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2 min read

Ok there's no official Montessori dress code BUT Montessori teachers do have recommendations for parents.

These 5 suggestions are purely for the purpose of enhancing your children's comfort and development.

And they're simple enough to put into practice at any age:

1. Movement is Key

Clothes should be easy to move in - sweatpants, t-shirts, sweatshirts, etc. are best for day to day. Save the cute skinny jeans and dress clothes for special occasions.

For infants starting to crawl, cruise or walk, bare feet are ideal whenever possible to give them more traction.

2. Function Over Fashion

Ideally your child's clothes don't have any closures that they can't manage independently.

For example, it's best to choose elastic waist pants, rather than ones with buttons, zippers, or clasps.

All closures should also be in the front of the clothing so children can access them.

In a Montessori classroom, children learn how to manage the different clasps and closures via the Dressing Frames but items like the Activity Buckles BoardBusy Book or Baby Stella Learn to Dress are great for the home environment.

You can also practice the different closures on your child's clothing at a low stress time, not when you're rushing out the door in the morning.

3. Size is Important

This may be controversial but it can be frustrating for children and teacher's when clothes are much too big.

Clothes or shoes that are purchased with the intention that the child will "grow into" them is nice in theory but when they're too big, they can get in the way of work, play, and movement.

4. Holes are Normal

Holes in clothing and shoes are normal and should be expected because of how active children are. Teachers aren't judging you for that and it's only a problem if the holes are causing a functional issue, i.e. rain boots that allow water in.

5. Layers Are Great

It's usually a good idea to dress your child in layers. They get hot easily because of how active they are and it can be difficult to self-regulate when you’re feeling too hot.

Being too hot or cold is a stressor in the Biological Domain, described in Dr. Stuart Shanker's book, Self-Reg.

And the tricky thing is that young children can't often make this association - "I'm hot so I feel bad/frustrated". Instead they cry or have a meltdown for seemingly no obvious reason.

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