37 answers

My Daughter Wont Stop Undressing!

I'm having MAJOR problems getting my 20 month old to stay dressed! It isn't so much a problem durring the day (she listens to me when I tell her to stop) but its a huge problem at nap and bedtime. She's able to break her way out of pretty much everything I have put on her - footy pajamas, overalls, onesies with snaps, rompers ... EVERYTHING. Worst of all, she's also crafty enough to wiggle out of her diaper and usually makes a complete mess of her crib by the time she wakes up. I've looked high and low for information about this topic, but haven't stumbled across anything particularly helpful. Does anyone have any suggestions?! My washing machine and I are at wits end!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you for all the advice you've given so far - I will certainly try a number of your suggestions. To answer a few questions: She seems to undress whenever she has the most idle time in the crib. Sometimes I'll go in to check on her before she's fallen asleep and she'll be completely naked, but more often than not its after she's woken up. She's not a very loud child, so often I don't even know she's woken up and undressed until its far too late! I like to have her fall asleep on her own (as opposed to in my arms and then transferring her to the crib) so she is more independent and doesn't rely on me for soothing ... but this seems to be problematic since before she's drifted off to sleep seems to be an awesome time for her to strip.

also, I'm not entirely certain that putting footy pajamas on her backwards would do the trick ... it isn't that she unzips them so much as she wiggles herself through the neck hole! Its the same with diapers, she doesn't undo the tabs, she just pulls them down in back and wiggles out.
I'm definitely going to try sticking a one piece swimming suit on her ... so thank you much for that suggestion! it sounds a little silly, but something tells me she'll have a hard time wiggling out of spandex, lol. At this point I'm willing to try ANYTHING to keep her clothed and dry!

If only she weren't so crafty ;)
Thanks again for all your suggestions ... if you think of anything else I'd love to hear about it!

Featured Answers

My kids also didn't want to wear clothes. I let them run around naked in the house, and sometimes in the yard, so that they could have this experience. As soon as company came over or we went somewhere, the clothes went back on. They didn't protest putting on clothes because I let them pick out what they would wear and explained why.

Kids do love to be naked. Let go and let her have her nakedness when it doesn't matter so much. Offer her the OPTION to wear clothes when it doesn't matter: "No one is coming over this morning... do you want to wear clothes or be naked?" What a 20 month old wants more than being naked is the choice to be naked now and then, or maybe every day.

By the way, contrary to popular belief, not wearing clothes and diapers helps with potty training. Just move the potty chair into the room she playing in and watch as she takes to it beautifully.

1 mom found this helpful

Can't give you much advice, i just realized my daughter is really warm blooded and was just overheated and that is why she hated clothing.

Try putting the diaper on backwards, even use tape on it if you have to. As for the rest of the undressing, I think it's perfectly normal (my daughter is 27 months and prefers to be naked or at least partially undressed most of the time). It bugs my husband's family, but since they tend to just show up without being invited, I really don't care.

More Answers

E., I had to laugh when I read your post as it brought back such good memories of when my daughter did this same thing. We called her our little Lady Godiva because she not only would strip the minute she came home, she would run outside and swing on the swingset in the back yard! More than once I ended up chasing her around the house, her in her birthday suit, out the back door and in the front! :) After awhile I would just shut the back door and hold open the front door as she came around. I'm sure the neighbors thought we were odd, but she was happier once I relaxed about the whole thing and now I remember it with a fond shake of my head.

First off, I kept a big towel handy to wrap her in when she would run outside. Second, I let her do as she felt when we didn't have company. I totally understand your frustration! My daughter finally outgrew this around age 7 though her outside journies ended at around age 5. Still, she would change her clothes frequently until she was about age 10. What is behind all of this? DSI, Dysfuncation of Sensory Integration. There is tons of stuff on it on the internet. Basically, her nervous system is maturing at a slower rate. There are things you can do to help her nervous system mature such as brushing her body with a special brush, once she is diagnosed with DSI (sometimes called SID), a PT can show you how to do this and more. Talk to your pediatrician about it and if they don't believe in it, try another pediatrician until you find one that will test her for it. (some doctors still do not believe in it but I have seen amazing results happen with treatment)

I did all these things with my daughter and it did help, but really, time is what it took for her to outgrow it. My daughter is now 13 and I'm happy to say, does not change her clothes more than once a day (when she gets home from school she changes to something more comfy for her) and the Lady Godiva bit has totally gone away much to my relief! She can now communicate to me when certain materials bother her and her wardrobe is more suited to her sensitivity needs and she can do her own laundry. When we started treatment for her, her need to strip diminished to a controllable level and I would spend extra time with her treatments before/during company so that she would remain dressed while they were visiting. (we often had people stay for the weekend). At the same time, I let go of worrying about it and when it was just the family at home, I would allow her to do as she needed with her clothes, only asking that she wear a towel or wrap in a blanket if she was outside of her room.

Like I said, getting her treatment for DSI helped immensly and we were able, with treatment, to bring her need to run naked to a managable level and gave her the tools she needed to communicate to us her sensory needs. Good luck! And remember, this too shall fade into a pleasant memory :)

1 mom found this helpful

My kids also didn't want to wear clothes. I let them run around naked in the house, and sometimes in the yard, so that they could have this experience. As soon as company came over or we went somewhere, the clothes went back on. They didn't protest putting on clothes because I let them pick out what they would wear and explained why.

Kids do love to be naked. Let go and let her have her nakedness when it doesn't matter so much. Offer her the OPTION to wear clothes when it doesn't matter: "No one is coming over this morning... do you want to wear clothes or be naked?" What a 20 month old wants more than being naked is the choice to be naked now and then, or maybe every day.

By the way, contrary to popular belief, not wearing clothes and diapers helps with potty training. Just move the potty chair into the room she playing in and watch as she takes to it beautifully.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi E.,

Sounds like a crafty little thing. I would recommend putting her to bed with just a diaper on. Buy some rubber sheets or get some Chux (the kind they put under you in the hospital). She is apparently too warm and wriggles out of everything.

That way when she messes in the bed, you won't have more than a couple things to wash. Make sure her room is a bit on the chilly side and eventually she will want to be warmer. You might start with nightgowns first and don't wrap her up too snuggly.

Hope this helps.

L. :)

E.,

Put on the footie pajamas backward and safety pin the zipper from behind. You can slip a roomy pair over her regular clothes at naptime.

Good luck,
S.

I have heard of people putting the zip up jammies on BACKWARD so that they can't get at the zipper to get it off.

Good luck!

Hi E.
The ONLY thing that worked for my daughter was to put a one piece swimsuit on under the rest of her clothes. When she striped she could not get to her diaper. Good Luck this is a tough stage:) T.

Try putting the diaper on backwards, even use tape on it if you have to. As for the rest of the undressing, I think it's perfectly normal (my daughter is 27 months and prefers to be naked or at least partially undressed most of the time). It bugs my husband's family, but since they tend to just show up without being invited, I really don't care.

Hi E.!

I am so sorry but I couldn't stop smiling when I read your request. My little girl who is 18 now, used to do the same thing when she was 2! LOL!! It's got to be an age thing. Because one of my friends daughter's did it too.

My little Loren would be outside playing with the neighbor boys (same ages 2 & 4) and I would go in the house for two seconds and her clothes would be off! Diaper too!! It wasn't funny at the time, but the good news is, SHE GOT OVER IT!! She still hates wearing shoes though. But she has probably 50 pairs!!!

She just hated wearing clothes. I called my mom back then and asked her what I should do. She said that my twin sister used to do the same thing. She out grew it too.

There was a lot of aggravation going on back then. But we made it through. I'm sure you will too. I don't remember what changed the situation. But it only happened during her terrible twos. Once she was potty trained, it got easier! I think we tried pretty undies. We had them hanging on a hanger in her room.

Good luck!

J.

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