a toddler standing outside naked

How To Deal With Young Kids Who Prefer To Be Naked

Does your toddler spend more time in the nude than clothed? This conundrum is cute when they’re running around in a diaper at a young age, but can quickly become a problem if he or she refuses to put on clothing to leave the house. If this sounds like a problem you’ve faced, read on to learn about improving this struggle:

Why is my child avoiding clothes?

Kids ages 4-6 are learning about control. This is often why they fight things for no apparent reason. Getting dressed is one of the activities they know they are required to do, and they exert their control by refusing to do so. Some kids are particular about what they wear and would prefer to pick out their own outfits. Others just don’t want to don a specific item you’ve picked out and therefore would rather leave the house without. All of these reasons can be addressed. Let the fashionable or picky child choose his or her own look. Swap out a top your toddler doesn’t like. As for control, this gives the child back some choices, providing a sense that he or she is holding the reins when in reality that’s not quite true.

Is your toddler avoiding diapers? This may be another issue entirely. Some little ones have diaper rash that makes it uncomfortable to don a diaper. Make sure your kids’ bottoms are well cared for, using wipes and rash ointment whenever possible. Always ensure they are completely dry before putting on a new diaper to prevent worsening existing irritation. For some kids around age 2-3, removing the diaper is a sign you may want to start potty training. Try having your child use a potty training toilet to see how it goes. Always keep diapers on hand for naps, nighttime and trips out to prevent accidents.

“Avoiding diapers may be a sign of rash.”

Why is getting dressed so difficult?

Many a toddler turns the simple task of putting clothes on into a marathon effort for their parents. Getting little arms into a shirt and small feet into pants seems easy until you actually try to dress a tot yourself! Kids are constantly moving, making this a much more complicated effort. Thankfully, this time of difficulty won’t last. You can even turn getting dressed into a fun occasion instead of a daily fight.

How can I make it easier?

Set down rules. Tell the child he or she must wear bottoms, a top and socks at the bare minimum. Add on rules for layering as the weather gets cold. Letting the toddler dress him or herself provides another sense of control, making him or her actually want to get dressed to prove he or she can do it solo. Let your children choose their own outfits entirely or select one option from two-three choices. This way you can ensure they are dressed appropriately for the weather and occasion while still allowing some individual input from your kids.

For little ones who just love being naked, offer a specific time and place when they can stay nude. Outside of that time they should be dressed and will look forward to their next chance to run free.

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