When you are trying to get out the door in the morning and you’re running late it probably seems easiest to dress your toddler yourself. However, it is an important skill they need to learn. It will teach your little one independence and help them feel more confident once they learn how to dress themselves.
Develop Dressing Skills
As your child gets older, they will be able to help in different ways when getting dressed as they will learn more skills.
Here are some skills your toddler may have at different ages, but remember every child is different:
- 1 year: they may begin putting their arms through sleeves, their legs through pants and take off their shoes and socks
- 2 years: your toddler may remove an unfastened coat, help push down their pants, try putting on socks
- 3 years: they may be able to pull down pants, put on and take off a t-shirt, unbutton large buttons and put on shoes by themself.
Teach Dressing Skills
Teaching your toddler to get dressed requires plenty of encouragement, persistence and patience.
Here are some simple tips to make getting dressed easier and fun and less like a battle:
- Teach them how to undress before teaching them how to get dressed, as it is easier
- As your toddler learns to pull their clothes off and tries to put them on again e.g. their socks, name or call out the item of clothing and say which body part they belong to
- Use clothes that have pictures or velcro on the front so they can work out the front from the back
- Allow plenty of time for your toddler to get dressed so they don’t feel rushed
- Help them feel independence by giving them two t-shirts or two pairs of shoes they can choose from
- Let your toddler try out their new found skills of using buttons and zippers by finding things around the house for them to practice on, such as a pencil case
- Have a dress up party, gather some of your old clothes including hats, gloves, dresses, shirts, and shoes. However, don’t include items that could be potentially dangerous such as cords or belts.