Have you taken the time to consider the benefits of allowing your toddler to learn how to dress himself? We all know how chaotic mornings can be … everyone is rushing to get out of the door on time and here is your toddler taking what feels like hours to put on his socks, or struggling to get his arms into a t-shirt.
Between the ages of one and two your little one will probably spend more time taking clothes off, and doing ‘nudie’ runs than putting them on. However from about 18months through to the age of 5, learning to dress himself is an important skills that needs to be learnt and often requires much patience on your part!
Try to remember – little lessons make a big difference to your toddler during this time of development.
To aid this process it is recommended that you give your toddler items of clothing that are simple. For example pants with elastic waistbands, (avoid zippers and buttons), loose fitting t-shirts, for the girls dresses with larger armholes, and slip on/pull on shoes (avoid laces, buckles and tight elastic fitting).
Try to avoid arguing over outfits – your toddler will obviously respond better to praise. Many toddlers will show their independence and own style when selecting their clothing, so while you may feel a little uncertain about their combination take time to consider is it really that important?? If your toddler is given the fun of choosing their own clothes they will associated the whole experience of getting dress as fun also.
So why is this so important? Learning to dress themselves aids in the development of many skills.
- Gross motor skills as they learn to balance and manouvure into clothing
- Fine motor skills once they start fastening buttons and zippers
- Congnitive skills by remember what clothing goes where and the order of dressing
- Patience and concentration
- Llanguage, colour and sizes are learnt
- They develop an awareness of space and weather conditions
- They learn about their own bodies and body parts
Not only are these developmental skills important but your toddler will develop a sense of pride, he will build confidence as he learns to dress himself, it develops independence and a sense of achievement.
Try to allocate a little more time to dressing to allow your toddler to give it a go and remember, this is a learning experience and will take time, don’t push your little one just be patient, provide assistance and encouragement, and they will get there in the end.
We love hearing from our customers, that’s what inspired our post. Tiny Treadz are more like pulling on a sock making them much easier for little ones to pull on. You can find the right size for your toddler over in our online store.
Raising Children Network (2011). Teaching your child to get dressed. http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/getting_dressed.html
Kidspot (2012). Teaching your toddler to dress. http://www.kidspot.com.au/Toddler-Development-Teaching-Your-Toddler-To-Dress+6025+26+article.htm
More 4 Kids. (2014). Teaching kids to dress themselves. http://www.more4kids.info/614/teaching-kids-to-dress-themselves/