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What to Expect When Dressing Your Toddler

The journey from an infant to a toddler can pass more quickly than anyone expects, so stay ahead of the game and learn how to dress your little two- or three-year-old. Now that your child has gained more independence and mobility, dressing them won’t be as easy as it was when they were just a baby. You’ll soon realize that sometimes there’s more resistance (they might not find that adorable pink skirt quite as adorable as you find it) or they want to wear clothes that are not seasonally appropriate. To help combat these issues and make dressing your toddler as easy as possible, we’ve gathered tips from other parents on what to expect when dressing your toddler.

They Will Want to Be Involved
Your little bundle of joy is beginning to develop a personality and creating some vague ideas about who they are in the world, which means they’re going to want to have some input when it comes to dressing in the morning. Don’t be surprised when they start asking to select outfits themselves, though these selections are not always going to be the cutest or most sensible. Avoid a temper tantrum by involving your child in the dressing process without allowing them to blindly choose any outfit they’d like. Provide them with guidance by saying things like, “Now, let’s find a t-shirt and shorts since it’s summertime, and it’s going to be hot today.” This structured guidance will aid them in learning how to dress and make them feel as though they are choosing what to wear.

Let Them Help You Shop
Another great way to get your toddler involved in the getting dressed process is by asking them to help you buy new clothes. Not all children will be interested in this prospect, but if you notice that you’re having trouble agreeing with your toddler on what to wear each day, you can ask if they would like to select some new clothes of their own. This provides your child with the opportunity to express him or herself and gives them a bit more independence. Of course, guidance should be provided during this process as well, leading your child in the direction of what types of clothing they made need.

Outfit Them with Several Layers in the Winter
During the coldest months of the year, layers are important for everyone. If you live in a region where the temperature drops significantly and snowstorms occur regularly, you’ll want to find a quality snowsuit to keep them warm and allow them to play in the snow all winter long. Jackets, long-sleeved shirts and thick socks are all vital to your toddler’s winter wardrobe. When purchasing a winter jacket, you may want to consider buying a size slightly larger in case your child grows over the course of a few months.

Stretch Spring Clothing into Fall
When purchasing toddler clothing for the warmer months of the year, try to select pieces that could work for mild temperature spring days and hot summer afternoons. Zip-up jackets are perfect for March and April when the air can still be cool, and you can purchase these articles of clothing slightly larger so your child can re-wear them come fall. T-shirts and short-sleeved Onesie® Brand bodysuits are the perfect base layer item for younger toddlers in spring and fall while providing comfort in the heat of the summer.

Invest in Training Pants
Between the ages of two and three, most toddlers are starting to learn how to use the bathroom on their own. While some children catch on quickly, it’s not unusual for all children to have accidents frequently as they learn how to control their own bodies. Because of this, you may find yourself washing clothing more often as a result of accidents. To give yourself a break and prevent nice clothing from becoming soiled, invest in a variety of training pants for boys and girls. These waterproof training pants can be worn under regular clothing as underwear with extra protection. Try explaining to your child that these are for boys and girls who are growing up, and once they’ve mastered using the bathroom on their own, they’ll get new big boy or girl pants. This encouragement helps teach them about setting goals and provides a small sense of fresh independence.

Help Them Learn to Dress Themselves
With toddler-hood comes a plethora of new skills and responsibilities—one of which is learning how to dress one’s self. Though most toddlers are not going to be able to dress themselves right away, you can begin to show them how to do so. Allowing them to choose their outfits is one step in teaching this new independent skill. Next, you can begin to show them how to put pants, shirts and jackets on with assistance from someone else. Toddlers pick up on the actions of adults quickly, so it’s likely that your child will begin trying to dress themselves on their own. Instead of stopping them, encourage them to go through the motions and offer them help and tips along the way.

Make Sure Shoes Are the Appropriate Size
When purchasing clothing items for your toddler, sometimes it’s a good idea to opt for a size slightly bigger to prolong the use, so you may be tempted to repeat this practice when selecting shoes for your toddler. However, shoes are one item you should never purchase in the wrong size. Shoes that are too large can be uncomfortable and difficult to walk in, particularly for a young person who is just beginning to take their first steps.

Purchase Versatile Clothing

To get the most out of your child’s wardrobe, you should look for items that have multiple uses—for example, lightweight t-shirts that can be worn in the spring and summer or layered under a jacket in the fall. When shopping for articles of clothing that can be used throughout the year, you may want to consider putting to practice the idea of purchasing a slightly larger size. For little girls, leggings and skirts with elastic waistbands are perfect, versatile items because of their ability to stretch, making them last and fit longer. You can also look out for pants with elastic and drawstring waistbands for boys to ensure the same duration of use.

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