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3T Size vs. 3 (Toddler Sizes Explained!)

As your baby starts moving around and becoming more independent, you will find that their old outfits may not be as functional anymore (or fit at all!) The baby needs a new set of clothes for walking, running, and climbing.

The items you select should be comfortable so the baby can do all these activities without difficulty. It is very important for parents to clearly understand the various toddler clothing sizes in order to purchase the best one. 

When your toddler was a baby, selecting outfits was easy as they were sized month-wise.

Newborn babies have a newborn size that progresses to 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-9 months, and 9-12 months as the baby grows. At this age, selecting clothing is rather easy. It’s easy to get a perfect fit, and among brands, there aren’t many discrepancies between one size and another.

But once the baby reaches the toddler stage (around two years), you will notice a change in the outfit sizes.

Instead of months, the size becomes 2t, 3t, 4t, and so forth.

What does this mean exactly? The number in this size stands for the toddler’s age, and the ‘t’ stands for a toddler. Example: A 2T size is for a toddler two years of age. 

However, you will notice that the size again changes from brand to brand. While some brands will have 2t and 3t as sizes, some will have size ‘2’ or size ‘3’ in between.

Before purchasing clothes for toddlers, it’s important to know the various size options available with each brand…

What Age Is Size 3T For?

Woman folding baby clothes - What size is right for your toddler? A siize 3T will generally fit a 3 year old who's still wearing a diaper

The number in a toddler size chart specifies the age. In this case, 3T is for a three-year-old toddler with an average weight of 30 lbs and a height of 36 inches.

Once your child outgrows size 2t, the next option is size 3T. However, you should select the outfit based on the actual weight and measurement of your toddler.  

The size 3T is designed for a three-year-old toddler. This toddler size is designed assuming the child is still using a diaper. Thus, the bottom portion of the outfit will be big and have enough room to accommodate a diaper. 

One major difference you will notice for 3t size is their design. While the clothes will have baby-centric designs until size 2t, you will notice clothes with children’s designs from size 3t. 

The peculiarity of size 3t is it is applicable only in the US. If you purchase toddler clothes for a three-year-old from any other country, you will find size 3 or 3-4 years. 

Below is the measurement of size 3t for different retailers

Walmart34 – 37.5 inches30.5 – 34 lbs
Carter36.5 – 38.5 inches31 – 34 lbs
Nordstorm36 – 38 inches30 – 33 lbs
Target36 – 38.5 inches28 – 32 lbs
Gap35 – 36 inches33 – 34 lbs
Old Navy39 – 42 inches33 – 36 lbs

Is There A Difference Between Sizes 3T And 3?

For most popular brands, you will find size 3T for a 3-year-old toddler. But some brands have an additional size that’s simply 3, along with 3t. This can leave parents confused. Is there any difference between the two?

Both 3T and 3 are meant for a toddler of three years.

However, a 3T is meant for a toddler using a diaper. There will be more space around the waist and bottom for 3T sizes.

For size 3, this extra space will not be provided as it is meant for toddlers who are out of a diaper. 

A 3-year-old toddler in a diaper can fit both 3 and 3t. But the toddler will be more comfortable in a 3T size because of the extra space around the waist and bottom. 

Size 3, on the other hand, will be longer than size 3t. This is meant for 3-year-old toddlers who are tall and out of diapers but not tall enough to fit in a size 4. 

You will find the below difference between sizes 3t and 3:

3t Size3 Size
SizeSmaller and shorter in size than 3. The bottom is broad and spacious to accommodate a diaper.Longer and leaner than 3t. This is to accommodate the growing requirement of the child.
WaistThe waist is adjustable to accommodate a diaper.The waist is not adjustable, as a toddler in size 3 does not wear a diaper. 
LengthShort sleeve and short pantsLong sleeve and long pants

What Is Bigger, Size 3 Or 3T?

Baby clothes sizes compared

Size 3 is bigger than size 3t. Size 3 is designed for three-year-old toddlers who are tall for their age. 3t is for shorter 3-year-olds who are still in their diapers.

If you purchase a pant of size 3t, you will notice an adjustable waist. This is to adjust according to the space occupied by the diaper. This facility is, however, not available in size 3. 

If you purchase tops or shirts of size 3, you will notice that the sleeves are longer. This is because size 3 is meant for taller kids. Size 3t will have shorter sleeves when compared to size 3. 

What Size Comes After 3T?

A 3T size dress will fit a toddler of three years of age. 3t size has a specific height, weight, waist, and chest measurement. However, you will notice that all kids of three years may not fit size 3t.

Some can be big, whereas others can be small. Thus, when you go for cloth purchase, you should check the exact measurement of the child before selecting the outfit. 

In most cases, you will find size 4t after 3t. But some brands have a different size guide wherein a size 3 is introduced between 3t and 4t. Size 3 is meant for potty-trained toddlers who are taller for their age.

The outfit of these kids do not require any extra space to accommodate diaper. If your toddler falls under this category, you should go for size 3. 

There can be a slight difference between the measurements of various brands. However, you will notice a general measurement as below. 

  • Height – 35 – 38 inches or 89 – 96 cm
  • Weight – 32 – 35 lbs or 15 – 16 kgs
  • Chest – 20.5- 21 inches or 52 – 53 cms
  • Waist – 21 – 21.5 inches or 53 – 55 cms

Is Size 3 The Same As 3T?

No, size 3 is not the same as 3T. However, the difference is subtle. Size 3 comes between 3t and 4t and is bigger than 3t. Size 3t is meant for ‘big kids.’  

The specialty of size 3 is that it is no longer meant for a 3-year-old using diapers. However, the child is not big enough to fit a 4t size. The cut of size 3 is leaner and longer without any space for accommodating a diaper. 

Some toddlers will be between sizes. In such a case, you should go for a larger size so that the child feels comfortable. 

Is Size 3 Bigger Than 4T?

Adorable toddler sticking his tongue out

No, size 3 is not bigger than 4T. But there is little difference between a size 3 and 4t.

A size 3 is meant for a 3-year-old not using a diaper, whereas a 4t is meant for a 4-year-old in a diaper.

A 4t size will be slightly bigger than size 3, with more room to accommodate a diaper.

For some brands, you will not even find a size 4t, as the “t” is meant for toddlers below four years. 

What Size Should A 3-Year-Old Wear?

Which size a 3-year-old should wear depends on their actual measurement. If your child is small for a three-year-old, you should make them wear a size 3t.

On the other hand, if the child is taller for their age, you can go for 3t.

If the child has an average height, you can go for either 3 or 3t, depending on whether the child is in a diaper or not.  

What Is The Size Difference Between A 2T And A 3T?

Generally, a 2t is meant for a two-year-old, and a 3t is meant for a three-year-old. The size difference between these two comes to a few inches.

You can find the differences in sizes between 2t and 3t below: 

2t33-35 inches24-28 lbs
3t36 – 38.5 inches28.5 – 32 lbs

How To Get The Right Measurement Of Your Child Before Buying An Outfit? 

Before purchasing an outfit for your toddler, it is very important to get the right measurement.

The difference between various outfit sizes is minuscule. Taking the measurement ensures that you get the right fit and the child feels comfortable in the outfit.

The best way is to use a measuring tape and take the below measurements. 

Measuring Your Child’s Chest

You should get the measurement of the broadest part of the chest. For this, slide the measuring tape under the child’s arm and measure the broadest part of the chest.

You should ensure the child is standing in a relaxing posture while taking the measurement. The chest measurement is important when you buy a shirt or a top. 

Measuring Your Child’s Waist

The waist measurement should be taken near the belly button. It is best to take the measurement without any pants as this helps get the right measurement.

You should make sure that the child breathes normally while taking the measurement.

If by any chance the child holds their breath, then the measurement may not be accurate. Waist measurement is important while purchasing pants and shorts. 

Measuring Your Child’s Height

You should first make the child lean against a wall to take the measurement. Now take a scale and place it on the child’s head such that one end is on the wall. Do a marking on the wall.

Next, you can measure the distance between the marking and the floor. This will be the height of the child. The height is important for selecting all types of dresses. 

Size Chart For Popular Brands

Below are the common sizes of a few popular brands of toddler clothes:

Gap kids2t – 33” – 36”
3t – 36” – 39”
4t – 39” – 42“
5t – 42” – 45”
2t – 30-33 lbs
3t – 33-36 lbs
4t – 36-40 lbs
5t – 40-46 lbs
Carter2t – 34.5” – 36.5”
3t – 36.5” – 38.5”
4t – 38.5” – 41.5“
5t – 41.5” – 43.5”
2t – 29-31 lbs
3t – 31-34 lbs
4t – 34-38 lbs
5t – 38-42 lbs
Gymboree2t – 33.5” – 35”
3t – 35” – 38”
4t – 38” – 41“
5t – 41” – 44”
2t – 30-32 lbs
3t – 32-35 lbs
4t – 35-39 lbs
5t – 39-45 lbs
Oshkosh2t – 34.5” – 36.5”
3t – 36.5” – 38.5”
4t – 38.5” – 41.5“
5t – 41.5” – 43.5”
2t – 29-31 lbs
3t – 31-34 lbs
4t – 34-38 lbs
5t – 38-42 lbs
Old Navy2t – 33” – 36”
3t – 36” – 39”
4t – 39” – 42“
5t – 42” – 45”
6t – 45” – 49”
2t – 30-33 lbs

3t – 33-36 lbs
4t – 36-40 lbs
5t – 40-46 lbs
6t – 46-53 lbs
Dolce & Gabbana2t – 34” – 36”
3t – 36” – 39”
4t – 39” – 42“
5 – 42” – 45”
2t – 29-31 lbs
3t – 31-34 lbs
4t – 35-40 lbs

5 – 40-44 lbs
Nike2t – 34” – 36”
3t – 36” – 38.5”
4t – 8.5” – 41“
2t – 28.5 – 30 lbs
3t – 30.5 – 33 lbs
4t – 33.5 – 36 lbs


Three years is a time when toddlers are extremely active. They move around a lot exploring their surroundings and learning new things.

Their outfit should be comfortable and let them move around easily. Whether they want to walk, run or climb stairs, they should be able to do it comfortably and without any obstruction. 

If you feel the kid cannot move freely and do the activities comfortably, you should buy a new outfit for them.

You should always take the right measurement before purchasing a new outfit. If you are buying pants, waist and height measurements are very important.

For shirts and tops, you should consider the chest and height measurements as well. If you decide to buy a slightly bigger size, you should ensure that it is not too loose and your child cannot move around freely, making the clothing item uncomfortable and baggy.