I have been fortunate enough to have 85 wonderful women complete a survey for me answering questions on their everyday life, their fears and dreams and their experiences of baby gifting (and receiving), with the aim that I can discover more about you…my Nura community!!
Over my next few blogs, I will unpack the patterns and observations I have drawn from their deeply honest responses. For today I thought I’d share with you my first observation; the difficulties we face when shopping for baby clothes and trying to decipher the crazy world of sizing! This is a huge area of confusion for approximately 70% of the women who completed my survey!
Here are a few responses when asked ‘what do you find difficult about shopping for baby gifts [specifically clothing]?’:
Sizing (when you don’t have kids it’s hard to know) and how much wear they get out of them – Annabel
I struggle with sizing, not knowing much about babies myself – Lucy
Babies grow so fast! Sizing definitely biggest issue – Madeleine
If the item would actually be useful, be worn and big enough for an extended time – Meg
I love shopping for baby gifts, but I find sizing confusing (why all the zero’s?) – Ash
Generally clueless; unsure of sizes – Holly
From my research, I have drawn 3 main areas of sizing confusion (particularly for those of us without babies):
1. What do all the zero’s mean??
For those who do not have children (or are new to parenthood), this is a maze of confusion! Now I have started Nura I realise there is a bit of a sequence to the 0’s, but when we don’t know, it really doesn’t seem very logical! Through my research I have discovered that there isn’t one universal size guide, and this goes for adult clothing too, so for now this is a common size guide majority of brands use, but it’s not ideal for the untrained eye! So, an FYI for you moving forward; 00000 = premature, 0000 = newborn, 000 = 0-3months, 00 = 3-6months and 0 = 6-12 months, then it proceeds in to numbers for each year!!
Another quick piece of labelling knowledge, if the tag simply states 6m this actually means up to that age, i.e. 3-6months, not 6-12months….I have only recently worked this out!!
2. How does the height on the label help me?
So many labels today say the height of the baby as well as the size….’000 – 62cm’…..unless it is your own baby, how on earth are we meant to know how tall the baby is we are buying a gift for? I don’t even know my own height down to the exact centimetre!! I tried to use a height guide with my pattern maker when developing the sizing for Nura’s clothes…it just made us more confused!
The main confusion this one came down to for us was, yes a baby might be 67cm tall, but how can you decide (as a designer) if the baby has long legs and a short torso or vice versa, and therefore how can you decide to have an extra long pair of pants or a shorter pair of pants, or an ‘average’ pair of pants?? I understand there are average height guides, and these are helpful as a starting point…but putting them on labels doesn’t really help anyone unless it is a full length head to toe garment like these cutie patootie animal onesies, then the height would be super helpful…
3. Babies grow so quickly, what if they never fit my gift?
This is not so much of a confusion, but more a worry when buying a gift. A common theme that came through in the survey responses was the cost of baby clothing and the risk that the baby grows so quickly they will never have a chance to wear it.
The other issue with many brands is the small sizing, as mentioned above there is not one universal size guide, so it is up to each brand how they size their garments. Meaning you may buy a garment at 000 size, but is it actually the size of a 0000 in another brand….unfortunately there is no answer to this one, it is all part of the crazy world of sizing and using your skill of estimation and assumption to pick the right one!!!
So, with these 3 sizing issues in mind, I have put a lot of thought in to how Nura can help ease the decision making and the worry attached with picking the right size.
SOLUTION ONE: On each of my tags I have kept the 0, 00 and 000, but I have also included 3 – 6mths, 6 – 12 mths and 12 – 18mths, so you can use either as a reference point and you don’t have to google the zero’s.
SOLUTION TWO: Babies do grow so quickly, that is a given. Many babies would not even fit their body in a 0000 size because they are a bigger newborn. So, Nura has decided to start sizes from 3 months and up. If you purchase a 3-6mth gift for a newborn, you have almost 100% guarantee that the baby will fit this either prior to the 3month mark or after….giving you confidence that the money you spend and the gift you have chosen will get airtime and be loved!
SOLUTION THREE: Nura sizing will run on the slightly more generous side so babies will fit them for longer. Details in some of the garments allow for size adjustments as well e.g. The Angus Pants can be cuffed up or down for length and The Harry Overalls have easy access studs along the sides to open up for larger babies.
SOLUTION FOUR (a tip following solution three): I would suggest always buying a bigger size to ensure longevity and more time to be worn. So, if the newborn is above average at birth you may like to buy a 6-12month size, but if the newborn is quite small then a 3-6month size would be appropriate….they are going to be worn, it’s just a matter of how soon!
SOLUTION FIVE: Solution 1 – 4 are quite focused on not knowing the baby’s measurements. But if you do have the dimensions (most likely mums and dads buying for their own special bundle) I will also provide a clear 2D image of every garment with a cross-section of measurements as a guide (similar to this image below, taken from Birdsnest).
My vision is to enable special moments of generosity, love, colour and beauty in the everyday. I hope by helping you choose the perfect size and making the process easy and enjoyable, that your gift will only be received with complete joy, love and excitement without any worry of sizing.
Please keep in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org, and jump online to share your details with me, I will let you know the moment these special garments are ready and you can experience the ease of size choosing for yourself.
Love Penny xxxx
Images courtesy of Ebay; baby animal Onesie, Pinterest; The Hidden list, Moms n Buns and The Birdsnest.