Preemie Diapers and Clothes

With a baby in the NICU or a preemie newly settled at home, you may be discovering that all those lovely baby clothes you’ve got are still too big. Standard newborn sizes will probably start to fit your baby once she weighs about five or six pounds. Turns out there are a variety of options for preemie baby clothes to help make her comfortable in the meantime. We'll show you just what to look for as she grows in these early days.

What to Consider When Choosing Preemie Clothes

It’s important to look for clothes that offer easy access to all parts of your baby's body, especially if she is still being cared for in the NICU. It's helpful if the clothing can accommodate various wires and tubes so that your baby is comfortable, and so doctors and nurses can easily perform the necessary checks and tests. Some clothing, mostly available from specialty stores, will be labeled as being designed for use in the NICU.

It’s not just a smaller size that can be helpful. Look for items that have easy-open or soft hoop-and-loop fastenings; some designs even open fully at the front. Some preemie clothes are made with mitten-style feet on the playsuits so that your baby can be nice and snug while still allowing easy access, if needed.

You'll also want to make sure any items of clothing are machine washable on high temperatures. Then, before dressing your baby, give the clothes a wash with a detergent that is especially made for baby clothing.

Preemie Baby Clothes to Buy

Your preemie may not need a big wardrobe in the early days, as much of her time in the NICU may be spent wearing just a diaper and a hat, and maybe some woolly socks. But, it's a good idea to have a few items handy to keep her warm, if necessary, and those items should be easy-to-put-on-and- peel-off layers like playsuits and cardigans.

The nurses at the NICU will be able to advise you about what types of clothes your baby will need as micro preemie clothes can be a little different to preemie clothes, for example. As your baby will likely grow out of the smallest sizes pretty quickly, there’s no need to buy too many items. Instead, focus on getting just a few items for each size she’ll need over the coming months. Many online shops deliver within a day or two, so you can even wait and see how she grows, and then order when you’re ready.

NICU staff will be able to provide much of what you might need while staying at the hospital, but consider buying some soft blankets to make your baby more comfortable during kangaroo care and while breastfeeding. If NICU staff say it’s OK, you can also get a micro preemie pacifier or preemie pacifier to calm your little one.

Preemie Diapers

You may also find that standard, newborn-sized diapers are too big for your preemie. To care for preemies, we've created Pampers Preemie Swaddlers with the help and input of a team of NICU nurses. These preemie diapers come in sizes -3, -2, and -1, so you can get just the right fit for your preemie’s weight and size. Our smallest diapers for preemies are suitable for babies weighing as little as one pound. Other benefits include a contour fit core that adjusts to the hip width of your little one, all-over fastening, and all-over absorbency to prevent leaks and keep your baby nice and dry. These preemie diapers are also specially designed to protect the umbilical cord notch and to be gentle on your baby’s delicate tummy.


With diapers as gentle and soft as these, you can be at ease knowing your preemie is as comfortable as she can be.

Where to Buy Clothes

For preemie clothes, check specialized boutiques, baby brands, and online shops if your local brick-and-mortar baby stores have a limited selection. These days there’s a growing number of styles catering to the needs of preemie babies.

NICU staff will also be able to advise you on the best options for clothes and other things you might need like a preemie car seat, as they are very experienced in helping other parents like you.

There’s a lot to think about with having a preemie, and coping with the worry can be difficult, but having a few preemie-size baby clothes, some premature baby diapers, and plenty of support from NICU staff can make all the difference.