28 answers

Why Does My 5 Year Old Hate Clothes Now?

Just in the last 2 months, my daughter has become overly sensitive about clothes. It is either too tight (when it is not), too itchy, the elastic band bothers her, the sleeves bother her..etc. She says that she wants to wear clothes she likes, so I took her clothes shopping. Every single garment was a "no" for her in terms of comfort although she picked it out. All the garments we tried on had no elastic bands or funny frills on it either. I thought it was her mood at the time, so I tried again and the same thing happened. It is getting ridiculous. At my last wits end, I had her try on almost every piece of clothes that she owns and 96% of it (that she wore before with no problem) was a NO. She is such a struggle to get dressed especially when she is constantly whining about her clothes bothering her for one reason or the other. Is this a phase? Is my child the only one doing this at this age? Help please!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

We went thru that for a while. Fortunately she just gradually grew out of it. I found it helped when i let her either choose her own clothes or choose btwn 2 different outfits. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Unfortunately, I'm not a lot of help, but I do empathize. You are not alone. My almost 8 yr old girl has been increasingly bugged by tags in shirts. It's driving me crazy to always hear "it's itchy!" I've been cutting out a lot of tags lately! Fortunately, that seems to solve the problem with that. She has another shirt though that bugs her a lot from the inside, even though I don't feel anything unusual about it inside. I got her some tank undershirts to wear under it so she won't feel it anymore. You may wish to try something like that for things that bother her inside the shirt. Also, my daughter won't wear jeans because she is bothered by the waistband, so she always wears stretchy pants instead because the waistband is softer.

I hope something from this might be helpful to you! Good luck!!

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter refused to wear jeans (and from time to time other things too...no buttons, collars, tights etc...) for 3 years, from 18 months on to 5. It was SO frustrating and I fought her and fought her. It wasn't utill I gave up and bought only spandex boring BORING outfits did she stop fighting all the cute things. So, having gone through it, I think to a little control craving child it is just one of the only things they can control. And I am not about letting my kids do what they want just to make them feel "in control" but I felt it was one thing I could let her do. And she is 6 now and will wear anything. It is so nice. Just don't fight it, she will move on and pick something else to fuss about! ;o) Good Luck! J.

More Answers

We were just talking about that in my biology class the other day. Young children's nervous systems lack the ability to "turn off" sensory overload. As adults, our bodies forget to listen to things like our clothes after awhile but children can get overstimulated by sensations like tags or waist bands. My teacher dsays they eventually grow out of it. My cousin cut all the tags out of her son's clothes and eventually new ones stopped bothering him. My teacher mention 8 being the age when the body overcomes that issue. hopefully it will be sooner.

2 moms found this helpful

She might be allergic to something, wheat, milk or other food she eats daily. It would make her skin highly sensitive and make it itch on contact with anything even slightly rubbing or touching skin. I started having that problem and it turned out that I don't tolerate wheat. Have you talked to her doctor? It must be hard on her and you but remember that this is HAPPENING TO HER - she is not DOING IT TO YOU. Even if this was a phase
it would signal that something is going on that needs attention.

Hope it will sort itself out.

2 moms found this helpful

Let her wear the 4% of clothing, she'll eventually grow out of it and if not, look at the bright side, less spending on your part.

1 mom found this helpful

I had the same problem with my son too but it started before 5 years old. It ended up being a sensory issue with him though. The clothes that my son prefers are the softer feeling fabrics, no tags at the back neck and things like that. Maybe also check your detergents too. Have you changed them lately???? I still use the free and clear for my son because he also has the eczema but any other kind of soaps seem to cause problems to without it actually being the clothes. Just an idea so that you know you are not the only one that is going through this.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi J.,

Your child is most definitely not alone in her behavior. My oldest daughter, now 14, hated clothes from the day she was born. She didn't like the way they felt and much preferred to be naked. I remember my sadness at the loss of her innocence when she came out into the front yard at 5 years old wearing nothing at all, and I realized that her days of naked toddlerness were over. It was hard to explain to her why she couldn't freely move around the world without clothes on. Then when she finally had to wear clothes it was only the clothes SHE wanted to wear - and she struggled with that because everything was so uncomfortable for her. Let me tell you, I have neighbor/friends who still remember some of Beth's crazy ensembles! At first it was a battle, and it got ugly sometimes. My only priority was that she was warm/cool enough. I didn't really care what she looked like because I thought it was more important to let her exercise some control over something in her life. What's the big deal anyway? But even that was challenging.
All I can tell you is that she moved out of that phase, although she's still very independent about what she wears. She's a wonderful young woman with a great sense of fashion.
Hang in there. Mothering is quite an adventure to be sure!
Best, T.

1 mom found this helpful

I'd also check for allergies and check with your Ped to see if there are any medical reasons for the sensitivity. Also have you changed any laundry detergents/fabric softeners lately? One time when we tried out a store-brand detergent that was supposedly dye-free and fragrance-free we all felt our clothes were itchier until we switched detergents back to what we were using before (All Free and Clear)

Does your daughter have any other sensitivity issues (noises, etc.)?

1 mom found this helpful

I saw a show on tv where something similiar was happening. It was suggested that the mom let the girl wear her pj's to school and not argue about getting dressed. Well, the little girl was cold, couldn't play with the other kids, the other kids laughed at her.....from that day on she wore what was left out for her to wear and no arguements.

You might want to put two outfits out for her to choose from - to give her some say in what she wears, but really, the choice is all yours.

Maybe the next time you go shopping for clothes, pick out some items that are acceptable to you and let her choose from your choices which ones will be coming home in the shopping bag.

1 mom found this helpful

Unfortunately, I'm not a lot of help, but I do empathize. You are not alone. My almost 8 yr old girl has been increasingly bugged by tags in shirts. It's driving me crazy to always hear "it's itchy!" I've been cutting out a lot of tags lately! Fortunately, that seems to solve the problem with that. She has another shirt though that bugs her a lot from the inside, even though I don't feel anything unusual about it inside. I got her some tank undershirts to wear under it so she won't feel it anymore. You may wish to try something like that for things that bother her inside the shirt. Also, my daughter won't wear jeans because she is bothered by the waistband, so she always wears stretchy pants instead because the waistband is softer.

I hope something from this might be helpful to you! Good luck!!

1 mom found this helpful

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