Friday, January 18, 2013

5 Tips for raising a long baby

MacchiOTTo is a big healthy baby.  Which is a good thing.. don't get me wrong I am not complaining one bit.  She was born weighing an average 7 pounds and some odd ounces and around 20 inches long.  Then she started to eat... and she likes to eat a lot.  And then she started to grow.....she started to grow a lot and before long we ended up with a bigger than average baby in the 99th percentile for her length. And again, I can't state enough, we love having a big, healthy baby.  But, due to her length we go through clothes and baby gear quickly.  I have learned a lot in the past few months about what to look for in products to get us by and maybe even save us a little money.  I am by no means an expert on the subject, but I haven't found too many resources to help parents with long baby's, so here are a few things I wanted to pass along in case you or someone you know also has a bigger than average baby.

Car seats
Like most first time parents we selected a car seat/carrier/stroller combo when we were registering for gifts.  And like most first time parents we researched what was safest, easy to use and could meet our needs.  We selected one that would support our baby through 35 pounds or 2 years of age.  (In fact 35 pounds was written in bold letters on the box, the instruction book, even the advertisements on the tag hanging on the product in the store.)  Around her 5th month we noticed the carrier/car seat was getting snug and hard to get MacchiOTTo in and out of.  So I checked and if you read the fine print it states that the carrier only handles baby up to 29 inches long.  Only online could I find out how long the baby could be.  So I spoke with a person who inspects car seats at our local hospital and she said that as long as the babies head was 1 inch from the top of the carrier we were fine from a safety aspect, but at 29 inches long we were still at that point of being 1 inch from the top of the carrier.
So I set out researching what kind of car seat to buy next, because I knew the baby had to be rear facing for quite a while yet, then eventually have a forward facing seat and finally a booster seat.  And the thought of buying three car seats when the first one only lasted me 5 months made me want to cringe.  My research lead me to a 3-in-1 convertible car seat; which will be the last car seat we will need.  Most brands make this model and in some cases can be the only car seat you need as some models can carry the baby from 5 pounds to 120 pounds.  The car seat handles baby's while they are still rear facing, then forward facing, then becomes a booster seat.  In fact after talking to some moms they opted not to use the carrier model and use these convertible seats only.  Granted they did not have the ease of using the carrier in the grocery cart, restaurants, etc. but found they liked these 3-in-1 seats better. 
Some things to keep in mind while you are picking out a 3-in-1 convertible car seat:
Check for a 5 point harness to strap your child in.
Check the weight and get one for the heaviest you can afford as I found the weights for the children in the seat range from 80-120 pounds. 
Check to see if when you move into the booster seat that your vehicles own seat belts can then be used instead of still using the belts that come with the seat. 

The same can be said for swings and bouncy seats.  They all have weight limits, but you will need to check for height limits as well.

Organize your clothing by length and not by the size on the label.  I have found a lot of sizing discrepancy's in brands of clothing and sometimes have missed out on wearing items because I had clothing originally organized by months of age instead of actual size of the outfit.

Onesie extenders: I found these by google searching.  They are pieces of fabric with snaps on both ends that you can snap onto both ends of snaps on your onsie and give you additional length.  And when you put a pair of pants on over the onesie extender no one will ever know.  I've also noticed that Disney Baby brand clothes makes their onesies with two sets of snaps giving you some extra room as well.  

Baby's feet grow too, but I found a brand of shoe that will grow with your baby and you can use the same pair from 6 months to 20 months.  Shupeas!  Here is a link to my review of these shoes showing how they use Velcro to adapt to your baby's growing foot.

Swaddling Blankets:
We now use a sleep sack for MacchiOTTo which is quite roomy for her, but prior to this we went through lots of blankets and swaddlers.  While we kept upgrading to bigger swaddlers, we did find that muslin swaddling blankets are stretchy and can work with bigger baby's if your baby likes to be swaddled up tight.

No one knows when they are expecting and registering for gifts how fast their baby will grow.  I've seen friends how had big babies at birth and then grew at an average pace, or some with small babies who stayed small, these are just some ideas to keep in mind if you have a longer than average baby. 

And if you have any advice, tips or insight on baby items/prodcuts to use for long baby's please feel free to leave your suggestions in the comment section below.

Please note all the thoughts and opinions expressed on this blog are my own and I did not receive any compensation from any of the products or companies listed here, these are just some of the products that worked for me that I wanted to pass along.


NickiB said...

I'm in the same boat- my soon to be 5 month old has his feet almost out of his car seat! He's pushing the edge of some of his 9 month onesie pjs. Thanks for the tips!

Lisa said...

As she gets a little older, you'll be loving the adjustable waist jeans! It takes some searching, but it's the best invention for the tall skinny kids. Also, you can make little clips that go on their belt looks to cinch their pants tighter. My little guy needs the length, but he's pretty small (built like mommy) so we have a lot of experience with this.