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Infant and toddler clothing size is typically based on age.These are usually preemie for a preterm birth baby, 0 to 3 months, 3 to 6 months, 6 to 9 months, 9 to 12 months, 12 months, 18 months, and 24 months, though there is no industry standard definition for those sizes.Most retailers provide sizing charts based on a child’s weight, height, or both, and the child’s weight and height percentile may also be used for properly sizing clothing for the infant.

In an article in the October 1945 issue of Ladies’ Home Journal, B. F. Skinner stated that clothing and bedding “interfere with normal exercise and growth and keep the baby from taking comfortable postures or changing posture during sleep”. An infant may stretch, necessitating clothing that is sufficiently loose to allow movement.

In the United States, before the 1890s children predominantly wore clothing made by their parents.By 1910, retailers had formed a “publicity structure” toward children for the sale of children’s goods, which resulted in a significant increase in the sale of manufactured children’s clothing, sportswear, candy, and baby clothing.By 1915, baby clothing had become one of the nation’s largest industries.

In the 1980s, infant and toddler clothing fashion design became an increasing source of revenue for US designer labels and fashion design houses, such as Polo Ralph Lauren and Guess. Gap Inc. established Baby Gap in 1990, four years after it had introduced theGap Kids line.

The age of first-time mothers has been increasing in Western cultures, from 21.5 years old in 1970 to over 25 years old in the early 2000s, and hence they have more disposable income to spend for infant goods, including clothing.

Infant clothing is within the retail and wholesale trade categories of the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). For the 2012 revision, wholesale infant clothing is in category 424330 (Women’s, Children’s, and Infants’ Clothing and Accessories Merchant Wholesalers) and retail infant clothing is in category 448130 (Children’s and Infants’ Clothing Stores).


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