Dressing Toddlers

Now that your toddler is roaming freely, there are a few things to keep in mind when dressing them.

What to look for when buying clothes for your toddler:

Value for money. While toddlers grow at a slower rate than babies do, they still grow quickly. It’s unlikely anything you buy for them will fit for more than a few months, so why break the bank? This is not the time to break the bank on designer clothes.

Durability. Your toddler will put their clothes to the test. They’ll have to withstand playgrounds, puddles, food stains- all before the many bouts of washing and drying. To that end, you should choose fabrics that can take this punishment. A few favorites:  cotton, wool, fleece, satin, and linen.

Comfort.  One thing that your toddler hasn’t outgrown yet is its sensitive skin. It’s important, therefore, that you dress your toddler in soft fabrics like stretch cotton, which is breathable and easy to move around in. Clothing with well-finished seams and non-scratchy tags should also be prioritized.

Fit. For comfort, It’s also important to get clothing that fits your toddler well.

Toddler clothing sizes

Here’s how toddler clothing sizes generally break down according to a child’s height and weight:

2T: 25–27 lbs., 32–34 in.

3T: 28–32 lbs., 35–37 in.

4T: 33–36 lbs., 38–40 in.

5T: 37–42 lbs., 41–43 in.

Toddler dressing tips

Here are some other things to keep in mind when dressing your toddler:

If your toddler is relatively short, you can go for clothing labeled in months (for a baby) rather than those marked with a T (for toddler). Month sizes have the same weight range but a lower height range.

European sizing is based on height. If you’re based in the US, you’ll need to convert this from inches to centimeters (multiply by 2.54) for the right size.

If the T size for an outfit you love is unavailable, the kid-size might fit. Kid sizes are longer but leave no room for a diaper, so they’re often perfect for a tall, potty-trained toddler.

Swimsuits run small, so you’ll usually need to buy one size up from what your toddler usually wears. For girls, though, be sure to fasten the straps together in the back to keep them from slipping down her shoulders. The same sizing law goes for outfits from high-end boutiques.

Involve your toddler in the process as much as possible to give them a sense of independence. You can make the process easier for them by buying bottoms with elastic waists rather than buttons or zippers, and tops with wide neck holes.

Those who follow these tips find dressing toddlers to be a source of fun and learning, rather than frustration. Both for themselves and their little fashionistas.

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