What are the dimensions of a baby?

How do you design knitwear for babies if you don’t have one?

A woman I met up at House on the Hill told me she really wants to knit a little sweater jumper for her daughter. This prompted me to start designing one for her, but as I have no baby to test my design on, I realized that I have no idea how big (or small) to make it, especially since I’m aiming for how big her daughter will be in a year or so.

Googling “dimensions of a baby” was not even slightly helpful.

Size charts for various brands of baby and toddler clothing online primarily list height, weight, and age, unlike adult charts which give measurements like bust/chest, waist, hips. Size charts for home sewing patterns from multiple manufacturers included chest and waist measurements for toddlers, but not babies. Baby growth charts, such as the ones available at World Health Organization,┬áhave information about head and arm circumference, and what the median values are for children of a particular age, but they still don’t have all the measurements I was hoping for. (Although now I feel confident about my ability to design a well-fitting hat!)

A few more Google searches yielded a few charts that had various measurements, but these proved to be inconsistent across sources, and some measurements were downright inaccurate. I started knitting some test pieces from some of these measurements, only to discover that the neck opening was big enough to fit me!

The most useful piece of information I found in my quest for baby dimensions was to take measurements of baby clothes in a similar style, and then record them for future use. Not rocket science, but I was hoping someone from the internet had already done this so I wouldn’t have to, since I don’t have baby clothes on hand to measure. This will probably involve several trips to Target and/or Babies R Us with my tape measure to covertly measure clothes.

My hope is that at the end of this, I will have a comprehensive list of measurements for designing clothes for babies and toddlers, from newborn babies up to kids about 4 years of age. The results will be shared as I go along, freely available to the public so everyone can create tiny garments to their hearts’ content.

It almost seems easier just to create a baby and then measure it as it grows. Who knows, I might do that too. :)

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