For kids with sensitivity issues, it’s never about being fashionable and hopping on trends but solely about how clothes feel on their skin. Some kids would even prefer old, worn-out clothes because they feel softer and comfier. Know that this is normal child behavior, and with a few changes and a lot of love, you can help your child cope with sensory processing issues.
Try these tips to make getting dressed less threatening for your child and less stressful for you.
Some of the most common things we parents say when seeing our kids react negatively to sensory input are, “It’s not that bad,” “You’re overreacting,” or “If you just endure it for a minute, the feeling will eventually go away.” Invalidating your child’s unique sensitivities will not help them deal with them.
Most of us parents used to think that if a particular texture is okay with us and their siblings, it should be perfectly fine with them as well. However, kids' sensory processing differs from child to child, just like each of us has unique aversions and preferences.
Empathize with your kid and let them know that it’s okay to feel the way they do. Assure them they can always tell you their feelings and problems and that you are always there to help them.
Be sure to choose sensory-friendly fabrics for your child. Consider natural fibers, such as cotton and bamboo, that feel naturally soft, smooth, and breathable to the skin.
Remember to choose the right fabric while also ensuring that your child is appropriately dressed for the weather. Fleece and jersey are the ideal fabrics for the cold season, while cotton and linen are the best for summer.
Consider the clothes your child has in their wardrobe and check which fabrics they like wearing the most and the ones they don’t like. If shopping online, choose different fabrics your child can try.
More often than not, kids with sensory issues will find clothes tags irritating. Don’t wait until a meltdown happens before deciding if you should remove tags or not. Remove them as soon as you purchase the pieces of clothing to avoid future triggers.
Also, ensure to feel every seam of the clothes and try to look for any oddly placed tags your child may discover later on.
Some kids with strong sensory issues will avoid trying other fabrics altogether. If your kid somehow agrees to try a new type of fabric, give them compliments or any reward that they will love to show that you appreciate them trying new things. Also, give sincere compliments on how they look in the new clothes. This will provide them with the motivation to try other clothing in the future.
If problems worsen and start to negatively affect your child’s day-to-day activities despite your efforts to help, consider seeking the help of a pediatrician. Your pediatrician will perform an assessment, recommend the best possible solution and decide whether your child will need to meet with a therapist.
When dressing kids with sensitivity issues, your utmost priority should lie on their comfort. However, know that you can still dress them in fashionable and fun clothing that will make them feel confident and happy about their look. The key is being patient with your child and choosing the right fit and fabric they will like.
Looking for comfy yet fashionable kids' outfits? Check out Lola and the Boys’ wide selection of comfortable and trendy kids' clothing.