Typical Developmental Sequence for Dressing

1 year
  • Holds out arms and feet for dressing
  • Pushing arm through sleeves
  • Pushes legs through pants
  • Pulls off shoes
  • Removes socks
2 years
  • Removes unfastened coat
  • Finds armholes in shirt
  • Helps pull pants down
  • Removes shoes (laces not tied)
2 ½ years
  • Puts on coat or shirt with a button front (unbuttoned)
  • Unbuttons large buttons
  • Takes off pull-down pants with an elastic waistband
  • Assists in pull on socks
3 years
  • Zips and unzips jackets (but does not place zipper on track)
  • Puts on pullover shirt with minimal assistance
  • Needs assistance to remove pullover shirt
  • Buttons large front buttons
  • Independently pulls down pants
  • Put on socks (may be with heel portion at the top of the foot)
  • Puts on shoes without fasteners (may be wrong foot)
3 ½ years
  • Finds front of clothing
  • Unzips zipper on jacket and takes zipper off track
  • Snaps or hooks front fastener
  • Buttons 3-4 buttons
  • Puts on mittens
  • Unbuckles belt
  • Unbuckles shoe
  • Dresses with supervision and some assistance for front and back details
4 years
  • Zips jacket zipper
  • Removes pullover sweater or shirt independently
  • Buckles belt
  • Puts on socks correctly
  • Puts on shoes (not yet tying shoe laces)
  • Buckles shoes
  • Laces shoes
  • Can tell the front and back of clothes
4 ½ years
  • Puts belt in loops
5 years
  • Ties and unties simple knots
  • Dresses unsupervised
6 years
  • Ties bows
  • Can manipulate back snaps, zippers and bows

Dressing How-to: Tips and Tricks
Adapting Clothes and Techniques for Motor Challenges
Fine Motor Milestone