Teaching your toddler to dress
When your toddler is between one and two years old, she is most likely pulling off her clothes any chance she gets rather than trying to dress herself. It's likely she'll be doing 'nudie' runs through the house (or even at the park). Teaching your toddler dressing and how to put ON clothing takes a little more skill and patience (on both your and your toddler's part).
Dressing and toddlers: Encourage your toddler to dress themselves
Learning to dress herself will be a skill that takes a few years to accomplish well, from around 18 months to five years of age. For example, by the age of about two years, she should be able to pull on her hat and shoes that don't have laces. By three, she should be able to put on most loose types of clothing but will need help fastening them. By four to five years, your child should be able to fully dress themselves.
Teaching your toddler about dressing
- Give your toddler loose items of clothing to try and put on, at first you may need to half put them on and let her do the rest.
- You can buy dolls and toys that have zips, buttons and bows that will give your toddler dressing experience and practice for the real thing.
- Put clothes somewhere your toddler can easily access them. Put them in low drawers or a low rack. Make sure they only include clothing that you want your toddler to dress in.
- If you argue over outfits, lay out the clothing you want your toddler to wear.
As with anything your child does, she will respond better with praise. So, if she puts her top on backwards or inside out say: "Good job putting on your top by yourself, but we'll just need to turn it the right way round."
Dressing and toddlers: What's your toddler's style?
Many toddlers dress themselves in clothing that shows a different look to what we may think is stylish. To them clashing colours look fabulous together and they will team striped pants with a spotty top. You may feel a little uncertain letting your toddler go out dressed like this, but does it really matter? This can be a safe way your toddler can learn to assert her independence and become more confident.
Many toddlers become obsessed with dressing in a certain item of clothing and want to wear it day in and out. A lot of the time it will be a dress-up item like a fairy dress or pirate shirt. To save daily arguments, tell her that she can wear the outfit on certain days, but on other days, such as when she has to go to daycare, she needs to wear appropriate clothes. You may also want to have a rule that she can't wear the same outfit two days in a row.
Remember, that this is all a learning experience and will take time. There may be some frustration from your child, but she will get there in the end.
More toddler grooming articles:
- Teaching toddlers to dress
- When to give the first haircut
- How to bath toddlers
- First shoes for toddlers
- When to give the first haircut
More toddler firsts:
- Recipes for toddlers
- Toddler nutrition
- Moving to a big bed for the first time
- Solving tantrums
- Toilet training tips and tricks
- Resolving problems
- Activities for toddlers
- Toddler grooming tips
- Toddler development
- Toddler first steps
- Toddler teeth and dental care