Kids grow up fast. Their existing clothes seem to shrink before your very eyes, and before you know it they need a whole new wardrobe. Regularly and accurately measuring your children from head to toe is the best way to ensure a good fit in their clothes and shoes. This guide will cover the basic measurements, how to take them properly and how to check that your little one’s clothing is spot on every time.

Measuring your child at home
Measure AT Home

A few flicks of the tape measure in the right places and you’ve got a shortcut to properly fitting clothes for your infant. Most items of clothing will have these sizes listed on the webpage so you can quickly pick the right option. If this information is not immediately obvious, check the brand’s page for individual kids’ size guides.


Height

Get your child to stand barefoot, and measure from their heel to the top of their head. It can be easier to make a mark on a wall or doorframe and measure from there. It's also a fun way for you to track how much they’ve grown.


Chest

Wrap a measuring tape around your child's chest. Just under the arms at the widest point is best. Leave a little room for extra comfort.


Waist

The natural waist is just above the hips, but don't pull the tape too tight or you’ll end up with clothes that are too small.


Inside leg

Measure from the top of the thigh to where the bottom of the trouser should fall. It's easiest to measure this one when your child has shoes on to get an idea of where the trouser leg will rest on the shoe.


Hips

Standing with their legs together, measure around the fullest part of your child's bottom.


Neck

Pass the tape around your child's neck where the collar will sit, but leave some room to breathe – you don’t want a tantrum on your hands!


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Measuring your child's shoe size
Child Shoe

If your baby is starting to gain confidence and skill with walking, it's probably time to invest in a well-fitted pair of shoes. Children's feet can grow over two full shoe sizes in the course of one year, so you need to be measuring regularly. Try to measure toddlers’ feet every six to eight weeks, and younger infants’ even more frequently. Providing the right amount of comfort and support is essential for your baby's natural foot development and will aid natural growth patterns. Try to look for shoes that will keep your child's foot securely in the shoe: think Velcro and straps rather than laces to make your life easier and save valuable minutes in the morning.


Most shoe shops will offer to measure your child's shoe size, but if you want to buy their shoes online, measuring at home makes sense. Here are a few simple tips that will make it a walk in the park:

  • Grab a piece of paper, pencil and measuring tape or ruler.
  • Put the paper on the ground and secure it with some tape to stop it slipping around.
  • Place your child's bare foot on the paper. You can either draw around it or make a line just behind the heel and slightly in front of the tip of their biggest toe.
  • Measure between the lines you made, then use a kid's shoe size chart to find the right conversion.

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Finding a well-fitting shoe
Fit Shoe

Once the shoe is on your child's foot, you should check the fit to ensure your measurements were accurate. Infant shoe sizes can vary somewhat, and every brand will be slightly different.


Check the width

There are usually three widths available, described as wide (H), narrow (D) or average (F). Once the foot (with a sock on) is in the shoe, feel the inside and outside with your fingers to check there are no tight spots or pinching that might cause discomfort. The foot should be positioned evenly over the footbed and they should be able to wiggle their toes slightly.


Check the depth

If there is too much pressure on the top of your child's foot, they’ll let you know about it. To avoid any unwanted tiffs, run your fingers over the top of the shoe and ask your child to wiggle all their toes. There should be ample room for some movement, but not too much – if the foot slips around it will rub badly.


Check the length (again)

With your child's heel placed securely at the back of the shoe, the longest toe should not be forced up against the front. It's a good idea to leave a small gap for them to grow into – pretty essential at the rate children's feet grow.


Check the overall fit

The final area to check is around the opening of the shoe, just around the ankle. Make sure there are no large gaps as this might mean the shoe is not securely attached to the foot. The hem of a low cut shoe should sit comfortably under the ankle, not over it. Likewise, a high-top shoe should cover the entire ankle or you could end up with some unpleasant chafing.