Getting dressed by themselves!

For a child to learn how to get dressed by themselves, they must develop a variety of skills in their early years. We describe the stages they go through at different ages so you know what to expect!

Between 0 and 1

Babies obviously can't really participate at that age, but you'll be able to notice that they are observing you when you are changing them. It's by watching you that they will learn what to do in the future.

Between 1 and 2

By the time baby is 1, your toddler will begin practicing what they have learned by watching, but at the beginning, it will be mostly to remove the clothes, hats or socks with great pleasure. Over time, you'll notice some other changes like:

  • They will be stretching their arms and legs to put on clothes.
  • They will try to zip up and down their zippers.
  • They will start wanting to try getting dressed by themselves even if most of the times they will still need your help.
Between 2 and 3

Around the age of 2, you'll see some big changes taking place in your child, especially in their desire to develop their independence. They'll probably want to get dressed by themselves more often using these new skills:

  • Around 2, they will be able to put on and take off their shoes.
  • They can also now put on socks without help.
  • They can recognize the front of their clothes and put them on.
  • They start unbuttoning large buttons.
Between 3 and 4

From the age of 3, the desire for independence is even more present and combined with new motor skills that will allow your child to get dressed by themselves most of the time, if their clothes are placed in front of them and are easy to put on:

  • Choose loose clothes that are easier to put on and remove.
  • They are now able to tie their clothes with belts, buttons or snap-buttons.
  • They are now a pro with the zippers.
Between 4 and 5

When your child reaches the age of 4, they should be able to get dressed by themselves all the time. At this point, you'll start seeing them wanting to express their individuality by wanting to choose their own clothes in the morning, which you should encourage. Between the ages of 4 and 5, you'll be able to notice:

  • Their ability to tie their own clothes, and shoelaces;
  • Their ability to recognize the front and back of their clothes and put them on without much of a struggle.
Image de Mariem Melainine

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