Tiny Babies often have health complications and sensitive skin so they need clothes that allow baby to be comfortable and accommodate any wires or tubes they may be connected to.
For a tiny baby that is spending time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) or Specialist Care Baby Unit (SCBU) specialist clothing should definitely be considered, and tiny babies out of hospital and at home that are still very small could benefit too.
What clothing features to look for in Tiny Baby Clothes
Babies have more sensitive skin, especially premature babies because their dermis, which is the last layer of skin, is not completely formed. Tiny baby clothes made with 100% organic cotton, avoid the exposure of children to chemicals that can be responsible for allergies, itching and rashes (although this is rare).
Anyone manufacturing baby clothing can claim to be ‘organic’ or ‘ethical’ and it is impossible for consumers to tell the difference between an organic or non-organic premature baby product just by looking at it or feeling it. This is where a certification scheme like GOTS & Oeko-Tex helps; so look out for clothing that is certified.
Cotton is also naturally breathable so prefered to tiny baby clothes made with manmade fibres like acrylic and polyester.
Easy-dress design and right-sized
Premature babies born very early will be in an incubator and may not be able to be dressed for a while and then just with a specialist incubator vest. Dressing baby in these incubator vests should require minimal disruption if you choose one that is wrap-around design.
For babies in the NICU/SCBU that can be dressed in more typical baby clothing like sleepsuits, vests and trousers it's really important to find clothes that are right-sized for a tiny baby; to keep them warm and comfortable. 'Tiny Baby' isn't a size that's standardised across brands and manufacturers, so try to find clothes that come in metric measurements like 32, 36 and 44, or buy from a website like Little Mouse that has a right-sized Tiny Baby Collection.
What's more these clothes should also have features that make dressing baby as easy as possible:
- Wrap-around design
- Fixings placed in inobtrusive places
- Gentle seams and labels
Accommodating NICU/SCBU wires and tubes
A baby on the NICU or SCBU will be connected to wires or tubes that are supporting their breathing and feeding or monitoring vital signs. Therefore the tiny baby clothes they wear need to be sensitive to this.
For the smallest babies on the neonatal wards an incubator vest is perfect as it has open arms and legs and baby can be dressed around the tubes and wires.
For babies that can be dressed in more typical clothing there are specialist vests and sleepsuits with especially placed slits for feeding through wires and tubes. This tiny baby clothing range from Fixoni is a highly rated example of specialist tiny baby clothes.