The toddler stage is an important time for kids to learn how to dress themselves, even if they don’t get it correct every time. Smooth some of the bumps in the process with these four tips that make it easier to dress a toddler.
1. Choose Comfortable Clothes and Footwear
If your child dislikes the clothes and shoes they must wear, it can make it a lot more difficult to get them dressed. Picking out comfortable clothes and toddler-friendly shoes for them to wear can encourage a positive attitude.
If you find that the process takes too long, picking out your kid’s outfit together the night before can save time the next day. Everyday clothes should be weather appropriate, fit well, and allow your kiddo to move freely. Choose flexible shoes that give your little one’s toes wiggle room to build strength.
2. Talk Through It
Talking to your toddler throughout the dressing process can help them make connections between clothes, how to put the clothes, and where the clothes go. The younger your child is, the simpler your instructions can be, such as “pants on” or “pants on legs.” When your child can process more complicated language, you might say something more pointedly, like, “Put your leg in the pants,” while holding the pants up.
Praising your child will boost their confidence and make putting clothes on more interesting. And asking your toddler questions appropriate to their skill level, such as what should go on next, can help them engage with the process.
3. Make It Fun To Get Dressed
Another tip that makes it easier to dress a toddler is to make it fun. You can challenge your child to dress quickly, such as a race to see how fast they can put on their t-shirt. Putting a timer on your phone and letting them know the countdown can motivate them to finish the task, and they’ll feel happy when they do.
Another way to make dressing for the day fun is to offer a reward at the end. You might tell your kid they can play with a toy or eat a snack after they put their clothes on. This gives them something to look forward to, and when they finish dressing, you can praise them for how well they did and let them enjoy their playtime.
4. Make Time
When you give yourself and your child enough time to go through the process, you reduce a lot of stress and make opportunities for your child to learn. Try to start the dressing process long before it’s time to head out of the house for the day.
Making getting dressed a positive experience encourages your child to do well. And turning the task into a game can speed up the process, too. Before you know it, your toddler will be able to handle more tasks on their own, and you can supervise more than take a hands-on role.