I know it’s a little early to start off, but the sooner the better.
The ground work can always be done during toddler hood and your baby will then start dressing himself up sooner. But, the question remains how to teach your toddler to dress by himself?
Well, you need to keep demonstrating him how to wear a shirt and a pant.
The more he sees you demonstrating it the more he gets exposed to doing it. Toddlers are very good learners.
Imagine, the sooner you teach your toddler to get dressed up, the better it is for you. During hectic mornings when you have to be on your toes to handle all chores, you have one less task of dressing up your kid.
Also, teaching your toddler to dress up by himself is also important because it requires so many different skills. It surely helps in the development of motor skills and contributes towards achieving a psychological and emotional milestones.
Teaching your toddler to dress by himself usually comes with practice. It is a gradual step-by-step process and needs patience and time.
New researches from Stanford University suggest that the more parents are interactive with their kids, the faster kids reach their milestones.
In this post, you would come across some helpful tips to get your toddler to dress on his own.
How to teach your child to dress by himself
It is very important for your little baby to start doing little things for himself for he has to take the road of independence soon.
It is highly gratifying to see your little baby growing up and becoming independent. Of course, there are a lot of ways to help your toddler to dress by himself like:
Letting him choose what to wear
By giving choices, you are actually arousing interest in your toddler for his clothes. He may try to wear on his own because he is wearing something that he likes.
But, make sure that you get him to choose from two to three options only else you will see him wearing two sets of clothes all the time and the rest of the clothes will go waste in no time.
Go for a bigger size
Your toddler may get stuck in trying his clothes by himself. In such instances, the toddler may get scared if the shirt gets stuck on the eyes or on the nose.
Moreover, in right fit clothes there is not much scope of trying ways of putting them on as there is space constraint. In bigger shirts, you always have enough space to move around your arms and try them on so your baby will be more comfortable.
Initially, it is very important to show the right way of wearing clothes to your baby. You will have to do it often as well. The more you demonstrate it step by step the sooner he learns to grasp it.
He may want to try on his own and let him do a lot of hits and trials as that’s the only way of learning.
Most often than not, your baby will land up putting both legs in one side of the pant itself. In such instances, try to be appreciative of the fact that he tried to wear it on his own.
Also, clap for him and talk about it to his dad to make him feel that he has done something really nice. Wearing pants are easy for a kid so he will learn to wear pants sooner than learning to wear shirts.
Online YouTube videos
Showing kids online YouTube videos could help them in a big way. They get interested in trying things that they see some other kid doing on screen.
By exposing them to these videos where small toddlers are trying to dress on their own, you are arousing a big amount of interest in your toddler to follow suit.
Sooner or later the baby tries to dress independently. But, the sooner he does it, the much easier it becomes for you to handle all the things together. It surely doesn’t mean to force things upon your baby but to give him enough opportunities to learn to become independent sooner in his upcoming milestones.
Why your child needs to learn how to get dressed?
Do you know by teaching your child to dress by himself, you are helping him develop other skills?
Here are the other skills that develop when your child learns to dress by himself:
Cognitive skills: When your child puts on the clothes by themselves, they develop the patience and attention needed to wear clothes independently and understand which clothing goes first.
Gross and Fine motor skills: The child learns to fasten zips and buttons. They also learn to stand on one leg to wear pants, which adds to their motor skills.
Spatial understanding: The child gets the awareness of time and space as they learn to dress themselves.
How to get started with teaching kids to learn to get dressed by themselves?
1. The very first step is to name the clothes as you make your child wear them. This helps them to differentiate clothes based on their names.
2. The second step is to make sure you make some easy to wear clothes available for your kids like:
· Loose frocks/elasticated pants.
· Clothes with Velcro fastening or large buttons
· Clothes with pictures to help the child understand the front and back part of it.
· Loose shirts to easily fit in.
3. Next, make sure to face the clothes the right way so that the child can just pick and slip into them.
4. Keep everything separate and remind the child of the order they need to wear them. For example, the order to wear could be:
· Underwear first
· Then, t-shirt
· Then, shorts/pants
· Then, socks
· And, finally, shoes.
The shoes must also be easy to wear kinds like Velcro fitted shoes or slip-ons. For the initial few times, you can speak up each of the steps to the childlike ‘First put-on your shirt,’ Push one arm through the armhole,’ or ‘pull up your shorts,’ etc. Children usually learn to dress themselves from three years and above.
Tying shoelaces is something that most kids learn after 5 years of age. So, avoid using shoes with laces to keep things simple for your little one.
Some tips to make this journey easy
Be encouraging, positive, and supportive for your child to learn faster. Here are some more tips to help you:
- Give your child ample time to wear clothes.
- It is a big hands-on to pull out what to wear the next day, the previous day itself.
- If you are running short of time, let the child wear easy things and take care of the rest.
- Help your child select his own clothes.
- Make your child aware of the weather conditions whether it will be cold, hot, rainy or sunny.
- Teach your child to put the used clothes in laundry and wear fresh ones every time.
- Allow your child to sit on floor rather than on chair or bed while wearing clothes.
- Stack clothes in drawers or cupboards that child can access easily.
- Teach your kid to undress first as it is easier than dressing.
Developmental milestones as per age
Here’s is a quick guide to dressing skills at different ages, though every child develops them at different rates.
At one-year-old children can:
- push their arms through sleeves and legs through pants
- Pull socks and shoes off.
At two years old, children can:
- take off unfastened coats
- take off shoes when the laces are untied
- Push down their pants
- find armholes in t-shirts.
At three years old, children can:
- Wear shirts with little help.
- Wear shoes without fastening them
- Wear socks with little support in placing the heel right
- pull-down pants.
- zip and unzip the zippers
- Remover t-shirts.
At four years old, children can:
- Remove shirts by themselves.
- Can buckle shoes or belts.
- Match the ends of the zipper and zip them up.
- Put on shoes and socks the right way.
- Can identify the right front and backside of their clothing.
- Step into their pants.
- Pull up their pants.
At five years old, children can:
- Dress independently.
- Wear shirts and shorts the right way.