“Get over here and put your underwear on!”
“We cannot go to the playground until you have your leggings on!”
“It is too cold to wear your tank today!”
If you have found yourself, exasperated, begging your toddler to get dressed in the morning, you are not alone. Struggling to get a toddler dressed is an all too common battle that parents fight daily.
On the battleground of parents and toddlers versus the daily obligation of wearing clothes, you can find scratchy tags, underwear wedgies, overfilled closets, seasonal clothing, too-tight elastic, and so much more.
But, fear not! We have some tried and true tips to help end the struggle of getting your toddler into their clothes.
Comfortable Toddler Clothing
The first priority in getting your toddler dressed needs to be ensuring that the clothes in their closets and dressers are comfortable. Properly fitting underwear that won’t give wedgies, soft t-shirts that won’t irritate sensitive skin, shorts with just-right elastic to avoid anything digging into your child’s waist.
At Lucky & Me we have the basics you need to fill the gaps in your toddler’s closet and replace the items that go unworn. Our underwear comes in all different styles to suit your toddler’s unique body and underwear comfort needs. Our fabrics are chosen specifically for softness, comfort, and durability.
When choosing your toddler’s clothing, it can be so easy to get side-tracked by all of the cute (but sometimes impractical options) that are out there. Keep the most important things in mind when choosing your toddler clothes:
- Is it going to fit my toddler’s body well?
- Is it going to work with the ways my toddler moves and plays?
- Is it high-quality fabric?
- It is easy to wash?
There is no sense in maneuvering your toddler into uncomfortable clothes that they will complain about and remove within minutes, only to start the whole process of dressing your toddler again. Comfort is essential when convincing your toddler that they love to put their clothes on.
Create a Curated Wardrobe for Toddlers
It might sound over the top to curate a wardrobe for your toddler, but it really can make all the difference towards ending the struggle of getting your toddler dressed each day. Instead of an over-packed closet and stuffed drawers, be purposeful.
Keeping your toddler’s clothing options simple and minimal reduces the time spent hunting for that favorite pair of cotton underwear or pink leggings. It also creates fewer small disagreements about the entire process of getting your toddler into their clothes.
This also means keeping on top of cycling out too-small clothes. Keeping a bin in a closet or laundry room where too-small clothes can easily be put to the side can help with this job.
With fewer, high-quality choices in the repertoire, more time can be spent getting the clothes onto your child and less time figuring out which clothes are the winners for the day.
Give Toddlers Some Choice
Just like adults, toddlers want to feel like they are in control. But, the reality is that toddlers don't have a lot of control over their lives. Allowing them to choose their outfits gives them the ability to have a little control in starting their day.
Getting dressed is one area of a child’s day where they can have some say! This is not to say that your toddler gets to wear snow boots in July and a too-small ninja costume to visit Grandma.
But, with your toddler’s curated wardrobe of simplified, comfortable, and seasonably appropriate clothing choices, having your toddler pick what they want to wear can eliminate some of the daily tussling over getting your child dressed.
You can ease into giving your toddler clothing choices:
Eventually, you’ll have them picking whole outfits and putting them on themselves— from pulling on underwear and t-shirts to zipping jackets and tying shoes.
By the time your toddler is a tween, you want them to be able to choose what to wear in the morning efficiently! Tween clothing struggles about what to wear are awfully similar to the ones you're facing with your toddler now!
The more practice they can have choosing and dressing now, the better.
Make Toddler Dressing Time a Routine
Toddlers thrive on predictability and routine. This is just another element of feeling like they know what’s going on and like they have some control over their lives.
So, despite the chaos that we all can feel trying to get out of the house in the mornings, try to keep to a simple, predictable routine. If your toddler knows that they will always be picking out their outfit before they sit down to eat their breakfast, there will be less argument about getting the job done.
Whatever series of events works in your family is the right one for you. Think about how you want things to go in your mornings, and what your kids are like in the mornings — then, make a plan.
Some things you might consider when making your routine:
- Do you have a messy eater on your hands? — Putting the day’s clothes on before breakfast is probably not the right move for you!
- Do you have extra hard-to-wake kids in your house? — Getting out of pajamas first thing might help get everyone on the road to waking up!
- Do you live in a place with unpredictable weather? — Can an older kid be in charge of checking the day’s weather before anyone picks out their clothes and gets dressed?
Create Visual Reminders for Your Toddler (and You!)
From preschool through high school, you see visual reminders posted everywhere in schools. And, that’s because it really works. Toddlers, big kids, tweens, teens, and adults alike can be forgetful. One simple solution is to have clear reminders in obvious places.
Since toddlers can’t read, reminders with pictures or drawings about what clothes they should choose and what needs to get done each morning can make all the difference. A chart with pictures of underwear, shirt, pants, socks, and shoes can help a child who regularly forgets to put their underwear on before their pants. Instead of the daily battle to dress your toddler, have a simple-to-follow battle plan that you and your toddler can tackle together.
Photos of your toddler’s actual closet and clothes, their favorite breakfast plate, and your bathroom with their toothbrush can be great options for this visual schedule. Basic clip art or photos printed online will serve your toddler just as well.
Making this visual schedule, putting it in an easy-to-see spot, and reminding your toddler to check each step of the way will lead to more and more independence.
If dressing your toddler is a struggle, try some of these tips and see if they work for you and your family! Removing some of the challenges of your toddler and their clothes will undoubtedly bring a little more peace to your day.