For a child to develop agency and self-control over their bodies, they need to learn how to dress themselves. But how do you choose clothes that are both stylish and easy for them to put on and take off? Picking pants with elastic waistbands and wide openings, short-sleeved shirts they can pull on their arms (with your help), and dresses and tunics they can pull over their heads are great options.
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Pay Attention to the Sizes
Children grow at a rapid pace, so it’s important to buy clothes in larger sizes. They can wear them longer and won’t feel constrained by tight clothes. Plus, you can always roll up your sleeves and pants if they are too big for your child. It’s also important to avoid clothes with many buttons, ties or other fancy design details. These can easily come off or get damaged by kids’ play and everyday washing. Buying easy clothes for your children to wear is essential for their self-esteem and independence. Pants with elastic waistbands, loose shirts with wide openings for their arms and shoulders and dresses they can pull on over their heads make dressing up much easier. Try to step in only when they need your help, and cheer them on when they manage to do it on their own! It will make them more confident and eager to do it again.
Look for Comfortable Clothes
Children are active and need clothes that let them move freely. Tight, itchy clothes can restrict their movement and cause discomfort. Clothing that catches on things like swings, climbing equipment, or other objects can be a tripping hazard. Too large clothing can also be uncomfortable because it will twist and get in the way of their movements. They may also be irritated by tags, seams and snaps that rub against their skin or interfere with adaptive equipment.
Clothes made with natural fabrics, such as cotton and linen, are soft on the skin and breathe well. Avoid materials that can irritate the skin, including those that are rough or scratchy, and consider using clothing with bigger buttons and studs, which are easier for kids to manage than small ones.
Don’t Overdo It
Getting dressed can be an overwhelming experience for kids, especially if they are not in the mood. Let them work it out rather than jumping in to help them. It will build their independence. Plus, when they are successful in dressing themselves, it will boost their confidence. For example, having them wear a fancy dress may be tempting if you’re going to a wedding. But, if the event is casual, it’s okay to let them keep things a bit more laid back with a skirt and cute little shoes.
Similarly, layering them with too many clothes can make them colder. It is because cotton absorbs sweat, which allows the cold to come in and makes them feel even harder. Avoid this by having them lay out their clothing options the night before. It will allow them to narrow down their choices and save you time in the morning when they are groggy.
Children’s fashion trends can be hard to keep up with. It’s important to balance style and practicality. Kids should always be comfortable, and they should also be able to move freely. If you want them to feel stylish and confident, then it is vital to choose clothing that allows them to bend, run and breathe without restriction.
It is also important to give your child a chance to dress themselves. It is a great way to build their independence and also good for their confidence and thinking skills. It is a good idea to start this when they are toddlers, and you can ask them to pick their clothes (for example, ‘Which shirt would you like to wear?’).
It would help if you stepped in only when necessary and were positive and supportive of their efforts. They will be much more likely to cooperate if you praise them for their work. It’s also a great idea to discuss each process step, such as “Put your pants on” or “Push your arm into the sleeves.” It will help them understand what you ask them to do and why.