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5 Simple Solutions for Kids Who Hate Wearing Clothes

9:13 PM

I've had the kid who was content to wear no pants until age 5. I've also had the kid that would chill in a diaper and nothing else out of a preference for being uninhibited. With this last child, however, I have struggled to get him to wear anything at all. He would shiver in a 60-degree room in just his pull-up because clothes really bother him.

I have learned that this isn't rare. In fact, many kids dislike wearing clothes. It can be a comfort thing, or an emotional thing. Or they might just be picking up on your cues to not be very good about dressing them. But I have learned that this "anti-clothing" attitude can be tricky to overcome.

Here's what I've learned about getting kids to wear clothes.

1. It may be a sensory thing.

Yes, the clothes may be physically painful for them to wear. Or too scratchy. Or too cold. Or too hot. If you have a child who is particular about textures, anything may put them off clothes. My 4-year-old discovered that he hates wearing denim. Jeans feel stiff to him, and he won't wear anything but sweats or a soft fleece pant.

We get around this by buying pants that look nice on the outside, but feel like sweats on the inside. Gymboree has an awesome line of fleece-lined pants that Manny wears all the time. He is no longer bothered by the texture of fabrics because they all feel the same to him. Problem solved!

2. It may be an identity thing.

My son really doesn't like sharing. He wants his own cup, his own place on the couch, and his own clothes. And while we are a thrifty family that believes in hand-me-downs, there is a certain pride that comes with getting your very own clothing. Like this R2D2 zip-up hoodie from Gymboree.

He fell in love when he got it, and never wants to take it off. He's so proud of it, and it motivates him to dress up every day in whatever I pick out for him.

3. It may be an emotional thing.

For months, we couldn't figure out why my son wouldn't wear a shirt. Turns out, he was terrified of the patterns on the front of them. With many of today's clothes featuring skeletons, aliens, and sharks, we never considered that my son's clothes were scaring him. We switched out his gear for a line of happy moose prints and electric guitars. We left the more aggressive designs to my older kids.

4. It may require their participation.

Allow your kid to pick out their clothes -- either in the store or out of the closet -- and you'll see a shift in how they approach wearing them. Include them in the decision-making. You'll be surprised at how much more accepting they are!

5. If in doubt, go with character licensing. 

I'm not above buying a Star Wars-themed outfit to get my boy dressed in the morning. I pick and choose my battles, and if it's easier to win one because I pay a bit more for licensing so be it. I'm a busy mom and the designs are actually adorable.

Do you have a kid that just won't keep their clothes on? Instead of fighting with them, figure out what's wrong. It may be a simple fix that makes everyone happy in the end.

Note: This post isn't sponsored by Gymboree. I just love their clothes, though. They are so soft, easy to wash, and last a long, long time. You can see what's on sale there now by clicking this link.

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