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2T vs 3T – Why Differences in Clothing Sizes Matter

Buying toddler’s clothes from various retail outlets might leave you slightly confused. Some labels might read 2T while others read 24 months. Some clothes might even be labeled as 3T. While you’d be tempted to think it’s the same size, it isn’t. When it comes to 2T vs 3T there are a few essential differences. Read on to see what they are. 

Main differences between 2T and 3T

Essentially, the main difference between 2T and 3T comes down to a few inches. On average, 2T refers to a weight range of 25 – 27lbs and height of 32 – 34”. 3T on the other hand, is a weight range of 28 -32lbs and height of 35 – 37”. 

Meaning of 2T size

The “T” in size 2T stands for “Toddler” and the number refers to the approximate age of your little one. This means the average-sized two-year-old should fit into a 2T outfit. In some clothing lines, 2T overlaps with the 24 months size. For the most part, T sizes are slightly slimmer than the sizes generally worn by bigger babies. 

Meaning of 3T size

The 3T size, like the 2T, is a slimmer fit for toddlers and can be a few inches shorter than a regular size 3. A 3T still allows a few inches on the top for little ones still wearing diapers. Typically a 3T will fit most 3-year-olds, especially those still wearing diapers. While a regular size 3 has a narrower waist with zips and buttons, a 3T still has an adjustable waist such as the ones made with elastic. 

Summary table (size chart) for size 2T and 3T

When I was writing about 4 vs 4T sizes, I’ve looked into sizing charts – here’s the relevant part of it so that it’s easier to see where your little one’s measurements fit in. This might make finding the right clothing size somewhat easier. While retail outlets and individual brands might differ slightly, this chart is an industry average. 

SizesHeight (in.)Weight (lb)Chest (in.)Waist(in.)Hip(in.)
24 months31-3325-282019 1/220
2T33-3428-29212022
3T35 -3629-322220 1/223

What size should a 2 or 3-year-old boy or girl wear?

Both 2 and 3-year-olds can wear either 2T or 3T clothes. It all depends on the size of the toddler and if they’re still wearing diapers. So, if your child weighs between 28 – 29lbs, then they’ll most likely wear a 2T.

A child with a weight of 29 – 32 will wear a 3T. Since the difference is only a few inches, it’s easy for both ages to wear either size

Now you know the size to get besides knowing how many toddler socks you really need or other items you might need to buy.

2T vs 3T sizes in retail stores

Buying clothes from different retail stores can sometimes be frustrating because sizes vary from clothing brands and retail store brands. It’s handy to know what 2T and 3T sizes are defined as in major retail stores. 

Carter’s

Carter’s sizing guide indicates 2T as varying between 29 – 32lbs and having a height of 35 – 35.5”. 3T comes in at 31 – 33lbs on the weight and 36.5 – 39” on the height. 

Walmart

Walmarts sizing chart indicates a 2T as a weight between 26 ½ – 30lbs while the average height is 32 – 33 ½ “. Their 3T size advertises an average weight of 30 ½ – 34lbs. Both age groups are slightly bigger than the industry standard. 

Gap Kids

Gap features a 2T size in the 30 – 33lbs range with a height of 33 – 36”. A 3T size fits into a weight of 33 – 34lbs and an average height of 35 – 36”.

Nordstrom

At Nordstrom a 2T is defined as having a weight of 28 – 30lbs and a height of 33.5 – 35.5”. Their 3T size features a weight of 30 – 33lbs and a height of 36 – 38”.

Old Navy

The sizing chart on Old Navy’s website features a 2T as having a weight range of 30 – 33lbs and a height estimate of 33 – 36”. The 3T size has a general weight of 33 – 36lbs with a height of 39 – 42 inches, which makes their clothes ideal for taller toddlers. 

If you’re not sure what size will fit your little one best, here’s a short clip on how to measure them!

Conclusion

Simply put, the 2T and 3T sizes are for smaller, shorter toddlers. 2T and 3T sizes allow your toddler to ease into bigger clothes without looking frumpy. Most 2-year-olds will start out wearing 2T’s and 3-year-olds will wear 3T’s once they no longer fit into the 2t sizes. 

By the way, did you know there are some tips and tricks I wrote about on how to get your toddler to wear hats during different seasons?

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