocks a small range of sleepsuits and bodysuits from 3lbs upwards. The suits come in traditional shades of pink and blue, and matching scratch mittens.
Mothercare designers have worked with neonatal care units and some of the clever features are soft touch hook and loop fastenings. The clothes can also be washed at 95 degrees, which means they can be washed in hospitals.
We like the fact you can order online and pick up in store using Mothercare’s click and collect service. That way you can get someone else to pick up the package, so you don’t have to leave your baby’s side.
Asda launched its premature baby clothes range in 2014 in 70 stores around the UK, which are all near specialist neonatal hospitals.
As you would expect from Asda, price is a key selling point. You can get 3 sleepsuits for as little as £7 and 3 bodysuits for £5. The range includes flat open-out fitting, extra poppers and irritation-free seams to ensure the clothes are comfy for your newborn and easy to fit around medical equipment. Plus 10% from the sales is donated to baby charity Tommy’s.
The clothes are also available online and come in 3 sizes: up to 3lbs, up to 4lbs and up to 5lbs.
John Lewis’ range of ‘early baby’ clothes is fun, colourful and stylish.
Its range isn’t suitable for very tiny premature babies. Its ‘Early Baby’ size is for babies up to 5lb and its ‘Tiny Baby’ size is for babies up to 7lb.
At MFM, we’re advocates of buying second hand clothes, because there are great bargains to be had and because the lifespan of baby clothes is so short. Let’s face it, some clothes only get worn once or twice, or sometimes never, before they hit the listings at eBay.
The premature baby clothes section of eBay offers a mix of preloved and small sellers offering new clothes, often at value prices.
Boots’ premature clothing range caters for babies who are 3lbs and 4lbs. The clothes are sold in a multi-pack so you can get 3 sleepsuits for £14.50 or 3 bodysuits for £7.50, and these are all available in grey & white, pink or blue.
They’re made from a soft cotton fabric and have been designed to open flat with velcro fastenings to make dressing easier.
The range is available to order online but Boots has also said it’ll be available across 34 stores that are all within 6 miles of a Neo Natal unit.
Check out our guide on buying used clothes for your baby.
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