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Monday, November 2, 2009

How to measure for longies/soakers

In most cases, sizes for cloth diaper covers are not as helpful as actual measurements. Here is a visual on how to calculate your child's measurements. If you don't have a flexible tape measure, this method also works with a straight ruler. (Or, you can take a piece of string and measure your results.)

Sometimes it's easier to measure a well fitting pair of pants than your squirmy child :) Keep in mind that if the pants you are measuring have an elastic waistband, you need to account for how much they are stretched when worn to get a good waist approximation. Also, remember to account for the bulk of the diaper you'll be putting underneath (hips and rise). Of course, if you have a cooperative child, you can also measure their body with a flexible tape or string.

When purchasing covers, remember that listed measurements are often "at rest" (which is what is shown below), but usually include a range that it will stretch to. If the item says the waist fits from 15-17" and your baby is 17", they will fit tighter but still be in the right range. Also, if you are at the maximum waist measurement, getting the cover over a bulky diaper might be difficult.

WAIST: The part that sits 1" or so ABOVE the diaper, near the belly button. Measure one side of the pants, then double for your waist measurement. Here the result is 16". (If measuring on the body, just put the tape/string around their waist like a belt for your result). Remember that the waist measurement must also stretch enough to get up and over the HIP measurement (see below).

RISE*: This is the measurement from front to back, through the crotch. You can start at the back, loop through the crotch and measure the result. Here the result is 17". (If you don't have a flexible tape, use string. Or simply measure the front, then add to the back. Often the front is slightly lower than the back, depending on design). Tape is slightly crooked to show the tape at the back. You should measure straight!

THIGH: Measure just below the crotch, at the fatty part of the thigh. Double your result for the thigh measurement. Here the result is 10". (Often you want longies to fit loose at the thigh, more like pants.)
Thigh measurement on a soaker (which usually you want to fit snug). Here the result is 9". (If measuring on the body, just put the tape/string all the way around their thigh for your result)

HIPS: This is the part just below the waist and hip bones (where the cloth diaper is). Measure across the front, and double your result. Here the result is 19". More room in the hips also allows for a more bulky diaper underneath. (If measuring on the body, just put the tape/string around their hips and OVER the diaper you'll be covering for your result).

INSEAM: Crotch to ankle measurement. Measure straight down. Here the result is 8".

*Notes about RISE: This measurement makes sure you have enough coverage to get the cover to actually cover the top of the diaper at the waist. When covering a fluffy bum, you need to make sure there is enough extra (or enough stretch) to allow for the bulk of the diaper. Otherwise, your rise shortens by an inch or two and you'll wind up with a cover that doesn't cover the waist of the diaper. Most wool stretches plenty to allow for this, however fleece does not stretch vertically, so be sure to add some to your actual rise measurement.

These fish longies are available for purchase here!
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Amanda said...

This is great! Thank you.

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