Don’t Know What To Do When Toddlers Don’t Want To Wear Clothes? Our Top 9 Tips

Dec 12 , 2021

Don’t Know What To Do When Toddlers Don’t Want To Wear Clothes? Our Top 9 Tips


Granted, we might have spent hours picking up the best clothing for toddlers, opting for fun, uplifting colors, and allowing a slew of outfit combinations for kids to leave rent-free in our heads. However, as much as we’d like to peacefully dress them up and make them look utterly cute, seems like toddlers and clothing always rival each other. You’ll be surprised to find out that there might be a very good reason behind kids’ refusal to wear clothes - and it’s not because of stubbornness.


 If you too don’t know what to do when a toddler doesn’t want to wear clothes, here are some foolproof tips.


So, why do kids refuse to get dressed?


To quote the professionals, “Children at this stage are exploring the limits of their personal control” a pioneering psychologist named Erik Erikson explained. This stage of development is called “autonomy versus shame and doubt”. According to Sally Beville Hunter, Ph.D., a clinical assistant professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville “It’s built into toddlers and preschoolers that they can be autonomous. The problem is they’re not especially capable of rational decision-making. If you don’t give children enough space for independence, they feel shame and begin to doubt their abilities”


So, yes; the mundane task of making a toddler wear clothes can be a much more complicated decision for them. “There are very few ways kids can establish independence or let you know their will when they’re very young, but they do have some control over what’s touching their bodies” mentioned Aaron E. Carroll, M.D., an NYT Parenting contributor and a professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine.


Basically, don’t get discouraged! Toddlers often fight against getting dressed as a part of their conscious play for autonomy combined with a strong reaction to being restrained.



What to do when a toddler doesn’t want to wear clothes?


 1.  Focus on the solution, not the problem


Don’t fret; there are many hassle-free ways to get your toddler to dress and turn it into a fun experience for both parties. But before we begin, let’s firstly try to hide our frustration from the kids to not add any additional emotion to the already intense situation. The key to getting a toddler to dress peacefully is to focus on the solutions rather than the actual problem. Give them a few moments to calm down and try to work with them to find a solution based on their reactions and responses.


 2.  Offer choices and let toddlers pick their own clothes


At first, allowing your kids to have that much independence might sound a bit odd for first-time parents, however, it works wonders. For example, if you have a child who only wants to wear dresses, then don’t try to fight them over it. Simply present them with a few different options and upgrade your layering game to keep them warm and comfy during the colder months.


Sometimes, toddlers are drawn to colorful kids clothing that uplifts their mood. Just make sure to offer them a limited number of options to make the entire process way less time-consuming.


3.  When a child refuses to wear clothes, it might be due to sensory issues


We all have them. Some adults absolutely hate certain textures and smells; the same applies to kids too. A child might be taking their clothes off or refusing to wear clothes because they absolutely hate tags, making them feel itchy and uncomfortable. So, make sure to cut off the tags as soon as possible. Or, whenever possible, opt for a tagless option.


4.  When a kid refuses to wear clothes, it might be due to allergies


Some toddlers might have mild allergic reactions to laundry detergents. Switch your regular products to a gentle laundry detergent. It might be the answer to what’s causing a toddler to rip off their clothes.


 5.  When a toddler doesn’t want to wear clothes, swap them with soft, breathable fabrics


Sit back and think for a second. What do all the clothes your kid doesn’t want to wear have in common? Chances are that it’s due to their fabric. Maybe it makes them feel restricted or simply doesn’t like how harsh it feels against their skin. Kids’ clothing can feel weird, so make sure to opt for soft, breathable fabrics instead.


There are many stylish and affordable kids’ clothing options available that won’t let you compromise on fashion or comfort.


6.  Turn dressing into a fun challenge


If there is one thing toddlers love is competition. Make your kid dress peacefully by turning this challenging task into a fun little game. Maybe make dressing in the morning seem like a race to determine how fast your kid can put on a pair of pants or promise to let them choose their own shirt if they successfully manage to put on their pants by themselves.


7.  Get dressed with them


Don’t forget that toddlers are pros at copying behaviors and who is a better role model than the parent? Instead of putting all the emphasis on them, make it a “group activity” by stating that “it’s time for us to get dresses”. This way you will make them feel included in the process. 


8.  Toddlers refuse to wear clothes because of the fitting


Sometimes we all forget that for us, it’s ridiculously easy to throw off a pair of tight pants or get rid of our loose socks. For toddlers, however, it’s notoriously hard to verbalize their frustrations. Take it upon yourself to check if a piece of clothing still fits properly. Maybe, when they sit, their jeans are rubbing against their skin, and they actually need a bigger size.


9. Get goofy to distract them


We already know that kids love having a laugh. Now is the best time to put a pair of colorful socks on your hands or maybe wear the most outrageously colorful shirt on your head. This way your toddler won’t refuse to wear clothes because they will probably fight to reclaim what’s theirs or they might simply sit there staring at you with wide eyes. Either way, you’ve won!


 Now that you have a slew of ways to make a toddler get dressed, head over to I Before E Fashions to find the most fun, playful, colorful, and functional kid's clothing for toddlers.  Why not start browsing the website with them and let them pick some great outfits by themselves too?


 If you too don’t know what to do when a toddler doesn’t want to wear clothes, here are some foolproof tips.