Most parents of toddlers can share a similar story: you get your toddler dressed, turn around, and wallah- your kid is naked again! Toddlers sure love to be naked, and there are many reasons they like to say, see ya clothes!
It is no surprise toddlers love to get naked- they were born that way!
To many toddlers, it does just feel natural to not have clothes on. And for those children, the second they get the chance to be in the buff, they will! Think of children this age as tiny little cavemen (and trust me when I say getting naked may be only the tip of the iceberg!). When you first notice your little toddler au naturel, they probably will see nothing wrong with it. To them, it is totally normal to want to be naked! You, mom, may be the crazy one for not wanting to be in the buff!
You may have been told to allow your infant to be naked for a little while from time to time to help his or her little tushy to air out. You can certainly do the same with toddlers. If they want to be naked in the comfort of their own home, it is fine to allow them to do so. Many toddlers ages two to four are still in diapers or pull-ups, so allowing their bottoms to air out will make them feel better. Start teaching boundaries though, so they know the proper time and place for when they feel like running around stark naked.
Clothes can be quite restricting, whether it is the stiffness of jeans, tightness of leggings, or the pulling of the long sleeved shirt, we can all agree that sometimes it just feels better to be naked! Toddler aged children typically between the ages two to four, enjoy feeling free with no constrictions. It is so much easier for them to move around, and who does not know that a toddler loves to wiggle and fidget?! Toddlers have no inhibitions, they will want what feels good to them, and sometimes that means running around the house totally butt naked!
We all take the skill of undressing for granted. For a toddler, learning this amazing new way to get naked- all on their own- is impressive, or at least that is what a toddler is thinking. Unzipping, pulling the button from the loop, taking an arm out of a sleeve, are all skills that your toddler will sure go crazy for once they learn how to perform them. And it is a real skill. By undressing, your toddler is actually practicing their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Therefore, it certainly does not hurt to let your child develop these skills by undressing him or herself, just aim to do it at appropriate times, such as before bath time or taking off pajamas in the morning.
If your toddler loves to get undressed, teach them the opposite- how to get dressed! Praise them extensively for their ability to dress all by themselves, in fact, make a HUGE deal out of it! The bigger the deal you make out of, well, anything, the more your toddler will want to continue doing it.
Your little baby is growing up, and one way your toddler will assert their independence is by ridding of all clothes on their body, down to their little bum! Learning how to do things on his or her own is something your child will take immense pride in. Try to not get angry when your little one decides to undress. Learning to do this task builds confidence, as any newly learned task would. Try to not squash this enthusiasm in your independent nudist, and that includes refraining from using the word “no”, instead praise your child on a job well done, and then teach them how to get dressed!
Toddlers have no concept of body shaming, in fact, their body image may be more positive than it will ever be for the rest of their lives! Not only do they see nothing wrong with being stark naked, they do not think the way we do, focusing on the areas of our bodies that are less than perfect. To a toddler, everyone is perfect, nothing is wrong with anyone's body. Keep this in mind when you talk about your own body, studies have shown it is body/diet/weight obsessed mothers who inadvertently teach their children about body shaming. Remember, you want to raise a strong, confident, independent person, and it all begins at home.
Terrible two's, three's, four's, whatever you want to call it, one thing is certain - with toddlerhood comes testing boundaries to the limit. Your independent (albeit, naked) toddler will be sure to defy you. You want them to get dressed before breakfast and they will sit and eat their cereal stark naked. Try to not get frustrated when you toddler starts to push against you... they want a reaction from you! Instead, allow their behavior to a certain extent but make sure you follow through on your rules and never let them waiver. The slightest leeway you give, the more power your independent little one will (think) he or she has gained!
Eat your vegetables: No! Clean up your toys: No! Get dressed: No! How many times has a mom of a toddler said these things?! A lot, right? Getting that naked body dressed is often in the same category as all the other things your toddler hates to do. And we all know that when a toddler does not want to do something, they do not want to do it!
While some children love to pick out their clothes and learn to enjoy dressing themselves, other kids do not. They hate getting dressed and will avoid doing so at all costs, temper tantrums and all. The key is to try to make it like a game instead of yet one more order you are giving them. Tell them to choose the shirt that is their favorite color or tell them you will close your eyes and that you cannot wait to see what great outfit they pick out. You may even want to give them free reign to choose whatever they want to wear (even it if it that tu-tu, again). Think of it this way, as long as it is clean and appropriate for whatever elements are outside, in the long run, it will not make a difference. In turn, it will make your toddler a more independent person.
One sign that a toddler is ready to potty train is that they get naked. Removal of the diaper or pull-up can indicate potty-readiness, or it could just mean that it is uncomfortable and that they are much happier with nothing on. If your child is getting naked and showing other signs such as stating when he or she is peeing, perhaps they are ready to be potty trained.
However, just because your toddler enjoys being in the buff does not necessarily mean he or she is going to be toilet trained. It never hurts to try, and to introduce the potty, but be prepared for accidents. Your naked toddler may suddenly want that diaper when it is time to go, and that could just indicate that he or she is a child who loves to get naked, but is not yet mature enough to handle the toilet.
By the age of three or four, although your toddler may still overly enjoy getting naked, they are likely to follow your rules and boundaries more and you will begin to see their naked bum less and less as time goes on. As they grow up, they will learn new self-care skills. Toddlers first learn to undress, but then they will learn to get dressed themselves, and do so correctly with time (which will make your life much easier!).
One day your naked toddler will just be a decent memory (complete with pictures you must make sure to take so you can show them when they are teenagers!). You will smile and remember those days fondly, maybe even with a tear in your eye. The little one that would defy you and undress at a moments notice suddenly has decided they want privacy. And that first time they close the door in your face because they want to get undressed alone, is a day you will wish you could forget. Your independent nudist will grow up and get out of the naked stage, eventually.