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Empowering Toddlers to Dress Themselves

As soon as your babies become toddlers, they begin to develop an interest in doing things for themselves. They’re growing at an exponential rate, eager to do things on their own, but faced with the challenge of following a set of rules that parents set for them. Though this period is often called “the terrible twos,” these new changes are all a part of growing up!

At Aubrey Gianna, we’re here to help you and your growing babies, from providing tips for new moms and dads to offering comfortable and stylish baby clothes and accessories that grow with your child! Read on for tips to encourage your toddlers to dress themselves and browse our collection of Two-Pieces for toddlers to get started today!

Tip #1: Start With Choices

Provide your child with several opportunities to make a choice between two options. When getting dressed in the mornings, ask them if they’d like to wear one shirt or another, and remember to praise them for making a decision! This will help your child develop a sense of self-confidence in making their own choices.

Pro-tip: choose your words wisely. When giving your child a choice, phrase it as a question: “Would you like to wear the blue jacket or the pink jacket?” When your child does not have a choice, make a statement: “You need to put your jacket on before we can go outside.”

By clarifying when your toddler does or doesn’t have a choice, you will reduce frustrations for the both of you!

Tip #2: Teach Them To Undress First

Undressing is a lot easier than getting dressed, so let’s start there!

Start by teaching your child to remove their shoes every time you enter the house. Teach them to sit down on the floor and take off their shoes one-by-one, and put them away where they belong.

When it comes to taking off hair accessories and pants, your toddler may already have that part down before they turn two. As for shirts, zippers, or buttons, however, they may need a bit of guidance. Aubrey Gianna’s Two-Piece toddler sets are ultra soft and super-stretchy, making undressing easier for your toddler! 

With patience and lots of encouragement, your toddler will soon be smiling from ear to ear when they can fully undress themselves on their own!

toddler with headband and two piece set

Tip #3: Practice Dressing With Larger Sized Clothes

Chances are, you received baby clothes from friends and family members that were given with the hope that your baby would soon grow into them. Put those extra large clothes to use when your toddler first learns to dress themselves.

Larger clothes have larger holes which lead to greater dressing success! As your child puts on a shirt by themselves, give out easy verbal commands for each step of the way: “Push your head through the headhole!” or “Now put your right arm through the armhole!”

Tip #4: Let Your Child Complete the Last Step

Break down each task of getting dressed into steps and allow them to do the last step first. Once your child can do the last step of getting dressed on their own, teach them to do the second-to-last step, the third-to-last step, and so on.

For example, when putting on pants, face the pants the right way, hold the waistband, and put their legs through each leg hole. Then teach your toddler to pull the pants up to their waist by themselves. Once they have that down, let them put their legs in through each hole, and keep working through the steps backwards.

Pro-tip: use pants with elastic waistbands! Zippers and buttons can be tricky if your child has yet to refine their motor skills. Stretchy and comfortable pants are more easily maneuvered, like the ones in our Two-Piece collection!

The sooner your child completes a task, the more accomplished they feel! By allowing them to complete the last step of getting dressed first, your toddler will feel successful at the start, encouraging them to continue trying to dress themselves.

toddler and baby in blue floral two piece set

Be Patient and Make Dressing Up Fun!

Though it may be challenging at first, there are concrete ways to support your child’s need for self-autonomy while still offering the support and comfort they need. Provide consistent praise when your child expresses a desire to be independent, allowing them to believe in themselves and their abilities When your toddler asks for help or wants “Mommy to do it,” lend a hand without pressuring them to do it on their own.

Make dressing up easier and more fun with Aubrey Gianna’s collection of super comfortable and cute toddler clothes! Browse our collections today!

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