How to dress a premature baby?

How to dress a premature baby

For a premature baby, it is important to choose the right clothes. What are the preferred clothes? What size to take? Which brands to turn to? We take stock of the criteria to be taken into account for the comfort of the infant.

Finding suitable clothes for a premature baby is not always obvious, and knowing what to wear for him is even less so. Because he was born prematurely in less than 37 weeks of amenorrhea, baby has a size much smaller than other infants. The newborn size baby clothes are often too big for premature babies, but above all they are not adapted to their well-being or comfort. Size, shape, brand, material… Here are all our advice to properly dress a premature baby at home and in the maternity wardespecially if he is in intensive care.

How tall is a premature baby in cm?

At birth, a premature baby is small in size. Usually it measures less than 50 centimetersknowing that this size corresponds on average to that of a full-term baby.

What size clothes for premature babies?

The size of a premature baby’s clothing largely depends on the weight of the child and his level of prematurity. Most premature babies weigh between 1500 g and 2500 g. In clothing size, it is therefore necessary to take them clothes of about 45 cm. In other cases, if baby is very premature, it can weigh less than 1.5 kg and sometimes even less than 700 g. So he needs clothes in size 40, even 30 cm. At the brands and in the signs, we find these clothes with the mention “premature size” or “00”.

What clothes to choose for a premature baby?

  • A premature baby needs to have clothes adapted to his small size, and in which he feels safe while being comfortable in it. For this, it is necessary to choose practical clothes to put onespecially if baby has care every day, with an easy opening by pressure or by velcro like the bodysuits or double-breasted veststhem pajamas zipped on the front or buttoned by pressure from top to bottom.
  • For baby’s bottoms and pants, opt for loose and comfortable shapes.
  • Accessories like hats, socks, slippers or mittens are very useful for premature babies, especially to keep them warm and allow them to maintain their body temperature.
  • Also pay attention to the labels and the seams of the garment which can irritate the baby’s skin, especially since it is more fragile and hypersensitive in premature babies.
  • Also think about the materials of the clothes. Prioritize the natural and soft materials for children’s skin (cotton, linen, etc.). The best being the materials certified Oeko Tex standard 100, guaranteed without harmful substances.

Where to buy suitable clothes for premature babies?

Several brands specializing in baby clothing have their own collection of clothes for premature babies. Here are a few :


Orchestra has launched its special premature collection, called Bébé Plume. Each model has been designed with practical openings to facilitate the dressing of baby and the passage of wires or probes, and press studs to facilitate access to care. The clothes are also made of cotton from organic farming.

Set of 5 bodysuits for premature babies © Orchestra

Gaspard and Alice

Since 2016, the Gaspard and Alice online store offers a wide selection of childcare products and affordable clothing for premature babies, very prema and parents who are looking for equipment for their little ones. “From 32 to 45 cm, our clothes are compatible with neonatology”specifies the brand on its website.

Incubator jacket © Gaspard et Alice – Incubator jacket


The sign Verbaudet has a special “Premature” clothing line. It is visible on their website in the section “Baby 0-36 months” then in the “Size” tab.

Monoprix and its prema “Mini Bout’Chou” collection

The children’s clothing brand Bout’Chou from Monoprix also has a collection dedicated to premature babies called “Mini Bout’Chou” and whose sizes are indicated in the form “00”. To be found online and in stores.

Pajamas with zip © Monoprix Mini Bout’Chou – Pajamas with zip

Small boat

Small boat has developed its baby clothes in several sizes including the “Premature” size which corresponds to 45 cm and “N46” or 46 cm.

Bodysuit size N46 © Petit Bateau – Bodysuit size N46


The brand at low prices Gemo has, in the baby clothing department, a small collection of items in “prema” size.

Prema layette set © Gemo

La Redoute

The website La Redoute also offers a range of clothes for babies born before term, which can be found in the “Birth 0-12 months” section in the “Sizes” and “Prema” filter.

When baby is in intensive care, during his first weeks of life, he does not need to wear too many clothes since he is placed in a warm incubator. In general, baby only wears a diaper with a hat and socks to protect its extremities. During the day, if he needs to be more covered, he needs clothes that make it easier to get dressed, so we put on a bodysuit or a vest. For the night, if baby keeps a good temperature, you can dress him in pajamas, a hat and add a sleeping bag.

In summer, it is advisable to dress a premature baby with comfortable clothes that retain a minimum of heat. First of all, even think about putting on a baby hat in summer to keep his head warm. It can be cotton. Also opt for cotton bodysuits with an easy opening system. Then, for the outfit, choose light pants, sarouel type, with a light tank top and over a shirt or blouse with buttons (easier to remove), without forgetting the pair of socks or boots. Also always have a small vest with you in your bag or diaper bag in case your baby gets cold. For sleeping, a lightweight sleeveless sleeping bag is sufficient, in addition to the cap.

In winter, a premature baby needs to be warm. Baby is therefore dressed in clothes a little closer to the body, in thick and warm materials (velvet, knit, thick cotton, wool). As a first layer, put on a cotton bodysuit for your child to protect his skin, over a knit sweater or a sweatshirt with fleece inside and for the bottom, straight cut velvet pants or knit leggings . For the feet, socks and a pair of soft slippers that wrap around the foot. And the final touch a beanie (at home a thinner beanie) and mittens for going out. For the night, a sleeping bag with sleeves is ideal.

Source: Premature Infants MD, University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine Medical Review Oct 2022 by Arcangela Lattari Balest, MD.