Shopping for infant clothes can be confusing, and things don’t really get much better when your child grows older either.
Yet, in the first few years of their life, children can outgrow their clothes at an incredible rate, making it even more crucial to find the size that will fit them as long as possible.
Unfortunately, without a universal clothing chart to adhere to, manufacturers are free to use approximate measurements, not to mention a wide variety of cuts and models, which may all fit differently.
To make thing worse, designers often make different sizes that sounds suspiciously same but they aren’t.
For instance, the labels 2T and 24 months both seem to indicate that they are meant for the same age group.
When in fact, they are usually very different in both size and fit.
To busy parents, this means more than just a minor nuisance. Buying a bunch of clothes in the wrong size can result in a loss of time.
From this article, you will learn the difference between the labels 2T and 24 months, so you could buy clothes confidently for your children or the little ones in your circle of friends and family.
Is 2T the Same as 24 Months?
Parents and relatives of 2 year olds may find clothes hunting for their little ones a particularly confusing task.
If there is an age group for which finding the appropriate fit and size is even more challenging than usual, then this is definitely the one.
When you have finally mastered the art of selecting materials, fit, and sizing for an infant, you are now hit with a new set of surprises.
The child is becoming a toddler, and instead of 24 months, now they will need to have 2T-sized clothing.
By now, you have learned to cope with the lack of a universal sizing chart and become used to navigating the sizes by months.
And this is where the first issue you will run into. Namely, these sizes indicate the highest margin in age range the clothes are meant for.
This means that the size 24 months will fit a baby slightly younger than two years old.
Toddler sizing typically indicates the lower margin unless a range of numbers is present on the label.
2T is designed to fit 2-3 years old comfortably and, more often than not, a lot more stylishly.
Ultimately it all comes down to how the clothes are labeled and measured by the manufacturer.
But how is this possible if 2 years and 24 months are literally the same? It’s simple, in children’s clothing, they aren’t.
While baby clothes sizing was already defined by weight and height, these factors have an even greater impact on toddler lines.
When browsing through both groups of clothes, you will notice several crucial differences between them.
Some of the most important ones will be discussed in the continuation of the article.
If you want to save money on clothes your child will outgrow rapidly anyway, it’s definitely a good idea to shop around.
Compare several models from the same category and see any of them differs in the areas you will about to read about.
1. Sizing Differences
The primary difference between the labels 2T and 24 months is the sizing chart applied by manufacturers for each category.
Apart from being designed for 18-24 month old rounder bodies, size 24 months is typically shorter.
Whereas 2T, which is intended for toddlers, is generally cut longer to accommodate for the sudden elongation of the child’s body.
For example, in most brands, 24 months will fit children who weigh 27.5-30 pounds and are 32.5-34 inches tall.
While size 2T will accommodate children who weigh 29-31 pounds and are 34.5-36 inches tall.
These general measurements apply to most brands that focus on infant and children’s clothing lines.
However, the ones that branched out from adult lines have less differentiation between their baby and toddler sizing.
These brands typically use the same weight and height measurement for 24 months and 2T clothes, so you will really want to be careful with their sizing.
To add to the confusion, every brand uses its own measurements.
This means that each brand may apply slightly different proportions for different cuts and designs even for the same age group.
You will often find that size 24 months from one brand fits your child perfectly, while from another one, they need 2T.
The general rule of thumb is to take your child’s measurements before buying them clothes.
After all, not all children around 2 years are the same shape or size.
Some will need 2T even before their 2nd birthday, while others can wear 24 months comfortably even after this milestone.
When buying an item as a gift, you can either discretely ask the parents about their child’s clothing size or do your research at the store.
2. Style Choices
You would be surprised how much wider the style selection for 2T is than it is for 24 months.
While the manufacturers of baby clothes tend to stick to infant-like styles, for toddlers, they offer a variety of child-like and even miniature adult’s style.
If you are looking for children’s clothes that will match yours, it’s much more likely that you will find them after your child’s 2nd birthday.
This is not to say you can’t find super hip clothes in size 24 months, you will just have to do a little more shopping around.
Not only that, toddlers who are moving around more freely are becoming interested in different shapes and colors on and around themselves.
This is another reason 2T has a larger selection, particularly for girls.
Keep in mind that just like in adult clothing, not all styles will work for you or your child regardless of their age.
Plus, if your child goes to a nursery and has outdoor activities, you will want to think more in terms of functionality rather than styling.
3. Fit, Quality, and Safety
Another thing you will want to pay attention to is how easily the clothes are put on and off.
This is true regardless of age but for children using diapers, it’s even more crucial to consider.
Manufacturers are aware of this issue, so they typically make clothes in sizes 24 months (meant for infants), roomier in the bottom section.
These clothes may also contain a fastening solution for easier removal and diaper accessibility, and their silhouette is more rounded in general to fit a baby’s body.
Manufacturers also assume that most children aged 2 and upwards are potty trained, cutting clothes labeled 2T more snugly at the bottom and without the easement for diaper access.
Toddlers’ clothes have an all-around slimmer cut to accommodate their bodies.
Plus, if you have a 2-year old that’s toiled trained, you will want to get them clothes they can remove easily by themselves.
While it’s easy to see the lure of the trendy colors, patterns, and brilliant solutions, especially for baby clothes, you should also consider the quality of the clothes.
Opt for soft, machine washable fabrics such as cotton as they are more comfortable and easier to maintain.
Staying away from synthetic materials and poorly made seams will save you money and a lot of headaches.
If the fabric contains any amount of synthetic elements, make sure to also check if it has a label for fire safety.
Many manufacturers include instructions on whether the clothes are always fire retardant or only if worn snugly.
These are more prevalent on clothes labeled 24 months, as children under 2 are less aware of their surroundings and are more likely to be endangered by fire.
See a related post: How Many Baby Clothes do I Need in Each Size
4. Shopping for 2T and 24 Months
It’s recommended to buy clothes for babies and toddlers in person rather than online.
This way, you will be able to feel the quality of the fabric and the seams or check the style and the exact fit.
The only exception is if you are familiar with a particular manufacturer’s sizing and quality policy.
In this case, you can purchase their clothes online. You may find better deals and a wider selection than at their physical locations.
Remember, you can’t rely on sizing alone, especially not when it comes to clothing for 2-year-old’s, where there are so many differences in manufacturer labels.
It always shops by your child’s weight and height, not their age. You can refer to the manufacturer’s sizing chart to find the right one for your child.
In larger clothing stores, the sizes 24 months and 2T are in different departments.
You will find size 24 months in the infant section, while 2T will be located in the children’s department.
Smaller stores may have all children’s clothes from ages 0-18 in one place, but they will also have a much narrower selection.
If you aren’t sure where the clothes you are looking for are located or whether you should be looking for 24 months or 2T in the first place, feel free to ask for help at the store.
As you could’ve surmised by now, the labels 2T and 24 months definitely don’t refer to the same size in children’s clothing.
A child’s body goes through a very significant change around this age.
They start to need clothes that are longer and slimmer and without the room for a diaper.
When browsing for clothes for your soon-to-be toddler, you will also find a much broader style selection in the 2T section than in the 24 months one.
Speaking of which, in larger stores, these two sizes aren’t even located in the same department -which may be an advantage if you go shopping prepared.
While there is no universal sizing chart, most stores have a general size listing to help you find the right fit for your child.
Keep in mind that this can vary drastically from one store to another and even depending on the model.
Moreover, your child’s body will determine which size they need in clothes.
Make sure to record their measurements and compare them to the chart of the store you are interested in buying the clothes from.
All in all, navigating yourself between sizes 24 months and 2T is a challenging task.
It may take some research and a bit of trial and error until you find the right fit.
When you do, ensure it’s made from quality material and is easy to maintain.
Because even though your child may outgrow their clothes quickly, at least they will be safe and comfortable while wearing them.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is size 2T?
Size 2T in children’s clothing is designed for 2/3 year-old toddlers.
At this age range, 2T clothes should fit your child comfortably, but keep in mind that this also depends on the manufacturer.
Size 2T is not meant for toddlers older than 36 months old, as they will probably be too snug for them.
The clothes may fit the body of children slightly younger than 24 months old due to the space diapers take.
However, size 2T is designed with longer arms and legs, so the clothes will probably feel too long on your baby’s limbs.
What months are 2T?
While the 2 in the name of the size for children’s clothes would indicate that they are meant for 24-month-old’s or younger babies, the reality is quite different.
Here, 2T refers to months 24-36 – which is your child’s age between their 2nd and 3rd birthday.
However, this is still only an approximation of age as not all children develop at the same rate.
Nor do all manufacturers have a unified charting system for children of any age.
To add to the confusion, most clothes manufacturers label children’s clothes by the end of the age range they fit.
Yet 2T are to be worn from 24 months (or 2 years) and not until your child reaches that age.
What does the T stand for in 2T?
The T in the name of clothing size stands for toddlers. Combined with the number two, it typically indicates that this size is specifically designed for young toddlers.
This sizing is based on several factors, including their body that’s starting to take on childlike features like elongated limbs and the children’s awakening interest in colors and motives.
Clothes for young toddlers also accommodate the switch from diaper use to potty training which also happens around this age.
They usually fit slimmer around the body than clothes meant for younger children.
Mo Mulla is a work from home dad who enjoys reading and listening to music, He loves being a dad and husband to a growing family. He also loves writing about his passions and hopes to change the world, 1 blog post at a time!
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