How your Child Learns to Dress Themselves

By about two years your child will probably manage to pull off his own socks or t-shirt, and most children begin to dress themselves by the age of three.

You can encourage this new independence by buying clothes that are easy for your child to manage, and by letting him dress and undress as much as he can himself.

Ways to help your baby:Allow plenty of time-if you’re not in a rush, you won’t get too irritated by his slowness. Lay out his clothes in the order he needs to put them on. Buy trousers or skirts with elasticated waistbands.

Never dress a pre-school boy in trousers with zip flies: he may get his penis caught. Look for clothes with large buttons, toggles or Velcro fastenings. Teach your child to start doing buttons up from the bottom upwards.

Let him choose his “favorite” foot, and then mark that shoe o he can get it on the correct foot. Avoid anoraks with slot-in zippers. When you have to help, make a game of getting dressed, playing “peep-bo” as you pop garments over his head. Once he is dressed, let him stay dressed even if he gets grubby.

Choosing Shoes: Bare feet are best for babies who are growing and learning to walk. They make it easier to balance, and walking barefoot makes for healthy feet.

Once your child is ready to walk out of doors he will need shoes, but even then ,let him go barefoot as much as possible. Shoes are necessary only to protect feet, not to ‘support” them-the muscles give all the support to the foot needs. Buy shoes from a specialist children fitter, who will measure the length and the width of the foot.

Have the fit checked every three months. Buy new socks at the same time as new shoes. Too small socks can be just deforming as shoes. While buying shoes remember that any leather or canvas shoe is suitable provided your child’s feet have been properly measured and the shoes fit in length and width.

Avoid all plastic boots, as plastic doesn’t mould itself to the shape of your child foot like leather, so instead his foot will have to mould itself to the shoe.