Why I Let my 3-Year-Old Dress Herself


We live in a world where appearance is everything. Scroll through Instagram and you’ll find plenty of women who have found fame through sharing their love of fashionable clothes. There are even Instagram profiles dedicated to fashion for babies and toddlers. 

I have two girls, one is three and the other is six months, and I LOVE dressing them. It’s almost like having your own real-life Barbie doll. Or so I thought, until a few months ago when my three-year-old decided to start dressing herself. It’s a curse and a blessing.

Anyone who has dressed a toddler knows it’s a battle that often ends in sweat and tears. They might be little but they never cooperate! 

Currently, my daughter is obsessed with dresses. Living in Eastern Idaho where the average temperature during the Winter is 28 degrees, dresses aren’t exactly the logical choice. I can usually convince her to wear tights but not always. She also loves puffy tutus and, if she ever does decide to wear pants, she will choose a shirt that really clashes. Another favorite of hers lately are some hand-me-down pink Nike shoes that are two sizes too big. No matter how many times I tell her they are too big, she is convinced they fit and wants to wear them. 

And then there’s the hair. Don’t even get me started on the hair. My babies are bald until they’re at least One. Once my daughter had enough hair for me to actually style it, I was so excited! I have headbands upon headbands, bows in every color, pretty much every hair accessory known to man. It was all fun and games until she decided I can no longer touch her hair and if I do manage to fix it, she pulls it out by the time we leave the house. 

With all of these baby fashion bloggers, at first, it was hard for me to let my daughter leave the house the way she does. What will other people think? Do they think I don’t brush her hair? Do they think I don’t have enough money to buy her nice clothes? Do they think I’m a bad mom? So far, no one has said anything like that (at least not to my face!) And a lot of times, much to my surprise, I get smiles and compliments on the way she is dressed. 

As much as I loved dressing her in what I like, I want her clothing to be her choice. There are so many things in her life that I control, it feels good to let her make some choices for herself. I also love seeing how proud she is marching out of her room with her outfit of choice. It might not be pretty in my eyes, but to her, it’s the greatest thing in the world.

I’ve really learned to love her wardrobe choices, as unique as they are. They make her happy and help her feel confident, so I can’t argue with that! Besides, I still get to dress my six-month-old in whatever I want. 

All this to say, in our world where everyone is trying to look perfect, it’s okay to be different. If you are the mom with the independent child with their own style, it’s okay! And if your older kids still let you dress them, good for you! Either way, it’s important to teach our children to feel confident in their own skin no matter what they are wearing.

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Emily is a stay-at-home mom of two girls living in Saint Anthony. She has been married to her best friend for four years and family is what brings her the most joy. When she’s not busy wrangling her 3 year old or feeding her newborn, she enjoys exercising, eating, baking, reading, and watching tv (mainly New Girl and The Office.) She loves being outside and has a love/hate relationship with cleaning. She also has an unhealthy obsession with chocolate milk and listening to true crime podcasts. She hopes to live on a large property with farm animals someday.


  1. That’s awesome! My mom was still choosing my clothes as a teenager! Not good. She’ll become confident in her decisions as well. What a gift to give your daughter.

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