Purchasing clothing for kids can be stressful. There are so many sizes, and manufacturers do not always stick to the same sizes for their clothing lines.

For instance, many parents become confused over the size differences between 4T and 4 youth. Which size is bigger?

Today, we are going to discuss some of the key differences between these two kids’ sizes, so you will find it less of a headache when it comes time to shop for clothing.

Having this information in mind will ensure you can choose the perfect size for your little one.

Picture of a 4 year old boy posing over white background
Picture of a 4-year-old boy posing over white background

What Is a 4T Size?

Before we jump into the differences between 4T and size 4 clothing, you need to understand each one. A 4T is considered a toddler size which is why you have the “T” in the size tag label.

Once your baby stops wearing baby clothes, usually around 24 months, they move up to toddler sizes. Toddler sizes make it easy for parents to purchase clothing for their children because the “T” stands for toddler and the number pretty much aligns with the child’s age.

For instance, most children who wear a 4T are around four years of age, though this is not always the case. If your child is larger or smaller than the norm for his or her age, you will need to adjust the clothing size accordingly.

4 year old girl wearing headphones
4-year-old girl wearing headphones

What Is a Size 4 Youth?

Once your child begins outgrowing their size 3T clothing, things get a little confusing in the sizing department. Your child could be ready to move on to size 4T, but they could also be prepared to start wearing some kid clothing sizes.

Just like with toddler clothing sizing, kid clothing sizes generally correspond to a child’s age. For instance, a four-year-old will likely wear a size 4, and a two-year-old will wear a size 2 for most clothing.

young girl holding up a peace sign with skateboard

As your child grows, you are going to find sizing becomes more of an issue.

You may find yourself moving up or down on sizes frequently, based on the style of clothing and your child’s growth patterns.

What Are the Key Differences Between Size 4T and Size 4 Kid’s Clothing?

When you consider the differences between 4T clothing and size 4, you are mainly only going to notice distinctions between brands. Overall, a size 4 is going to be only slightly larger than a size 4T.

Size 4 pants may be one to two inches longer than a size 4T, and other clothing items may accommodate one to two more pounds of weight. Below, we will discuss differences in sizing between the top kids’ clothing manufacturers.

Carter’s: 4T VS Size 4

Carter’s is one of the most popular kid clothing brands. When you purchase 4T clothing from Carter’s, it is meant to fit toddlers between 34 to 37.5 pounds and as tall as 39-41.5 inches.

A size 4 youth in Carter’s fits children who weigh between 34-38.5 pounds and range in height between 40-42.5″ tall.

As you can see, there are slight differences between the two sizes, but most four-year-olds would be able to wear both, depending on how the clothing is made.

Carter’s sign: Image credit: CeriBreeze@depositphotos.com

Children’s Place: 4T VS Size 4

Children’s Place is another popular kid’s clothing manufacturer. A size 4T Children’s Place outfit will fit children between 35-39 pounds, with heights between 38-41 inches tall.

A size 4 youth in Children’s Place apparel fits children up to 35-39 pounds, with a height range of 38-41 inches tall. As you can see, there are no differences between a 4T and size 4 youth in Children’s Place clothing.

Gap Kids: 4T VS Size 4

If you want to purchase Gap Kids clothing, knowing the sizing discrepancies will make your shopping trip easier. It is important to note that Gap Kids does not have a size 4 youth. Most 4-5-year-olds will wear a size XS in Gap Kids clothing.

Four-year-old clothing at Gap Kids will fit children who weigh between 36 to 40 pounds and have a height between 39-42″ tall.

XS clothing at Gap Kids fits children who weigh between 33-48 pounds and are between 39-45 inches tall. If you need to purchase clothing for your four-year-old at Gap Kids, you can expect an XS size to fit.

Gap Kids: Image credit: michaelpuche@depositphotos.com

How to Measure Your Child For Clothing

Because many kid’s clothing manufacturers do not publish the length, width, and inseam of clothing, it can sometimes become challenging to choose the right size, especially when it comes to selecting 4T or 4 youth.

While you can generally shop by the age of your child, as outlined above, this is not always the correct way because some children are larger or smaller than the norms for their ages.

To ensure you choose the perfect size, it is essential to weigh your child and measure their height. Once you know your child’s weight, have them stand with their back to a wall. Make sure your child is standing up straight, with their head forward and their heels against the baseboard of the wall.

Make a small mark with a pencil at the highest point of your child’s head, and then take a measuring tape and measure from the floor to your mark. This measurement should let you know how many inches tall your child is so you can buy the right size.

Measuring a child's height
Measuring a child’s height

When In Doubt, Try Them On

Because manufacturers are so different in their approaches to sizing, there is no one method that works when shopping for clothing. As annoying as it can be, you may need to try the clothes on your child before you buy.

The information above is meant to help you better understand the distinctions between 4T and size 4 youth clothing. While there are subtle differences, most four-year-olds should be able to wear both sizes, depending on their weight and height and the clothing manufacturer.

young girl trying on clothes in a store

Sharing is caring!