Best Adaptive Baby Clothes to Fit Medical Devices
These brands eliminate the struggle of finding clothes that fit specialty medical devices.
By Amylia Ryan
What is adaptive clothing?
Adaptive clothes are specialized clothing for people with disabilities, certain medical issues or other differences who need special features in their clothes. Adaptive clothing can be anything from shirts and pants to socks, shoes and accessories.
When it comes to what adaptive features these clothes have, it depends on what they’re accommodating—they might include things like openings for medical equipment, Velcro or pull tabs for easy on and off, tag-free designs for sensory sensitivities or widened measurements to fit over harnesses or casts. That’s not an exhaustive list of all the types of adaptive apparel, but you get the idea.
And adaptive clothing for babies is just that: clothes in sizes preemie to 24 months that accommodate a range of special needs. Let’s look a little closer at what some of those special needs might be.
Who needs adaptive clothing?
There are a lot of different types of people—adults and children alike—who need specialized clothing, but some of the most common reasons why babies in particular might need adaptive apparel include:
- Cranial orthosis, or helmet molding therapy, for babies with plagiocephaly (flat spots that develop on their head from lying in one position too much).
- Gastrostomy tubes, or G tubes, for babies who have trouble eating, either due to birth defects, being born prematurely, developmental conditions or injury to their mouth or esophagus.
- Hip dysplasia, for babies needing a Pavlik harness to help their hip joints develop normally.
- Lower body injuries or surgeries, for babies needing a spica cast.
Parents can benefit from adaptive clothing, too, even if your little one doesn’t have any medical challenges. In particular, parents with upper mobility challenges or upper limb differences will have a much easier time getting their baby dressed in clothes that don’t have snaps or zippers.
And really, what parent doesn’t want to make dressing their baby easier? Even if neither of you have any medical reason for adaptive features, you don’t need one—adaptive clothes are for anyone and everyone! Some adaptive clothing features can make life easier for all caregivers and all babies (magnetic closures especially are such a lifesaver, trust me).
Babylist’s Picks for the Best Adaptive Baby Clothes
Best Baby Clothes for Cranial Orthosis
Babies in helmets are really cute, but traditional over-the-head bodysuits can be a nightmare to put on—if not completely impossible. If your little one is undergoing helmet molding therapy, you’re going to want to avoid any clothes that go on over their head, even if they have the extra folds on the shoulders. More often than not, those clothes just don’t fit over the helmet.
Instead, look for adaptive baby clothes that wrap around baby’s torso like a robe or a kimono or that can be put on feet-first. Pro tip: Any zip-up or button-down footie or romper will work!