Finding clothing for children with sensory processing issues can be a considerable challenge. Sensory sensitivities can make the textures and tags in clothing feel incredibly uncomfortable, leading to distress and frustration. This blog post aims to guide parents and caregivers through the process of finding appropriate and comfortable clothing for these children, helping to make dressing a less stressful experience for everyone involved.
Identifying Sensory Issues That May Affect Clothing Choices
When our kiddos are young, they aren’t always the best communicators. This can make it difficult to identify what may be causing discomfort when it comes to clothing. However, some common signs may indicate a sensory issue at play:
- Refusal or resistance to wear certain types of clothing (e.g., tight-fitting, scratchy, etc.)
- Constantly adjusting or fidgeting with clothing
- Sensitivity to tags, seams and pockets
- Strong preference for certain types of fabric or clothing items (e.g., only wearing leggings)
If you notice these behaviors, it may be worth exploring sensory issues with a healthcare professional.
Tips for Finding Comfortable Clothing
Once you’ve identified that your child may have sensory sensitivities when it comes to clothing, here are some tips to help make dressing a more comfortable experience:
- Opt for soft and seamless fabrics: Avoid clothing made from harsh or scratchy materials, such as wool or denim. Look for options made with softer materials like cotton, bamboo, or silk.
- Choose tagless options: Many companies now offer tagless clothing options, which can help eliminate the discomfort caused by tags rubbing against the skin.
- Consider shopping in the “boys” or “girls” section: While it may seem limiting, these sections often have a wider range of clothing options that cater to different sensory needs. For example, boys’ clothing may have looser waistbands and less embellishments, while girls’ clothing may offer more stretchy fabrics.
- Try on before you buy: If possible, take your child to the store and have them try on different clothing items to see what feels most comfortable for them. This can also help avoid buying clothes that they will refuse to wear.
- Layer up: For children with sensory sensitivities, wearing multiple layers of clothing can provide a sense of security and comfort. This can also help regulate body temperature in the colder months.
- Consider alternative fabric treatments: Some companies offer clothing with alternative fabric treatments, such as anti-static or moisture-wicking properties, which can help reduce sensory discomfort.
- Look for adjustable options: Clothing with adjustable features, such as elastic waistbands or drawstrings, can provide a more customized and comfortable fit for your child.
- Get creative with closures: If your child struggles with traditional buttons and zippers, look for alternatives such as Velcro or snap closures.
- Avoid tight fitting clothing: While trendy, tight-fitting clothing can often cause discomfort for children with sensory sensitivities. Opt for looser, more relaxed fits instead.
- Seek out specialized clothing brands: There are now many companies that specialize in creating sensory-friendly clothing for children with special needs.
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Shopping Tips For Kids With Sensory Issues
Here is a list of top sensory-friendly clothing brands to consider when shopping for your child:
- Target’s Cat & Jack: This line offers affordable, fashionable, and sensory-friendly clothing for children. The line eliminates itchy tags, replaces traditional buttons with snaps or Velcro, and provides flat seams for extra comfort.
- Kozie Clothes: Kozie Clothes provide therapeutic weighted clothing and compression clothing, along with a variety of other sensory-friendly clothing choices.
- BILLY Footwear: BILLY Footwear specializes in shoes that incorporate zippers designed to go along the side of the shoes and around the toe, allowing the upper of each shoe to open and fold over completely. This design allows for easy access and is a favorite among kids with sensory issues.
- Soft Clothing: Soft Clothing is all about comfort, focusing on sensory issues and tactile sensitivity. Their clothing is made of soft, organic cotton and is tagless.
- SmartKnitKIDS: This brand offers seamless socks, underwear, and tees, perfect for kids who find seams uncomfortable or irritating.
Each brand has its own unique approaches and it’s always a good idea to explore all your options to find the best fit and style for your child’s needs.
Adjusting Clothes to Better Suit Your Child’s Needs
After you bring them home and take the tags off, you may want to make further adjustments to the clothing for your child’s comfort. Here are some tips:
- Remove tags: An easy fix is to remove any tags that may cause irritation and discomfort.
- Turn clothes inside out: For kids with tactile sensitivity, wearing clothes inside out can help reduce the feeling of seams and fabric textures against their skin.
- Wash everything first: Before having your child wear any new clothing, make sure to wash them first. This will help soften the fabric and get rid of any potential harsh chemicals that may cause irritation.
- Use fabric softener: Adding a gentle fabric softener to the wash can also help make clothes softer and more comfortable for your child.
Leveraging Online Resources and Communities for Guidance on Shopping for Kids With Special Needs
For more specific advice and recommendations on shopping for kids with special needs, there are many online resources and communities that can provide valuable insights. Some great places to start include:
- Parenting forums: Joining parenting forums or online groups specifically focused on children with sensory issues can be a great way to connect with other parents who have gone through similar experiences. They can offer advice, tips, and recommendations on where to find clothing that works well for their child.
- Blogs and websites: There are also many blogs and websites dedicated to sensory-friendly clothing and products. These can be a helpful source of information on the latest brands, styles, and deals.
- Social media groups: Social media platforms like Facebook have groups specifically for parents of children with special needs. These groups can be a great place to ask for recommendations and reviews on sensory-friendly clothing.
- Special needs organizations: Many organizations focus on supporting families with special needs children. They often have resources and information on where to find specialized clothing and products.
Frequently Asked Questions On Clothing Sensory Issues
Why Do Kids Have Sensory Issues With Clothing?
Sensory issues with clothing can be caused by a variety of factors. For some children, it may be due to tactile sensitivity, where certain textures or materials feel uncomfortable or even painful on their skin. Others may have sensory processing disorders, which can cause them to become overwhelmed by certain sensations, including those from clothing.
How Can I Tell If My Child Is Struggling With Sensory Issues?
There are several signs that your child may be experiencing sensory issues with clothing. These can include frequent complaints of discomfort or pain while wearing certain types of clothing, difficulty getting dressed or undressed, and extreme reactions to tags, seams, or other clothing features.
Are There Specific Brands That Make Sensory-Friendly Clothing?
Yes, there are many brands that specialize in sensory-friendly clothing and products. Some popular options include Under Armour’s UA RUSH line which uses infrared technology to regulate body temperature, SmartKnitKIDS seamless socks and underwear, and Soft Clothing’s tagless clothing with flat seams.
How Can I Make Shopping for Clothing Easier for My Child?
First, consider online shopping as an option. Many websites offer detailed product descriptions and filters to help you find sensory-friendly clothing. Additionally, try involving your child in the shopping process by letting them touch and feel different fabrics and textures to see what they are comfortable with.
Are There Any DIY Solutions for Sensory-Friendly Clothing?
Yes, there are some simple DIY solutions that can make a big difference for children with sensory issues. These can include removing tags and cutting out seams or using soft fabrics like bamboo or cotton. Some parents also recommend washing new clothing multiple times before having their child wear it to soften the fabric.
What About School Uniforms?
For many families, school uniforms can be a challenge when dealing with sensory issues. However, some schools may have accommodations in place for children with sensory needs. It may also be helpful to speak with the school administration and see if any modifications can be made, such as allowing your child to wear a different type of fabric or removing certain elements like buttons or zippers.
Remember to Be Patient!
Finding the right sensory-friendly clothing for your child may take some trial and error. Be patient and don’t get frustrated if certain options don’t work out. It’s also important to remember that what works for one child may not work for another, so keep an open mind and be willing to try different solutions until you find what works best for your child.
Concluding Thoughts From Life Happens With Kids
Shopping for kids with special needs may require some extra effort, but it’s important to remember that every child is unique and has their own individual needs. It’s important to be patient, persistent, and open-minded when searching for sensory-friendly clothing. And don’t forget to take advantage of the many online resources and communities available for guidance and support.
At the end of the day, what matters most is finding clothing that makes your child feel comfortable, confident, and happy throughout their busy day.