Parenting 101: How to teach your child to dress themselves

30 November 2022|BY XY Life Pvt. Ltd.

Dressing your little one can be quite the task, they might fidget, throw a tantrum, run away from you, start crying or refuse to wear the clothes that you’ve picked for them. Don’t worry this phase won’t last forever. If you play your cards right, they will soon start dressing themselves up and give you some more time on your hands. So how do you train your little one to accomplish this task? This article is your one-stop guide to help you out.

Be patient:
There is no specific age your little one should be to start dressing themselves. Some children take it up fast, while others take their time to develop this skill set. Remember that it’s a process, not a destination. Let them take their own time and learn at their own pace. They will learn slowly but surely, the process might even take longer than expected. Use positive reinforcement like motivation, encouragement, rewards and applause to encourage them to dress themselves.

Invest in easy-to-wear clothing:
Children outgrow kids clothes quickly. It’s important to choose soft, light, comfortable and breathable clothes for your child, like loose fitting tees, leggings, skirts or shorts which are easy for them to wear. When shopping for kidswear online, pick t-shirts which are one size bigger for them, so that it’s easy for them to wear, especially when they are just learning how to dress themselves. 

Encourage them:
Praise your children and pat them on the back along every step of the way. Children thrive in positive environments and excel when they are celebrated for their accomplishments. Always celebrate the moves they make, even the things that might seem small or insignificant to you.

First teach them to remove their clothes:
It can be puzzling and frustrating for little ones to remember the sequence behind putting on kids clothes. The arm holes and head holes of kids t-shirts can be quite confusing for a child, it’s best to start by teaching them how to remove their clothes on their own. When they have mastered this, you can slowly progress into teaching them how to dress themselves.

Start small:
Teach them the easy stuff first like - removing socks, or putting on zips and buttons. When dressing your child in a t-shirt, ask them to put their hands through the armholes. Similarly, when dressing them in leggings, scrunch up the pants and place them on the floor, ask them to step into the leg portion and teach them to pull their pants up. This will give them a sense of independence and they might take to dressing themselves up. However, there might be days when they don’t feel up to the task and they might ask you to dress them up instead. Remember that it’s a back-and-forth process and they are doing their best.

Teach them clothing orientation:
Pick clothes for children with print at the front, to help them differentiate between the front and back side of their clothes. If you catch them wearing their clothes the wrong way around, tell them their mistake and offer to help them correct it.

Make it a fun learning experience:
Using pictures, images, songs and jingles, teach your little one the steps that go into dressing up and sing it to them while helping them change, so that they can memorise it easily. You can even place pictures in their room to help them understand the sequence that goes into dressing up. 

Change with them:
Children look up to their parents, they mimic almost everything that their parents do. Dressing up with your child is one of the best ways to teach them how to dress themselves.

Let them learn at their pace:
Children take their time to learn things. Pick a day when everyone at home is relaxed and you’ll don’t have to rush out of the house. Sit them down in front of a mirror and teach them to dress themselves. Your little one will be able to see themselves change in front of the mirror and celebrate the final results.

Don’t compare them to other children:
Everyone learns at their own pace. If you watch videos online, it can seem like the other children pick up the art of dressing themselves easily and quickly. However, it’s important that you don’t hold your child up to these standards. Let them learn how to dress up at their own time and pace. There is no right or wrong way to do it, stick to their pace, encourage them and cheer them on as they make progress.

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