How to deal with toddlers who touch themselves?

Leah - posted on 05/30/2009 ( 8 moms have responded )




LIttle one is 3 1/2. I know it is important that little ones explore themselves. But must they do it in public?


Hila - posted on 06/03/2009




This hasn't happened with me but my friend had three boys with this issue. Not a big deal- it is a completely natural thing for them to explore their own bodies as you said. The main thing to get across as others have said is that it is something you do in private. Even at home- make sure they go to their room- she used to say "ok, if that is what you want to do then you can do that in your room".

Jo - posted on 06/03/2009




Hi there. Whatever you do, do not make your child feel bad about doing it because it is such a natural thing for them to do. When my 2yr old did it I gently lifted her hand away and explained that we don't need to do this in public and that it's best she do that on her own in her bedroom when we get home. They understand soon enough. You may have to tell your child a few times though. cheers Jo


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Valerie - posted on 05/02/2011




I have been going out of my mind trying to deal with my daughter who gonna be 4 yrs. I have been getting upset when I catch, but I will try to give her private time.

Kim - posted on 06/03/2009




been there x3 with girls all stopped by time they were 3.5 years, need to keep gently telling them this is something we do in private, and they are teenagers now and have been shocked to learn what masturbation is in sex ed! I have a 21 month old son who is not so interested , but I hear with boys it starts later.

Amanda - posted on 06/03/2009




my daughter is 2.5 yrs old and does this also, seems worse since i hve potty trained her as does not wear nappys. iam sure i did this also, and hve been told its normal. but never really sure what to say to her. i tell her its dirty, but dont want to give her a complex at the same time. maybe i will try leaveing the room when she does it.

Mary-Ann - posted on 06/02/2009




When they do it in public, try and distract them, give them something to do or to hold. If you are in the grocery store for instance, clean their hands and let them get thing off the shelf and put it in the cart. I let my DD pick out fruit and put it in a bag and then into the cart. She hasn't started doing this in public though. I would just tell her please don't do that until we get home, she is too young to understand privacy but she would understand that statement. At 3 1/2 though they start to understand the meaning of privacy and maybe now is the time to impliment an always knock before you enter a bedroom rule, even your LO's room.

User - posted on 05/30/2009




my daughter does this and it drives me nuts. i tell her that it is only done in private and when i see her doing it i leave the room and tell her that she must need private time and that i will see her when she is done.

Lisa - posted on 05/30/2009




lol.. just today my 21/2 did it sooo embarresing

i dont have advice only my experience

i must of done the same thing when i was little

so growing up i always thought it was yucky to tough there

and it wasn't till i was 12 i was sittin round the kitchen table

with mums best friend and her daughter also 12

and the subject come up of our shower ruiten

when they told me theres i was like eww. they both looked at me with confusion

and said well how do u wash ur self then

and from that day i i started washing my bits, as if i didnt b4 but i was told its yucky to touch there... thanks mum lol

maybe u could tell ur lil 1 only in the bath where no i can cu...

good luck

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