How can I get my toddler to put on her coat when she refuses?

Getting organized and out the door with young children is a challenge in itself, add a toddler who refuses to put on a coat and it’s enough to make you want to stay inside! While it is important to give your toddler the opportunity to make her own choices, you need to make sure that she is adequately dressed for the weather. One way to avoid a power struggle each time you leave the house is to turn it into a game. For example, you can race to see who can get their coat on the quickest or pretend that the coat is like a super hero cape that gives your child special powers. It may also be helpful to ask your child whether there is something about the coat that bothers her. Some children are extra sensitive to different textures and it could be that an abrasive tag or the lining in the coat is the issue.

Jennie Ito, Ph.D.

Child Development Expert

Jennie Ito is a mother of two and a child development consultant who specializes in children’s play and toys. Before becoming a consultant for LeapFrog, she was an intern at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and later worked as a content expert for the Association of Children’s Museum’s “Playing for Keeps” Play Initiative. Jennie earned her doctorate degree in developmental psychology at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada.