Learn to Distinguish Between 24 Months and 2T Clothing Sizes

There are reasons for the two sizes

Two toddlers playing

Are the baby size "24 Months" and the toddler size "2T" the same? And if so, why do they both exist? These are good questions and many parents ask the same things because it can be very confusing. While these two sizes are similar—and, in theory, for children of the same age—they're not quite the same.

24 Months vs. 2T

If you look closely, you will notice the differences between clothes labeled "24 Months" and those with the "2T" label. Essentially, 24 months is for children that are still in the baby stages while 2T is designed for toddlers.

Since children develop and grow at different rates, clothing designers have retained these two sizes for this particular stage in every child's life. A 1-year-old can still be in diapers and be crawling, or they may be on their way to potty training and taking a few steps. Each set of clothing is designed with these factors in mind.

The easiest way for parents to decide which size to choose at this particular moment is to think about your child's behavior and current stage of development.

The Main Differences

Next time you're at the store, pull a 24 month and 2T garment off the rack and take a look at the differences. It's likely that you will notice:

  • 24 Months have a rounder fit because they tend to leave more room for a diaper. You will also probably notice snaps between the legs for easy diaper access.
  • 24 Months tends to be a bit shorter in length, both in tops and bottoms. This allows a baby to crawl without getting tangled up in the fabric.
  • 2T clothes tend to be slimmer and have longer sleeves and pant legs. This fit tends to be better for children who walk upright and no longer wear a bulky diaper.
  • 2T clothing typically does not have diaper snaps.
  • As far as style goes, 2T tends to mimic adult clothing, just in a much smaller size. In contrast, 24-month clothing still looks babyish in style.

Differences in Brands

As you're probably aware when shopping for your own adult-sized clothing, sizes can vary from one brand to another. That's why we still need to try things on, even though we stopped growing years ago. The same is true of baby clothes, especially at this 1-year-old transitionary stage.

Ultimately, every line of clothing is different and many designers make a "baby" line and a "toddler" line. It just so happens that the baby sizes go up to 24 months and the toddler line starts at 2T. So, you may find that in some brands your baby is a 2T and in others, they're still in the (slightly) smaller baby size.

In addition to that, when it comes to sizing any child's clothes, the number given is for the average-sized child at the oldest age in the range. That means your 2T toddler may not be ready for that size until he's 2 years old. Likewise, your 24-month baby may not fit into that particular size until she hits her first birthday, even if the tag says "18–24 Months."

When shopping in stores, you can always hold clothes up to your child to see if they may fit. Shopping online is a different story. The best bet there is to look at the store's size chart and buy the size that matches your child's current height and weight.

The good news in all of this is that your little one will soon be out of this confusing size range. That doesn't mean you won't having size issues in the future, but at least you'll be past this hurdle.