As I was recently shopping for a few things for my children, I ran into some new-to-me terms that I hadn’t seen before in regards to children’s clothing. After four children, I’d thought I had a pretty good handle on the usual words for children’s clothing, so I decided to look into things a little bit more. Because really – what’s the difference between a babygrow and a bodysuit?
In general, babygrow and bodysuits are British English terms for babywear. A babygrow is the British English equivalent to an American English sleeper, sleepsuit, or footie pajamas, though it may also refer to an American “sleep sack.” A bodysuit would be the equivalent of an American onesie.
I also learned that the British onesie is we decided to give you some info on three garments that can comfort your baby! So, let’s start with the first topic, shall we?
What is an Infant Bodysuit?
An infant bodysuit is a t-shirt that extends down so that it snaps over the diaper. A bodysuit is short in size and worn like a T-shirt; it extends below the waist area like underwear. Bodysuits also have snaps or poppers on them; their purpose is to secure the whole bodysuit in place and make it easier for parents to change their baby’s diapers.
In America, we also call these onesies. However, apparently, the term “onesie” is a trademarked term. Gerber created onesies and trademarked the term. Some research into that shows that Gerber is fighting to keep their trademark even as more people just refer to this type of clothing as a onesie, which makes their trademark less enforceable. Kind of like how so many of us refer to tissues any time we ask someone for a Kleene-ex. But that’s a whole other topic.
Oh, and a onesie over in England? Totally not this. British onesies are for adults – and they’re pajamas. But again, that’s a totally other topic.
An infant bodysuit is considered one of the best baby garments available on the market; some bodysuit brands are made from cotton, making it soft and comfy, which babies love. It is also highly absorbent, which is good for your baby’s sensitive skin.
You can use bodysuits as an undergarment or an outer shirt during hot seasons. Bodysuits also come in many cute designs too; you can put on leggings and cardigans on top, then it’s a complete outfit already, perfect for a day out in the park.
What is a Babygrow?
A babygrow is a full-body, one-piece suit that covers both arms and legs. Babygrow clothing is an extended version of a bodysuit; it has long sleeves and a pajama-like feature; it is closed in the foot area, but some brands offer them footless. Babygrow garments can also be closed with snaps and zips, just like a bodysuit.
Babygrow comes from another trademarked term from Gerber. However, the original trademark is spelled “Babygro.” Just like the term onesie got generalized, so has the term babygrow – although its spelling got changed. Sometimes, it’s also spelled as two words – baby grow.
Here in America, we call these sleepers or footie pajamas.
One of the benefits of using a baby grow is that it protects your baby from scratches, and it also helps them move around freely. You know babies, they start to explore and crawl everywhere when they are already in that period. It is the most beautiful thing that you will ever witness, but it is also the most heartbreaking moment when they gain some scratches.
Thankfully, baby grow is there to help us and if fashion is what you are looking for; it also comes with different varieties, colors, designs, and even fiber types; some are in cotton, and some brands use polyester.
What Is the Difference Between a Babygrow and a Bodysuit?
The differences between a babygrow and a bodysuit are all in the legs. A bodysuit doesn’t cover your baby’s legs, while a babygrow does. They both offer the same comfort for your baby otherwise.
But if you are from a country where it’s hot all year round, a bodysuit is the perfect choice for your baby, it will not only keep them comfortable but it can also lessen their irritability due to the hot weather. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t already use bodysuits in a cold place. You can still actually use it, you will just have to put on more extra layers, to help keep it warmer for your babies. You can also mix and match this garment with other baby clothes, and with a bit of creativity, it will become a whole new outfit.
If you are from a country where it is cold, Babygrow is the best option for you as it can keep your baby warm. Especially during cold nights, also you don’t have to worry and check if their whole body is covered in the middle of the night because a babygrow already keeps them covered all night long.
In general, a bodysuit is a great option for smaller, newborn babies who like to curl up, as their legs won’t fill out the babygrow. On the other hand, once your baby starts moving more, a babygrow may give them more protection and warmth – without them getting lost inside of it!
What’s the Difference Between Bodysuits and Sleepsuits?
In general, a sleepsuit is another name for a babygrow. It may or may not have the feet covered. It may have a contained sack to hold wiggly legs and feet, rather than individual legs. However, it does keep a baby’s legs warmer than a legless bodysuit.
A bodysuit and a sleepsuit also differ in size and length. Some parents love using bodysuits more for their baby because it makes them feel more comfortable and it gives them a good night’s rest as it is much more breathable. Though a sleepsuit is also a good choice for garments, it’s just that it is much thicker and warmer; it’s not that bad actually because it can still keep your baby warm, and they can sleep tightly, especially during cold nights.
Both garments are suitable; they can help in your baby’s sleep progress, and they are also comfy and cozy. It will now depend on your baby; you will know right away because they will make a big fuss if they don’t like what they are wearing.
You can test both garments; if they are more comfortable and can sleep soundlessly in a bodysuit, then that’s the product that you need to buy; you will just have to add more items like socks and blankets to keep them warm at night. If they are much more comfortable in a sleepsuit, then that is what you need to get for your baby. It’s a process; you won’t know if it is suitable for your baby if you don’t try it first with them.
Are Sleepsuits and Babygrow the Same Thing?
Yes, a sleepsuit and a baby grow are both the same; they have the same size and length. Babygro is a trademarked term from Gerber. So if you buy a sleepsuit from another brand, it’ll have a different name used in the marketing.
Some brands of sleepsuits are much thicker or puffy than a baby grow, but both items still offer the same comfort for your baby. Just like baby grows, sleepsuits also come in many designs and colors that are very fashionable.
What’s the Point of Sleepsuits and Bodysuits?
The point of sleepsuits and bodysuits comes down to the fact that it’s generally unsafe to keep blankets in the crib with a small baby. The risk of SIDS raises significantly when there are other items in a crib with a baby.
Beyond that, a sleepsuit or a bodysuit has some other benefits.
- Clothing keeps your baby warm enough at night.
- Some brands have a unique feature that keeps your baby from being too restless at night. If this is a concern, please schedule a consultation with your baby’s pediatrician.
- It allows your baby to sleep better and longer, plus you don’t have to buy more blankets as it is already warm enough.
- They’re just dang comfy.
For us, we found that pairing a bodysuit with a sleepsuit was the perfect way to keep our babies warm and comfortable during the winter. During the summer, they just slept in a bodysuit. However, they always at least had the bodysuit on – otherwise, it’s much too easy for them to shimmy out of a diaper and then things just go downhill from there.
Do Bodysuits Go under Sleepsuits?
Adults can go by with just one layer of clothing, babies, on the other hand, sometimes need more layers because of their extra sensitive skin. So, yes, you can put a bodysuit under a sleepsuit. Some parents actually do this; they will use a bodysuit to keep their baby’s nappy or diaper in place, and then they will put sleepsuits on top.
Also, it doesn’t just keep your baby’s diaper; it also acts as a vest that provides extra warmth to your baby’s back, especially during cold seasons, the more layer of bodysuit inside then the warmer it is. If the weather is hot, then there’s no need to put on a bodysuit under a sleepsuit.
The rule of thumb for how many layers of clothing your baby needs is this: how many do you need? Keep it similar to yours – although you may add one bodysuit if need be. When in doubt, check with your pediatrician.
What Should You Consider in Buying Baby Garments?
Of course, as a parent, you still have all the decision to make; you have to consider things like:
- Can your baby handle this kind of clothing in your usual seasons?
- Is your baby going to be comfortable wearing it? Is the texture of the fabric, ok? Is it good for his or her skin?
- Consider buying up a larger size from your original purchase. Babies grow like crazy – and cotton garments can shrink.
- You also need to ensure that the neckline fits well, is not too loose, and not too tight. You don’t want your baby to have difficulties breathing. If it’s too hard to get on over their head – it might be the wrong fit for their neck.
- Baby clothes are cute, with oversized bows, flowers, different kinds of animals, cute, right? But these items can also cause hazards to your baby; they can rip it off from their clothes and put it in their mouth, which can cause choking later on. So, when you are going to buy one, make sure to consider tugging gently on any decorations from the clothes and ensuring it is secure and attached correctly before buying it. Don’t pull too hard, though – or you’ll end up with a new outfit that’s got a missing bow!
- Always consider the manufacturer of that kind of brand. What’s their reputation when it comes to baby clothes? Knock-offs may be cheaper, but why are they that much cheaper? Always read the reviews.
- For the sake of your wallet, do not buy every single cute outfit that you will see. Consider holding off a bit.
- When buying baby clothes, always choose quality over quantity.
- Consider a hand-me-down. I know it’s not as cute or new-looking, but babies grow fast. Getting a few hand-me-downs for days at home is a great way to save some money.
Final Thoughts on Babygrow and Bodysuits
Parenting isn’t just about clothes, rainbows, and unicorns. It also comes with challenges, hard decisions, tears, and sleepless nights. Just know that it is part of the process, remember that there is no “right way” of doing it, so don’t be harsh on yourself, ok?
It will take a lot of adjusting and some trial and error; even if it is like that, there is still so much beauty in it. Just trust yourself and ask for help from the people around you because they can help in their own ways. And this site will always be here for you – no matter how sleep-deprived you get.
Eventually, it will all pay off. Just witnessing your baby grow is already considered a payback. Cherishing every little moment is already enough and it will also make you realize that nothing else matters than your family.
Recommendations on Bodysuits and Sleepsuits
In case you’re in the market for some new clothes for your baby, here are some reputable baby clothes that we’ve used and loved. Links all go to Amazon, but be sure to shop around for the best prices possible.
This site uses referral links from advertising partners. As an Amazon Associate, I can earn from qualifying purchases.
- Simple Joys Short-sleeve Bodysuits by Carter – click here to see the current pricing on Amazon.
- Gerber Baby Onesies bodysuits – available on Amazon.
- Carter’s bodysuits, girl’s 6-pack (click here to see on Amazon).
- Carter’s 3-pack footed pajamas – on Amazon.
- Hudson baby coveralls – click to see availability on Amazon.
- Gerber baby footie pajamas – 4 pack on Amazon.
- Winter sleepsuit for babies and toddlers – click to see pricing on Amazon.
- Baby Merlin magic sleepsuit and swaddle transition – click to see it on Amazon.
Cite this article as: “Babygrow vs. Bodysuit: What’s the difference anyway?” Sleep Training Kids, 1 May 2021, sleeptrainingkids.com/babygrow-vs-bodysuit-whats-the-difference-anyway/.
When learning about parenting or sleep training techniques, it’s important to learn from a wide variety of reputable sources. These are the sources used in this article and in our research to be more informed as parents.
- Wright, Susan. “Clothing Hints for Young Children.” NMSU, Family Resource Management,aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_c/C401/welcome.html.
- Barth, Lauren. “How to Dress Baby for Sleep.” Health line Parenthood, 23 Apr. 2020, www.healthline.com/health/baby/how-to-dress-baby-for-sleep.
- “10 Types of Baby Clothes Every New Parent Should Have.” Gerber Childrenswear, Gerber, www.gerberchildrenswear.com/blogs/news/10-types-of-baby-clothes-every-new-parent-should-have.
- Mann, Denise. “10 Mistakes New Parents Make in the First Year.” WebMD, WebMD LLC, 14 Sept. 2015, www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/features/10-mistakes-new-parents-make#1.
I’d also like to thank all of my wonderful friends in England and Australia who helped me figure out that onesies aren’t a universal term for bodysuits. 🙂