Sizing for toddler knits?

I have a petite (narrow shoulders) daughter who will turn one in November. I want to knit a few “everyday workhorse” type sweaters for her that can be layered, but also reworn next winter. Can anyone give advice on sizing or patterns that I could get more than one year out of in toddler sizes?

What size does she wear now? I always make sweaters one size bigger.

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That’s part of my issue! We have one dress from Gap Baby that is 3-6mos and fits perfectly, but she also wears a 12mos outfit by a different brand and gets a good fit there, too.

So I guess I’m wondering if sizing up to a 2T would swamp her?

They grow so fast - make it big.

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I would use a pattern that accommodates both her features (narrow shoulders) and the ability to fit her longer. I would suggest raglan sleeves, higher neckline and generous ribbed cuffs. Set-in sleeves with an open neckline can look so oversized. Ribbed cuffs can be folded over the first year and unfolded the second.

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Great idea with the ribbed cuffs, so many baby pattern just use garter cuffs and they are so bulky when folded over. Thanks!

Do these help? They are from the Craft Yarn Council:
https://www.craftyarncouncil.com/standards/baby-size-chart
https://www.craftyarncouncil.com/standards/child-youth-sizes

And if your pediatrician is keeping track of your daughter’s height percentile, you can “guesstimate” future growth using this, from the World Health Organization:

Additionally, I was told (and observed it with my daughter - yeah, a sample size of one, I know) that kids tended to grow more “up” than “out” generally. So I agree with the responders who said make cuffs that roll back and add a couple inches of length to the hem. Your baby/toddler may wear the sweater like a tunic this year, and then as she increases in height, like a sweater the following year.

You could also keep some of the yarn you use (or get some coordinating color) and knit several additional rows to each cuff and to the hem to add more length. You could also knit a cardigan with loops instead of buttonholes. When she grows wider, you could remove the buttons and loops, pick up stitches along the button bands, widen them, and then reattach the loops and buttons.

When my daughter was a baby/toddler, I went through the same issue. I checked numerous patterns, and found lots of width and length variation. Some of that could have been because some patterns, published years earlier, were written when the “average” baby was smaller. I also took my tape measure to Target, and measured clothes that were allegedly for 12month olds, 24month olds, etc.

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For Abby, I have often made things in her current size (width-wise) and then added significantly to the length (and not just the sleeves, the overall length as well). I wasn’t knitting much when she was little, but I did this with sewing. There were several dresses/skirts that I made to be ankle-length and she wore them for several years until they were above the knee. Pants/sleeves designed to be folded at the cuffs for the first year, then unfolded. Even my boys
(who are a bit more solid) almost never grow out of something in the width until long after they’ve grown out of the length, so just adding length gets an extra year or more without being baggy. In some cases for Abby I’ve even gone down a size to get a better fit in the width, and then added lots to the length. So maybe take a 9 month or 12 month size pattern add rows to make it the length of a 18 or 24 month size.

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Exactly that! Add length but not width.

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I really like the “In Threes” or “Tiny Tea Leaves” cardigans. they’re top down with a round yoke, so they’re good for growing into. you can make them a little long and do a sleeve cuff that looks good folded up or down.

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Good suggestions! I like Tea Leaves too!

Flax and Flax Light are great too.