Clothes For Toddlers


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Clothes For Toddlers

  1. 1. Consumer Choices Selecting clothes for toddlers, ages 1 to 3 Toddlers learn to talk, walk, and develop self- child may not be the right size for that awareness between the ages of one and three. clothing when the season arrives. Toddlers need Clothing helps please the important people in a • A large, varied wardrobe is not important clothes that will toddler’s life, and dressing is a skill to conquer. to a toddler. Having just a few items and buying as size needs change will help keep keep up with How toddlers look clothing costs down. them in their active lives. How toddlers think and feel As toddlers grow, their body proportions change. The body grows comparatively more to fit the head, but the body remains broad compared to Developing self-awareness its length. The shoulders are narrow and As a toddler, your child will begin to recognize sloping; hands and feet grow fast. A child may himself or herself in the mirror or in photo- gain about 10 pounds and grow 9 inches taller graphs. He or she is developing self-awareness during the two-year period. Girls may be —becoming a separate person from you. When slightly shorter and weigh less than boys. toddlers approach their second birthday they will use their own name to talk about them- Remember the toddler’s physique when selves. At about age three they start using choosing clothing: pronouns to refer to themselves. • The neck is still short. Look for rib knit necklines or single-thickness collars that lie flat. At this time your child also develops an • The shoulders are sloping. Shoulder interest in clothing. Your toddler learns that straps will fall down unless crossed in back his or her appearance can cause people to or anchored together. respond in a certain way. Your toddler will • Diapers are still worn. Pants need fullness notice if you are pleased when he or she is in the seat. Crotch openings make changing dressed up for a birthday party or unhappy easier. about clothes getting dirty. • Toilet training is beginning. Pull down styles of pants with elastic waists will help Table 1. Growth features in clothing both boys and girls learn to manage this important task. • Fabrics that stretch • The toddler is still crawling. Crotch length of pants should be long enough not to • Two-piece outfits bind. • Long tails on blouses and shirts A toddler needs clothes that fit. Clothes that are too big hinder movement and play. • Raglan, kimono, or set-in sleeves with Clothes that are too big also can become deep-cut armholes caught on play equipment and lead to injury. Table 1 shows growth features you can look • Adjustable shoulder straps for in clothing. • Garments without waistlines Also remember these tips. • Don’t plan to save money by buying • Cuff elastic that doesn’t bind clothing on sale for the next season. Your PM1105 Revised July 2003
  2. 2. provide everything needed to take care of the Dealing with fears Toddlers may develop fears and will need problems, such as clean underwear, clothing, your help to understand and dissolve them. and washcloths. For more information on toilet They may be afraid of certain people, noises learning, refer to 1 2 3 Grow (Pm-1071). such as thunder, lightening, strange places, the dark, animals, or taking a bath. Toddlers are Your toddler will feel great satisfaction in the not all alike, and they may or may not experi- ability to undress and dress. The first step of ence these common fears. But the fears they undressing often is removing shoes, socks, experience are real to them. hats, coats, and mittens. By beginning the pro- cess, your toddler is showing independence. You can help make your child feel secure. Physical security grows when warm, dry, well- Don’t be surprised when, at about age two, fitting clothing and personal care are provided. your toddler undresses completely. Children A favorite blanket or T-shirt may help the like appearing nude and might express child develop emotional security. independence this way when you least expect it. But remember that undressing/dressing is a skill that will take a while to perfect. Showing strong reactions One- and two-year-olds often begin to express What toddlers can do strong emotional reactions—either positive or negative—to events, objects, or decisions. For example, a child might have a temper tantrum Undressing/dressing if told to wear a particular outfit. Your toddler gradually will become more cooperative during dressing and learn to Remember that each child is different and may extend legs and arms to help put on coats and require different handling during such tan- pants. Between 19 and 24 months of age, your trums. One method is to ignore the tantrums child will be quite cooperative. because your child will outgrow them in time. Other methods are discussed in the Iowa State At age two, he or she usually will be able to University Extension 1 2 3 Grow (Pm-1071) pull on simple clothing. During the next year, newsletter series. (The series is available by toddlers become fairly skilled dressers, asking subscription. Ask for it at your county ISU for occasional help. But, this ability to dress does Extension office.) not always mean your child will dress accurately or want to do it all the time. Clothes may be put on backwards and shoes on the wrong feet. Showing independence A toddler’s self-awareness is one of the first signs of developing independence. His or her While your child is learning to dress, use a favorite word often is “no.” Fortunately, this teamwork approach so he or she does not get negative stage doesn’t last long. By the second discouraged. Toddlers often want to carry out birthday a toddler will be learning to talk, be a task that may be impossible for them to proud of personal accomplishments, and seek complete. They should be able to save face and approval for actions. have successful experiences. Toddlers can express feelings and indepen- You soon will learn the dressing tasks that dence through clothing choices. You can frustrate your child. But you can prevent some provide two outfits that are suitable for the of these situations. For example, if your child weather and occasion and let your toddler can’t take off overalls because of the buttons, choose which to wear. unbutton the overalls first and then let your child do the rest. Your child may say “me do it.” As thinking skills increase, toddlers show interest and Shirts with expandable necks, pants with ability in solving mental problems. Children elastic waists, socks, underpants, and under- need to learn to dress themselves. You can shirts are clothes your child may find easy to provide clothing that is easy to put on and take put on. Large buttons, grippers, or zippers off; such clothing will be helpful during toilet with large tabs (not separating zippers) are learning. Disposable pull-ups will promote a easiest for small hands to manage. child's independence and ease cleanup prob- lems for both children and parents. Another way to help make dressing easier for your toddler is to lay clothes out in the order During toilet learning, accidents will happen. they are to be put on. Face each item in the To help your child become independent, direction that it will first be placed on the body.
  3. 3. A toddler may not be able to tell the back from and get caught. Avoid safety pins as tempo- the front. You can teach your child to remember rary fasteners. the “doggie” design goes in front, for example. Or, you can mark clothing with a dot or X on When shopping, keep an eye on your toddler the back and teach your child where it goes. at all times and never let toddlers wander near an escalator. Remember that children differ in their growth patterns. Some may master an activity, such as Clothes and fire safety dressing, earlier or later than developmental Since your toddler always is on the move, charts indicate. A six-month range of differ- consider how to protect him or her from fire. ence in abilities is common. In today’s homes candles, playing with matches, and lighted cigarettes can cause clothing fires. Nearly all daytime clothes will burn easily if In motion Toddlers are always on the move. They are ignited. learning to coordinate their large muscles to run, walk up stairs, jump, and climb. They also Burns are among the most painful injuries. are refining the use of their small muscles as Moreover, burns involving clothing are they build, grasp, and scribble. usually deeper than other burn injuries and affect a larger area of skin surface. Clothes must allow for movement and protect knees, shins, and elbows from abrasions from Children’s sleepwear (sizes 0-14) is governed by falls. Choose pants or overalls that have extra flammability standards of the U.S. Consumer padding in the knee area. Long-sleeve shirts or Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Recently blouses (when possible) can protect elbows. the standards were changed to allow non-flame- resistant fibers and fabrics, such as cotton and Check the size of your child’s clothing often. blends, to be used in tight-fitting children's Clothing that is too small or too large can restrict sleepwear. The CPSC provided exact measure- your child’s movement and be uncomfortable. ments for each size in the standard. However, children's sleepwear may not fit tight enough and it is known that loose-fitting clothing is more Talking Toddlers are learning to talk and will imitate likely to catch fire. The CPSC monitors burn sounds. They understand directions quite well. injury data and may reverse its decision about The vocabulary range for ages one and two is flame-resistant fibers if it finds that the fitting- three to 900 words. Toddlers use two- to three- based standard leads to more burn injuries in word phrases. Their language finally may be children. understood by others outside your family. Flame resistant fibers do not guarantee that By teaching your child to name clothing items, children will not be burned if their clothing their colors, and the part of the body they are worn catches fire, but flame resistant or flame on, you help increase his or her vocabulary. retardant fabrics do not catch fire as easily, Your child can learn to follow directions as you burn more slowly, and provide a margin of give suggestions during dressing. For example, safety—a little more time—to put out the fire tell your child to put the head through the T- before it surrounds the body, causing severe shirt first, next place each arm in an armhole, burn injury. For more information about the and then pull the T-shirt down over the body. children's sleepwear flammability standards see: The younger the child, the shorter the direc- tion should be. Explain one step at a time. Clothes that are considered fire hazards include: • loose-fitting styles; • full, loose sleeves, ties and sashes; Safety Toddlers don’t understand that they can be hurt • ruffles; and by things in their near environment. They still • fuzzy, airy fabrics. like to explore by putting things in their mouths. Clothes that reduce chances of catching fire Check clothing fasteners to be sure they can’t include items that: come off to get swallowed or cause choking. • fit close to the body, Clothes should fit close to the body so that • have narrow sleeves with cuffs, and they don’t interfere with a child’s movement • are constructed of tightly woven or knitted or cause him or her to trip and fall. Avoid fabric. drawstrings or long ties that can trail behind
  4. 4. When your toddler can understand simple Toddlers love to imitate tasks their parents do instructions, teach him or her what to do if in the home. One favorite is imitating house- clothes catch fire: work, beginning with dusting. Eventually, • stop—don’t run! with some guidance, your child will be able to • drop to the ground, and participate in tasks such as dusting, mopping, • roll over and over to smother the fire. sweeping, and putting away groceries. He or she may even attempt a kitchen activity a parent or sibling is doing. Guide your child by Clothes for sun safety Outdoor play is encouraged, but children helping and giving him or her a chance to should be dressed for sun safety when out- work along with you. doors—especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun's ultraviolet rays are Practical play clothes include coveralls, slacks, most dangerous. Too much sun exposure in overalls, shirts, and knit tops. Coveralls look childhood not only causes temporary uncom- neat, but may be quickly outgrown. Shorts and fortable sunburn, but also is associated with sun suits are practical for warmer weather. skin cancer in adulthood. The American Cancer Society says there is no safe suntan and Wear and tear that any tanning is evidence of skin damage. Toddlers live an active life and this can be very Light-skinned children are particularly at risk hard on their clothing. Clothes with the following but skin cancer occurs in all races. characteristics may be easier for you to care for: • machine washable—to remove food spills Parents can help their children by following and soil easily; the skin protection ABCs. • durable to withstand abrasion from A = Apply sunscreen lotion SPF 15 or above climbing, crawling, and laundering; 1 ⁄2 hour before exposure and reapply • jersey t-shirt knits that stretch for comfort; frequently; • sweatshirt fleece for warmth and softness B = Bask in the shade—just stay out of the sun; in cool weather; and • additional fabrics that need no ironing, C = Cover up with clothes such as seersucker, corduroy, terry cloth, quilted fabrics, and stone-washed denims; Children in strollers often have their heads • fabrics with printed patterns that show soil shaded, but their bare legs and feet exposed— less than plain-colored ones: and they should be protected with sun-screen or • smooth-textured nylon, polyester, or clothing that covers their legs and feet. cotton/polyester blend outerwear which tends to be water repellent to resist rain or snow. How toddlers play Clothing construction features that provide durability are: Learning through play Children play by exploring the world around • seams sewn with small stitches, flat and them. Toddlers take play very seriously and pliable; usually are fully absorbed in play. However, • finished seam and hem edges; they play alone or alongside other children, • satin-stitch reinforcement at points of not with them in an interactive way. They find strain such as ends of zippers and pockets. it hard to share things, but they like to watch older children play. Above all, children want clothing that is comfortable and easy to get on and off. Select- Your child will enjoy nesting toys, blocks, ing a few clothes that are easy care and that books, and crayons. Household items also will will take hard wear will let your child enjoy interest your child. Make sure any household active play and become more independent. items you give to your child are safe. File: Family life 4 Prepared by Janis Stone, professor and extension specialist, textiles and clothing, and Laura Sternweis, Textiles and clothing 9 extension communication specialist. Revised from a previous publication by Tabitha Aanonson, former extension home economist; Barb Abbott, extension communication specialist; Rae Reilly, former extension specialist, textiles and clothing; and Randy Weigel, former human development specialist. . . . and justice for all Whitten Building, 14th and Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its 20250-9410 or call 202-720-5964. programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of May 8 and June Printed on family status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Many materials 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Stanley R. Recycled Paper can be made available in alternative formats for ADA clients. To file a Johnson, director, Cooperative Extension Service, Iowa State University of complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Science and Technology, Ames, Iowa.