The Naked Toddler

Toddlers are, by nature, exhibitionists. More than one family has been embarrassed when, during a dinner party, junior strips down to his birthday suit and runs around the dining room table, while mom and dad race to get a towel around him. It is extremely common for a baby or a toddler to want to not wear clothes. This often begins as early as the age of fourteen months, although it may happen earlier or later for some children. Along with the desire to run around naked, toddlers often will resist having a diaper or other clothing put back on after running around naked.

There is often a silver lining to this cloud, however. Allowing your child to run around with clothes may actually help with potty training. You can encourage your little one to use the potty by explaining that to have “naked time,” he must use the potty first so as not to make a mess. In addition, toddlers very seldom enjoy the feeling of something running down their leg, and allowing some naked time might encourage them to use the potty.

If you do not wish to allow naked time, you need to be consistent. If she takes off her clothes, put them right back on. Toddlers can be extremely persistent, so this will require you to be more so. A good common ground might be to allow her to wear a diaper and T-shirt when at home, which is often more comfortable than a full outfit.

One way to encourage your toddler to want to wear clothes might be to let him help pick out his clothes. While this can make clothes shopping a good deal more exhausting, it may spare you other frustration. In addition, help him to pick out his outfits, so he feels like he has some say in his clothing. Let him dress himself from time to time; some children may like getting dressed as much as they like getting undressed. Make the process of getting on his clothes fun. Help him to understand when and where it is appropriate to take off his clothes.