Learning to get dressed is one of the first major challenges for kids. But you will find that when your child reaches a certain age, they will be desperate to do things themselves—and getting dressed can really help them to boost their confidence. Encourage them and help them by offering guidance and support, and soon they will be able to put their own clothes on without any help. Here are a few ideas to help your child start dressing on their own.
Start By Doing Part of the Work for Them
In the early stages, start off by helping them with the most tricky part and then letting them do the rest. For example, slip their pants over their feet and let them pull their pants up to their waist on their own. This will help them to get used to the feeling of getting dressed on their own, and it will also give them confidence.
Make It Fun
As with everything that you want your child to learn, it is always best if you make it fun. When it comes to getting dressed, practice with their toys. Putting sweaters and trousers onto their dolls and teddy bears can be a great way to help them learn the basics while playing. You could also watch fun instructional videos together, like this song on YouTube, to get them inspired.
Use Clothes that Are Easier to Get On
Don’t try to get your child to put on a pair of jeans with a zipper or buttons to start with. Instead, start with simpler clothes like loose sweaters and coats with large arm holes, or pants with elastic waists. For pajamas, onesies are ideal. You can get kids footed onesie pajamas that are easy to put on, and this is a great way to start.
An Easy Way to Put On a Coat
One simple technique will help your child to put their coat on without your help. Simply lay the coat out on the floor upside down with the back on the floor and the head end pointing to their feet. Your child can then slot their arms into the sleeves, lift up the coat, and put it over their heads. Once in position, they can simply push their arms through and it is on. This can be done quite young, and it is a good way to make them feel proud that they can put their own clothes on. A larger coat will be easier to put on, so something that is not too tight, and check out the Parenting website has some more great tips like this.
Choose Socks with Colored Heals
The hardest part of putting on socks is not knowing which way they go on. Colored heals can help because this will make it clear which way the socks should go on. Make sure you buy strong socks that can put up with a bit of stretching, and then it is just a matter of practice.
Use Velcro Shoes
Your child will not be able to do up their laces for a while, but they can still put on their shoes on their own. Buy some Velcro shoes that are easy to do up, or some slip-ons, and then your child can put the shoes on without any help.
Teach Them How to Do Zippers & Buttons
Zippers are tricky, but you can get your child used to them by starting them off and then letting them pull up the zipper on their own. Large zippers are the easiest for them to use, so look out for these when you are choosing a new coat.
Also look out for items of clothing with large plastic buttons because these will be much easier for your child to do up. Show them how to do the buttons, and once they have got the hang of it, you could help them by doing up the first button so that they don’t get all the buttons in the wrong holes.
Encourage Getting Dressed
Getting dressed is an important skill for your child to learn. Not only will it give them confidence, but it will also help them to develop their motor skills and cognitive skills at the same time—and it also saves you time when you are getting ready to go out in the morning. Be positive, be supportive, and give them plenty of help, and your child will soon be able to get dressed all on their own.
Mary Payne is a working mom and is a health professional. She always appreciates the chance to share her insights and experiences online. Her thoughts can be found on a number of different family-orientated websites.