naked babies and toddlers in public

Julia - posted on 05/27/2010 ( 19 moms have responded )

137

4

7

We are living in the Washington DC area right now and just found out that we should not have our little boy run around naked. Not even on our deck. Coming from Germany we thought that was kinda odd. In Germany nobody would think anything if a little 5 year old girl plays at the beach naked. It is just a very normal picture. We used to hang out on nudie beaches since we were little.

We are considering to stay in the States and I was wondering where there are places where people have a bit of a more natural relationship to their bodies or naked people in general. I understand the fears since there are people out there you don't want to "present" your little ones to, but being associated with child porn and neighbors wrinkle their noses because our baby is playing and enjoying himself just the way nature made him is a bit over the top. I mean what is going on in the minds of the people who complain? We would never have thought there is anything offensive about a little naked toddler.

The other day we were playing at a water fountain and I had my son in his underpants and he was begging me to take them off but I wouldn't do it because people were already giving us the eye. He was really upset.

What do you guys think about this?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Taralee - posted on 06/01/2010

190

27

25

Hi Julia,

Oh how I wish us North American's embraced Europe's free spirited view of nakedness. I agree it is ridiculous the way we bind people to oppressed culture norms. Then we wonder why so many women and men have eating disorders and body image distortions. However, as previously mention it is because of very sick individuals who prey on our innocent little ones. However, for a few year I was a Sexual Abuse Treatment Councilor , and commonly the child could have been dressed in winter gear all day and the predator still would have found away. Unfortuantely, during my work I had to monitor Abuser and Victim confrontation, and the Abuser would actually blame the child for wear cute bathsuits, or nightie.......disgusting and disturbing. So i suppose this unnatural law is to some how protect our babies from the thoughts of predators. What needs to happen is more brutally punishment for child molestors and predators ( including internet predators, and possessing child pornography). And to be honest every single day my girl has nake mornings, and has even gone in her pool naked most of the time. It is good for her!

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

19 Comments

View replies by

Anne - posted on 06/01/2010

422

8

38

We are in the UK and although it was commonplace to see naked toddlers at the beach it isn't now. Perhaps because we never have nice summers anymore but also because there has been so much publicity about paedophiles. We got a week of warm weather recently so I let my little girl run around in the garden without a diaper a lot. It is a secluded garden though. I think I would have been uncomfortable if the postmen, bin lorry men, passing cars etc could have seen her. Maybe that is just because of being a repressed Brit. I also never post bathtime pictures of her on facebook or anywhere else. It is sad that we think like that these days. I do agree though that it is very important to be frank in teaching children about body parts so they don't feel there is something to be ashamed of or uncomfortable about.

Katherine - posted on 05/31/2010

65,420

232

4956

It's a cultural thing and it is ridiculous. We think our bodies should be covered lest some creep try to molest our child. It's sad it really is. They come into this world naked...they should be able to run around naked if they want.

April - posted on 05/31/2010

3,420

16

263

my son is napping right now and he's naked!! (ok he has a diaper on, but only because i just washed the sheets and don't want to do anymore laundry..lol)



anyway, i wish i could go topless on a hot day like today and have it be totally normal! i always envied boys for being able to take their shirts off anywhere anytime!



i agree with you that toddlers should be able to go around naked at the beach...it is the beach for heaven's sake! and it would be soooooo much easier not to have to dress a mobile toddler. and so much easier to clean the sand off of them and off of their clothes!

Julia - posted on 05/30/2010

137

4

7

Vicki, that story is so sad. And sick. Terrible. Poor family. I am glad you posted this, I really have to be more careful with everything I am doing now. I don't want my son to be taken away from me! Gee!
Today was the first hot on the deck in pants day for him.... we're getting there ;-) it is just so tropical here, today we were in the 90s!
Yes I also think parents naked at home is just so natural! What about skin to skin with your baby, is there a magical age line that must not be crossed? When nursing, is all that can be exposed to your little one your boob and the rest shall be nicely covered? I love to cuddle with my son and there is just nothing sexual about it at all.

But I totally see that this is a delicate issue, there is so much really terrible stuff happening, it is in some way understandable, how cautious people get, how strict laws become. But it is very sad at the same time that this creates a lot of fear and unnatural ways of living....

So thank y'all for your input, we will try and find some place to live on the west coast or in Canada now :-) (if we end up staying here) not just for the naked factor but usually people who accept that are more easy going in general :-) I have never felt awfully comfi here in DC.... ;-)

[deleted account]

Hm... in the States, doubtful they would be accepting. Canada has a topless law. Due to equal treatment, women are allowed to be topless in public, though I don't think I've ever seen that officially. There is also nude areas on the beaches.

Geralyn - posted on 05/28/2010

1,615

35

240

Julia, I didn't have that impression at all about Germany! You're funny.... I remember when I lived in London for 6 months, women of all ages would remove their shirts on hot days in just regular old parks... I remember seeing a 60 something year old woman sitting in her bra with her husband (I assume!). I, being a repressed American ...lol, thought it a bit different. But then I also remember having the opposite experience in Paris that absolutely shocked me! My friends and I were there for a week (high school trip), and we walked over to the local mall from our hotel wearing shorts - now, mind you, they were not the skimpy shorts that girls wear today - and we were stared at and gawked at as if we were completely naked. I was shocked because Paris to me always seemed so progressive, but you would have thought that we could have gotten arrested for indecent exposure....

Vicki, that AZ story is crazy. There has been a growing trend that laws are written not for the common person (whatever that is), but for the deviants, so that otherwise normal or harmless behavior becomes illegal because it has become twisted.... I understand the need for laws protecting against child porn/exploitation, but for it to be so broadly applied so that parents are hesitant to take a photo or undress in front of their children is just wrong....

I don't know whether its illegal to have your children nude in public or in your home or on your porch for that matter....

Vicki - posted on 05/28/2010

1,150

0

166

A different example - I found there was a difference in attitudes between Australia and the UK. While working in the UK I had to do a course on child protection. There were a number of discussion points, most with grey areas and some clearly right or wrong. One of them was 'parents at home naked while children are present'. In my opinion that was totally ok, it's how I grew up. Many there said it wasn't ok and was dangerous for the child. ???? I think it's more dangerous for children to be exposed to the many sexualised images in the media rather than a naked parent.

In summer here (back in Australia now) it's normal for my partner and I to strip down to our undies when we get home. It's too bloody hot to wear clothes. It's also normal for toddlers to be running around outside under the sprinkler naked. I do remember a bit of controversy awhile back about a photography book. The photographer had published naked pictures of her children - all perfectly innocent photos, just more artistic versions of the happy snaps I'm sure many of us have, but it still caused controversy. I was on the side of the photographer.

Naked does not equal sexualistion in my opinion.

Obviously I have no idea about US law but this story is scary http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/arizona-couple...

Minnie - posted on 05/28/2010

7,076

9

786

We shower with our girls daily, and are frank about body parts. My four year old has enjoyed watching home birth videos for the last two years.



Still nursing my 19 month old, and I do so in public, and do not cover up. We live in NH, and I haven't even noticed a sideways glance at me.



But public nudity of toddlers, doesn't typically happen in our area.



When we go to my mother's (she lives in hickville-boondocks upstate NY cow country) the girls run around naked frequently in the summer, especially down at the river. We cover them up though if there are other people hanging out at the river.

Julia - posted on 05/28/2010

137

4

7

Hope I didn't give the impression that Germans run around naked all the time, heehee, that's not what it's like at all! It's totally the same when it comes to strangers and public and if you want to be free and hang out naked amongst nudies then there are places for it.
It's socially accepted on any beach/ pool for women to go topless. Also being naked for a short while while changing into your bath-thingies is totally fine. Guess, it also depends on where you're going in Germany.
And it's totally true that it's all about culture, you just adapt. Just imagening myself at an american pool topless, aaaaahhhh! with all the shocked eyes sitting on my boobs :-D Naaa that wouldn't really be working..... I would feel very uncomfortable.
Knowing it is not accepted here I always feel weird nursing my son (now anyway since he's already 18months, but that's a different story) ...in public. I am not covering up but try and find a spot where we have a little more privacy. He is very negotiable and patient, that's great. But yeah, that's why I have been posting this to find out about places where I don't have to feel as much restrained in my freedom as here.
Is there actually a law against it? Will I be sued if my son's naked on the deck?

Geralyn - posted on 05/28/2010

1,615

35

240

We are naked during the naturally occurring times - like getting dressed, getting into and out of the shower... - and our son (25 mos) has been very curious about all body parts for at least 6 mos. We do exactly what you do - name the body parts, talk about differences between boys and girls.... He breastfed until 19 mos, but he still pulls on them and asks about them... We are very casual about it. We do not stay naked though... like we don't hang our naked.... We also talk with our son about his pee pee just like any other body part.... I totally agree with you that is needs to be done very naturally so that he is not taught shame about the body....



I think Americans' issues are more focused on nudity in front of others... strangers.... To me, even with breastfeeding, I did not feel comfortable not covering up with a blanket... It would probably be different if I grew up in a place that nudity was viewed differently... What can I say.

Julia - posted on 05/28/2010

137

4

7

So just curious, how do you guys deal with this at home? Or Americans in general (since I have the natural people assembled here it's probably different with you guys anyway), but do you run and dance around naked, take baths with your LOs, explain to them all the body parts when they ask? Our son of course has been very interested in it all (we also did EC with him so for most of the time he's had "access" to his little willy :-) and we told him he has a penis and daddy has one too, mommy hasn't and we all compared.... i mean I would feel very strange to leave those parts out after talking about arms and legs and little toes and big toes. Oh..this is....well.... harrumph.... your private area... wow, when I heard this the first time here I was a little shocked, this really teaches them there is something wrong with those parts of the body... another one was "peepee hole" for girls.... Actually now that we're talking about it I remember this documentary about exactly that issue, and there was this scene with a little boy and a dad in the bathroom and the boy asked "what's this?" dad: "a toothbrush" and this? "a nail clipper"and this? "my penis" and this? "shampoo" .... (to give the gist of it) ... it was a documentary about how important it is to deal with the genitals and sex naturally with your kids. And the problems that arise when they grow up and learned that parts of them are really nasty, dirty, and have to be hidden. Especially in the family I think it should be very relaxed and open so they won't be ashamed of themselves in later relationships and actually be able to enjoy their bodies. I knew that America was a little different regarding this I just didn't think that even babies and toddlers should be covered up.

Brenda - posted on 05/28/2010

2,386

62

250

Good luck, it is so sad that Americans are such idiots when it comes to their own bodies.

Geralyn - posted on 05/28/2010

1,615

35

240

There are probably areas that it would be more liberal... out of the metropolitan areas... in California, I can't say for sure, but areas like Santa Cruz, Monterey (along the coast) may be... We stumbled across a nude beach in San Francisco, but I was surprised... not that SF isn't liberal, but I just never expected it... Just because you don't see that here a lot, I was a bit shocked myself... but not because of kids, because of 40-50+ year old men... lol. I diverted my eyes... Didn't really want to see....

Kim - posted on 05/28/2010

147

25

20

I personally don't mind when mothers let their lil ones run around in the buff...I think it is terrible that people start instilling shame about being naked into their little ones. I always kept a diaper on my boys but it is just because they piddled and tried to play in it (thus the diaper).
I vacation alot in South Beach Florida and seemingly women and children are pretty free there to bare it all. No body gave any one there any bother that chose not to "cover up". My husband always jokes about having me go topless but the girls have definitely seen better days:P

Minnie - posted on 05/28/2010

7,076

9

786

Natural relationship with their bodies and who are not prudish...hmmm, are we talking about the US? LOL.

Julia - posted on 05/28/2010

137

4

7

So it's like it everywhere in the US? Guess we'll have to live in the forest then ;-)

Geralyn - posted on 05/28/2010

1,615

35

240

Isn't it silly? Toddlers should be able to run around, especially at home or a beach, naked.... Its just the attitude about nudity in this country as opposed to Europe or other places....

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms