Some children happily put on any clothes you set out for them, getting dressed in two minutes flat and never thinking about how they look. Then there are children who notice colors and textures and struggle to dress themselves, even when they are still too young to manage the buttons and zippers on their own.
When your child turns one year old, you will still be dressing her. As the year progresses, however, your child will begin to be able to slide a dress over her head, pull pants or leggings on (tights will be tough for years!), and get her arms into a shirt. You may have to help her with buttons and zippers, but she'll want to try them herself. The more you can let her do on her own, the better she'll feel about herself.
Children tend to love fun clothes — with large pictures of the things that they like, such as princesses or trucks or favorite TV characters. If your child has a favorite character or motif, you can buy clothes featuring that design with the knowledge that he will be happy when he is dressed.
Still, you should think comfort first and then appearance when choosing clothes for your child. If he loves to run and jump, don't dress him in such a way that his clothing impedes his movements. If he loves to get messy, be sure he has clothes that he can get dirty without making you too worried about cleaning them.
Keep in mind when choosing clothes that some children are very sensitive to itchy materials, preferring cotton rather than wool and acrylics. Likewise, sensitivity can manifest itself in a dislike of turtlenecks, long sleeves, and heavy clothes. Be sure you listen to your child's preferences in terms of comfort.
While most parents put hats on their children to keep them warm in winter, hats are also important in summer to protect from sunburn. Wide-brimmed hats, especially those with brims in back to protect the neck, are especially helpful.
Make sure the clothes you get are easy to get on and off for quick diaper changes. If your child gets dirty fast, consider using layers — such as a short-sleeved T-shirt over a long-sleeved shirt, so that when the first shirt gets dirty, you can just take it off and your child will still be dressed in something clean.
Even if you aren't always carrying a diaper bag these days, have an extra change of clothes in the car or nearby when you're going out for the day. It's always best to be prepared!
Most of the struggle involved with parents and children stems from unrealistic expectations and time issues. Your child needs time to get dressed in the morning. She isn't aware of the clock, meetings, work, or a schedule. She is actually exhibiting maturity when she concentrates on buttoning a shirt or trying to put on her shoes all by herself. While it's difficult not to rush children, it's much more effective to give them the time they need — or at least some time — to try to get themselves dressed and ready for the day.
If you believe your child is a dilly-dallier, the first thing to do is eliminate distractions. Turn off the television, sit down on the floor with her clothes, and hand her each item, one at a time, helping her as needed. This should take about ten minutes. That may seem like a long time, but it's ten minutes well spent compared to any length of time spent yelling and pleading and rushing.
Why does my child always want to be naked?
It feels good! At this age, there shouldn't be any embarrassment on your part or your child's. While his body and feet should be covered in any public place, your child should be able to run through your house and back yard naked. For cleanliness and health, be sure he has a diaper on.
These days, shoes are all about Velcro. In fact, many children don't have to struggle with laces until their fingers are quite able to manipulate strings easily. If Velcro looks too informal on some occasions, look for large buckles rather than laces.
Your child should always wear shoes in public places, but feel free to keep him barefoot or in socks when he is in your house. Socks with textured bottoms can give your baby some security on smooth or slick floors without forcing his foot into an uncomfortable position.
Another easy option is to have your child wear boots like Wellingtons. Children love boots, and many will wear them no matter what time of year or weather. Rain boots are easy to pull on and slip off and allow kids to get messy in mud, water, and dirt. These might be their favorite shoes even on dry days. Clogs and other slip-ons are also popular. Make sure your child's shoes fit properly and aren't worn out. You will probably need to replace them every six months at least.