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  • The Stages Your Child Goes Through to Learn How to Get Dressed

    When do kids learn to get out of his clothes or wear a shirt all by himself?
    by Lei Dimarucut-Sison .
The Stages Your Child Goes Through to Learn How to Get Dressed
PHOTO BY Unsplash
  • When busy school mornings overwhelm, you sometimes wish all the stuff you need to do will just magically get done by themselves: that breakfast will cook itself, the car will bring the kids to school in no time, and before that, that the kids will shower and dress up on their own. Come to think of it, that last part is actually doable. 

    Rolling your eyes yet? We can relate. It may not seem like it, but dressing your child up, especially if he's 3 to 5 years old, is almost like a daily wrestling match — you'll be exhausted chasing after him before you're even done! 

    Stages of learning to get dressed

    The thing is, this task is something you can teach early on to your child, such that by the time he is ready to enter school, he'd already had enough practice, and possibly some semblance of independence. How do you begin? What do you teach your child how to get dressed, and when? Here are approximate stages to remember and what your child can be taught:

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    • Getting out of his clothes - 1.5 to 2 years old
    • Pulling up a diaper with elastic waistbands - 2 years old
    • Wear a shirt - 2.5 to 3 years old
    • Dress up / get out of clothes with minor supervision - 3 to 4 years old
    • Dress up by themselves including buttons and zippers - 4 to 5 years old
    • Tie shoes - 5 to 7 years old

    Remember, the keyword is approximate — these are not set in stone. If it doesn't work the first time, try, try again!

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    Make dressing up easy

    Here are a few tips to teaching your young child how to dress up by himself.

    Tell your child how it's done

    No doubt your child has seen you without clothes and has observed you putting on clothes. This time, be more intentional about it and tell him the steps while you show him how to put on a shirt, pants, or socks. Explain it like you're talking to a three-year-old — oh wait, you are.

    Begin with the basics

    Naturally, you want to keep things simple first. Pick a piece of clothing for your child that fits a bit loosely, so it's easy to get in and out of. Do away with clothes that have buttons and zippers in the meantime, and stick to those with elastics which are easier for little hands to handle.

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    Ask your child what he thinks

    Believe it or not, kids this young have an opinion about what they should wear. Just like us adults, they'll have favorites, too (and they will sometimes have an even better sense of fashion). That's all good because through his clothes you'll see your child's personality shine. Open your mind and appreciate it. If he asks for your help, don't dictate — pick three ensembles he can choose from so it will still be him who makes the decision (with a little influence from you). 

    Be patient

    Learning takes time, so expect some slowdown when your child begins to dress up on her own. For a harried mom whose objective is to get her kids to school on time, it may be a luxury she doesn't have. Don't lose your patience, be supportive, and praise small achievements. It is a necessary step to learning.

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