DD obsession with changing clothes - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 06-17-2010, 02:28 AM - Thread Starter
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For the last month my daughter has taken a strong interest in clothing and changing a few times a day to the point of annoying me tremendously. Is this normal? She's not even three yet (almost-1 month). We are having fights over what she wears daily. I try limiting her choices down to 2 items but that doesn't even work now. I usually just let her wear what she wants most of the time within reason depending on where we are going but the fights between us are just wearing me down. I can't imagine what her teens will be like. Sheesh! Any suggestions on how to end this?
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#2 of 15 Old 06-17-2010, 03:05 AM
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No suggestions on how to end it. I do know that it's a perfectly normal stage that a lot of kids go through. DD went through something similar. She still likes creating new outfits, but she generally sticks to one outfit per-day. Personally we just opted for not picking that particular battle. Too much stress to waste on clothes.

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#3 of 15 Old 06-17-2010, 04:14 AM
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I remember my dd doing this when she was a toddler-4 or 5 outfits a day! It would bug me too, especially since the discarded outfits would end up on the floor and more outfits = more clothes that needed washing. Then she went through a phase were she'd only wear ONE outfit for weeks on end. Not sure which bugged me more.
Like MusicianDad I decided not to fight the clothing battle. It brought her joy, it gave her control over something, and although messy, it didn't do any harm. My dd is 9 now and rarely changes her outfit once she has one picked out, so I wouldn't worry too much about your dd's future clothing habits.
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#4 of 15 Old 06-17-2010, 11:38 AM
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My DD just turned 3 this spring and does this too. It can drive me batty sometimes but my best advice is to pick your battles and let it slide. DH would try to get DD to wear just one outfit that matched every day and it ended up in tantrums. It is a much more peaceful house now if we just let her change at will, even if it is a stripes with polka dots and hot pink crocs. I just make her put the clothes she changed out of back in her dresser. Although if she is this picky about clothes at 3 I can't imagine what she'll be like as a teenager!

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#5 of 15 Old 06-17-2010, 12:00 PM
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Went through the same thing here. I don't recall anything that ended it. Yes, everything was taken out of her closet routinely. The mess had to be confined to the bedroom, and she was responsible for clean up, usually with a lot of my help. I did limit it to her everyday stuff, and kept any expensive party dresses etc. off-limits.

A big dress-up box helps to distract a little from everyday clothes, but for some reason, she was usually more interested in her own clothes.

The phase does pass.
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#6 of 15 Old 06-17-2010, 12:09 PM
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Mine has been doing this since about 19 mos. She'll be 4 in October and I don't see it stopping any time soon. Don't worry, I 'd say it will stop before she's a teen, though.

It can be annoying but I find it's easier just to go with it rather than waste energy being irritated. If the outfit isn't dirty I have Ava just put it back in the drawers when she changes, if it is I have her put it in the hamper.

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#7 of 15 Old 06-17-2010, 12:12 PM
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It's definitely something that kids do at this age. DD's big thing is accessories, so we have to let her try on every pair of socks in her drawer and several hats a day, as well.

And then there's the fixation on one item: for several weeks, DD always wanted to wear a heavy, full-body kangaroo costume. DH (a SAHD) would let her do it at home in the cool months, but when it started getting hot, we had to hide it.

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#8 of 15 Old 06-17-2010, 01:56 PM
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lol. My daughters are 11 and 7 and STILL do this. At least now they are old enough to pick up after themselves.
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#9 of 15 Old 06-17-2010, 02:29 PM
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I think that DD is old enough to learn how to put away clothes she's discarded. No, she won't probably fold them neatly for awhile, and you may need to double check frequently that she hasn't put DIRTY clothes away too--but my DD is the same way (she is 8 now), and I taught her to put stuff away at 2. That was the condition of allowing more than one outfit change when she was little. Now that she has after school activities and often plays outside when she gets home and wants to have a school outfit, an at-home outfit, and a going-out-later outfit and she tends to get all three dirty with food/dirt/sweat/ect...we've had to change the rules a bit. She's limited to two outfits per day. We did make a deal that now she is tall enough to reach alll the knobs on the washing machine I would show her and supervise her doing her own laundry this summer until she and I were confident that she was skilled--as long as she does her own laundry, which will include getting stuff in the dryer in a timely manner and putting away clean clothes--I really don't care how many outfit changes she has. She's really excited about this right now, but she is a bit on the lazy side, so I suspect after a month or two she will limit her clothing changes and/or monitor how messy she gets so she doesn't have to do as much laundry.

Oh, I forgot to mention--I found weeding clothes and not having drawers bursting with clothes helped immensely too. Both in how many outfits she could go through in a day, but also to aid her in being able to stuff her clothes back in the drawer. Now that she is older, I still keep an eye on how many clothes she has, but she is very into accessorizing now and that has been very helpful. One of our projects this summer is to build, paint, and mount some kind of storage for her many scarves, shawls and shrugs and hair dodads. I think honestly that accessories have helped a great deal in cutting down outfit changes. But since she had the unfortunate happenstance of being First Kid I did not allow her to have scarves as a toddler because I was afraid she would hang herself accidentally or tie up the babies. Maybe if I had allowed her those earlier I could have saved $$ in laundry detergent. ;>
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#10 of 15 Old 06-17-2010, 03:46 PM
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Why does it bother you? why are you fighting about clothes?

Dd went through that stage at about that age, and even at 6, she often does 2+ 'outfits' a day. It's all part of the 'games' she's playing. Actually, at 2 1/2, dd varied between multiple outfits and completely naked.

We have some basic rules:
She has to wear underwear (when she's out of the house)
She needs to wear shoes (with covered toes) if she's going to ride a bike or a scooter.
She needs to wear a shirt if she's going to ride a bike (we had a nasty incident with road rash when she first learned to ride her bike).

Other than that, what she wears and how many outfits she goes through in a day is really up to her. I don't care if she wears shorts and a tank top in 40 degree weather or sweats and a long sleeve shirt in 80 degree weather. If she wants to run around in her bathing suit, so what? I don't care if it matches. As long as we're just at home, I don't care if it has holes or is a little ratty. Cleanliness matters only when we go out somewhere.

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#11 of 15 Old 06-17-2010, 04:16 PM
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My dd (almost 5) also changes her clothes frequently. I don't mind as long as she picks up after herself -- meaning, not EVERY outfit she takes off goes down the laundry chute -- whether she balls it up and shoves in in the drawer, or hangs it haphazardly in her closet - I don't really care about that. I just don't want the extra laundry.

As for it being a stage....well, my sister is 29 and still does this LOL. Maybe not multiple times a day like she used to, but going out anywhere and being on time with her can be a challenge LOL.
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#12 of 15 Old 06-17-2010, 10:18 PM
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Its normal for that age and stage.My DD started doing it at 2.She'll throw everything out in her search for the perfect outfit, so at the end of the day I help her put them back.I keep her clothes weeded and catagorized into outfits that I find go together and are appropriate for the weather.There are sometimes when she wants to wear her fairy princess costume and as long as its just doing errands and not a safety issue I have no problem, I think its cute.Before I had kids I worked in daycare and loved seeing the outfits preschoolers put together, we had one who was a power ranger, bat man and superman depending on the day, so cute!My DS do it too but not as much as DD.Don't worry if you relax now she may have this out of her system by the time she is a teen and won't be as extreme as she would if there are rigid clothing rules.

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#13 of 15 Old 06-17-2010, 10:45 PM
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Its very normal, and you don't have to wash everything just cause it comes out of the drawer and lands on the floor a few times, usually. Its alright to put it back in the drawer when the day is done or throughout the day. Think of all the practice she is getting dressing herself and the fine motor coordination that is developing! Shop the second hand store to find some cheap dressup clothes to make her life even more fun.
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#14 of 15 Old 06-17-2010, 10:47 PM
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My 4 yo DD has been in this stage for most of a year. I have 3 other DD who are 14, 10 and 8, and each of them went thru this stage. I think part of it is mastery of a skill (dressing) also, she enjoys creating outfits. Sometimes I think part of it is boredom and gives her something to do. I have no problem at all with her changing so much as long as all clean items end up back in the drawer and not in the dirty laundry. With 5 kids at home I already have enough laundry!
I think it's good to have some basic rules about dressing. What those are depends on climate and parental preferences. One of my big ones is that underwear is a must, unless we are getting wet!
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#15 of 15 Old 06-18-2010, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
Why does it bother you? why are you fighting about clothes?
ditto here. enjoy this stage. it is so funny to see them preening and watch their 'fashion'.

i recall dd not just changing multiple times but also going out in multiple clothes. its a common thing all kids do. i see it as a creative urge they need to fulfill.

i would die of embarrasment though as an inexperienced parent of dd's fashion sense, till a grandmom explained it was a v. natural and common thing.

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