4T vs 4 Sizes: Understanding the Differences



If you’re a parent who’s ever been confused about the difference between size 4T and regular 4 clothing for your child, you’re not alone. Many retailers carry both sizes without clearly indicating the distinction between them. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with this guide to help you understand the differences between 4T and 4 sizes.

In this article, we’ll provide a breakdown of what 4T size means and what size 4 refers to. We’ll also go over the differences between the two sizes, and provide some examples of size charts for 4T and 4 at common children’s stores. Finally, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions about these sizes and help you determine which size may be the best fit for your child.

Key Takeaways

  • 4T refers to clothing sizes for toddlers who are still wearing diapers and are generally 39-41″ in height and 33-36lbs in weight.
  • Size 4 generally refers to children who are potty trained and are around 42-44″ in height and 37-41lbs in weight.
  • While there are some small differences between 4T and 4 sizes, most children will be able to wear both sizes comfortably.

4T Size Meaning

If you’re looking to dress your toddler, you may have come across the term 4T size. This size is specifically designed for toddlers, with the ‘T’ indicating that it is a toddler clothing size. One of the key features of 4T size is that it takes into account that the toddler may still be in diapers. As a result, the bottoms are roomier and easier to pull on over the bulk of a diaper. Additionally, toddler size clothes are less likely to have buttons and zippers, making them easier for toddlers learning to dress themselves.

What is Size 4?

Size 4 is the smallest size for big kid clothes, typically fitting an average 4-year-old child who is out of diapers. This size assumes a height range of 42-44 inches and a weight range of 37-41 pounds. Regular size 4 clothing features longer and leaner cuts, buttons, and zippers.

Differences between 4T and 4 Sizes

When it comes to clothing sizes for toddlers, the difference between 4T and size 4 is subtle. Generally, size 4 is designed for toddlers who are thinning out and becoming lanky little kids, while 4T clothes tend to be wider to accommodate diapers.

Size 4 items may have longer sleeve lengths and pant inseams, while 4T bottoms will be roomier to fit over diapers. 4T bottoms are also more likely to feature elastic or adjustable waists, making it easier for new dressers and/or to get over diapers. In contrast, size 4 as “big kid” clothes more often feature zippers and buttons.

Most kids are fine wearing both 4T and size 4, and the exact sizing measurements vary by store. Below is a guide to the 4 sizings at common kids’ clothing stores:

Store 4T Sizing 4 Sizing
Gap 39-42″ 42-45″
H&M 39-41″ 41-44″
Old Navy 39-42″ 42-45″
Target 38.5-41.5″ 41.5-44.5″
The Children’s Place 39-42″ 42-45″

It is important to note that these numbers are just a guide, and measuring your child is the best way to ensure a proper fit. Using a measuring tape, measure your child’s chest, waist, hip, and inseam to find the best size for them. Remember to take into account your child’s body type and comfort when choosing between size 4 and 4T.

Size 4 and 4T size chart examples

To help you better understand the differences between size 4T and size 4, we have compiled a list of 4T size charts from major U.S. clothing retailers like Carter’s and Target.

Carter’s 4T vs 4 Size Differences

Carter’s is a well-known baby and toddler’s clothing retailer in the United States. Their toddler sizes go up to 5T, so there is an overlap between the 4T/4 and 5T/5 sizes. Here is the comparison between 4T and 4 sizes at Carter’s:

Size Height Weight
4T 39 – 41.5″ 34 – 37.5 lbs
4 40 – 42.5″ 34 – 38.5 lbs
4-5 42.5 – 45″ 38.5 – 43 lbs

Source: Carter’s size chart

Confusingly, Carter’s also lists a size called 4-5 on its size chart, but we couldn’t find anything for sale in that size on their website.

Old Navy & Gap 4T vs. XS

Old Navy and Gap do not have a size 4. Their toddler sizes run from 2T to 6T. For big kids’ clothes, they jump to an XS, S, M, and L sizing system. The XS-L sizing does not provide weights but the XS height overlaps with 5T. Here is Old Navy & Gap’s 4T vs. XS sizing comparison:

Size Height Weight
4T 39-42″ 36-40 lbs
XS 42-45″

Source: Old Navy’s size chart

BONUS TIP: You can use this extended toddler sizing up to 6T to your advantage to save money. As of the writing of this article, identical “family pajamas” in toddler sizes were $10 while the kids’ XS was $29.99.

Cat & Jack’s 4 & 4T size meaning

Cat & Jack is Target’s popular house brand of baby and children’s apparel, known for being durable and cute. Cat & Jack toddler sizes go from 2T to 5T, and their children’s sizes range from 4 to 18, meaning there is an overlap between sizes 4T, 5T, 4, and 5. Here is a comparison of Cat & Jack’s 4T/4 size measurements:

Size Height Weight
4T 39-43″ 32.5-37 lbs
4 40-42″ 33-39 lbs

Source: Target’s size chart

Interestingly, when you look at the toddler size chart, it labels 4T as 4T/4, but the measurements for size 4 are slightly different when you look at the kids’ sizing chart.

Children’s Place and Gymboree 4T vs. 4

Children’s Place owns its name brand and also the common Gymboree brand, competing in the children’s clothing market with low prices. Based on the size chart, Children’s Place 4T and 4 fit the same size children. They also give measurements for chest, waist, and in-seam that are exactly the same for 4T and 4.

Size Height Weight
4T 38 – 41″ 35 – 39 lbs
4 38 – 41″ 35 – 39 lbs

Source: Children’s Place size chart

Note that Children’s Place manufacturing was involved in the tragic factory building collapse in Dhaka in 2013. Their website details their responsible sourcing policies, but we couldn’t find anything on changes in practices since the disaster.

In conclusion, the size 4T and size 4 charts at major U.S. clothing retailers like Carter’s and Target show that the differences

Frequently Asked Questions

What Age Is 4T Size For?

4T size is generally designed for the average 4-year-old child during their preschool year. However, children’s sizes and growth rates can vary widely. Some brands of 4T clothing may already be too small for a child before they turn 3.5 years old, while smaller children may continue to wear 4T until kindergarten.

What Size Do 4-Year-Olds Wear?

The average 4-year-old child can wear both size 4T and size 4. According to CDC growth charts, 4-year-old boys range from 37.5-43 inches tall and 30-44 lbs, while girls are 37-42.5 inches tall and 28-44 lbs. Most of these ranges overlap with the 4T and 4 size charts. However, smaller or taller 4-year-olds may wear size 3T or sizes 5T/5, respectively.

What Size Comes After 4T?

Most often, size 5T and size 5 come after size 4T.

Is 4T the Same as XS?

No, 4T size is not the same as XS size. 4T is a smaller size that comes before XS. Child’s XS size is generally the first “big kids” size and is comparable to size 5 in most brands.

What Is Size 4 or 4T Bigger?

Size 4 is bigger than size 4T in some brands, like Carter’s and Cat & Jack. However, size 4 and 4T are essentially the same size at other stores like Children’s Place.

Is 4T the Same as Size 4/5?

No, 4T is a distinct size from size 4-5. Generally, size 4/5 will be larger than size 4T. Size 4-5 is an uncommon size that you may see at Carter’s and a few other retailers. According to Carter’s, size 4-5 is a dual size that is “sized generously” with more room for kids to grow into them.

How Is Size 4 Different from 5T?

Size 4 is generally larger than 5T in terms of length and width. According to the size charts of major clothing retailers like Carter’s, Target, and Children’s Place, size 4 is designed for children who are 39-41 inches tall and weigh 34-39 lbs, while 5T is designed for children who are 42-44 inches tall and weigh 39-44 lbs.

What Are 4T and 4 Waist Sizes?

4T waist size is approximately 22 inches, according to the size charts of major clothing retailers like Carter’s, Target, and Children’s Place. Size 4 also has a 22-inch waist size.

Conclusion: Are 4T and 4 the Same?

In conclusion, 4T and 4 sizes are designed for essentially the same size child at most stores. The difference between the two sizes is subtle, with 4T accommodating diapers and 4 being cut slightly longer. However, both sizes will fit most kids just fine.

For tall and thin kids, size 4 may work slightly better, while stocky kids or toddlers in diapers may prefer the 4T fit. If your toddler is still in diapers, 4T will be the safer bet, but if you’re looking for longer wear out of the clothes, size 4 may be a better option as it is slightly longer/bigger at most stores.

When purchasing toddler clothes, it is always best to size up so you can get the most wear time out of each piece. This is an easy way to save money on toddler clothes.

Overall, the difference between 4T and 4 sizes is subtle enough that you shouldn’t be deterred from buying clothes in either size. It’s important to keep in mind that sizing can vary between brands, so it’s always a good idea to check the size chart before making a purchase.

For more information on baby and toddler clothing sizes, check out our related posts on 1T vs. 12-month clothes and newborn vs. 0-3M size baby clothing guide. Additionally, if you’re looking for money-saving tips on toddler and baby clothes, be sure to check out our article on 17 ways to save money on toddler and baby clothes.

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