If you’re confused about why there are two different sizes for toddlers, you aren’t alone. While figuring out which size is ideal for your child can be tricky, this article will help explain the differences between 2T and 24-month clothing to ensure you find the best fit for your child.
2T and 24-months are virtually the same, but 24-month clothes allow extra room for diapers, which many 2-year-olds are still in. In addition, 24-month clothing is ideal for children 18 – 24 months. Whereas a three-year-old may still be able to wear 2T clothing.
I was always confused when I read clothing labels because baby clothes should not be this difficult to figure out. But, alas, here we are. In addition, my kids never fit into what I would assume they should wear. I didn’t truly understand how the size ranges worked until my oldest was nearly two.
A friend enlightened me when she said 18 months means up to 18 months, not 18 months and beyond. However, since I passed on my height to my children, I always had to size up for them regardless. Newborn-size clothing? Never heard of them.
But I’ve mapped it all out for you to make the process of deciding between 2T vs. 24 months much less painful than it needs to be. So, let’s get started!
Is 2T The Same Size as 24 Months?
2T and 24 months are nearly the same, but 24 months is a smaller size and ideal if your child is still in diapers or potty training. In addition, 24-month clothing usually has snaps for easy access since nobody likes an Olympic event when it comes to diaper changing.
As mentioned, 24-month clothing is also best for toddlers between 18 months and two years old. You’ll notice infant clothing is usually labeled in age ranges, like 3-6 months, which means it will fit your baby up to 6 months. So, if the label says 24 months, the clothing will fit your child until they turn two.
On the other hand, 2T can fit children a little older, depending on their size. Also, remember, since every child is different, you may get away with using 24-month clothing longer than someone else’s child.
Here’s a look at how 2T and 24-month clothing compare to each other regarding the weight and length of the child. Since brands differ, I included a few popular ones so you can get an idea of the appropriate size for your child.
|28 – 30 lbs
|32 – 34 inches
|29 – 31 lbs
|35 – 36.5 inches
|27 – 30 lbs
|31 – 33 inches
|30 – 33 lbs
|33 – 36 inches
|24 – 26 lbs
|31.5 – 33.75 inches
|26 – 28 lbs
|33.75 – 36 inches
|28 – 30 lbs
|32 – 33.5 inches
|30 – 32 lbs
|33.5 – 35 inches
As you can see, the difference in length plays a significant factor in 24 months vs. 2T. So you likely will run into a problem if you stick to the smaller size. For example, my kids are tall, so I always opted for the larger size; otherwise, they couldn’t fit in their pajamas, or their pants were ready for a flood. On that note, your child’s pant legs should reach their ankles and not fit tightly.
Your best bet is to have your child’s measurements handy and check the specific brand’s size chart before shopping. You can use a measuring tape to check their height, from the top of their head to their feet. In addition, the easiest way to weigh your child is to weigh yourself while holding your child and then by yourself and subtract the two numbers to find your child’s weight.
Since kids grow like weeds, you should check your child’s measurements every few months to ensure you don’t need to size up. Luckily, most companies have generous return policies if your child has outgrown their new outfit before putting it on.
What Does The “T” in Sizing Mean?
The “T” in sizing stands for toddler and usually runs from a 2T-5T, although I have seen some brands carry a 6T. Toddler clothes are typically in the baby section and are ideal for children in diapers or potty training, as they allow extra space for bulky diapers.
As an interesting observation, Cat & Jack offers both 24 months and 2T, but according to their sizing chart, they have the same measurements (Weight: 26.5 – 28 and Height: 33 – 35.5 inches).
However, you can’t always find styles in both sizes, so it sometimes is a moot point. To make things easier, here’s an overview of what ranges you’ll find between 2T and 5T.
|30 – 32 lbs
|33.5 – 35 inches
|32 – 35 lbs
|35 – 38 inches
|35 – 39 lbs
|38 – 41 inches
|39 – 43 lbs
|41. 43.5 inches
What Size Does a 2-Year-Old Wear?
Everyone’s 2-year-old is different, based on weight and height, so while most two-year-olds will fit into 2T, some will still fit into 24-month clothing. In addition, if your toddler is taller, you might prefer 3T clothing, which fits more comfortably and allows room for growth.
I usually had to size up for my kids due to their height. If the clothing is too big, ensure they can’t trip or be hindered in any way. Going for the smaller size might seem ideal at the time, but they likely will outgrow it in no time.
With some pants, you can get away with rolling them up until your child is tall enough to fit in them. But, again, you never want them to wear clothing that negatively affects their movement.
In addition, I have noticed a big difference in sizing for boys and girls, where girl clothes seem significantly smaller than boy clothes. I understand as children get older, fewer girls want to wear baggy clothing, and many boys don’t want anything tight. However, this shouldn’t play a factor when shopping for young children.
If you have a daughter, don’t be afraid to look in the boy’s section for clothing, especially jeans, since they will be roomier than the girl’s version. I also recommend this if an older toddler is still in diapers and the age-appropriate clothing isn’t fitting correctly.
At What Age/Size Does Kid’s Clothing Stop Using “T”?
Generally, kids’ clothing goes up to a size 5T before the transition to single digits or letter sizes, like S, M, and L. However, I have occasionally seen a 6T in some brands, but it doesn’t appear to be the norm.
You will notice a sizing overlap and have to decide whether to continue to shop in the toddler section or switch to the big kids. For example, my 5-year-old is too tall for 5T clothing, but stores like Target have smaller sizes in the kid’s section, like their XS, which is the equivalent of a 4-5.
Once your kids age out of “T” clothing, you’ll notice fewer snaps and accessories on younger clothing. At this point, your child is likely dressing themselves, so the clothes are a bit easier to get on and off. So, you can say goodbye to the middle of the night diaper changes, where you can find the correct snap to close your baby’s pajamas.
However, don’t be discouraged if your child is not dressing themselves by the age of 2 or 3. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children should be able to get dressed independently between 6-8 years of age. Also, remember, no one ever left for college without being potty trained and getting themselves dressed without their parent’s help.
Kelly is a mom of three who finds joy in writing about her parenting experiences and filling in others about the must-have products and the ones you can leave on the store shelf. With a bit of humor, Kelly tries to laugh off the messy side of parenting and, instead, focus on the beautiful moments it brings. Originally from South Florida, she now calls Northern Virginia home and looks forward to connecting with readers through The Place for Parents.