How to Teach a 2-3 Year Old Child to Dress Themselves


Parents of children aged 2 to 3 often face the challenge of not knowing how to teach their child to dress themselves. It may seem unnecessary to teach such a young child at such an early age, but the fact is that important skills such as independence are formed around this time. Therefore, it’s important to address this issue now.

At what age should a child dress themselves?

First, let’s understand why it’s important to teach your child to be more responsible and capable of solving basic problems on their own.

If you miss the opportunity to teach your little one these skills now, the lack of necessary skills will lead to negative character traits in the future.

  • If we continuously help our little one, we won’t give them the opportunity to serve themselves without outside help. What’s the result? The child may grow up untidy and careless about their appearance. This could cause future problems when your child faces teasing and criticism from their peers.
  • The lack of basic self-care skills and the habit of relying on parents will lead to the child growing up lazy.
  • Inability to act independently in the future will result in your son or daughter requiring your (or someone else’s) involvement in all matters. Such a child may grow up to be a manipulator.
  • Lack of knowledge on how to take care of themselves can eventually lead to conflicts within the family.

As you can see, the ability to get ready without mom and dad’s help teaches your little one to be neat, to respect others’ time, and to develop good taste.

Let’s talk about how to teach your child to dress themselves at 2 years old.

At this age, your child should be able to (with the help of mom and dad) put on and take off:

  • Shoes, previously unfastened by parents
  • Tights/socks
  • Skirt or elastic waistband pants that can be easily pulled on, like tights
  • Hat

The older your little one gets, the more they should be able to do.

And while it’s acceptable for a two-year-old to not be able to do these things yet, parents should devote more time to this issue and learn how to teach a three-year-old to dress themselves.

By the age of three, with minimal help from their parents, a little one should:

  • Know how to properly fold their clothes and where to put them
  • Be able to put on and take off their clothes in a specific order. This includes buttoning and unbuttoning a shirt, zipping and unzipping pants or a jacket, fastening and unfastening snaps on a jumpsuit, and velcro on shoes.
  • Monitor their appearance throughout the day: if their clothes have shifted or twisted, they should know how to fix them.

And one more important thing, how to teach a child to dress themselves at three years old: all clothes should be as simple and comfortable to wear as possible.

Parenting guide: how to teach your child to dress themselves

Sometimes, even when a child is of the appropriate age and parents are enthusiastic about teaching them, the child doesn’t want to learn how to dress themselves.

What is the reason?

Often, it’s because parents are to blame for something their little one can’t do or doesn’t want to do:

  • We rush and dress the little one ourselves because it’s faster;
  • We know we can dress them better and more neatly, so we do it ourselves again and don’t think about how to teach them to dress themselves;
  • We don’t want to listen to children’s whims and take the path of least resistance.

Now that the cause is clear, we’ve prepared a brief consultation on how to teach your child to dress themselves:

  • Start teaching this from an early age.
  • Don’t rush and don’t push your little one: let them get ready at their own pace.
  • Encourage your child’s new skills and don’t forget to praise them for their achievements.
  • Show them how to do it correctly: get ready together.
  • Encourage your little one to be more active: for example, start getting them ready and ask them to finish getting dressed.
  • Avoid clothing that is difficult to remove or put on. Choose simple and comfortable things.
  • Explain how to properly wear each item of clothing. Explain what it is for and why, for example, you put on a shirt first and then a jacket.
  • Play games more often that will develop your little one’s motor skills. As an option, come up with a fun game with buttons, buttons, and laces.
  • Encourage the development of taste.
  • Don’t punish, but help.

Now you know how to teach your child to dress and undress themselves.

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