Baby is 2 years 2 months old.

What will happen if we don't stop and at what age should we stop? Why?

From: What to Expect The Toddler Years (Arlene Eisenberg, ‎Heidi Murkoff, ‎Sandee Hathaway - 2009)

Even if a child doesn't show any such interest, family nudity could become a problem by age three, when it's believed that some children unconsciously become sexually stimulated by parental nudity, and are confused and embarrassed by these feelings. So it's probably wise to start donning bathrobes and segregating showers by your toddler's third birthday. You can explain such a change by saying, 'Now that you're older, you need to have some privacy, and so do I.'

  • 17
    Good question! I think it boils down mostly to culture (on every scale: family, social group, country) and personal body image.
    – Stephie
    Aug 11, 2015 at 7:37
  • 9
    Do you still have the source? My gut feeling (again: non-scientific) would be the other way round. Sort of with nudity comes the concept of privacy and appropriateness (what is ok and what not and where and with whom) vs. nudity is bad.
    – Stephie
    Aug 11, 2015 at 7:45
  • 2
    Somewhat related: At what age can you leave the child in the bathtub?. Related because if you're still seeing your child naked regularly for baths/changing, then it's probably not out of place for them to see you changing. See also open locker rooms (such as those at a family gym) where adult nudity is somewhat expected.
    – user11394
    Aug 14, 2015 at 5:58
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Rory Alsop
    Feb 27, 2017 at 11:17

4 Answers 4


Seeing parents or other adults naked is entirely unconnected to abuse. See any reports on familial abuse (by far the most common type), and more anecdotally, see the lack of systemic abuse in naturist and nudist environments. I'd support Stephie's comment that naturists tend to be very proper about what is and isn't acceptable behaviour.

Your culture may suggest that nakedness is somehow a bad thing. Mine suggests it is perfectly natural, and I would recommend that being unashamed about your body in front of your children helps to give them a healthy view of their own, whereas being ashamed, or associating nakedness with sex or improper behaviours can only help to propagate that view to your kids.

Of course, as your kids get older they may well reach a point where they may not want to see you, "Ewww - naked parents." which is fine.

  • 60
    The last line really says it all. You stop changing in front of kids when they go "ewwww".
    – Erik
    Aug 11, 2015 at 10:22
  • 16
    @Erik, Or don't. Mine never did. They were fine with me averting my eyes or leaving the room, but as far as they were concerned, it was my problem. As I grew out of puberty I became more comfortable with nudity again.
    – Peter
    Aug 11, 2015 at 21:40
  • 8
    I signed-up to Parenting SE to up-vote this. Even though I'm very private myself, I strongly believe we'd improve as a society if nakedness wasn't so taboo. I also agree (+1) with Peter (currently the comment above).
    – Calrion
    Aug 13, 2015 at 1:07
  • 1
    My mom and grandma had no problems changing in front of me or my sister (I am a girl). Yeah after a while eyes got averted but it didn't harm any of us and maybe it helps me feel ok in my skin. None of us have anywhere close to a "model's body" and that's ok.
    – adeady
    Jan 6, 2017 at 15:23
  • 1
    100% Going along with that, it also makes sense to let them decide when they care about privacy. My oldest (now 11) was probably 6 or 7 when his own natural modesty started kicking in and he started showing signs of wanting privacy while changing (he didn't outright ask for it, but the signs were there). As a result, we gave it to him. My second and fourth started wanting privacy much younger - 3ish. If they don't want to see me naked then they can leave the room when I shower/change. Sometimes they do. Mainly though, they don't seem to care. Seems reasonable to me. May 4, 2019 at 2:55

Changing clothes in front of your children is not abuse unless you're forcing them to watch or you're doing something else that's inappropriate.

I definitely agree with Rory Alsop in that it depends on your culture, and that as a parent you should teach your children healthy views on body image, nakedness, sex, and that these things are related but distinct.

This sort of things depends on other contexts as well. For example, I would certainly find it odd to be changing clothes with my teenage child at home, but in the context of a public swimming pool all same-sex people change clothes in the same area (north America).

Basically, it depends on culture, but stop when you or your child desires more privacy.


As Stephie aptly noted, this is highly related to culture. My take on this, though, is a bit different from the above answers.

As your child grows a bit older, around late 3 to 4, she will begin to develop a concept of personal space. The concept comes, largely, from seeing how other people around her act. It's a learned concept, but (particularly in countries like the USA, with strong personal space limits) a very common one that she will learn from all of the adults and older children around her. It's a very important concept to teach, as part of social behavior.

As part of learning about personal space, it's important to help her by showing her, yourself, how to behave with others in relation to their, and your, personal space. She's going to learn from your example, and she also needs to learn the different rules that apply with different people. It's not necessarily obvious to a child why it's okay to undress with mommy in her bedroom at night, but not at the playground in the middle of the sandbox.

It's also important to teach about personal space from the point of view of respecting others' personal space. We've all had our preschooler get right in our face when he/she wants our attention, right? That is something that is learned, as well: where are the boundaries that she needs to respect. You teach her these, in part, both by respecting her personal space as she asks you to, and by asking her to respect your space.

Part of this, then, is having conversations with her about what situations are different and why. Part, also, is exhibiting them yourself, and being consistent - showing her the rules apply equally.

Finally, I will add that I'm not mentioning an age here to stop by - or even, that you need to specifically stop changing clothes in front of her - by design. The point of all of this is to teach her how to act in society; as such, which society you're in makes a huge difference. It's certainly possible to teach all of the above without actually stopping changing clothes together. I suspect it's slightly harder, simply because that is one of the easiest and most common situations to use to teach her. But I don't think it's necessary: many parents change with their children until the children ask them to stop, which is very common around puberty.

As far as the abuse angle mentioned in comments: while again I don't think it's linked directly, making sure your child understands about personal space is a good tool to give her to protect her. She should understand that it's not appropriate for someone else to touch her private area, nor to touch another person's, and that taking her clothes off is also something that is not appropriate in public or with a stranger. That can certainly be taught without changing your changing routine, but again it also may be easier for some people to have a consistent rule of "don't be naked around anyone else" rather than "... except Mommy and Daddy". Consistency is important here more so than the specific rule.

  • 4
    "Don't be naked around anyone else [except Mommy and Daddy]" clearly won't work out, at all. "Don't be naked around anyone you don't trust" would be a better rule.
    – Raphael
    Aug 13, 2015 at 9:20
  • 1
    At four, the rule should be anyone else. Of course this rule changes as the child gets older.
    – Joe
    Aug 13, 2015 at 12:17
  • 2
    "Anyone else," without qualification, is probably okay, but it could potentially cause an awkward experience if the child needs to see a doctor. You have to be very, very careful when giving instructions in absolutes. Aug 13, 2015 at 22:20
  • 1
    @GrandOpener children usually go to the doctor with parents. Oct 25, 2016 at 13:10
  • 2
    "It's not necessarily obvious to a child why it's okay to undress with mommy in her bedroom at night, but not at the playground in the middle of the sandbox." It's not obvious to me either, but that's how rules often are...
    – user7953
    Jan 31, 2017 at 8:13

I have 4 girls so I guess I'm always comfortable in my birthday suit. My daughters never say anything to me about putting some clothes on. I think it's perfectly normal to be around your children naked but I don't know if I had a son I might think differently as to what he may think or feel about my being naked in front of him.

But my daughters ask me questions about my body and I let them know they will develop just like me and have certain things that boy's don't that's about it. I guess the same would go for siblings if they are the same sex of course. I could definitely see myself naked in front of my teenage daughters when they're older unless they say come on mom put some clothes on for crying out loud.

But until then I'm getting undressed and if they're there then they're going to see it all so to speak


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .