when will she stop touching IT?

Racheal - posted on 05/10/2010 ( 220 moms have responded )

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my daughter is 1 and she just started trying to touch IT when i change her diaper. (IT i mean her private) im just curious if anyone one else has this problem or had this problem and about when did your child stop. it doesnt bother me to much because i know most kids do it.

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Dina - posted on 05/14/2010

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Okay ladies - I am a child abuse invesitgator and have had over 50 hours of training in sexuality and sexual abuse - Children playing with themselves is completely normal. It is a self soothing technique some children use. Other it feels good. Others they are curious. The ONLY TIME TO BE WORRIED is if they self stimulate so much they cause injury and still continue to do this. That can be an indicator of something else. Children playing doctor with other children their own age and own mental ability is also normal. There is concerns when the age difference or mental ability difference is substantial so no 12 and 5 year old but 5 and 6 etc is normal. From studies, best way to deal with it is to ignore it when in private and to redirect/distract them when in public. I have been teaching my daughter "hand up" so when she is older and in public we can play that game when she starts touching herself. Children for their own safety need to be comfortable with their own body and know the correct terms. Children are more believable to law enforcement when they use words like vulva and penis than whoo whoo and wienie - Just letting you all know

Anna - posted on 05/10/2010

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Got news for you: babies masturbate. They aren't ashamed of themselves or their private areas, and they know what feels good. It's natural and nothing to be alarmed about. Of course you should teach your daughter not to do it in public, but she won't grow hair on her palms, go blind, or kill kittens if she touches herself. Don't flip out in front of her either, or she might develop negative associations with her genitals.

[deleted account]

What's with the IT? There are real words and we're big girls now, we can use them - vagina, masturbate. Let's not create problems by coyly referring to IT!! I'm thinking Voldemort right now!

Tracy - posted on 05/10/2010

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I've taught both of my kids that touching themselves is FINE, done by themselves. They are not to touch anyone else or have anyone else touch them. What they do in the privacy of their bedrooms, or in the bathroom is their business.

Our bodies aren't gross and something to be ashamed of. We are engineered certain ways for a reason. Teach a kid that their body is shameful and touching it is disgusting will just lead to some heinous results down the line.

Rebecca - posted on 05/10/2010

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Have you stopped??LOL

Just throwing it out there...*giggle*

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220 Comments

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Tina - posted on 05/18/2010

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totally normal! You should see boys sometimes. it's harmless and all kids go through these types of phases. :) Relax, she's just exploring her body :0)

Marcy - posted on 05/18/2010

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Hey...here's some food for thought...HAVE YOU STOPPED TOUCHING YOURS? LOL...couriosty never dies....just teach her that it is something she needs to keep private and let her know about when and where it is appropriate...like not at the resturant but in her room alone...hope this helps ♥

Ellen - posted on 05/18/2010

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I personally never use those words, (penis/vagina), to describe genitals so Why would I use them to describe my sons?? I think calling it your peepee or vajayjay is totally fine, it's the message of it's ok for them to touch it but no one else that's important.

Marni - posted on 05/18/2010

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I see now from some of the other comments that the discussion is of naming our private areas. Using vagina and penis, bottom/tush, should be the norm. It sets up a healthy neutral terminology. They also go through phases of potty training and on occasion seeing the oppose gender. I like to think that when they see it at a supervised innocent stage as preschoolers, but at about 4 I think it is time to introduce privacy and when it ok to be nude. I just went to a Kidpower presentation which discussed abuse, abduction and bullying prevention. You can visit their website, maybe even set up a workshop for parents which will address the issues of how to talk to kids about appropriate "touch." I know we as parents are fearful, but there is a healthy way to help kids feel positive about their bodies. The kidspower workshops present information in a manner as not to traumatize or scare kids, esp. young kids. They have lots of book suggestions as well.

Nancy - posted on 05/18/2010

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Its normal but until you daughter is at an age were she can understand that thats her privacy then I would do things to discourage her. I knew a little girl who would do it ALL the time no matter were and her parents had a really hard time getting her not to do it, they finally put a onsie on her until she was old enough for them to tell her no.

Marni - posted on 05/18/2010

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I'm not sure what the problem is...but it is her body and she doing what is natural. The only issue for me with my 14 month old is that she tries to help but that just gets messy. I sometimes have to move quickly or hold her hands away, but I usually give her something to hold/play with so her hands stay clean. Otherwise you simply clean their hands with a wipe then wash them with soap and water afterwards. When she gets older (1 1/2-2) you tell her kindly that it isn't safe to get poop on her hands. But you want to do it in a neutral way so that when they start potty training and getting to 5 or so and they can wipe themselves they are not fearful of getting their hands dirty. When your child is clean you can let them have a wipe to use to wipe themselves. It teaches confidence for potty training.

Jenny - posted on 05/18/2010

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Just my opinion ;) I have three little ones, 2 girls and a boy. I just let them touch it to get to know themselves, and didn't make a fuss, just move their hands out the way when you need to put on a diaper. There came a time of course when I needed to explain that (age 3 or so) if they can't keep their hands off their privates, then we need to discuss what 'private' means. It's okay when you have privacy!

Amanda - posted on 05/18/2010

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hi this behaviour is perfectly normal all of my kids have done it and my 3 year old twin boys still do, it depends on the child how long or how often they do it some never do but they are just exploring their bodies

Janet - posted on 05/18/2010

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If you don't make a big deal of it then she will probably quit on her own. Kids like to get a reaction out of parents by doing certain things. Keep her interested in other things as soon as the diaper is changed.

Kristen - posted on 05/18/2010

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I don't understand why so many parents use a code name for genital parts. My own husband's mom referred to his parts as "shamies"--how's that for setting up a lifetime of guilt? I had a friend who taught her boys they had "lollipops," not penises. "Hey, girls, want a lollie?" Parts is parts, whether they're covered by underwear or not.

Dalinda - posted on 05/18/2010

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Whoo whoo I though I was the only one who made up funny names. Don't get me wrong they know the true names but in public I don't want her to say in mixed company " my penus .." or "my vagina...". The boy word was Frank, with I know will probably lead to other things as he grows up and for my girl it is Cookie which I am sure will also lead to other things with they grow up. Why this matters to me I don't know but it is nice to know I am not alone.

Crystal - posted on 05/18/2010

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My daughter just started that too i just tell her not to play with her whoo whoo and she stops til next time but i think its just they are curious about it and hopefully soon the curiousity of will fade

Melanie - posted on 05/18/2010

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It's perfectly normal for a child to explore their own body. You don't freak out when she plays with her feet, do you? I have four kids ranging in age from 18 down to 2. They all did this off and on and I never made a big deal out of it. They all just outgrew it around 3 or 4.

Dalinda - posted on 05/18/2010

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You can also tell him that you know it is his but not a toy. Keep it clean and put away. I did laugh when I caught my son then pushing and pulling on his pamper but for the most part giggled and would say nothing and turn on a video or play a game to distract him.

Dalinda - posted on 05/18/2010

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WOW! I do remember this with vivid memory. First always mommy first, make sure she is healthy down there. No rash, irritation, if you have been traveling, and there is a possibility of wigglies (pinworms) even if she is in daycare ask the center if anyone has reported this issue ... always approach with a since of humor and just know it is all normal for her to play with her magic button. You can always distract her with other toys and as she gets older reminder her that these are private parts and no touching in public.

[deleted account]

Okay! I WILL tell my daughter not to. She is taught to clean her self and scratch if there is an itch. But my bible say's to bring up your kids God's way.. And His way is, it is wrong to play with your self. So I choose to bring her up THAT way. Please do not tell me that It will give her a bad what ever. My son is 14yrs. old and me teaching him that way turned out great! Yes I did read all of them, and I did not respond to them do to not starting an argument. So if you disagree with me fine, but Don't tell me I am wrong, cause I will always follow Gods rules. I explain to what it is and even taught her about boys. I explained the diffrence and then explain how it is wrong to do it.

Laurie-Ann - posted on 05/18/2010

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My son is 14mths now and it started about 5mths ago. He'll even take off his diaper himself to do it, at first we (daddy n I) were both shocked but realised that its something natural so now we just tell him what he's touching and that no one else should do so (unless giving a bath)

Sharon - posted on 05/18/2010

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I don't believe that there is a problem because your daughter touches her vagina/pubic area. Self discovery is so unbelievably normal. My 20 month old boy began to give his penis and scrotum a gentle pinch here and there when he was under a year. I think at 1, she's not yet sure what a nose is or an eye or a bum or a toe might be. At this time a vagina is just another new thing she found with her hands, no big deal. In fact, the more she knows about herself as she grows, she'll know how care for herself during menstruation, understand sexual intercourse (many years down the road). I wouldn't worry.

[deleted account]

One of my daughters started earlier and stopped later than the other. I think it began around 16 months. We just didn't draw much attention to the behaviour and the phase passed overall.

Debi - posted on 05/18/2010

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Racheal: Its not a problem. It is natural. Don't worry about it. Little boys tough "it" until they get about 99 years old.

Gloria - posted on 05/18/2010

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Thank god i thought my girl was the only one! i usually just tell her to stop... may be normal but i don't think its something that should be encouraged...

Elizabeth - posted on 05/18/2010

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It is short lived. Both daughter and son have had the phase and it passed. It is extremely normal and they react to your reaction. If you act as if it is no big deal it goes away faster. We never talked about it in the early times (under 2). As my daughter got older she figured when it would be a trigger to get me to react verbally. Shrug it off and move on to other worries.

Nell - posted on 05/18/2010

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Well don't get after her for doing it! You'll give the poor kid a complex. Touching yourself and exploring yourself is natural, have you not read any posts on this thread? You tell your daughter its not nice to do IN PUBLIC. Tell her to take it to her bedroom. Teach her that she is the only one that gets to touch it. But don't tell her that touching herself is bad.

[deleted account]

I know what you mean! My daughter will be 3 in October. She still touches IT. When she takes a bath, When I am changing her. I am not sure why she dose it. I thought I was the only one trying to get my daughter to stop. Heehee I feel so much better knowing I am not alone. But if anyone can tell me how to get her to stop..... I would love to know. I tell her it is not nice and not to. But I have never really gotten after her for doing it.

Charitie - posted on 05/18/2010

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My daughter does that too. I just tell her not to do it while I'm changing her. Once I'm done she can go do whatever lol. She also puts random things in her diaper. Kinda weird, but it's not hurting her.

Helen - posted on 05/18/2010

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my dougher is 22 months know and she did the same for a while, if you don't make a big deal of it, it will pass, it's just curiosity, as other moms said, it just a stage and will pass.

Kayla - posted on 05/18/2010

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It's normal. My son does it. I usually let him run around naked, so he stops touching himself as often as he used to during diaper changes.

Jeanette - posted on 05/18/2010

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Hi I wouldn't worry its a stage all kids boy and girls go through its getting 2 know their bodies they will stop just don't make a big deal out of it

Elizabeth - posted on 05/18/2010

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Your daughter is just learning about her own body in the same way that she sticks her fingers in her nose, ears and mouth. Just make sure that her hands are clean afterward as germs from the diaper area in the mouth could be unhealthy. She's not doing this for any sexual gratification that we may think is associated with the area in an adult sense, she's just exploring. As she gets older you can train her not to stick her hands there, but it's unlikely you'll need to address it directly, as she moves on to other stages and is interested in exploring other things.

Audrey - posted on 05/18/2010

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Hello, I am in the same boat you are my daughter is One years old too and loved to touch it.. The minute her diaper is off there her hand goes.. It makes diaper changing very hard.. Esp when she goes #2. I try very hard to tell her no don't touch let mommy change you. Hayden is my third daughter and is the only one who has done this.. I hope she out grows it quickly... Good luck with your daughter...

Ashley - posted on 05/18/2010

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My daughter is six months old ... and does it all the time!!!! Nothing to worry about -- they are just curious.

[deleted account]

My son is 6 months old and we had a bit of a problem with him wanting to grab his penis and scrotum we simply moved his hand away and said "no" he eventually stopped when he grabbed his scrotum a little too hard and he burst into tears for the moment he's not touching his bits but it will probably change when he's a little older. I plan to then move his hand away tell him no and explain that its a private area not to be touched when someone is changing him.

Desiree - posted on 05/17/2010

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She's just curious, although make sure that her hands are clean because infections are a nightmare at that age and can happen so easily. Mine stopped by 18-20m. LOL now she's almost three and has started looking at it a lot. Or, if it bothers you maybe give her a toy to play with while you are changing her, or let her "help".

Also, masturbation is very normal at that age believe it or not. Remeber, babies function based on pleasure... Eating provides pleasure, sleeping, peeing, pooping, so it makes sense...

Christie - posted on 05/17/2010

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It's a pretty normal toddler thing. My kids mostly outgrew it in a year or so, when they start to become more socially conscious.

Trista - posted on 05/17/2010

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My daughter is only 4 months, but from what I read, the age children discover their privates is 1. It also said it can take up until age 5 for them to learn modesty, but like I said, I've only got book knowledge under my belt.

[deleted account]

The first thing to realize is that IT is called a vagina or clitoris. Granted at 1 year old she isn't going to understand those terms but as time goes on you will want to use the proper terminology. It is a normal part of developing and you need to just remind her that this is something to be done in private. As the other posters said.............it is normal and if she is lucky she will never stop.

Penny - posted on 05/17/2010

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I was with a friend the first time my daughter touched 'IT.' lol, very funny way of putting it. Anyway we sort of looked at each other an laughed and my friend said, "Well it's hers!." She's eight and is still touching it which I think is perfectly normal. Someone here commented that we'll all continue touching 'IT' till we're 90! I just tell my daughter to be sure to wash her fingers if I can smell that she touched 'IT.'

Andrea - posted on 05/17/2010

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My daughter was always curious about what I was doing during diaper changes, so when the "toy" didn't work, I would give her a diaper wipe (after I cleaned her up enough) so she learned to "wipe." She explores about as much as she did her toes, belly button, ears, and everything else she discovered. She is 18 mos old now, and has nearly learned to use the potty regularly, so she is diaperless most of the time. If I don't make it a big deal, she doesn't either.
I know I grew up with shame, but don't remember exactly where it came from, so don't want my daughter to experience that. But having guidelines are important, if/when it gets to that point.

Nicole - posted on 05/17/2010

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My son is one & doing the same thing during every diaper change. I forgot how curious my daughter was at this age. She's 3 now & only touches it when I catch her or make a comment. Ignoring it works best for her.

Jasmine - posted on 05/17/2010

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My daughter touches herself too, and says 'agina!' Then she plays with her belly button, and anything else she can reach. It's an absolutely normal part of her development.

Nicola - posted on 05/17/2010

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My son does this and its and normal part of developement. If anything it could be taken as a positive that they are doing what there meant to the average age for parents to notice this is around 1. Also with boys yes they can get an errection, on alot of pregnancy scans boys have errect penis's so it happens from well before they are born. Also I agree on the IT thing its called a vagina and this is what children are tought at any good day care and later school as this is the correct term and it shouldn't be a funny or embarrassing word or part of there body it should be as normal to talk about as your nose, lips, finger ect.

Michelle - posted on 05/17/2010

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My mum told me that it all just feels different from her nappy and that she is just exploring something new. I just gently distract my girls and they get over it eventually, just like all new things. It is not shameful, all kid do it.

Tamara - posted on 05/17/2010

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I have no idea but I do know that masturbation is quite normal among children and adults. The best thing to do, as she gets older, is to encourage her to do it in the privacy of her own room and don't make it out to be a shameful act.

Samantha - posted on 05/17/2010

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My 4 yr old recently stopped...I explained it was normal but that she should do it ALL the time :) My 2 yr old just loves IT, but I try to limit the amount she does it. It is very normal and they will outgrow it, just don't make it out to be a bad or dirty thing for them.

Amanda - posted on 05/17/2010

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I think the problem really is that you are shocked that your child has found pleasure in an area that some people are very embarrased with and even have problems talking about it. It's like if your child was older you would have a very hard time even having the talk with her. I know to me, it's bothersome if they continue to do it just because it felt good, but how can you know a child is doing it because it feels good? Plus it is most definitely a stage in development and a part of exploring their bodies and learning more about themselves and the world around them. But to all of those who think of it as masturbating at such a young age, I have to say you are mistaken. Children do not even know what that is or the purpose and so on. Yes I might have issues with the idea of my children doing such things at such young ages but I will not be grossed out by it, embarrased by it or get on to them for it. it is perfectly normal and you have to teach them that it's not appropriate behavior at their age once they stop doing it so much out of curiousity about their bodies. You just have to do it in the right way and gently so as not to scar them into thinking bad things about themselves in the future like so many girls do. But try not to worry about it too much because she will grow out of it. Those that do not, do so because of their parents and how they raise them and what they teach them.

Debbie - posted on 05/17/2010

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OMG I can't beleieve the number of women who have been concerned, worried, freaked out, etc. over this issue. Amazing

ESMERALDA - posted on 05/17/2010

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my daughter discovered her "IT" around that age also. I was really worried about it but the pediatrian said that it was normal. I remember going to the grocery store and I would be so embarrassed because when I sat her down in the shopping cart she would rub herself againt the metal bars between her little legs. OMG! I didn't know what to do but it stop soon after. So don't worry, your baby is just discovering her body.

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