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Kids Pants Size Charts

A group of kids in field wearing pants.

A proper pair of pants primes your progeny for prosperity. While how the pants look does matter, as long as both you and your child are happy with their appearance, the real struggle with pant selection is the ever-changing sizes of kids as they grow.

If you’re a new parent or one who is realizing that your child suddenly doesn’t fit anything anymore, these kids’ pants size charts offer a quick breakdown of the sizes and what they mean in real measurements. With some measuring tape and this helpful info, you can feel more comfortable shopping for clothes both in-person and online.

Baby Pants for Boys and Girls

Baby pants for boys and girls chart

From birth to two years, most children will grow more than 50% taller than they were at birth. The size they need for their clothing will rapidly shift, so those cute baby onesies and footie pajamas should be used as much as possible while they fit. The sizes are given in an age range, so children that are growing at a different speed may spend more time within a range of clothing sizes intended for other ages. 

The sizing intervals are three months for the first year and six months for the second year. 

If you look at the expected height and weight of the chart, you should be able to see that there is a fairly wide range in expected size, especially from 0-3 months. One baby could weigh twice as much as another and still technically fall within the same clothing size. It’s entirely likely to have three pieces of pants that are sized for 0-3 months, where one is too large, one is too small, and one fits just right.

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This is also the age range where friends and family are most likely to shower you with clothing that they want to see on your baby. Don’t feel bad if a piece of baby clothing is too small for them to wear from birth, even if it feels like a missed opportunity for cuteness.

Toddler Pants for Boys and Girls

Toddler pants for boys and girls chart.

As the kids get older, their clothing will still use an age-based labeling system, but the band of time the sizing covers will be much broader. Once they hit the first size of 2T, their pants will range from 33.5 to 35 inches (85.1 to 88.9 cm). The toddler sizes continue to progress at yearly intervals, making it easy to remember what size to check first when the child is happily telling you their age whenever the number comes up in conversation.

Boys and girls are developing at about the same pace still at these ages, so gender labeling on clothing is used mostly to indicate clothing styles instead of sizing differences. A pair of 4T jeans will be just as good for a boy or a girl around four years old.

Toddlers are exploring the world and their independence, so giving them the full choice of any clothing that interests them can be a powerful tool for emotional growth while they physically grow.

From 2T to the highest toddler size of 5T, the children are expected to grow about a foot in size and increase their weight by a third. These changes happen at different speeds for many children, so you may find that one size isn’t long enough for your child while the larger size falls off their hips.

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Pants with belt loops or built-in tightening are a good choice when nothing seems to fit quite right, and cuffing the bottoms can temporarily reduce the length if their legs need to catch up to the size. It won’t be long before they go through another growth spurt, so these stop-gap measures will keep you from having to buy a new wardrobe every 2 months. Instead, it will only be every six months or so!

Boys and Girls Pants

Boys pants size chart

After leaving their toddler years, children begin to develop differently depending on various factors, including their hormonal balance. Sizing switches over from highly age-based categorization to a series of sizes that do have a suggested age range but primarily give a gradient of choices. They’ll also have alternative sizing names, like the size 18 intended for 12 to 13-year-olds will also be referred to as XXXL.

It can be important to remind children at these ages that the labeling does not matter for more than finding the right size, since body image starts to play a larger role in their development.

Girls pants size chart

Pants intended for girls from ages 5 to 13 will generally have slightly increased hip and waist measurements with shorter inseams compared to the boys’ version. The level of difference is more subtle in the smaller sizes, but it becomes more pronounced as they grow. For size 6 or Small size clothing, both the boys’ and girls’ versions are tailored for hip, waist, and inseam measurements averaging 24.5″, 22.75″, and 19.5″ respectively.

Halfway up the sizing chart at 10/L, the respective measurements for girls’ pants are an expected average of 29″, 24.75″, and 25.125″. Boys tend to grow slightly slower at this age, so their measurements are a touch lower, at 28.5″, 25.5″, and 24.75″. The hip differences at size 18 can range as far as 5″ between the girls’ and boys’ versions. 

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FAQs about Kids Pants Sizes

How helpful are children’s clothing sizes for picking out properly sized clothing?

For most children, the suggested sizing is a good place to start when picking out their clothing. Like shopping for clothes at any age, the child may fit better in a different clothing size than expected, and no standardized sizing means the actual measurements of clothing in the “same size” may vary between clothing manufacturers.

Do you have to stick with gender-based sizing?

There’s no reason to skip a piece of clothing that fits because of a label. Most sizing is similar enough between boys’ and girls’ pants that you have leeway to grab pairs off a different shelf. As children approach their teenage years, hormonal differences can make the distinction more important depending on how they develop.

What should I do with old kids’ pants that don’t fit anymore?

Since children go through clothing so quickly, you should have some kind of plan for what to do with their old items. Clothing in decent condition can be passed along to friends and family that have kids approaching those sizes. If you don’t have anyone in need of clothing, there are donation centers where you can take the clothing in most cities.

For tattered, stained, and otherwise ruined clothing, consider using the material in arts and crafts projects.