What's the Difference Between 24 months & 2T?

Twill trousers. Baby boy 3 months to 3 years. Zara Kids. $19.90.

Twill trousers. Baby boy 3 months to 3 years. Zara Kids. $19.90.

As you know, Dear Reader, I am a personal stylist for men, women and kids. Although the blog predominantly focuses on women's fashion, I LOVE chatting about kids styles and the perplexities involved.

On a personal note, our three year old envisions a different occupation every day and builds his ensemble accordingly. Frequently, we're adding jersey numbers out of colored masking tape to tees or reflective trim along cuffs for our little fireman out of, you guessed it, masking tape. So, tip #1 for dressing a toddler with a vision: start with masking tape.

I digress.

When our little ones transition from baby to toddler, it can be challenging to navigate the fashion terrain. Here's a trivia question to wow the crowd at your next playdate,

What's the Difference Between 24 Months and 2T When Shopping for Kids Clothes?

Carter's Baby ( newborn- 24 months) Poplin print shorts.Carters. $12.

Carter's Baby ( newborn- 24 months) Poplin print shorts.Carters. $12.

1. Babies become toddlers.

Every brand is different, so we're going to go with some generalizations here. After all, if there are no standard sizes for adults, why should kids clothing be any different? Most brands size baby clothing in age ranges that end in the highest month. For example, 24 month items are generally made for 18-24 month old babies. 2T (as in toddler) is intended for 2-3 year old kids. You'll often find that 2Ts are a bit longer, more than anything. Traditional baby/kids brands seem to have more differentiation than brands that cater to adults and branched out to include kids. For instance, Carter's 24 month size is designed for a child who is 32.5-34 inches tall and weighs 27.5-30 pounds. The 2T size from the same label is designed for a child who is 34.5-36 inches tall and weighs 29-31 pounds.

Baby Gap Ruffle bloomers. Available in yellow, white. Gap. $16.95.

Baby Gap Ruffle bloomers. Available in yellow, white. Gap. $16.95.

2. Diapers.

As brands consider 24 months a baby, that means that the items are made with all the accoutrements that babies enjoy. Expect to find extra room for diapers and often snaps inside the legs to make changing easy. A toddler, according to brand logic, is likely potty trained and no longer needs extra room for diapers or snaps along the inseam of pants. According to the Baby Gap sizing chart, "measurements up to two years are represented with diaper on."

Mini Boden (0-3 years) Applique jersey dress. BodenUSA. Was: $38 Now:  $22.80-$26.60

Mini Boden (0-3 years) Applique jersey dress. BodenUSA. Was: $38 Now:  $22.80-$26.60

Mini Boden (1 1/2- 12 years) Fluttery Applique dress. BodenUSA. Was: $44 Now: $30.80.

Mini Boden (1 1/2- 12 years) Fluttery Applique dress. BodenUSA. Was: $44 Now: $30.80.

3. Style.

Part of the transition from baby to toddler is the shift from baby style clothes to kid clothes. If you prefer your little one to wear a miniature version of grown up clothes, you may find more selection in the 2T world. 

Boy 4-24 months at H&M. Notice the lack of snaps. 

Boy 4-24 months at H&M. Notice the lack of snaps. 

4. Nothing, if you are a super hip baby.

When you attempt to apply this overall logic to edgier brands, you might be disappointed. H&M, Zara and the like often don't have snaps for accessible changing regardless of age. Styles shift with the transition from 24 months to 2T, but the baby details were never there in the first place. Mini Boden has the same measurements for a 2 year old whether he/she is in Baby (0-3 years) or Boden (1 1/2- 12 years). The difference is simply in style.

So, when you are out shopping, should you search for one over the other? Logic says to go for 2T because there is more room to grow. But, if you find something you love that is sized at 24 months that fits, don't let the tag stop you. This might be the first fashion lesson you pass along to your youngster, the number on the tag does not determine whether or not it looks good on you. 

Happy Shopping!