Teaching your child how to dress up on their own not only benefits them, but you as well. By now, your child has advanced motor capabilities. They want to start doing things on their own, and they have an increasing curiosity for learning things.

It’s a perfect chance to start teaching your toddler responsibility and independence. It will set them on a path to self-care and successfully dressing for success by learning some basic dressing skills. Plus, the fun part is they get to choose their style and have fun at the same time.

As adults, we don’t put a lot of thought when dressing. It’s rewarding, and yet a bit tricky for your child to learn. Dressing up helps the toddler with many skills, such as:

  1. Excellent motor skills, especially when dealing with shoes and shoelaces
  2. Gross motor skills, especially when they need to balance on one leg to get socks on
  3. Cognitive skills which come in handy when the child needs to remember the sequence in which the clothes are worn and the patience required for the whole process
  4. They acquire a sense of style when they learn which outfits are suitable for which occasion and weather.
  5. Language and memory skills when learning and remembering the names for each item of clothing

Getting your toddler to learn how to dress on their own requires a large dose of patience. While it may feel frustrating to you watching them trying to put on something for five minutes, they must learn how to do so. Here are some awesome tips that will make the whole process easier for both of you.

Buttoning up

This is among the tough dressing skills, but don’t worry, with a little bit of practice, it gets better. Show them how to grab the button on one hand and the material where it goes through on the other hand. Coach them how to push it through the hole and how to hold the hole open. Help them through the process, and be patient with them if they can’t get the button through the first few times.

Clothing with bright, colorful buttons that are big with larger holes will help them get the hang of it. Let them also practice on their stuffed animals, their siblings, or dad.


You can make snapping snaps a fun activity because of the sounds it makes – snap! Outfits like rompers are easy to put on and are also comfortable for the toddler to move around in. Help your little one line up the snaps, then coach her to push the snaps together to close them. Look for outfits with bigger snaps because they will be easier for the kid to work with. You can browse for different varieties and styles at http://bitsybugboutique.com/collections/toddler-rompers. When undressing, show your tots how pulling the clothing apart releases the snaps. This is the part they might enjoy most!

How to zip up

This is a tricky one, but you can start by teaching your child to unzip first. Choose outfits with front zippers because they will be easier for your child to reach. Zip up the outfit for them, and then, let them unzip it. Repeat the process until they get it. Then, you can start teaching them how to zip up as well. Make them practice on a jacket with a big zipper, and you can also make a song to make it fun, and with that, they will learn how to do it on their own.

Getting pants on

Similar to zippers, pants are easier for the toddler to get down than up. Make sure you stock up on pants with elastic bands for now. Save the zippers, snaps, and buttons for later. Help your child by holding the pants for them while they put each leg in, and then let them try to pull the pants up. You can offer your hand for balance, and if they seem stuck, try helping them to pull the pants up to the waist. It takes much practice for them to be able to do it on their own, so be patient with them.

Shirts and tops

If the idea of getting your baby’s head through a t-shirt hole scares the both of you, you can stick to tops that are loose-fitting with big holes to fit in and Velcro stick on, instead of buttons. Then, encourage the child to push their arms through the sleeves, and pull the t-shirt down around their torso. To remove, the top will also take the same process. Start with the sleeves one at a time. They can pull the shirt over their head. To get more practice, they can try the process on their stuffed animals or dolls.

Wearing shoes

Another skill you need to practice and try on is putting on those toddler shoes. Stretchy, low slip-ons are the perfect choice for newbies. Start by showing your child how you wear your shoes, then allow them to follow suit. You can help them by marking each shoe with unique colored dots to show them which shoe goes where because this is mostly where the main task lies. Make sure they practice wearing the shoes while they are sitting to avoid them falling over. This applies if you’re also teaching them how to put on their socks as well.


Many benefits come with helping your kids dress themselves. While most of these benefits are centered on physical capabilities, the emotional and mental benefits are undeniable. This will help your child and also boost his confidence. They will be more independent and responsible while at the same time, be able to choose their style of dressing. It’s advisable in the beginning, when you’re starting out practicing to dress, to pick out the clothes for them to wear to avoid confusion. You can also choose to lay the clothes in order of how they are supposed to be worn to make their work a bit easier.

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