Jump to Header Jump to Content Jump to Footer

Growing

< back to articles

Toddlers and Clothes: Why They Get So Picky

Is your toddler insisting on wearing the same shirt every day? Here’s why, and what you can do.
Views: 0

So your kid is insisting on wearing that Winnie the Pooh shirt...for the ninth day in a row. Here’s why, and what you can do.

Relax, it’s normal! "Toddlers get fixated on certain clothes because it’s their way of having some control and consistency in this world of giants who run the show—us!" says Heather Wittenberg, a Hawaii-based psychologist, parenting expert, and mom of four. "So it’s important for us to have sympathy with them—and to humor them."

This is about trust, too. Your toddler is a smarty-pants—and she’s testing you. "She wants to see if you ‘get’ what’s important to her," says Wittenberg. That’s right: She wants you to respect the shirt. So it’s extra-important that you don’t try to sneak away her favorite piece of clothing, as tempting as it might be. "There was a Hello Kitty shirt that my daughter would simply not part with," says Lily Donovan, a mom of three in Minneapolis, Minnesota. "We all got so sick of looking at that cat’s face. But we let her wear it whenever she needed to because we knew the phase would pass. And it did."

By all means, get an extra shirt/pants/whatever. "Put the duplicate into circulation so that the object of obsession can disappear for washing," Wittenberg says. "That way she’s always holding onto something clean, non-stinky, and non-germy."

Make trades, as necessary. "Our 21-month-old insists on wearing only red or purple socks," says Sarah Rozensky Alcorn, a mom of one in Washington, DC. "If there are only white available, she shakes her head and says, ‘None pretty,’ and won’t wear them. So we’ve learned to lure her into the white socks with the promise that she can wear her red sunglasses instead!"

Realize it’s a good lesson for her—in laundry and in life. "You might explain ‘Winnie the Pooh gets a bath just like you do,’" Wittenberg says. "Involve her. Show her the shirt going into the washing machine and have her help put it in the dryer. The more power you give her over relatively minor things like this, the better. Then you can choose your parenting battles and save them for big stuff, like safety and manners."

An article from the HUGGIES® Brand

  • Rated 0 out of 5 by 2reviewers.
    Rated 0 out of 5 by My nineteen month old is definitely showing a very particular focus on what she wants to wear. We went to the store last week and she wanted to go into the shoe section, we picked up a few shoes and she definitely let us know which ones she liked and did not liked. She chose these metallic pink shoes and did not want to leave the shoe section unless she had them on. I am seeing this same personality in want she wants to wear in the morning...I actually appreciate this autonomy and her own choices begin to emerge at such an early age. August 12, 2011
    Rated 0 out of 5 by When my daughter was 2. She would get obeses with one object at a time. Frist time it was sleveless t shirt she wouldn't take it off. So we let her pick out the same tank top with different color. That lasted about 2 month. Then can the over rall stage every one on Barney that day had on overalls in all different color. So everything she wore was some type overalls for 3 months. Then at Easter it was hats . We never went any wear without the Easter bonnett. Then for the last two years its been my little pony. We have about 100 ponys of all sizes. You can't substute MLP for he dollar store imatation ones. She know all there names and what cutie marks they have. And for almost a eear now its been BOLT the wonder dog from a video. She has just started rotating between ponys and bolt. So the Doctor said this type of behavoir is ASPERGER a type of Autism In her mind her ponys talk and eatshe knows there not real. but she said they only play with her. July 13, 2011
    1-2 of 2
  • Sign in to earn Rewards Points