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Is it unusual that my 27 month old can't take her own clothes or shoes off?

certain shoes she can, i have seen her do it. but there are times she wants to be whiny about it and won't do it herself. however i have never seen her put her own shoe on, except for dress up shoes or boots that feet slide into easily.

as far as clothes, i've never seen her attempt to do it herself. when i pull the shirt over her head, she does put her arms through and i have her stand and put her own legs into her shorts or pants but i pull them up for her. however as far as removing them, she simply doesn't. when i ask her to try she has a meltdown. she's always been a very sensitive child!

i should mention that she is slightly behind with everything. speech didn't come in clearly til she turned 2. it was around the same time she was evaluated and the speech therapist said she was just fine. the only thing she lacked in at the time was actually asking for this or that instead of pointing to it. but now if she wants milk she'll say "i want milk". she still doesn't talk as much as she should though, but she has improved drastically.

the left side of her brain was injured when she was 4 months old, and i'm no doctor but i'm pretty sure a lot of her delays are linked to that. even though she recovered beautifully from the accident they did say they don't know what future repercussions will be. she walked at 12 months, and like i said talks "ok". but certain things she can't do. im guessing being able to dress or un-dress one-self is a motor skill involving hand-eye coordination. does the left side of the brain control this? or is it perfectly normal for some 27 month olds to be unable to do this yet?


Asked by tnm786 at 6:53 PM on Mar. 23, 2011 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (10)
  • Nothing to worry about. My little girl is 26 months and cant put cloths on. Pants she has trouble with, its normally both legs in one whole and for shirts that isnt happening. Shoes are slip ons like yours as for sneakers yeah doesnt happen. An speach is still baby talk half the time. I understand most of it. But my son was the same way. I think my little girl is a little more hard headed because she has a sister that is 13 months younger. Hang in their it will come with time. An soon enough youll be telling her to stop growing up so fast. They all figure it out at their own speed.

    Answer by TrevorsMommy507 at 7:06 PM on Mar. 23, 2011

  • My DD was putting her shoes on at 25 mos as well as her socks. She can get most of the way undressed on her own at 33 mos, she can pull up her pants and panties, but if she tries to put them on she does it backwards. This all takes time and encouragement. We stress the importance of being self sufficient and independent. She is currently an only child but I want her to be confident in her own abilities to do things. Keep up the work with trying to get her to do it.

    Answer by coala at 6:57 PM on Mar. 23, 2011

  • every child is different, & as long as she's able to do some things alone, don't stress too much! regarding the clothes, how much do you leave her to do these things alone? do you 'show' her how, then ask her to? shirts are very difficult to take off; my 2 yo is just starting & she's advanced in developement. socks & shoes are also hard, so start with ankle or no-show socks, & velcro shoes. pants are easy off, but not so easy on. You need to show her how to pull them off & on her butt, & how to pull or push them on & off. small steps, mama. be patient. Every child learns at their own pace. I know a 2 yo who can barely say 'cup', barely walks, can barely do anything, so your little one's doing great! However, the more you refuse to do for your child, the more they will learn to do for themselves.

    Answer by lilydoyle at 7:19 PM on Mar. 23, 2011

  • I don't think it's particularly unusual, but you could start having her "help" with dressing. While you are doing it, have her push her arm through the shirt,or pull it down over her head, etc. Little things as you go along to help you learn how. There is also an Elmo doll (probably others too, when I was little they were called "dressy bessie") that has buttons, zippers, etc. on the doll to help kids practice those skills.

    Answer by missanc at 7:58 PM on Mar. 23, 2011

  • My sis made my ds/dd a little cloth book that had zippers, shoestrings, buckles, and buttons. It told a cute little story, and the kids loved doing all the little fun activities. really helped them learn quickly! my dd was tying her shoes by the age of three!

    Answer by MamaAlice54 at 10:09 PM on Mar. 23, 2011

  • I think your DD is fine :) She is just new at being 2....give her some time. She will have the pants part down pat within about 6 months. I think shirts take a bit longer.

    Answer by Wish2Be at 7:43 AM on Mar. 24, 2011

  • oh, she also hasn't gotten drinking out of a regular cup down yet. it took me months to get her to feed herself certain foods with a spoon and she's been doing it for only a couple of weeks now. it was really hard at first for her but with lots and lots of practice she can finally do it. the same is probably going to be true with the regular cup.

    Comment by tnm786 (original poster) at 6:56 PM on Mar. 23, 2011

  • @anon, dont be an asshole. if you're truly a mother you know good and damn well that we go by months until they're three because there is a HUGE difference between a 24 month old and a 34 month old. simply saying my child is 1 or 2 is too broad on the development spectrum.

    Comment by tnm786 (original poster) at 7:57 AM on Mar. 24, 2011

  • My son is 3 and has not completely mastered every type of shoe or shirt and sometimes makes me help him pull up his pants because he is too lazy to do it. Development is not a race. The age a child walks is not on the Harvard Application. It sounds like that some of the issue is not just motorskills but learned helplessness. If you will do it why will she bother, which to me is a sign she is smart enough to manipulate Mommy a little. I know that you are worried about her for more than just usual development reasons but as of yet she has met all the milestones, just a little later. There are lots of things you can help her with in terms of grip and manual dexterity-even fun things to help her improve if you want to give her a little boost but sounds like she is not really that far behind on this to me.

    Answer by hotelmom123 at 1:26 PM on Mar. 24, 2011

  • no. but it is unusual to not call a 2 year old a 2 year old. stop with the months crap

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:04 PM on Mar. 23, 2011