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OMG! Mom's Naked!

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ML pediatrician Dr. Cara Natterson gives us the naked truth.

shocked young boy

Guest blogger Emily: Last night, my 8-year-old son walked in on me in the bath and appeared to be "mesmerized" by my va-jay-jay. His eyes were as big as saucers and he couldn't seem to avert his gaze. My husband quickly ushered him out of the bathroom, but it was beyond UNCOMFORTABLE. I've never worried about locking doors or "covering up" before ... but I think it's time to start!

Momlogic pediatrician Dr. Cara Natterson says:

When it comes to nudity, my advice is to take cues from your child. As soon as your son or daughter becomes modest, respect that desire for privacy.

Generally, toddlers love to run around naked and they don't take notice whether an adult has clothes on or not. By the early school years -- kindergarten or certainly first grade -- you will often hear your child make comments about adult nudity. This is a reasonable time to think about covering up a little more in front of your child.

If your child simply doesn't notice or doesn't care, then I recommend imposing a little more modesty once your child starts to develop. This occurs in the tween years. But nudity should not be demonized -- rather, modesty should be encouraged. This shift in the tween years is especially important as you are starting to have discussions about personal privacy and the most basic conversations about sexual behavior.

Many parents are concerned about bath time. Siblings often bathe together for years. This is not a bad thing. Use similar guideposts as to when you should impose separate bath times -- when your children start taking notice of each other's bodies and definitely if they are embarrassed or uncomfortable in the bath, end the routine. I find that by kindergarten or first grade, most kids want to shower by themselves instead of bathing with siblings.

It is important to note that conversations about private parts, inappropriate touching, strangers and the like should start well before any of this. I encourage parents to begin having regular conversations about these things around age 3.

Do you walk around naked in front of your kids?

next: Grandma Sues Grandchild's Baby-Mama
33 comments so far | Post a comment now
Cassandra March 4, 2009, 5:13 PM

I really appreciate this article because my oldest son just turned 6 and is in Kindergarten this year and I have been struggling with the privacy issue. I feel that he is now too old to see me undressed, however I have had a hard time of breaking him of the habit of just walking in on me in the bathroom or when I am changing in the bedroom. I try to remember to lock the door, but I am just not used to having to do that yet. One question though, my other son is two years old and likes to have his big bubba take a bath with him. Is this inappropriate?

dizzymum March 4, 2009, 6:17 PM

My son is 8 too, and if he walks in on my in a state of undress, he know covers his eyes, and runs out of the room! My daughter, 6, happily still walks in me getting changed/in the shower, and says: ‘It’s okay ‘cos we’re both girls!’

Anneshia March 4, 2009, 6:19 PM

I do now because my daughter is only three months old, but when she gets old enought to say I saw mommy naked, I wouldn’t dare do it…

Cindy March 4, 2009, 6:25 PM

I am a mother of eight and it is hard being able to get changed in privacy. Thank god my husband will always usher the kids out of the bathroom or bedroom (where ever I am getting changed). They have seen me in my bra before but since my oldest kids are 7 they think its a bathing suit top. It’s life..people can be naked!

Jane March 4, 2009, 6:40 PM

When you cover-up or teach a child to cover their body, you are teaching them:

1. The human body is something of which they should feel shame.

2. Nudity is “naughty”

3. There is something wrong with the body God gave them.

And we wonder why children develop body issues.

What I would love to see you get upset about is the SEX, MURDER, MAYHEM and Violence that they are exposed to every hour of every day from TV, advertisements, news outlets and their peers.

I raised my children to believe their bodies, (and ours) were God’s gift; It is not dirty, naughty, sinful or disgusting.

The body can not be sexual, as sexuality comes only from the mind.

My children have all grown and have children of own, they are professionals and wonderful people that do not discriminate for any reason.

To teach to be offended by nudity is just another form of prejudice. If their perfectly normal body (or yours) is offensive, how do you expect them to respond to those who are crippled, or disfigured? Prejudice in any form is unacceptable. To teach it of your own child’s body is unforgivable.

Jen March 4, 2009, 8:42 PM

I disagree that teaching a person to cover up is teaching them shame. Nudity is not “naughty” or shameful but nudity is not always appropriate (i.e. outside of the home in most cases) and there is nothing wrong with teaching a child that people want and need privacy. Child should be taught to knock before opening a door. An 8 year old is certainly old enough to understand that concept.

RMX March 4, 2009, 10:13 PM

It’s called a vulva.
Anyways,MomLogic I was watching TV last night and lo and behold a NEW YAZ! commercial airs.I’d like to see a discussion on how the magic period pill came to be misadvertized by Bayer? Just my thoughts.

Anonymous March 4, 2009, 10:55 PM

Well I’m currently breastfeeding and my tween son sees that all the time. I haven’t quite asked him if it’s uncomfortable for him because I’m not going to try to hide something so natural in my own home. I don’t put it out there in his face or anything but if he sees me, we don’t make issues about it. I do kindly tell him to give me some privacy if I’m nude though. But again, I don’t act like it’s a big deal I just tell him rather nonchalantly and it doesn’t become an issue. I’m sure in the upcoming months as he starts to physically mature, I’m going to have to be more firm out of respect for both him and myself.

Dario Western March 8, 2009, 4:25 PM

I really think that the likes of Cara Natterson need to get over themselves. All this ‘kid’s rights’ stuff is a load of bunkum, by giving into them you are making children the authorities of the house when it should be the other way around.

If every parent in America did some of their training at a nudist community or retreat, the country would be in much better shape than it is now. Kids wouldn’t have any body hangups, they’d be a lot more open and at ease with themselves and each other, plus the incidence of sexual offences and unwanted pregnancies will virtually fall to zero.

I would recommend that anyone reading this site should get a copy of books like “Show Me” by Margaret Mead and “Growing Up Without Shame” by Dennis Craig Smith and Dr. William Sparks about how children who are raised without body shame turn out. If only more paediatricians were to take a leaf from them instead of Dr. Spock….l

Jim March 10, 2009, 8:13 AM

My wife was brought up in a small and prudish family. It has left her with huge hang ups and problems - not least of which is refusing to go to the Dr for any medical problem that involves her genitalia or anything else that she was basically taught was “rude”.
PLEASE please deal with your problem (yes its your problem not your child’s)and bring him up to accept his and your bodies as normal, not something to be hidden or embarrased about

Kada. March 10, 2009, 4:35 PM

I remember the first time I saw my mom naked. I was seven. I was mesmerized. To this day, I still love to see women naked.I really liked her vagna. It was something to see. All the other boy’s at my grade school had: had a similar experience and we often talked about it. From there I moved on to looking through the keyhole when my foster sister was taking her bath. she caught me one night and she really liked the idea of a boy seeing her naked. I think it is all part of growing up and nothing to be concerned about. But is is one of the best parts. lol :)

josh April 26, 2009, 1:28 AM

i am from a nudist family and having taught to be nude at a small age , I find that being nude in the house with family members are completely normal.
There is no thought of sexual arousal or any sexual intention. We simple are nude for the sake of nudity and nature

Anonymous May 25, 2009, 7:47 AM

I accidently see

Anonymous June 24, 2009, 1:27 PM

Va-Jay-Jay WTF? lol. At least call it by it’s proper name: Front Bottom or Foo-Foo

anon January 3, 2010, 10:20 PM

omfg i read some of these comments and ppl say they like to see there siblings nude wtf ppl!?!?!?!?
I see my cus and sis nude all the time it doesnt bother me and no we arent nudistok i may like it a little XD who can blame me MY CUS IS HOT
E-Mail is
if anyone wants a pic

Matthew Shanklin January 22, 2010, 7:09 AM

Well the thing of being little is that, I realy do not reamber bing little. Cause I have been in an injury befor. But I rely do not think that is to bad if a child want’s to look at Mom or Dad Nude, cause it is his parent’s. But it should be taken truthfully. Cause it dose play on them when they are growing Up. But I just don’t reamber beiong Little.

Kevin May 9, 2010, 9:37 AM

I’m 19 now, but as long as I can remember my mom and I have seen each other nude at home. When we travel, we share a room with two beds. I have no bad feelings or regrets.

Dad August 4, 2010, 12:44 PM

Our sons have seen their mom nude and breastfeeding their little brother. All they wanted to know was “did mom breastfeed them and why didn’t she do it now? I should say that they walked in on us having sex with me sucking on her breasts.

george September 15, 2010, 7:36 AM

I was raised by mom with sis as a nudist. There were plenty of times when i was a teen that I was the only one nude in front of both.

john September 20, 2010, 5:47 AM

i am nacked always infront of my mom she is also very happy to see me like that.

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