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How Can I Help My Child Get Dressed?

How Can I Help My Child Get Dressed?


How Can I Help My Child Get Dressed?

Learning to get dressed is a gradual process that requires plenty of adult guidance. You will want to help your child develop the skills needed to get dressed, such as pulling their pants up or buttoning a coat. You can also help your little one understand how to put together a coordinating outfit.

Skills for Self-Dressing

As your child grows, help them practice the skills needed for self-dressing. You can start by putting their pant legs over their ankles and having them pull the pants up, or putting a shirt over their head and having them push their arms into the sleeves. Eventually, they can learn skills that require more precision, such as pulling on socks or buttoning a coat.

“In this process, we allow freedom for a child to do as much as they can, with as little help as is necessary,” says Green.

Toys with fasteners, such as buckles, buttons, snaps, or ties are a great way for your little one to practice the skills needed for self-dressing.

Toddler Style Tips

Some parents are okay with letting their toddler dress in anything they want, while others would like to help their kid learn to coordinate. Offering limited choices helps make sure that your child is dressing in a somewhat-stylish way while building their decision-making skills and boosting their autonomy. They will also slowly start to observe how colours and patterns complement one another.

Limited choices help ensure that your toddler does not get overwhelmed. “Some autonomy is beneficial, but stick to two or three options rather than choosing from everything in a drawer,” says paediatrician Pierrette Mimi Poinsette, MD.

Here’s how you could use limited choices: Offer two dresses, two pairs of pants, and two sweaters for your toddler to choose from. You can hang all these options on low hooks that your little one can choose from in the morning. Other kids will do better with a more step-by-step approach, where the parent offers two of each item, one at a time, before presenting the next set to choose from.

Toddler outfits can include basic pieces, such as pants, shirts, dresses, and sweaters. But there are lots of adorable accessories to have fun with too, like headbands, hair bows, hats, mittens, and of course, princess crowns.

Milestones for a Child to Dress Themselves

Every child learns at their own pace, and there is no exact age by which your toddler must be able to dress themselves. However, kids generally follow a basic pattern of development.

Young toddlers will usually start to participate in the dressing process. “Toddlers may start removing their clothes around 1 to to 1 and a half,” says Dr. Poinsette. “They may also put out their arms when you get ready to put on a top of a dress.”

By age 2, many children will be able to get a shirt or pants on with some parental guidance. Toward age 3, they will be able to do it by themselves and they may be able to zip or button their coat or put on velcro shoes.

“Practicing with large buttons or toys with zippers on them will help kids master these skills,” says Dr. Poinsette.

What if My Toddler Is Not Yet Able to Dress Themselves?

Not all kids will learn to dress themselves at the same time. Some 2-year-olds may be able to put their shoes on and zip up their jacket, while others may be 4 or 5 before they have fully mastered self-dressing.

“Most toddlers are too young to fully dress themselves, but they are capable of helping through the process,” says Dr. Poinsette. It’s completely fine for your toddler to go at their own pace.

One thing to keep in mind is setting your child up for success. Take a look at their wardrobe and make sure you have pieces in there that are easy for your toddler to practice with.

“As adults, we can also assist in the process of dressing by having clothing for children that they can choose for themselves,” says Green. [These pieces] are easy to pull on and to remove, and don’t have snaps, buttons, belts, or [ties on] shoes. Think about whether the clothing is an obstacle for dressing, and make changes.”

Positioning a mirror at your child’s eye level can also help. Toddlers can use the mirror to make sure their clothes are on correctly and self-correct if they see an error, such as a shirt on backward. Fixing their own mistakes can ease frustration.

“It is one thing to be told that our clothes are on wrong, and another to have the freedom to discover this for ourselves,” notes Green.

If you have any concerns about your toddler’s development, be sure to reach out to their paediatrician or healthcare provider.


Article Source: Very Well Family

Discovery Point Nursery and Academy is a Vaughan daycare located in Woodbridge, Ontario.

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