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Baby Vanity Sizing?

Huck as he nods off for a nap. No reason.

At the moment I am writing this to you, my dear friends of the Babble, my Huckleberry is snoozing happily in his borrowed car seat (another time) wearing 3-6 month pants from Zara kids (with an absolutely astonishingly wide waist band), and a 9-12 month onesie from Carters (a little roomy). The pajamas I changed him out of this morning are Baby Gap size 12 months.

It all reminds me of the time I went into the local Old Navy and fit into an XXXS skirt and wondered to myself, “Am I disappearing?” before venturing next door to the H&M, whereupon I tried on a size 2 skirt that was so tight it tried to kill me. (It should be noted that both H&M and Zara are European clothing stores, bearing European clothing sizing standards.)

Ah yes. There it is. Vanity sizing. It has struck the bebehs. And it has occurred to me, in my time as Baby Clothier Extraordinaire-ier, that the opposite of what we see in the American adult female clothing industry is happening in the American baby clothing industry.

(More after the jump.)

You know what’s happening when you go into a Banana Republic and your size two bottom is fitting effortlessly into a size double zero pant: they’re trying to lure you into buying their product by flattering you. “You’re so svelte here, at our store! Elsewhere you are a fat lumpy dump! Here, here we love you!”

But the opposite is happening with our babies. It’s like, as Americans, we want to believe our babies are fatter, heftier, and more robust than they actually are. “Oh, my baby is soo ahead of schedule!” (Which, hmm. I think I am guilty of this quite a bit, myself.)

How else to explain that, at H&M, Huck is wearing 4-6 months (well, he IS 4-6 months), at Zara he is in 3-6 months (again, he is 3-6 months!) while at Baby Gap he is nearly a half a year ahead of himself?

What do you think Baby Gap and other baby retailers in the U.S. stand to gain by making me think my baby is so much bigger than he ought to be/actually is?

Or, are American babies somehow smaller than their European counterparts? (Which would be the absolute reverse situation from what we’re seeing with adults?)

I don’t know, what do you think?

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