How to put tights on your daughter

Another example of information "everyone knows" (but really doesn’t), from Sara:

Watching my husband dress my daughter, I realized that my "standard" way of putting on tights, learned from my mother, might be obvious to me but not to everyone else.  The basic trick to putting on tights or pantyhose is hold them at the top of one leg and sort of "walk" down the leg with the thumb and pointer finger, scrunching more fabric into your hand with each "step", until you get to the foot.  You end up with a bunch of gathered material that you can pull over the foot in a quick move, and then use your hands to pull them part of the way up.  Repeat on the other foot.


  1. says

    My wife had to show me the same thing after my daughter got a run in her tights from her toenail as I was putting them on her.

    I used to just stick the girl in the tights and hold the waistband in the air until her toes fell to the end of the tights.

  2. Brian says

    I can’t put long sleeve shirts on my daughter. It ends up looking like a straight jacket. Any tips for that?

  3. says

    i always had my dance tights put on me that way. i think it must be something passed down from some mothers to daugthers, and somehow people get left out of the loop, because i had to show it to my sister-in-law when her daughters started taking dance class.

    as for a long-sleeve shirt, when i was learning to dress myself i would set the shirt on the floor with the body hole open upwards, stick my whole self in it hands first. that way you have the hands in first, and just have to worry about getting the head in.

  4. says

    And – it’s easier if you sit the child on your lap so that her legs are pointing in the same direction as your legs – then it’s sort of like putting on your own tights.

  5. says

    Jeremy, I am laughing out loud at the image you’ve presented. No wonder she had runs!

    We use Maggie’s method here at Chez S–it’s much easier that way.

    So far as shirts, my son takes them inside out (slacker mom–me–doesn’t fix such things in the laundry!) and rolls them onto his body. I don’t know how he does it. My daughter just holds her arms up and I slide it on over them & the head in one stroke.

  6. says

    This is the way I have always put stockings on myself and have continued to do so for my daughter. I always assumed everyone knew this was the easiest way. I guess I’ll have to watch hubby next time he puts tights on our daughter to see how he does it.

  7. says

    The secret is out. If you can continue giving me good tips like this, You will have a dedicated and loyal reader on your hands.

  8. Valerie says

    I’ve always used the method described by the OP, even for plain socks. My husband uses the method suggested by Jeremy (grab the tops, point the toes, and pull). I suspect it’s a gender/experience thing….

  9. says

    I do the same, but with an infant (who has decent head control), if the tights are not the very flimsy kind, I also stand her up (after the feet are in, and the legs up at least to the knees) and, holding on at the waist of the tights, lift baby up. She thinks it’s hysterically funny, the diaper prevents super-wedgies, and the tights are on good and high!

  10. Ingrid says

    I’m proud to say that it was my dad who taught me how to do this when I was a kid. I’m think he learned it from my mom… I think.

  11. Karina says

    This reminded me of watching my husband put on some lip balm: he would kind of pout, instead of extending his lips out in a smile! Guess it is one of those gender things ;-)

  12. Anita says

    I guess I took it for granted that this is the way to do it. I’ve been doing this since I’ve been wearing tights/nylons, but I’m not really sure where I got it from. My mom never showed me how to do anything (I was basically raised by my sister who is just 15 months older), so I know I didn’t get it from her! Anyway, yeah, this is the best way hands down! If you’re not already doing this, it will save you a lot of time, stress, and nylons.

  13. says

    As a guy who grew up with only brothers, I can say that there are several “girl” things you end up having to learn the hard way. Dressing a child is often more difficult that it might appear (wiggle wiggle), and girls clothes seem to be far more intricate and fiddly to put on. But that’s the fun of it all :)

  14. mike says

    I can attest to this. My family and I do historical reenactment AND I’m the one in tights! (Renaissance)

    While mine are quite a bit heavier they still go on best as you describe.

  15. jen says

    Brian, not sure if I am understanding what you mean by striaght jacket, but I think I might…When my 3yo has a long sleeve shirt, eps. with tight sleeves, I get her hand out the end and hold her hand in one, and yank the shirt sleeve up at the should with the other. That gets the slack up at the armpits and losens everything up…

  16. Janice says

    For what it’s worth, my mother also puts her pillowcases on the pillows like this.

  17. Jaime says

    I still think that baby clothes (especially anything with snaps and most girl’s clothes) have hidden cameras to catch parents fumbling attempts to dress their wiggly little ones.

    BTW – I love the post about the lip balm. DH does the same. LOL

  18. Darryl says

    @ Brian

    For long sleeve shirts, I try to skrunch up the sleeve like described for tights. Then I reach into the wrist hole and grab her hand. I cover her hand with mine (to keep little fingers from going all bendy) and pull her hand through the sleeve.

    If I can fit my hand through the wrist hole, I don’t even bother skrunching first, just reach in and pull her hand out. :)

  19. Heather says

    Not sure what age child you are dressing in long sleeves-but this is what I have done with my two from birth on: Describe simply what you are doing. I say “arms in the sleeves” as I put their arms in, legs in the pants, etc. By the time they are sitting up and have some control over their arms, they start doing it themselves as I say it. I’m still dressing my 2 year old, but it is easier with their cooperation. I usually pop the shirt over the head, then put the arms in, then pull the rest of the shirt down. It may sound obvious to some and be surprising to others-hope it helps!