When Do Kids Learn How To Dress Themselves?

As your child leaves infancy and enters toddler-hood, you may start to wonder at what age he/she should be hitting certain milestones. 

One of the most common questions we receive here at Therapy Services of Greater New York is:

"When should my child know how to dress him/herself?"

Children Dressing Themselves

The act of self-dressing is a particularly essential milestone because of the amount of skills that it requires. Children are naturally driven to become independent and self-dressing is a huge part of that. 

What most parents don't know is that children must use a whole myriad of skills -- gross motor skills, fine motor skills, motor planning, and cognitive skills -- to dress themselves. Being able to dress oneself also lays the foundation for your child to conquer more complex gross and fine motor challenges, like gripping objects (i.e., writing, drawing, cutting) and self-feeding.

If you are wondering at what age your child should be able to dress him/herself, use this chart below. 

Activities of Daily Living: Dressing

Dressing Task vs. Age Skill Should Be Mastered (years)

Assist pullover shirt                           1.5 - 2.0 years old
Removes shirt                                    2.5 - 3.0 years old
Puts on shirt                                      3.5 - 4.0 years old
Front opening shirt                           4.0 - 4.5 years old
Front opening shirt & fasteners       5.5 - 6.0 years old
Assists with fasteners                        2.0 - 2.5 years old
Zips/unzips                                         4.0 - 4.5 years old
Snaps/unsnaps                                    4.5 - 5.0 years old
Buttons/unbuttons                             5.0 - 5.5 years old
Hooks & separates zipper                  6.0 - 6.5 years old
Assists with pants                               1.5 - 2.0 years old
Removes pants                                   2.5 - 3.0 years old
Puts on pants, elastic waist               3.0 - 3.5 years old
Removes & unfastens pants              4.5 - 5.0 years old
Puts on & fastens pants                     5.5 - 6.0 years old
Removes socks/shoes                         2.0 - 2.5 years old
Puts on shoes, wrong feet                  3.0 - 3.5 years old
Puts on socks                                      3.5 - 4.0 years old
Shoes on correct feet                         5.5 - 60 years old
Ties shoelaces                                      6.5 - 7.0 years old

Do you have additional questions about your child's development? Contact us today for a consultation.