A simple Google search for preemie clothes and you may find a host of footie sleeper and onesie pictures from Amazon, Target, BuyBuy Baby and more. You may start thinking, "Is there anything else? My baby is in the NICU and can't wear these items yet" It may be because of their low weight or the need for medical assistance that needs to be considered when dressing your little miracle. Well, that is where Preemie Store can help. We understand that there is more to preemie clothing than a few garments simply made smaller. We have been in the business of clothing preemies since 1993. We understand preemie clothes and know how to address the challenges premature babies present!
First off, sizing is a big issue - preemies are definitely NOT a one size fits all that you will find with so many stores that advertise preemie clothes. Preemie Store offers multiple size ranges in our preemie clothes. We provide three distinct preemie sizes with Micro (1-3lbs), Teeny (2-4lbs) and Preemie (3-6lbs) in order to have clothing for any size preemie. The Teeny (2-4lbs) size is exclusive to our in-house "Perfectly Preemie," brand. Many parents find this size very helpful because their baby is not allowed to wear clothing until they reach a certain weight that doesn't fit as well with the smaller or larger preemie sizes.
We also have some of our popular NICU-Friendly preemie clothes available in Newborn (5-8lbs) size. You might wonder why we offer Newborn sizes in a Preemie Store? Sometimes babies weighing 5+ pounds still have medical needs and benefit from the NICU-Friendly options we offer. Also, some styles are simply too cute and functional not to keep wanting them past the preemie size!
That does bring up an issue we have found over the years, not all preemie sizing is the same. We have worked hard to provide a size chart for all our items. We have broken down the sizing to Length of Garment and Width of Garment. We believe this is the most helpful in determining the correct fit since all babies are born unique. The weight does not entirely determine proper sizing, so we hope this additional information will help you find the best fit. Here is an example of the Size Charts and where to find them:
Secondly, what is best for your preemie in the NICU? You have figured out what size clothes you are looking for, now what style? Well, that is the million-dollar question! Gratefully, we have a million answers for you! Not really a million, but sometimes I feel like that when I look at our inventory. We will start with the NICU-Friendly items rather than talk too much about accessories. Those are the super important hats, mittens, leg warmers and booties that sometimes are the first items preemie can wear.
Our NICU-Friendly clothing typically opens at the shoulders. We feel this is an essential style design for preemie babies, especially those needing medical devices. The ability to lay the garment down and dress up around these fragile little ones and any tubes or wires is priceless. Various types of closures, sleeve lengths and clothing styles are available. Let me show you what I mean.
These little shirts, fit n flare dresses and gowns by Itty Bitty Baby Clothing Company all have a simple dot closure on the shoulder and come with short sleeves.
Perfectly Preemie makes several NICU-Friendly options. This is our sister company and since we manufacture these items here in the USA we are very familiar with all the great details in their design. The first style to highlight is the NIC-Sac, it is the only garment that we carry that is NICU-Friendly with plastic snaps. There are snaps on both shoulders and down the front. This makes it easy for dressing and any wires can easily be feed through the openings down the front.
Perfectly Preemie also makes several styles with velcro closures on the shoulders;IV-Shirt, NIC-Sweet-T,NIC-Crossover Baggette, NIC-Suit, and their Jumpsuit. The Crossover Baggette and the Sweet-T are offered in both open and closed shoulders. Each style offers it's own twist and sometimes it's really all about your preferences. I will un-pack some of the design features on each one for you.
IV-Shirt - This is a great basic style. The crossover front is very similar to the Crossover Baggette, with velcro on each side. The shirt is made a little longer to help with growth and possibly cover a little bit of the diaper. These little shirts might be the best place to start and when you get the ok, move up to a gown or longer style.
Sweet-T - This is one of the first styles that Perfectly Preemie did back in 1993 and parents have loved it from the start. The only addition they have made is an open-shoulder version. This little Tee is so cute with the fold-up attached diaper cover. You maybe a little hesitant about the side tie's, but let me assure you once you try it you will like it.
Crossover Baggette - This style is the perfect mix of a nightshirt and the Baggette, which is very popular. The Baggette has a fold-up bottom that keeps little toes all warm and cozy, yet they are easily accessed with a simple flip. This makes diaper changes and any needle pricks easy. There are velcro closures on each side for a simple open and close, along with the same velcro closures at the shoulders.
Nic-Suit - This style is unlike any of the ones I mentioned above. It is two completely separate pieces, front and back. The reversible ones are made from pre-washed flannel - hint - very soft fabric. Plus you can have two different looks, so two outfits in one little outfit. There are velcro closures on the shoulders, sides and crotch.
Perfectly Preemie thinks of the details, the velcro closures on the sides and on all the NICU-Suits are longer than needed. This gives parents some give with growing room for their little one. We understand that just the littlest thing often makes a big difference.
The Jumpsuit stands a little on its own. It is super NICU-Friendly with the same open shoulder designs as the NIC-Crossover and IV-Shirts. But this one is also a complete outfit, with simple side velcro closures plus velcro closures at the crotch. It completely lays flat for the easy dressing you will love. That is why the jumpsuit is more than just a NICU-Friendly garment. Parents love the jumpsuit for its ease of use beyond the NICU experience. Perfectly Preemie had so many requests for a larger size, they have now added the Take-me-Home (Newborn) size to the Jumpsuit range. The fun prints that this garment comes in makes it hard to choose just one.
I could mention several other styles; our wrap is another great one with two little velcro closures on the front. We love this little puppy print, especially since it is one of our own Preemie Store exclusive designs!
Our IV-Shirt comes as a little dress, these are reversible as well.
I hope I have helped you navigate beyond the footies and onesies that are splattered all over the page when you Google for preemie clothes. I realize it is already overwhelming just being in the NICU. I hope that you find some of these blog posts and they will help you during a difficult time. We love hearing from all our customers. The reviews and feedback we receive mean a lot. We try very hard to provide parents with the preemie clothing resources they need.
Wishing you all a very great day,