Perhaps you’re a meditative morning Zen master, calm as a mountain, quick as a rolling storm, but if you’re like the rest of us, every rushed, anxiety-fueled moment seems to add another gray hair to your head. In between toddler tantrums, navigating messes and preparing for the day, getting your child dressed and out the door in a timely manner can be tough.

But in the age of parenting hacks, we ask: Must something as simple as getting your kids dressed be so time-consuming? We think not. Cut the oscillation, the digging through drawers, the time wasted. Getting the kiddos dressed can (and should) be easy peasy. That’s why we’ve got pro parenting tips to make dressing your kids that much easier! Read away—you can thank us later.

Teaching Kids to Dress Themselves

You may be still snapping buttons and zipping zippers for your toddler, but basic dressing skills are a cornerstone of mastering self care. After all, one of the most gratifying feelings in raising children is when your kids finally succeed in doing something by themselves. It’s those times that make you really stop and marvel the wonder that is childhood—on one hand, you’re proud of their achievements, on the other, you’re reminded that kids really do grow up so fast. Still, while it’s always somehow bittersweet, parenting is all about teaching independence. Make mornings easier, and give your kids an avenue for expressing themselves, by teaching them how to get dressed.

Lay down the basics

Start by showing your child the elements that should make up each outfit. For example, bottoms, tops, shoes and socks. Set aside these items in piles and allow your child to mix and match one item from each pile on their own in the morning. Easy! Depending on what clothes you’ve laid out, outfits should come together fairly seamlessly (see what we did there?). Still, give your kids the once-over before they leave the house—kids have a knack for coming up with the darndest ensembles!

Choose “easy” clothes

Comfort and style are no longer mutually exclusive. Make getting dressed easier by purchasing comfortable, hassle-free clothes. This is especially good parenting advice when it comes to younger children and toddlers—pick clothes that are comfy to wear, and easy to take on and off! We’re talking elastic waistbands leggings, lace-less kicks and roomy oversized tee’s and tanks Opt for free-breathing, soft cotton when possible, and  make use of layering to add an interesting edge to looks.

Implement house rules

A house dress-code? What kind of draconian parenting tips are we promoting here?! In all seriousness, while your household isn’t a pageant and doesn’t require strict regulation, asking that at least some basic clothing items be worn is a good rule of thumb. Start with pants. Pants are good. Encourage your child to get showered and fully dressed, even if they don’t plan on leaving the house that day. 

Make Getting Dressed Fun

Getting dressed shouldn’t be a chore; it should be fun! Style, after all, is a form of art, and kids fashion can be just as enriching as adult couture. By getting enthusiastic about the clothes they wear, kids can boost self confidence, express themselves, and make a positive first impression. Plus, as far as life skills go, being stylish is a trait that carries surprisingly far.  

One easy way to making fashion fun is through accessorising. Let your children’s personality shine by allowing them to add cool trappings to their outfit. Here's the shameless plug! Rookie & Co has a fun line of snapback hats, kids beanies and sunglasses, your child will effortlessly be the king or queen of cool.