How to Teach Children to Dress Themselves

by Vanessa Shen on May 01, 2020

How to Teach Children to Dress Themselves - Our Guide

Teaching children to dress themselves is a life skill, so it is best to teach them while they are young. You don’t have to rush the process, though. Keep in mind that it will take time and patience. Here are some mum hacks that can help you teach your child how to dress themselves.

Teach Your Child How to Remove Their Clothes

Removing clothes is easier than putting them on, which is why you should first teach your child this. You can have your child take off his or her shoes and jacket first. When it’s bath time, allow them to be the one to take off their clothes. Have them sit down while doing this to make it easier for them. Doing so will prevent them from getting off-balanced and falling down.

Start with Clothes that Are Easy to Put On and Off

When it’s time to teach your child how to put on clothes, take it easy at first. Stay away from clothes that have buttons or other complicated elements. Stick to elastic waist pull-on pants and teach them how to distinguish the front and back of the pants, and how they can put their legs in the pants. When it comes to tops, use ones that are easy to put on as well.

Let Them Get Dressed While Seated

Removing clothes or putting them on can be challenging for a child when standing up. So, to avoid frustration, have them seated while they remove or put clothes on. Have a small chair set up or have them sit on the floor when dressing up.

Teach Them the Difference between Front and Back

The easiest way to teach your child the front and back of clothes is to tell them that the tag is always found at the back. For tagless clothing items, you can show your child the printed label found inside the back neck of the shirt. Buttons on pants and pockets are also indicators of front and back.

Put the Hood on First

When it’s time to teach your child to put on their jacket, the easiest way to do this is to have them put the hood first. Start by placing the hood on your child’s head. By doing this, you can guarantee that the jacket will not be backward, and your little one won’t be confused about which arm goes in which sleeve.

Help Them Button Their Shirt

Now, it’s time to teach your child how to button their own shirt. The first thing to teach them would be to use snap closures, and then you can move onto buttons. Keep in mind that buttoning a shirt is one of the most challenging tasks for a young child, so you need to be patient.

Lay the Clothes Out

Laying out clothes for your child can help simplify the process for a young child who is still learning to dress themselves. The night before, lay out clothes that your child will wear the next day.

Teach How to Tie Shoes Last

The last thing to teach your child is how to tie their shoes. You have to be extremely patient with this as this task is ideal for children who have significantly developed their fine motor skills. Don’t overcomplicate things—teach this last when they already know how to put clothes on and off.


Teaching young children to dress themselves may be challenging at first. Don’t overwhelm yourself and your child. Take it slow and follow the tips listed above.

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