One of my favorite parts of being a parent is buying clothes for my little ones. I love shopping online because there are so many more options, and I simply don’t have a lot of those in my area.
We don’t even have a mall here. The closest mall is almost an hour away. I prefer shopping online thanks to the convenience, too.
However, if you’re going to shop online, it’s important to know a thing or two about clothing sizes so you don’t waste your money.
These tips will come in handy if you’re shopping in a store and don’t want to try everything on your little one too. (I couldn’t imagine trying a new wardrobe on my four-year-old at the store.)
In this article
- What Size Comes After 4T?
- Shopping In The Toddler Section Vs. The Boys/Girls Section
- Buying 5T Clothing Pros And Cons
- Buying Size 5/6 Pros And Cons
- Disadvantages Of Shopping In The Boys Or Girls Section
- Remember That Every Brand Is Different When It Comes To Sizes
- In Conclusion
What Size Comes After 4T?
After 4T you have two options. You can stay in the toddler section and start purchasing a size 5T. Another option is to move over to the boys or girls section in favor of a size 5/6 in boys or girls.
Both of these are almost the same size. The clothing in the kid’s section is a little bit bigger than what you’ll find in the toddler section.
There are pros and cons to shopping in both areas, so you’ll need to keep that in mind when deciding which way to go.
Shopping In The Toddler Section Vs. The Boys/Girls Section
After 4T is the only time you’ll actually be able to shop in both sections. Some parents stay in the toddler section as long as possible.
Others move across the aisle to the kid’s section. Some shop in both depending on what they’re looking for. Whichever one you choose is up to you, though.
Buying 5T Clothing Pros And Cons
There are definitely plenty of advantages to shopping in the toddler section as long as you can. There are only a few disadvantages that you’ll find when you pick up 5T clothing instead of 5/6.
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Advantages Of Shopping In The Toddler Section
When you stick in the toddler section, you’ll get a few key advantages that you won’t have in the boys or girls section. Some of these might not matter.
Others are going to be the deciding factor in whether you stay or choose to move on to the kid’s section.
Most of the clothing in the toddler section is designed the same. That means that you get snappy crotches for convenience. The legs of some outfits might still have snaps.
There are even shirts with snaps on the shoulder area to accommodate babies with a little bit of a larger head. If your child is already 5 or 6, this might not matter.
They’ll already be potty trained, so you won’t care whether you have snappy crotches. However, if your little one is delayed this can be extremely convenient.
Likewise, if your child is simply big for their age and isn’t potty trained yet you’ll appreciate this.
Toddler Clothing Is Cheaper
I can pick up a pair of pants in the toddler section at the local Walmart for five dollars. Jeans are rarely more than ten bucks. I definitely can’t say the same about the girls and boys section.
Joggers are ten dollars instead of five. When clothing is on clearance, toddler clothing goes for three or four dollars. In the older kids section, it’s marked down to the regular price of toddler clothing.
If your kid grows quickly, as most of them do, it can be more affordable to stay in the toddler section.
Most Toddler Clothing Is Smaller And Has A Stretch Waist
Toddler clothing is designed for smaller children. In almost every brand, a 5T is a little bit smaller than a 5/6. This makes toddler clothing ideal if your little one is on the petite side.
The stretchy waistband is convenient for children that have a narrow waist. Some boy’s and girl’s clothing will come with an adjustable waistband, but you have to search for them.
Disadvantages Of Shopping In The Toddler Section
There are a few disadvantages of shopping in the toddler section that you’ll need to keep in mind. You’ll have to weigh the pros and cons and look at your family to decide which clothing section is right for your little one.
Some Of The Clothing Is Less Durable
Sometimes, you get what you pay for. I tried to stay in the toddler department with the littlest. It wasn’t her size that was the problem.
The clothing had holes in it before she outgrew it. I haven’t had a problem with the girl’s section. This might explain why they are cheaper, too.
If you take a quick look through both sections at a department store, you’ll find that you have a more diverse selection in the girls or boys department. Toddler clothing tends to have more character clothing, too.
Not Ideal For Taller Children
Toddler clothing is a tiny bit smaller than the clothing you’ll find in the boys or girls section.
If your child is already on the taller side and shooting up like a weed, it might be a better idea to head over into the 5/6 area so that there is a little bit of room to grow. This can help make up for the extra money that you’ll save.
Buying Size 5/6 Pros And Cons
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If you are ready to leave the toddler section behind for good, you’ve definitely got that option. Little ones that fit into a 5T usually can slide into a size 5/6 too.
There are a couple of things you need to keep in mind about this option when you make that decision, too.
Advantages Of Opting For 5/6
As with everything, there are both pros and cons. These are just a few of the advantages that you’ll want to keep in mind if you shop in the boys or girls section instead of the toddlers one.
Big Kid Clothing
If your little one is headed off to school and you’re focusing on them being a big kid, this can be one of the huge benefits of moving across the aisle.
Most children are going to be scared to be a big kid, so you’ll want to add as many positives as you can into this transition.
More Mature Clothing
You aren’t going to find a lot of pre-school geared clothing in the girls and boys section. You’ll find your favorite Marvel characters and there are plenty of options that are in solid colors, too.
If you’re not a fan of the clothing selection that you have in the toddler section, there’s nothing wrong with getting your little one something the two of you like in the kid’s section.
There Are Adjustable Pants
Instead of stretchy pants, you can find clothing with buttons on the inside and elastic so that you can adjust them. This is ideal for children that have a smaller or bigger waistline than what the market considers average.
There are few children that meet the exact sizes that are sold. Some are taller, some are shorter, and so on. When you have the option to adjust clothing to suit your little one, it simply works out better.
Disadvantages Of Shopping In The Boys Or Girls Section
While there are plenty of great things about shopping in this section, there are a few disadvantages. These can help you decide whether it’s time to move to 5/6 or stick with 5T.
You Might Have A Harder Time Finding Favorite Characters
If your little one loves a particular character that you could always find in toddler sizes, you might not have as much luck in the girls or boys department.
The characters on clothing tend to lean more towards popular first-grade shows instead of your favorite pre-school shows. Your little one might not be a huge fan of that.
Clothing Is More Expensive
If you’re on a strict clothing budget, sticking in the toddler section is best. You can find clothing that is more affordable than you will in the big kid’s section. This is one of the most important factors that you’ll need to consider.
There’s No Extra Room For A Diaper
Toddler clothing all has extra room in the butt of the clothing. This is to make sure that the clothing can fit over a diaper.
Once you move into the boys or girls section, that extra room is gone. If your little one is not potty trained or not nighttime potty trained yet, this is something you’ll need to keep in mind.
Remember That Every Brand Is Different When It Comes To Sizes
Even though the size on the tag is the same, every brand is at least a little bit different. It could only be an inch or two, but that couple of inches might mean that it doesn’t fit your little one properly.
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Before shopping online or in a store without your little one, get out a tape measure. Then, double-check the sizes on the website with your measurements.
This is especially important if you’re shopping for clothing that isn’t from the United States. Asian and European clothing is adorable.
Personally, I love them because I don’t like for my child to wear the same thing that every other child is. They’re also more stylish. However, the sizing is very different.
In addition to different countries sizing things differently, various brands in those countries also have different sizing. It’s best to check the measurements on the website to make sure that they will fit your little one.
After your little one outgrows 4T, they will be in size 5T or size 5, which is sometimes called a size 5/6. There are a few differences, but you can usually pick one or the other if your child is potty trained.