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How do I teach my toddler to keep his clothes on?

My toddler prefers to be naked. How do I teach him to stay dressed when we’re out in public?

Re: My toddler prefers to be naked. How do I teach him to stay dressed when we’re out in public?

The Bump Expert

Why do so many toddlers love getting undressed, no matter where they are? Because they can! Literally: They’re flaunting the fact that they know how to take off their clothes. On top of that, being naked just feels better than those oh-so-confining tops and bottoms. Unfortunately that’s not easy to explain to the woman giving you dirty looks in the produce section as your son is trying to take off his pants.

This can be an amusing stage for parents, but it can also be frustrating and, at times, embarrassing. So talk to your tot about keeping his clothes on, especially in public. But keep the conversation calm and low-key; after all, you don’t want to shock him into thinking he should be embarrassed or guilty about his body -- just that he should keep it to himself. Try to keep a straight face while you tell him, though, or he’ll keep doing it just to make you laugh.

And if he wants to be naked every now and then while you're at home with no guests, why not let him? You'll find that the phase is as short-lived as a few months anyway.

The Bump Editors

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