To bare, or not to bare? Regardless of your personal preference for nakedness, it’s normal to wonder what level of nudity is acceptable around Baby. Unless you can change outfits faster than Wonder Woman, or everyone in your house showers in a full-body Spandex suit, you’ll probably have to address this question at some point in Baby’s life.
If your family is of the anti-pants variety, fear not. Up until around 4 years of age, Baby won’t have much of an idea about children seeing their parents naked and sexual or mental dysfunction in adulthood. In fact, a number of studies actually suggest it’s the other way around – that parental nudity can have a positive impact on children. Adults in these studies who reported less exposure to parental nakedness had lower levels of comfort with their sexuality, their bodies, and their bodily functions.
If you’re the type of parent who is comfortable with that, occasional parental nakedness seems like it could do more good than harm. If you’re the more modest type, there’s definitely no problem with that, either – it’s your preference and there’s no need to change!
In time, it will probably be a good idea to give up the right to bare arms, legs, and everything else around Baby. In 6 to 8 years or so, they will probably get less comfortable with nakedness in the home. This all depends on your family dynamic and preferences, but a general rule is to have ongoing conversations about family modesty as Baby and the rest of the family grows older, to make sure everyone feels comfortable. Once someone starts feeling embarrassed or shy, it’s probably time to start covering up.
- R.J. Lewis, L.H. Landa. “The relationship between adult sexual adjustment and childhood experiences regarding exposure to nudity, sleeping in the parental bed, and parental attitudes towards sexuality. Arch Sex Behav. 17(4):349-62. Web. August 1988.
- P. Okami, et al. “Early childhood exposure to parental nudity and scenes of parental sexuality (‘primal scenes’): an 18-year longitudinal study outcome.” Arch Sex Behav. 27(4):361-84. Web. August 1998.