How to get your toddler dressed without a tantrumĀ 

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Toddlers have a lethal combination of strong limbs and strong opinions - which is why getting them dressed can be a challenge. But, with some help from our friends at JoJo Maman Bébé, we have some tips - and a cheeky shopping discount!  

Remember the classic antenatal class exercise of slipping your serene, angelic and, most notably, plastic baby doll into a nappy, vest and sleepsuit? How you laughed as your partner struggled with all those fiddly poppers and then dropped the expressionless prosthetic newborn on the floor. 

Fast-forward a year or two and you realise the joke’s on you: turns out that, when it comes to getting them dressed, real newborn babies are a walk in the park compared to toddlers (apart from in extreme poonami circumstances). Yep, the real problems actually come when your darling baby can move around freely and express opinions - first via angry gestures and later, via, actual words, “no no no!” being among the most popular.  

One of the first things toddlers get opinions about? Their clothes. But, thankfully, there are a few things you can try to make getting dressed in the morning a bit less stressful….

The problem: You’re going to a formal occasion but your kid is all about the playwear

The solution: Don’t panic – why not let kids be kids? If you want to give your little boy the full “little man” makeover, complete with waistcoat and bow tie (we draw the line at a monacle), and they’re compliant, then go ahead. But really, the bride and groom or whoever’s hosting whatever fancy shindig you’re off to (get you) really won’t mind – or notice – if the youngest guests didn’t adhere to the black tie dress code. There are ways for your little people to look smartish but playful and comfortable too: this dinosaur polo shirt is the perfect compromise. 

The problem: It’s a bit chilly out but getting tights on your little one is like wrestling a cross between an octopus and a Jeremy Kyle audience member.  

The solution: Don’t be tempted to scrimp with scratchy cheap tights – if you wouldn’t like the way they felt on your legs, then chances are your toddler won’t either. Go for soft, cotton tights like these – they’re easier to manoeuvre up wriggly limbs, and giving them a choice of colours will make them feel like they’re more involved in the process. “Do you want to wear the purple ones or the turquoise ones?” is win-win – they’ll feel like they’re exercising a choice, and you don’t have to worry about them getting frostbite.

The problem: They hate hats, but you’re worried about them getting too much sun

The solution: It’s a tricky one, but try and put yourself in their shoes (and by shoes we mean hat) - hats DO feel a bit annoying to wear, they get in the way and they can look a bit silly. Your toddler isn’t stupid – they know you don’t wear a floppy sunhat very often, so why should they? The solution: um, wear a floppy sunhat yourself. You could also bribe people to compliment your little one on their super-trendy headgear. Nothing like a bit of praise to trick them into compliance.

The problem: Your little one is a bit too “fashion-forward” and wants to choose their own, inevitably ridiculous, outfit    

The solution: So what if your daughter wants to go to nursery wearing stripey rainbow tights, a tutu, wellies, a fox print hoodie and Frozen wig? She sounds awesome. OK, so you know that leggings and a t-shirt would be more practical, but allowing your little ones to express their creativity by making their own (bonkers) choices is a very positive thing. Plus you can totally embarrass them with the photos in a few years when they’re going through the obligatory emo phase.  

The problem: They just want to be naked

The solution: Well, it depends what your plans are. If it’s a day at home, then why not just be naked (wet wipes at the ready...)? But if they need to leave the house, you’re going to want them to be dressed – not least because the great British summertime can be a tad unreliable. If they’re old enough to understand, you could turn getting dressed into a game (“You’ve got 30 seconds to choose three things to wear. Go!”). If all else fails, bribe them with stickers.

This week Mush is talking about Jo Jo Maman Bebe’s summer range, which makes all things kids’ clothes delightful, even for the kids. Plus we have nabbed you 10% off with the code MJK71. Check it out!