Baby clothes sizes continue to confound me (in this case baby life jackets and baby PFDs)

Click here to review some Children’s Life Jackets as well as Children’s PFDs.
We ultimately purchased a Mustang Survival Child’s Life jacket, though being in Canada we purchased from a local retailer since Amazon doesn’t offer to ship this product to Vancouver.

This weekend we left for a few days at the cabin which involves a short drive to a local harbor followed by a not-so-short water taxi ride from the mainland to the cabin. The Kidlet is presently about 3 months old and a robust 16-17 lbs based on last visit to the doctor. Now, prior to the trip I did a bit of research to find out where I could find a baby life jacket and guess what? All the information I could track down pointed to life jackets not being certified for children under 20 lbs (or was it 30? It’s too much work to find the page again on the crappy Canadian Government maze of websites) which suggested we shouldn’t worry about it. That seemed like a bad idea, so we went ahead and purchased the smallest approved PFD we could find (and yes it was a PFD and not a life jacket, and yes I did read that life jackets do a better job or keeping the wearer oriented upright).

PFD and life jackets / life preservers for babies and infants are available to purchase Anyhow, we got to the boat, got aboard with the Kidlet in his Baby Bjorn and then proceeded to remove him from the Bjorn and put on the PFD. I’ll say this again, the Kidlet is no more than 20 lbs and the jacket we purchased is for children between 20 and 30 lbs. It was ridiculous. He looked like he was going to tear that thing apart. When we zipped it up to the top it looked like his jowls were going to spill over the neckline.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Baby sizing is ridiculous. At best it represents a near estimate of whether or not your baby will be able to wear the clothing. Why don’t they include dimensions as many adult clothing makers do as well in order to address the wide range of baby sizes out there? The PFD we purchased was for children up to 30 lbs or, apparently, chubby babies up to 17 lbs.

I would love to know how many tons of baby clothes are purchased and never worn each year simply because parents have no way other than ages ‘sizing’ and in some cases weight ‘sizing’ on which to base their purchase decision?