Teaching Child to Dress

Teaching Child to Dress

Teaching Child to Dress

Why your child has to learn the way to get dressed?

Learning to get dressed builds your child’s confidence and independence and provides your child a way of accomplishment. And once your child can dress himself, helping him dress is one less thing for you too.

Also, Teaching Child to Dress helps your child develop many other skills, including:

  • Fine motor skills as she learns to fasten buttons and zips
  • Gross motor skills as she stands on one leg to pull on a pair of pants
  • Cognitive skills as she remembers which bits of clothing continue first, and builds the patience and a focus to complete the task
  • Language as she names kinds of clothes, colours and sizes
  • Awareness of your time and space as she learns to decorate for specific occasions and climatic conditions.
Getting started with getting dressed

Often very young children start to remember of clothing by pulling off easy-to-remove things like socks, shoes or hats. Sometimes they try to put them on again. You can repose on this early awareness by naming the garments your child has kicked off and also the body parts they are going on.

You can start to incorporate your older baby or toddler in getting dressed by giving him a limited choice of garments , and naming them as you place them on him.

When you decide it’s time for your child to actually start learning this skill, it can help to possess some easy clothes available . These might include:

  • Loose, elastic-waisted pants
  • Clothes with velcro or large buttons and button holes
  • Jumpers, t-shirts and underwear with pictures on the front to assist your child estimate front from back
  • Clothes that are easy and cozy for your child to maneuver in.
Getting dressed: breaking down the steps

Teaching Child to Dress can have a lot of steps. It helps to interrupt it down into smaller steps – for instance, putting on underwear, then t-shirt, shorts, socks and shoes.

You can also break down each of the steps in getting dressed, looking at your child’s skill and age. For example, you may break down the steps for putting on shorts like this:

  • Face shorts the right way.
  • Hold onto the front of the waistband.
  • Push one leg at a time through the leg holes while also holding pants.
  • Pull the shorts up.

Talking your child through each step helps her know what to try to to . In the early stages, simple words or phrases are OK – for instance, ‘Shirt on’. You can say more as your child’s language develops – for instance, ‘Push your arm through the sleeve’.

When your child can almost dress himself (usually from three years and up), you’ll check whether he understands the steps by asking, ‘What’s the primary thing you would like to place on?’ If he can’t remember, you can help him get started by reminding him.

Getting dressed: teaching the steps backwards

A good option to Teaching Child to Dress is to break down each task into small steps and teach her the last step first. Once your child can do the last step of the task, teach her the second-last step, then the third-last step then on.

For example, when putting on shorts, you would possibly help your child face the shorts the proper way, hold the waistband and put his legs through the leg holes. Then teach your child the last step – pulling up the shorts to his waist by himself.

Once your child can do that , teach her to place her legs through the leg holes and pull her shorts up. You can keep working your way backwards through the steps until your child has mastered all of them and may put her shorts on for herself.

A big advantage of this approach is that always the foremost rewarding thing about a task is getting it finished – and your child gets to the present reward sooner when he can do the last step first.

If your child is having trouble, it can be tempting to jump in to help. But give your child an opportunity to figure it out for herself, and cheer her on as she tries – she’ll get a true confidence boost when she does it on her own. Step in just when your child really needs your help.

Tips for helping your child learn to get dressed

If you can be positive and supportive, your child is more likely to cooperate. So tons of praise will go a long way, albeit your child has put his pants on backwards! Here are some practical tips to help.

Making time
  • Allow a practical amount of your time for getting dressed.
  • If you’re often rushed within the morning, try choosing clothes together with your child the night before.
  • When you’re during a hurry, let your child do the straightforward tasks and help her with the difficult tasks.
  • Practice getting dressed once you and your child aren’t in a hurry or tired.
Choosing appropriate clothes
  • Let your younger child choose between a few of options, like two t-shirts. Whether it is his favorite cartoon character or Superhero T-Shirts. Older or more mature children could be ready to choose their own clothing.
  • Talk about the weather once you and your child are choosing clothes. Ask your child whether it’s hot or cold, raining or sunny.
  • Teach your child the difference between dirty and clean clothes – for instance, ‘Dirty clothes go into the laundry basket. You can wear them again when they’re back within the drawer’. You can use some simple guidelines, like wearing clean underwear and socks daily.
Making it easier
  • Have your child sit down for dressing tasks. Sitting on the ground could be easier than sitting on a chair or bed for a few children.
  • Store clothing in drawers and cupboards that your child can get to easily. Label clothing drawers with a picture or word to describe the clothing that’s in the drawer.
  • Wear clothes that have clear front and back clues – for instance, an image on the front and a tag on the rear.
  • Teach undressing first – it’s easier than dressing. Being able to undress by himself will boost your child’s confidence.

Tying up shoelaces may be a skill that the majority five-year-olds are still learning. Our handy illustrated guide to tying shoelaces outlines some easy steps for teaching your child this skill.

Teaching children with disability or developmental delay to urge dressed

Some children with disability or developmental delays can have trouble getting dressed. Some children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have sensory sensitivities that make it hard for them to cope with the texture of different materials on their skin.

If you’re having trouble Teaching Child to Dress with disability or development delay to urge dressed, an occupational therapist who works specifically with children could be ready to help. OTs can offer you strategies to show your child to decorate , or suggest equipment which will make the method easier.

Development of skills for getting dressed

Here’s a rough guide to dressing skills at different ages. Understanding it helps with our objective of Teaching Child to Dress with patience. Keep in mind that each child is different and can develop skills at different rates.

At one year children can usually:
  • Hold their arms out for sleeves and put their feet up for shoes
  • Push their arms through sleeves and legs through pants
  • Pull socks and shoes off.
At two years children can usually:
  • Take off unfastened coats
  • Take off shoes when the laces are untied
  • Help push down pants
  • Find armholes in t-shirts.
At 2½ years children can usually:
  • Pull down pants with elastic waists
  • Try to put on socks
  • Put on front-buttoned shirts, without doing up buttons
  • Unbutton large buttons.
At three years children can usually:
  • Put on t-shirts with little help
  • Put on shoes without fastening – they could put them on the incorrect feet
  • Put on socks – they might have trouble getting their heels in the right place
  • Pull down pants by themselves
  • Zip and unzip without joining or separating zippers
  • Take off t-shirts without help
  • Button large front buttons.
At four years children can usually:
  • Take off t-shirts by themselves
  • Buckle shoes or belts
  • Connect jacket zippers and zip them up
  • Put on socks the right way
  • Put on shoes with little help
  • Know the front and back of clothing.
At 4½ years children can usually:
  • Step into pants and pull them up
  • Thread belts through buckles.
At five years children can usually:
  • Dress without your help or supervision
  • Put on t-shirts or jumpers the proper way every time.

We understand that Good Parenting involves a lot of skills apart from Teaching Child to Dress. It’s good to keep handy few tips. Don’t hesitate to take Grandma’s advise whenever needed.


Teaching Child to Dress

Dunn Klein, M. (1983). Pre-dressing skills (rev. edn). Tucson: Communication Skill Builders.

Rodger, S., & Brown, T. (2006). I can do it: Developing, promoting and managing children’s self-care needs. In S. Rodger & J. Ziviani (Eds), Occupational therapy with children: Understanding children’s occupations and enabling participation. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.

Teaching Child to Dress helps your child develop many other skills — Print My Fashion

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