A by-age guide to your tot’s self-dressing skills

Dressing himself is a crucial skill your little one will master in his development. Here’s what you need to know…

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Your mini-me’s ability to put on their own clothes not only enhances their self-esteem and confidence, it also improves their cognitive and motor skills. Along the way, they will learn to match clothes to the occasion, as well as figure out the order to put them on. As their motor skills progress, they will eventually become more adept at using their fingers to lace up their shoes, button up their jacket or adjust their trouser zip.

Once bubba starts acquiring simple speech and movement skills, they’ll begin to demonstrate their sense of independence. They may even become picky with the clothes you choose for them to wear. Most kids learn to remove their own clothes ― a key accomplishment ― when they are between 13 and 24 months old. In fact, actions like undressing themselves in disapproval or tugging on the clothes you’ve put them in, aren’t uncommon.

Your little learner will need to master these skills in order to dress themselves successfully:

* Gross motor Lift limbs in specific coordinated motions into shirt sleeves and trouser legs, as well as balance to remove shoes and trousers.

* Fine motor Ability to use fingers to manipulate small objects like zips, buttons, buckles and laces.

* Cognitive Ability to understand the sequence of putting on clothing, as well as think about how seasons and temperature may affect what to wear.

Do not pressure your kids into getting dressed from the get go, everyone progresses at a different speed.

They might also get frustrated when they can’t put on their clothes independently. Soothe them by giving them the freedom to choose what clothes they’d like to wear. If they insist on a less-appropriate choice for school, explain why their choice is a no go — remember, peer pressure is a very effective scare tactic. The next time, let them choose from your selection of two or three tops, shoes and/or trousers.

Do not pressure your kids into getting dressed from the get go, everyone progresses at a different speed. If you feel that they have problems learning how to dress properly, ask yourself: Are you always pitching in or dressing him? If so, let him fiddle with his buttons or zippers the next time round.

A visit to the paedi may be needed if they have problems with physical movements or has an extreme emotional outburst when you are helping them to get dressed up. Otherwise, give these dressing tips a go, soon as your child hits the one year mark:

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Infographic Paulyn Ng

 

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