32 answers

18 Month Old Throws Tantrums When I Try to Dress Him

My goodness, talk about a trial of life! My sweet little sweet pea throws the worst tantrums every time I try to put a shirt or a jacket on him. Any thoughts on how to convince him it's only gonna take a second?

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Ok, well, we're obviously going to need some time on this one, as I've so far been unsuccessful with the choices. I haven't let him outside in the cold yet, but will give that a shot this weekend. You've all been so helpful, thanks so much! I'll keep you updated.
Thanks again!

Featured Answers

Brings back memories!!! My daughter (now 19) would throw a major fight when I would bring out pants. As she only wanted dresses!!! (winter or not)

I worked with what I had - meaning that I would put the dress on her (made her happy) and bought warm leggins' her made me happy.

What about a long sleeve t-shirt and a thermal on top. He is abviously a very smart cookie and knows exactly what he wants. And you are getting in the way - (oh- it only gets better- hehe). :)

I owned a pre-school for 20 years and with the real bright kiddos comes very independent thinkers!!! So you just have to be 2 step ahead of the game.

Have fun - the years really pass soooo very fast. My little doll looked like a rag doll sometimes buts, she is a very fashionable girly girly now attending St. Mary's college doing extremely well.

Best of fun,
S.

1 mom found this helpful

Man oh man! My 17 month old does this with pants. The success I have comes when I let him choose what to put on (always sweats, never jeans) and keep it fast and positive. But sometimes I just fight him and win- not that it is really a good long term solution.

1 mom found this helpful

C.,

My daughter did this at about 18 months also. She is my 3rd child. When this started, usually for jammies at night, I would have my husband help me put them on her. She would scream and cry and we would have to hold her down. As soon as we got her dressed, she was fine. I would then hold her and tell her,"see we just needed to get some clothes on you". I know it is hard when they scream and cry and even run from you, but they have to learn that they aren't in charge, you are! Do this with love and also gentle firmness. My daughter is now 2 1/2 and when she gets dressed, I usually pull two outfits out and let her choose, so that way she has some control. Sometimes, if it really doesnt matter what she has on I let her dress herself! It is usually layered and very colorful.
This too will pass!
Good Luck

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Mine went through that one too. I guess my best advice is it's more than likely a power stuggle. After my third child came (the most challenging one of the three), I decided you choose your battles! If you do choose this one, make sure you win it. Eventually, I believe he will grow out of it and he will feel safe with you and respect you for it.

1 mom found this helpful

I think perhaps it's just a phase. We've always talked to our son and told him, "time to get dress" "time for pajamas" or "time to take off our shoes" or "no shoes on the couch" kind of stuff and he complies happily. But suddenly he's protesting. I think it's just that - he's testing the limits. Another thought is that he was too busy with other activities and thinks he will miss out on something while he's stopping to complete this mediocre task that he has already mastered because there is so much more to learn. I wouldn't read too much into it unless you have other reasons for concern and also I'd pick your battles. It may be considered inconsistant parenting but sometimes it's not worth the battle - this is especially true in public places (at least it is for me!) I hate for everyone to be looking at us while my son is crying.

1 mom found this helpful

Take a Love and Logic parenting course (www.loveandlogic.com) I teach it in the Bay Area. Give him a choice. He can go out with his clothes on, or his clothes in a bag. If he doesn't decide, put him in the car without his clothes on and do it with a SMILE! Guaranteed he'll get the message.You'll only have to do it once, or twice at the most. It's a power struggle. He needs to make some of his own choices. Give him as many as possible that you don't care about: do you want to wear your coat or carry your coat? do you want the red socks or blue socks? do you want a cup of water before we go or in the car? etc. (Get the DVD Painless Parenting for the Preschool years. if you can't take a class!) S.

1 mom found this helpful

I have some similar issues with my son but he is a bit older (almost 3) but they started when he was about 2. He pretty much doesn't want to get dressed because he is busy doing something fun or interesting. I think that is a common developmental thing for this age because they are discovering so much. Anyway, what works for me is one of the following: Don't tell him we're getting dressed and just try to do it while he is engaged in another activity, sort of matter of fact. The other way I deal with it is to be clear that it is time to get dressed and I give him a chance or two and then I say - let me know when you are ready to get dressed and I walk outside of the room and wait. If the TV is on I pause it (DVR) and I don't engage him at all (no discussion, etc.) He will usually take a minute or two and then tell me his is ready. 2 year olds want attention and they don't like it if you don't engage them. I refuse to wrestle him to put his clothes on - it never ends well. 99% of the time this method works. I'm not sure if it would work with an 18 month old because their reasoning skills are not as developed plus it may be dependant on the temperment of the child. But, after some experimentation, that is what has been working for me.

1 mom found this helpful

Somedays my daughter doesnt want to get out of her PJ's in the morning. You pick your battles, so every once in a while she shows up to daycare in her pj's.
But most days we just do it fast and tell her, Hurry! Hurry! Put on your shirt! and do funny sound effects and talk really fast. Also acting like it is a race is always fun for her. Counting to three also helps. I say ok ready...One two three..put her shirt over her head and then its all done.
It really only does take a second so just emphasize on how fast it is. And tickle distractions are always good to lighten the mood after they are dressed and unhappy about it :)

1 mom found this helpful

My suggestion would be to try to find clothes that he really likes the looks of, and that is comfortable. Sometimes brightly colored clothes work. I would show him things in the stores if he doesn't gravitate to anything you currently have. Once you find something, don't hesitate to use it everyday and wash at night, until you find something else. My 1.5 year old likes tye dye (SP?)

1 mom found this helpful

Man oh man! My 17 month old does this with pants. The success I have comes when I let him choose what to put on (always sweats, never jeans) and keep it fast and positive. But sometimes I just fight him and win- not that it is really a good long term solution.

1 mom found this helpful

Brings back memories!!! My daughter (now 19) would throw a major fight when I would bring out pants. As she only wanted dresses!!! (winter or not)

I worked with what I had - meaning that I would put the dress on her (made her happy) and bought warm leggins' her made me happy.

What about a long sleeve t-shirt and a thermal on top. He is abviously a very smart cookie and knows exactly what he wants. And you are getting in the way - (oh- it only gets better- hehe). :)

I owned a pre-school for 20 years and with the real bright kiddos comes very independent thinkers!!! So you just have to be 2 step ahead of the game.

Have fun - the years really pass soooo very fast. My little doll looked like a rag doll sometimes buts, she is a very fashionable girly girly now attending St. Mary's college doing extremely well.

Best of fun,
S.

1 mom found this helpful

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