best baby sleepsuits

For more info and background on the Baby Clothing Size Directory please read the post here – in time, all of the directory posts will be in one Directory here, but this is the first one. Sleepsuits, 12-18 months. Measurements have been taken as follows:

  1. Length: back-of-the-neck to ankle (not toes), because the foot bits also vary so dramatically and it’s all getting far too scientific for me to handle, and
  2. Width: across front of chest, armpit to armpit.

Let’s get started!

1. Tiger Sleepsuits from Mothercare HERE – £11.25 for a set of 3.

mothercare sleepsuit

I’m starting with Mothercare because I’ve bought the most sleepsuits from them – they’re my everyday, go-to brand for basics. Length from nape to ankle (excluding foot) is 69cm, which seems to be pretty much the average, and width is 29. After about seventy-billion washes, the length from nape to ankle comes up at around 62cm and width 26cm, so quite a massive difference! Mothercare do loads and loads of patterns and prints and the multipacks of the sleepsuits and vests are often on offer – I find the quality to be excellent.

2. Next Fairisle Sleepsuit, HERE, £16 for pack of 3.

next sleepsuit

Just look at the bunny fairisle pattern on this sleepsuit! It’s so pretty for winter. I’m in love. Measurements for Next sleepsuits in size 12-18 months: 71cm length and 29cm width. Nice and roomy. In fact Angelica is completely swamped by this and she’s 16 months and really tall! So plenty of growing room… Next do loads of lovely sets for girls and boys and I think the pricing is reasonable – it’s about the same as Mothercare, so twice the price of a supermarket set, but I do find that the slightly more expensive ones seem to keep their shape better and look less tatty after multiple washes…

3. Pink Striped Sleepsuit, £7.50 for 3 at Sainsbury’s HERE.

sainsbury sleepsuit

I haven’t had the joy of doing multiple washes on the Sainsbury’s sleepsuits yet, so if anyone can add their opinions to the comments below then I’ll update if I get enough info on how well they wash and dry! Measurements: length 71cm, width 28cm, so again nice and lengthy if that’s what you need…

4. Polar Bear Sleepsuit, £16 from Jojo Maman Bebe HERE.

jojo maman bebe babygrow

Ugh. If they did this in a size 10 maternity then I’d be wearing it right now. I have a major thing for JJMMBB babygrows and sleepsuits, the prints are just so gorgeous and the quality is supreme. The first ever sleepsuit I put Angelica into when she was born was a Jojo one, with elephants, and it almost made me weep with cuteness. Until she pooed all over it, but hey. Expensive, but a real treat, these come up SHORT! I would buy a size up, but here are the measurements for 12-18 months: length is 68, width 29.

jojo maman bebe duckling sleepsuit

This duckling one comes up at 67cm, the shortest of all I tried, and the feet are quite teeny too, but oh my God the ducks. THE DUCKS. I can’t seem to find this online now, but peruse the whole selection HERE if you (and your wallet) dare!

5. Striped sleepsuit, £16 for pack of 3 at Marks and Spencer HERE.

marks and spencer sleepsuit

All the premium quality you’d expect from M&S – I think that their baby clothes and cotton basics are wonderful. The length is an about average 70cm (I’m starting to feel a bit silly here, because actually most of these sleepsuits do have a similar length!) and the width is 28cm. I don’t find that these shrink to much with washing and drying and I like the coloured popper that they have at the top of the legs so that you always do them up the right way! There’s nothing worse than getting to the top and realising you’ve done the poppers up all wrong…

6. Pink Spotty Sleepsuit, £7 for pack of 3 at ASDA HERE.

george at asda sleepsuit

A nice and decent 70cm length and 29cm width, here, though I do have to say that my ASDA sleepsuits haven’t had a good time in the washing machine, historically. They don’t like it in there. Mind you, I’ve always bought just plain white, and plain white never washes up that well, especially when it’s had about ninety-thousand poos done on it…

I realise I’m missing GAP, Tesco, H&M and – who else? I shall try and fill in the gaps when I can, and I’ll do a little ticklist of brands for when New Baby arrives and I start again with the newborn sizes. If anyone wants to add any useful commentary about sleepsuits and cotton basics or sizing in general, please use the section below!

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best baby sleepsuits

It has come to my attention, through many failed spending sprees, that there’s often a lot of – what shall we call this? – flexibility when it comes to baby clothing sizes. Babygrows that come up tiny in one high street brand but, if you pop over the road to another, are so big in comparison that they’d probably last an extra year. Pretty sleepsuits from bijoux companies that are so short in the legs you need to buy two sizes up, basic leggings from supermarkets that are so lengthy they would most likely fit Gisele…

Last week I came back from town with a few things from Baby GAP and H&M and the knitted leggings I have from H&M are almost twice as long in the leg as the GAP ones! Same size! Same baby!

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I’ve decided to start a little directory. I’m a little late to the party with Angelica, hence starting at 12-18 months, but when New Baby* arrives (*forever to be known as) I will start again from “Newborn”, “0-3 Months” and so on. Basically I’ve measured the sleepsuits and babygrows from popular baby brands and recorded my findings in The Baby Clothing Size Directory. So if you’re online and in any doubt as to whether your extra-tall-and-lean or gorgeously-plumptious-and-short baby will fit into something, you can double-check the pages in the directory!

It’s actually just a good excuse to look at a load of pretty sleepsuits, but hey. Please note that I couldn’t do every single brand out there, I only have one body and brain, and that length measurements are from the back of the neck down to the ankle, to take into account that some of the suits have feet attached and some don’t. Width is from under armpit to under armpit and tends to be quite standard.

Something interesting that I discovered, as well, which may seem blindingly obvious to you but wasn’t to me: comparing lengths of sleepsuits that had been worn and washed numerous times and then brand new sleepsuits from the same place showed massive differences in size. I mean huge. So I wonder whether some brands make the sleepsuits extra long to allow for shrinkage during repeated washes? I shall endeavour to find out.

All of the Baby Clothing Size posts will be here and I’ll add a category to the top menu bar on the website too.

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model ruth crilly pregnant

How magnificent! I’ve finally caught up with the pregnancy diaries. I’m writing this live, not typing up something from my iPhone notes that feels as though it was written in the prehistoric times. I can moan away and know that you’re seeing it instantly and that you’re all thinking stop moaning, woman!

I love spontaneity.

I now feel as though I have a space hopper stuck to the front of me. Picking things up from the floor is not fun at all – instead of bending I now do this sort of cantilever movement that I’ve developed – it’s very clever. I make my whole body straight and, keeping it straight, I extend my back leg and keeping my body in line with the leg (stay with me) tip my torso over like a crane. I look mad, but I don’t care. It only works for picking up light things, like dropped socks and so on, NOT babies or cats or dogs, but still. Maybe I’ll do a video demonstration for you.

What did I look like this week in the last pregnancy? Let’s have a look!

pregnancy week 25

Wearing a gym kit, hohoho! What a laugh. I still have that vest – maybe I should start reenacting my previous pregnancy photos for you and try to squeeze into the outfits I wore. And look at my hair! Luscious! And my arms – no cottage cheese cellulite there… Humph. Here I am this time around, for comparative purposes:

model ruth crilly pregnant

Much bigger in the bump, though I think the size difference is actually starting to level out a bit. It was most noticeable in the first trimester, when with Angelica I wasn’t even showing but with this baby I started to show straight away. Getting “congratulations!” at 7 weeks was odd. Especially from a reader, in the street, when I had only really just got my head around the fact I was pregnant myself! I didn’t quite know what to say…

In other news my bladder is becoming slightly problematic, in that it has virtually no capacity and feel as though I’m going to wee myself even if there’s only 25ml of liquid ready to come out. I think I need to pay some serious attention to my pelvic floor, which has been – until now – neglected. I have a funky little gadget I was sent, an Elvie, and I might have a go with that even though the idea of having to place it in the vajayjay somehow makes me feel nauseous. You put it in like a tampon (even the word tampon makes me feel sick, what’s going on?!) and then when you do the squeezes with your muscles it connects to an app and tells you how you’re doing. Have you heard of these gadgets? I think it’s actually an incredibly good idea, because so many people have no idea whether they’re doing Kegals properly… You can find more info on the Elvie here. It’s quite dear at almost £150, but I suppose a small price to pay for not wetting yourself in the queue at Tesco…

Most-worn maternity item of the week is the 4-way cardigan, again from Jojo (was meant for the maternity lookbook but I had a lot of stripes going down, so it’s here instead). I’ve had many compliments on this, and a few non-pregnant people asking where they can buy it! Always a good sign, don’t you think? Nice to know you’re wearing something desirable and not just the booby prize, so to speak. FYI, you can get it here online – it also comes in Navy.

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pregnancy diary 23 weeks

This week has been mainly dominated with my concern for my C-Section scar and my irritation levels about the fact that all of my underwear seems to be slipping down from my bump and creasing in the exact place that the scar is. It’s not comfortable at all. I now know what it is to feel “chafed”.

So I’ve spent a good proportion of my “down time” trawling the internet for underwear solutions. I’m looking at investing in the Jojo Maman Bebe pants that go all the way over the bump – they look pretty sturdy. On the JJMMBB subject: their cotton over-bump leggings are absolutely top-notch. Thick, quality finish and with a long part over the bump that actually feels quite supportive as well as being great at staying up. The band never rolls down – I’m very impressed. They come in grey and navy as well, which is a bonus if you’re sick of black.

No other symptoms to report – I think I’ve finally banished my stomach problem (I had terrible diarrhoea) by cutting out  a lot of cheese. To be fair, I was eating an incredible amount of it. Cheese all day. Mmm. And half a pint of milk in my porridge every morning – I’ve knocked that on the head too, cutting down to a couple of times a week. I’ve had problems with dairy in the past, so that was the first thing I looked into when my stomach started playing up – I’m going to introduce more dairy back in, slowly slowly, just to see if I can tolerate it. I haven’t banished it completely, I don’t think I’m allergic or anything, just that I was blatantly overdoing it on the fromage front.

God I love cheese.

I’ve just realised that there’s only another month or so of the second trimester left, and then it’s the home run. ARGH! I’ve thought about what it will be like with a new baby a lot more than I did last time – I sort of blanked it out and was in denial with Angelica, just willing everything to be ok and to get through the pregnancy with a healthy baby. I didn’t think further than the pregnancy. This time I can actually visualise things, and it’s really exciting – a new baby. It will be strange, I’m sure, to be thrown right back to the start – breastfeeding, a limpet stuck to my chest all day long, a baby in the bedroom, long nights with many feeds – but I’m looking forward to it. Onwards and upwards – bring it on.

I had a little sleep after writing that, haha. If I’m tired now, what will I be like when the new baby arrives? Onwards and upwards indeed…

*gorgeous “cold shoulder” top in the photo is from Isabella Oliver here.

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pregnancy diary 21 weeks

Oooh, where have I been? Naughty naughty diary writer! I must be feeling better, as I’ve stopped writing down all of my moans and gripes. I’m only back to tell you all about my stomach issues… I’ve had such BAD runs (the D-word – can never spell it anyway) and pains so horrible that they almost feel like labour pains. I’ve recorded a whole Youtube video about it here, if you want more detail. (Go on, you know you want to.)

I’m quite enjoying reading the diary entries from my last pregnancy, now that I’ve caught up a bit – if you’re interested, then I’ve linked to them below. Look at my neat little bump I had at 20 weeks last time – I was definitely showing, but it was nothing like the giant egg I have sticking out at the front this time! Behold:

baby bump at 20 weeks

and behold:

asos bardot maternity dress sale

Actually, the picture above was at 18 or 19 weeks, I think… I was in Paris with Darphin and I’m pretty sure that was a week or so before my 20 week scan. Which was all fine, by the way – tip-top. I had to go on my own because my husband suddenly got a job in shooting Gary Barlow (with a camera, he’s not a hit-man!), but the lady who did the scan was so businesslike and quick anyway that it felt more like having a medical check-up than anything too emotional. Though I still shed a tear. As you do. Always my left eye, for some reason…

First Pregnancy Diary: 19 Weeks…

First Pregnancy Diary: 20 Weeks…

First Pregnancy Diary: 21 Weeks…

*this diary entry was posted when I was 25 weeks pregnant – I’ve been late with catching up with the diaries!

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pregnant model ruth crilly

I’m pretty sure I’ve been feeling some movements for the last couple of days. I can’t be entirely sure whether it’s just digestion but I remember thinking the same thing last time (quite a bit later) and then just knowing that there was something different about the sensation.

Sickness is all gone now, I think the last time I felt sick was about a week ago, so by 16 weeks all of the “early pregnancy” stuff was just about done with. I have a sneaking suspicion that it was the same last time around. I still have the odd headache – not sure I had those last time – but nothing debilitating.

I’m not as hungry as before (though please see picture above, in which I’m stuffing my face) – I get dissatisfied with my food quite quickly and find it hard to get my appetite up. I read cookbooks obsessively for the first few months, wondering when I’d feel well enough to want to eat properly again, and now I don’t feel sick I have lost my appetite! Sod’s law. I’ve probably written this already, but I must cut down on sugary foods. So naughty.

I’ve been trying to get an antenatal appointment, but – it’s like deja vu – nobody wants to take responsibility for me. Not my GP surgery, who just act bemused if I even mention the word “pregnancy”, not the hospital midwife department, who tell me I’m with some sort of district midwife care, and not the district midwife care, who answer the phone about once in every blue moon, so tentatively you’d think they were all on the run from the police or something.

Oh well. No complaints, health-wise, so I’ll just roll with it. Someone will have to see me at some point, surely!

Read The Early Pregnancy Diaries…

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pregnant model ruth crilly

A male friend asked me the other day why so many pregnancy garments were printed with horizontal stripes. (Actually a female friend asked me this too. It seems to be a common query.)

“Isn’t the rule supposed to be that the fatter you are, the more you step away from the stripes?”

Rude. But it’s true – the more rotund your belly/hips/arse, the more the rules dictate that you should keep clear of the horizontal stripe. Visually, it adds girth. Which is probably the real reason for ribbing on condoms. Ha. However, all of the rules go out of the window when you’re pregnant and especially, it seems, the stripes rule. Because approximately 99.98% of all pregnancy tops and dresses are striped – most popularly in navy and white, followed by grey and white, followed by white and navy. Yes, dear readers, when you become pregnant you also become, by force, a fan of the nautical theme.

I, for one, love the nautical stripe. It’s the one time that I can wear it on my top half and sort of embrace the fact that I look like a huge fantasy easter egg.

Here are the three stripy numbers I’m wearing on constant rotation at the moment:

pregnant model ruth crilly

The Breton Side Gathered Maternity Top from Jojo Maman Bebe: £26 here. This is my favourite because it covers the top of my bottom, so with a long vest beneath it I can get away with wearing it over soft, comfy leggings. The side gathering is a lovely touch and the whole top is stretchy but with a quality feel – it will definitely still fit when I’m in the final pregnancy throes and looking as though I have a baby hippo on board.

pregnant model ruth crilly

Another JJMMBB winner: the Breton Stripe jumper, £29 here. Comes in four different colourways and has a nice, breathable sort of feel to it. Very comfy. Needs to be worn with skirt of jeans, however, as it’s “normal” length and so (unless you’re a member of The Pussycat Dolls or similar) you would be revealing your entire leggings-clad bum if you didn’t layer it with something. And it’s sort of too neat and nice to ruin with OTT layering…

pregnant model ruth crilly

Now this one I can see being quite good for breastfeeding in, if I can get the knack of the fiddly buttons. It’s the long sleeve henley top from GAP maternity – £16.95 here, though I’ve just seen a 30% off code if you should want it, it’s NICEGAP. I do like the GAP tops for layering – the vests are brilliant and cheap, especially if you get a voucher code. I’m off to order more, as the husband wants to get some shirts and I won’t be able to resist a bit of maternity and baby clothes shopping as well!

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diary 16 weeks pregnant

[Note: as I type up this diary entry I am 25 weeks pregnant. At this rate, I’ll only catch up once the baby is born! So I’m going to try and get up to speed over the course of the next few days – sorry if it’s pregnancy diary overload.]

I can honestly say that I think I feel more uncomfortable now, at 16 weeks, than I did full term last time. My legs hurt, I feel like a tank, I feel so tired all the time and my bladder is constantly giving the impression that it’s about to burst. My husband swears I was exactly the same last time but I seem to remember flying through the last two trimesters with minimal discomfort. Oh! Apart from that terrible rib-ache I had, and the hip pain…

One thing that’s the same: I feel as though my entire womb, and possibly digestive system, is about to fall out of my vagina. I was so paranoid last time that I had an incompetent cervix, because it honestly felt as though my whole reproductive system was somehow prolapsing and about to appear on the outside of my body, but I suppose it’s just the weird sensation of the added weight in there. I spent hours Googling incompetent cervixes last time and even considered asking to have a couple of stitches put in, such was my (completely unfounded) anxiety. I was so paranoid that I’d have a premature opening of the cervix – I’m sure that at my twenty week scan I tentatively asked whether she could measure the length of it to make sure it wasn’t elongated!

In other news, I am eating loads even when I’m not that hungry. Which probably isn’t good. Maybe I am hungry but just don’t know it? If I don’t eat I get wobbly and weird and dizzy (same happened last time) and then I panic-eat really sugary things. So I suppose the answer is more meals but smaller portions. Ban the sugar! Honestly, everything I think of eating is bad. I need a personal chef.

I had some spots on my back and chest this week and starting thinking ooh, maybe it’s a boy because I didn’t get spots last time. Thankfully, people haven’t started that thing with me yet where they proclaim that they know what sex the baby is and then proceed to explain how they know… It drives me mad when people do that! YOU HAVE A FIFTY PERCENT CHANCE OF BEING RIGHT, IT’S NOT EXACTLY A MYSTIC MEG PREDICTION!

Bump-wise, I am most definitely “obviously pregnant” – I have taken to wearing my new grey and bright pink H&M shirt dress every day (see picture), because it’s loose and comfy and doesn’t make my bump too obvious…

Read more pregnancy diaries for baby two…

Read the pregnancy diaries for baby one…

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14 weeks pregnant

First day without a nap and I wasn’t even that tired! Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the second trimester. Is this the short one? I can’t remember…

I feel so much better, which could be partly to do with giving up those bloody vitamins. (See 13 Weeks.) I do wonder whether I’d have had a better time if I’d recognised the whole situation sooner. I’m feeling quite buoyant and positive, maybe because I’m less tired, but also the new nanny has started her two days a week and obviously that has taken the pressure off a bit.

Nothing to report in terms of symptoms apart from the odd stretchy type of pain and two cases of restless leg syndrome. I’m not sleeping brilliantly, though, I wake up quite a lot at the moment. Vivid dreams, which I don’t think helps matters. They linger in my head and sometimes get my day off to a bad start.

Finally I feel as though I want to start eating more stuff – more variety. I’m less desperate, less likely to just dive for the cereal or the bread and more likely to actually think about what I might fancy fuelling myself with. Though I’m sure my appetite is smaller.

You’ll notice that I’ve dispensed with the “early” in my diary title – I think I’m pleased to say that I’m out of the “early pregnancy” stages and into the pregnancy proper. Hurrah! What a relief, though it’s still just the beginning of a long, long journey…

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pregnancy diary

I’ve suddenly had a fast-forward to thirteen weeks! I had my twelve week scan and was a bit further on than I thought – I must have ovulated on, like, day 2 of my cycle or something. (No wonder it took so long to get pregnant the first time – I caught really early in my cycle that time too. I jest about it being “day 2”, but not by much…)

All good. Still sick and exhausted, but I only need to glance over earlier entries to realise just how much better I am feeling. I’ve been having a few niggly pains, which can be absolutely terrifying, but I do remember them from last time and I try to stay calm and remember that they are just growing/stretching pains. It’s weird that there’s so little written about cramps and abdominal pains in a lot of the pregnancy books – it has to be one of the most worrying things, yet you’re sort of left in limbo with them, wondering whether they are a bad sign or a good sign or what. Especially pre-scan – some reassurance would always be good, but it’s hard to find that!

Also: so untrue that morning sickness disappears at twelve weeks, as I’ve read in a lot of books. What is this magical twelve week number?! It was fourteen weeks for me last time and looking to be the same this time around – a quick scooch about on the forums tells me that it’s rarely twelve weeks for anyone.

I still have a terrible stomach – gas and all the rest of it – but I’ve worked out that it might be my Pregnacare vitamins! I don’t want to stir the pot here, but I’ve done some extensive testing, now, coming off them and then taking them again, and it does seem to be those that are the problem. I also feel less sick when I’m not on them. Again I did some forum research (oh, the best sort of research!) and there are loads of people complaining about the same thing! Now look, I don’t want to get sued by Pregnacare, I’m not suggesting it’s them, but perhaps something about certain pre-natal vitamins that is hard to digest or stomach? I took the Zita West vitamins in my last pregnancy and didn’t have these stomach issues, though I did feel just as sick..

So I have stopped. I take my Vitamin D spray and I am trying to eat a better diet, less Coco Pops, more veg. As soon as I feel right again, sickness-wise, I shall be on some sort of magazine-worthy fresh-stuff diet with home-cooked this and organically-reared that. Just you watch!

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early pregnancy diary

Not so much sickness at all, this week – it’s amazing how something can take over your life so completely and then just creep away quietly so that you forget it was ever there. I’m still very tired, so I definitely feel the baby “presence” but I’m definitely far less nauseous. Unless I’m hungry in which case it can be quite intense! I’m starting to fancy eating different foods again, getting my appetite back, though still not keen on red meat. My stomach is ridiculously large and has been for weeks – it’s impossible to hide it now.

Having the occasional headache, but nothing too bad – the main “thing of the week” is my preoccupation with the twinges and growing pains in my abdomen. I remember that these really upset me last time, I thought that they were a sign of miscarriage, so trying to stay calm this time around and think of them as good and positive pains. I feel as though I “pull a muscle” down there really easily, so picking up the baby and putting her down all of the time freaks me out a bit, but there’s nothing much I can do about that. I can’t very well leave her on the floor all day!

Overall I’m feeling quite relaxed and confident this week – only a week until the “proper scan”…

*UPDATE – 11 Weeks + 4 Days: I feel so sick! Sickness and headaches back with a vengeance. Also I have a bad stomach (runs) if I eat anything that’s not just bland and boring. Ugh.

*UPDATE – 11 Weeks + 5 Days: woke up feeling great so naturally I am panicking that something is wrong. Even though I’ve had a positive scan, I feel different – my stomach feels empty and flabby. Hopefully it’s because the bloating has gone down – I still feel knackered and, maybe, dizzy. Am I dizzy? I think so. I’m considering doing a pregnancy test, but that’s a slippery slope, isn’t it?

Read more from the Early Pregnancy Diaries…

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