How kids get dressed by themselves

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Channel your childs inner fashionista by allowing her to pick out her clothing
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Kids get dressed as one of the first steps in gaining independence

Gaining independence is an important aspect of getting older. Children either embrace this notion and want to do everything by themselves, or they want to remain dependent.

Whichever way they are, there comes a time kids get dressed by themselves. Although you will likely encounter a few obstacles in the process, your child will surely eventually embrace it and think getting dressed is fun.

Getting Started

Kids get dressed at different times in their lives. Some want to do it as soon as they are old enough to maneuver the clothing. Others are more stubborn and allow the grown ups in their lives to do all the work for as long as possible. If you're ready to have your child dress herself, one of the best ways to do so is to allow her to pick out her own clothes. Place them on the bottom drawer or shelf so that she has easy access to them. You can entice her to really want to achieve this milestone by buying super cute clothing. Giving her adorable pajamas or other stylish clothes may make her want to wear them more, and eventually put them on herself.   

Choose the Right Time

Although you might like it if your child dresses himself all of the time, it's likely less stressful for him to only do it some of the time. Your best bet is to pick a time in the day that is the least chaotic.

For instance, mornings are usually hectic, as you need to wake up, serve breakfast, get lunches packed and everything in between. This time of the day is probably not the greatest to allow him to assert his independence, since dressing is probably going to take a while. You might want to start out at bedtime and allow him to put his own PJs on. And when he does, make sure to praise him and let him know what an excellent job he's doing.

Using Easy Clothes

A button-down shirt is hard enough for some adults to put on, let alone children. So start out with clothes that are easy to put on. For instance, let her put on the sweatpants, T-shirts and other pieces that don't have buttons, snaps or zippers. The easier the clothes are to put on, the more she'll enjoy doing things herself. If getting dressed presents too much of a challenge, she might get discouraged and resist the process.

Start Off Simple

Begin with easy tasks, like have your child pull off his pants and socks. Once he's mastered that, see if he can put them back on. Shirts are a bit more tricky, so have him start by taking them off. When you think he's gotten the hang of it, go ahead and try having him put it on. He'll get more used to getting himself dressed and undressed over time and it will eventually become second nature to him.

Realistic Expectations

Expecting too much from your child can lead to her getting discouraged. Kids get dressed completely on their own at around five years of age. At two years, they can usually take off their clothing and between two-and-a-half and three-and-a-half they can often attempt to put on their socks, shoes and shirts. At around three or four, children can typically get dressed with some assistance.

Kids get dressed in their own time. The best thing you can do is to be supportive and positive about the process.


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