How to find the right swimsuit fit for a growing girl
When you’re shopping for girls' swimwear, you might think finding the right style is the top priority. But to keep your little (or not so little) girl happy on the beach and by the pool, finding a swimsuit that fits comfortably is essential. So as their body grows and changes, how can you make sure you find swimwear that fits right? This guide will give you the tips and advice you need.
How do girls' bodies change as they grow?
From when they’re born up to the age of 12, a little girl does a huge amount of growing up. Developing their own personalities, preferences and sense of style, their bodies also change from one month to the next. These key phases of growth and development include:
- Baby (aged zero to 12 months) - this phase sees the most rapid physical growth of any other life stage. Most babies will increase in length by around 25cm in the first 12 months as well as tripling in weight from birth.
- Toddler (aged one to three years) - after the first year, a little one’s growth will slow down significantly. In contrast, their motor skills and movement will increase, though they’ll still need support through the toilet training stage.
- Little girl (aged four to eight years) - this stage will see your little girl continue to grow in height. They may go through ‘spurts’ of weeks or months long and will have the physical skills to play and explore independently.
- Preteen (aged nine to 12 years) - for girls, this is a stage of significant change as they enter the early stages of puberty. Although each girl is different, most preteens will go through a growth spurt, start to develop breasts and grow body hair at this stage. Some will also begin to menstruate, see their hips widen and their waists narrow.
At each stage of a girl’s development, finding swimwear that keeps them feeling comfortable on the beach or by the pool means they can happily play, swim or relax with an ice cream.
How should a girl’s swimsuit fit?
As each girl grows, they’ll need different levels of support and fit from their swimwear. Here is some advice on how to find the best option at each stage of their childhood.
Although babies can technically swim from birth, they’ll be able to experience the water more fully from about three months old. So when you’re looking for a baby girl’s swimsuit, the main priority is to keep them protected and comfortable as they start to move, float and enjoy the beach or pool for the first time.
Babies can’t regulate their temperature in the same way older children and adults can and their delicate skin can become irritated by harsh materials, chlorine and UV rays. A rash guard or full-body swimming costume with long sleeves will keep your baby girl’s skin protected and their body warm. It’s also important to check the size before you buy to ensure they’ll have enough freedom to move, even during their rapid growth.
Other features to look out for to keep your baby safe and comfortable are soft, UV-protective materials. These will block damaging UV rays from the sun and mean your baby can move freely without irritation. Plus, finding a design that has extra room around the bottom means their nappy will stay covered, secure and mostly dry, even as they move.
When you’re a toddler, the beach and pool are great places to explore. So when you’re choosing a toddler girl’s swimwear, making sure it has enough room to let them move and grow is key. Again, long-sleeved rash guards and swimming costumes made from soft, UV protective materials are great options to give your little one the support they need while keeping them safe and comfortable.
Finding swimming costumes with extra room for nappies is also important while your little one is in the early stages of potty training. Once they’re dry during the day, you might feel it's appropriate for them to wear a swimsuit without a nappy.
As girls turn four and grow up to the age of eight, they’ll quickly start to express their own sense of style. This makes finding a design they’ll love to wear across one or two seasons more important than it was in earlier stages. Swimsuits with a classic shape, simple patterns and bold colours will look stylish and chic on any little girl.
At this age, they might also want to try the more ‘grown-up’ option of a two-piece costume, so finding a design that keeps them comfortable and covered is key.
From the age of nine and upwards, you and your girl will start to see significant changes in their physical shape and personal development. Though puberty can start at any stage, it’s important to talk openly with them about what they want from their swimming costume in order to feel most comfortable.
At this stage, it’s likely that breasts and some body hair will start to appear. Some girls may even start their period. They’re also likely to feel radical shifts in mood and levels of self-confidence, so talking your girl through these changes and how they feel about them will help you choose the best, most comfortable swimsuit together.
Keeping your girl’s rapid growth and changing shape in mind is also important. Finding a one or two-piece with a supportive neckline and full-coverage bottoms will help your girl stay comfortable at the pool or on the beach as they grow.
What to look for in girls’ swimwear?
Whatever your little girl’s age, if you’re shopping for a new swimsuit, checking the size guide or getting them to try different options on will make sure the one or two-piece fits comfortably.
If they’re trying a swimsuit on, get them to raise their arms above their head, twist around, bend over and sit down. If you see any ruching, rising up or slipping in the swimsuit, then it’s unlikely to be the right size. Buying a swimsuit with a bit of extra room, particularly when they’re little, will mean they’re free to move and grow before you have to buy a new costume.
At Apini, we design our girls' swimwear with their shape in mind. With one and two-piece options available, our classic designs are stylish, chic and comfortable. Each costume has a scoop neckline that’s cut to prevent them from riding up, the gusset is a little wider to keep bottoms comfortable as they move and the straps are designed to stay in place.
All made from buttery-soft, UV-protective materials, our patterns and colours will suit each little girl’s style. Stretchy, breathable, quick-dry and suncream resistant, our swimsuits are comfortable to wear and easy to clean, so your little one can continue swimming, playing or enjoying the beach all day long at any age.