Does your baby love to be naked? Does he often touch himself when he is in the tub or being diapered?
Not to worry, this is all a normal part of your baby’s development. Babies usually discover their genitals at the same time as they discover their hands and feet. Babies enjoy touch (snuggles, hugs and kisses) as well as skin to skin contact.
From 2 – 5 years, young children are quite familiar with their own bodies and identify themselves as either a boy or a girl. They may show interest and curiosity about the bodies of others. This is the time to teach your children the concept of privacy. Without instilling a sense of guilt or shame, explain to your child that touching his/her genitals should be done in private. Your children may ask questions such as “Where do babies come from?” Try to give short, but honest answers, with only as much detail as your child asks for.
Throughout your child’s development, be aware of possible signs of sexual abuse. Encourage your child to always tell you if someone is touching them inappropriately.
Teach your child:
- Proper names for body parts
- That his or her body belongs to him or her
- That he/she has a right to privacy
- The difference between appropriate and inappropriate touch
By talking to your children at a young age about healthy sexual development, you will become more comfortable talking about sex with him/her as they grow older.