Dress for Happiness
Ideas and tips to help you to choose the developmentally appropriate clothing for your babies and toddlers.
We share these ideas after 3 years of parenting experience and tons of researches done to make our daughter feel comfortable and grow in the best way possible.
We integrate the clothing choice in a more wide Montessori approach.
Children Freedom of Movement.
Choose clothes that don't restrict your children's movements.
Some clothes are fitting well and look beautiful but don't allow children's freedom of movement. For example a girl's skirt getting in her way when she climbs or a large sweater that get caught into the bushes when a wood exploration is at its climax.
For the babies you should always consider the grip of the fabric, to avoid slippery tissues that can make them unstable in the crawling experience.
The touch is probably the most active sense in humans firsts years. A direct way to discover and understand the World.
We want to offer to our children as much positive and enjoyable inputs as possible. In this selection of inputs we should include the clothes. Children's clothes should feel beautiful. Like a warm hug or a fresh wind.
You probably already know how frustrated and angry can be a child that wears uncomfortable tissues or a cloth with a scratchy detail and cannot properly articulate her/his discomfort.
Agreeable clothing is the secret for physical ease and emotional peace.
Clothing Functional to the Context.
Be functional! Don't let the aesthetics distract you.
We have always to keep in mind for what context the clothes we are choosing are, as we do when choosing our adult outfits: we would never go to the gym with a dress!
Comfortable and movement-friendly clothes are the best for our children everyday life. For special occasions we should think that the children will not keep motionless and that an elegant outfit should allow her/him to feel at ease.
Encourage Children's Engagement.
A child needs the freedom of getting dirty while exploring and experimenting, while engaging the reality. That's why we should be, as parents, free to let their clothes get messy, dirty, wet, painted etc.
Sometimes as adults we discourage engagement because we feel protective of the clothing. In the everyday life don't dress your children in anything so elegant or expensive that you would prevent activity to preserve the outfit!
And think also to the internalization process that will bring your child to feel insecure and blocked when facing activities that can mess up her/his clothes. We want to make them feel sure that exploring the World is the only think that matters.
Every Weather is a Good Weather.
“There is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes”
Every natural weather pattern should be seen as safe, funny and enjoyable. The rain can be exciting and create the perfect puddles for little frogs, the snow is the best open-ended toy, the warm sun is pure life energy.
The clothes can help us to balance the weather and ban from our children's life irrational fears or excessive sensitivities to the outside conditions.
Clothing to love nature!
Children's curiosity is bottomless. They are surrounded by a marvellous world full of inputs. Our responsibility as adults is to remove every obstacle that might block them from freely discover the reality.
Also cloths can be a distraction. They can irritate your children's touch sense with uncomfortable details like a scratchy tag. They can take their attention with moving or jingling elements. They can stress them with removable item that our children don't want to lose.
Let's keep the clothing simple and enjoyable!
Let them do by themselves!
Also the clothing can support the children's wish to be capable and autonomous. Offer them the possibility to choose their outfit (in toddler age between a limited choice to not stress them) and select cloths that matches their level of motor coordination: less and big buttons, trousers without buttons, laceless shoes.
During the Potty Training.
Learning to go to the toilet is an important step toward independence.
You will try to remove as much obstacles as possible to facilitate your children's success.
Loose clothing are easier to quickly get off.
Short t-shirts, dresses and skirts are easier to manage. They don't cover the front of a boy and don't get trapped under the bottom when a boy/girl sits down.
Less frustrations, less discouraged children. The success is at hand!
Do you have questions or you would like to share your tips?
Write a comment!
And enjoy your parenting travel!