Many parents are excited when their children reach milestones like being potty trained, brushing their own teeth, and feeding themselves. Learning how to self-dress is another big milestone to be excited about as a parent. When your child can finally dress herself it’s a big step towards independence. Soon they will be picking out their own clothes and you’ll have one less task to do in the mornings. Children need help learning the skills necessary for self-dressing and there are a couple of ways that parents can help.
Practice with toys
Keep small toys in bags that have zippers, ties, snaps, etc. so every time your child is taking out a toy to play with or putting it back they have to practice these skills. Time IN Dolls are also great toys to help kids learn to self-dress. The dolls allow kids to practice how to tie shoelaces, button, zip, snap, and Velcro! They also feature built in timers to help kids learn the concept of time.
Draw a chart
Hang up a chart in your child’s room that shows the different articles of clothes to be put on each day (shirt, pants, socks, shoes etc.) and place an image of each clothing item in the order that they need to be put on. The first column can show a picture of a shirt so your child will know to put that on first.
Give it time
You should let your kids practice dressing themselves each morning, which will take time and patience. Don’t rush your children through the process and set the alarm a couple of minutes earlier each day so they have plenty of time to get it right. Stand back and don’t help them unless they are becoming frustrated.
Set out certain clothes
If your child is just learning to self-dress, try to lay out clothes that will be easier for them to put on themselves. Pants with elastic waistbands instead of zippers are a better choice, as well as pullover sweaters instead of button up shirts. Leave shoelace tying for another day and have your child learn to put on shoes with Velcro straps.
When your child buttons his shirt wrong or puts it on backwards, don’t say any negative comments. Praise him for a good effort and offer to show him the correct way to put it on. This way your child will not feel embarrassed or discouraged and will keep trying to get it right on his own.
Written by Karen Barski, BSN, RN, Mother of five, Certified Infant Care Specialist & Instructor, & Inventor of the Woombie Baby Swaddle
Karen has been an RN for 18 years, and has worked in many different nursing roles. As a Certified Infant Care Specialist, Karen counsels thousands of families yearly on a multitude of issues relating to pregnancy and infancy. Also, as a mother of five, she has invaluable experience and tips to share.
Since 2007, Karen’s company, KB Designs, has invented a line of signature baby swaddle products that have helped parents easily transition their new babies from womb to home. There are multiple designs and sizes so that babies can enjoy the comfort and security of the Woombie up until the time they begin to roll.
Each product has been created and designed by Karen because of a need she identified in her life with her five children. With convenience, safety, and fashion in mind, KB Designs has helped over a half million babies and counting!
For more information, visit www.woombie.com.
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