33 answers

Taking off All Clothes to Go to the Potty

Why does my 3yr old daughter feel it is necessary to take off ALL of her clothes when she goes to the potty? She does this regardless of whether she is going poop or even just to pee. We ask her why she does it and she says she doesn't know...

Anyone else experience something similar?

1 mom found this helpful

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Thanks to all of you who took the time out of your day to respond to my post.

Judging from the general consensus, only time will help her outgrow this. Thanks again!!!

Featured Answers

J.,
I have 2 beautiful boys that are now 5 and 7. When they were potty training they did the exact same thing. It is a phase and they do grow out of it. My sister has 3 children and only 2 of them did this, but it is vrey common. Don't be alarmed. Good luck!
K.

I don't know why this is but my 7 yr. old did this as a toddler and still takes off all his clothes when he goes poop. I have a couple of friends that their kids (7 & 4 yrs) do the same thing. I don't really have any advice, but atleast you know you are not alone.

My daughter does the same thing. Matter of fact she likes to be that way all day long. She does it because it is some thing she can control. What is the one thing kinds want? Is to have control over what the do. She will grow out of it.

More Answers

J.,
I have 2 beautiful boys that are now 5 and 7. When they were potty training they did the exact same thing. It is a phase and they do grow out of it. My sister has 3 children and only 2 of them did this, but it is vrey common. Don't be alarmed. Good luck!
K.

My daughter does the same thing. sometimes she doesn't know why, other times it is so she doesn't get anything on her clothes. Now she only does it when she has on a dress or she poops. Just a phase I think.

My grand-daughter did the same thing! Because she didn't want to dirty her clothes and make Mommy mad. I offered to show her and help, she accepted, and after a week she was good to go! Every once in a while she'd have trouble going on the big pot and get some on her but learned how to communicate to Mom that it was an accident or that she needed help.

My 5-yr old daughter still takes off her clothes most of the time when she goes potty. My son used to do this too. The weird thing was, when he was little, he had to do the same thing when we used public restrooms! He got over it though and my daughter is slowly getting over it too. I think they feel more comfortable that way when they're young.

J.,
My nephew (now 19 yr old) used to do the same thing. His older brother and younger sister didn't do it, neither did my boys. He would take his shoes off in public restrooms so he could get his clothes completely off. My sister urged him to keep his shoes on and try going potty with his pants on. Eventually, he stopped taking his clothes off. I think he was concerned with getting dirty. He never told us why he did it.

Hi J. - I'm not sure why they do this but my daughter did the same thing - for whatever reason when she went potty she felt the need to be completely naked...she did stop doing that after several months of being potty trained - I suppose she just felt the need to be "free" :-)

That is so funny that you wrote this! I have the same issue with my daughter (now 4 yrs old) and I never understood why! She will say things like "because I'm going potty!" As if that were the most normal, common answer. I get frustrated, usually because it takes so long and if we are in a rush, who has time for the complete strip down?
We have always just thought it was her sensory issues. She has some sensory processing issues and I thought maybe that had something to do with it. Does your daughter have any issues like that? I am curious what this means as well.

Yes. My 3 year old is potty trained, and she started out doing the same thing (although kept her shirt on). She would have to kick off her pants, socks, undies. She doesn't do it so much right now though, so it does get better! Although my 5 year old seems to removed entirely her undies and pants most of the time...then redresses when she is done. At least my 5 year old can put it all back on herself!
K.

Ha -- One of my nephews used to do the same thing -- we thought it was hysterical back then. He only did it for a short while and he was certainly over it long before he went to kindergarten.

This is too funny! Well, maybe funny isn't the right word to use. LOL Two of my three boys do the SAME thing! My 2yr old has just finished potty training. He has to take everything off to go to the bathroom no matter which one. My 7 yr old does the strip before going POOP ONLY now. So just know there is hope in sight!
This was not learned behavior (ha-ha-hee-hee) but somewhere he got it in his head that he needed to strip to go potty when he was little. Who knows? I say, they are all helping us make memories for later.
Take Care of you and that little naked one! LOL =) N.

Honey first it seems normal... all three of my girls have done it, my son did it and my friends kids have done it. Unless we are all crazy(not sure about you but I know we are heehee).Do you allow your child in the bathroom by herself, like on a pottyseat? My daughter will go in there by herself, so thats why I ask. My first suggestion is while you are in there with her to tell her calmly that she needs to keep them on.Of course she will still want to take them off...just keep telling her no honey, they need to stay on. I know it will be difficult to stay calm at times when you feel she is ignoring you but I speak from experience of the WRONG WAYS to handle it as well. Yelling does not work as it makes it stressful for you both. Popping her butt will actually work against it;she may start to have more accidents. When she does keep her clothes on make a big deal out of it...tell her she is a big girl,give her a sticker,use a washable marker and draw a smiley face on her hand. Give her big hugs and clap for her..she will love the attention and will begin to realize she gets it when she keeps her clothes on, so she will repeat the action. Once she does itall the time you can cut ack on what you do...though I suggest still giving hugs just because a hug from your child makes you feel better. Hope this helps.

My son did the same thing when he was 3!! He's almost 5 now and it has slowly progressed from complete nakedness to just pulling down his pants to pee standing up. There is hope for your little nudist :) Oh, pooping still requires taking off pants AND socks??? Go figure!

So....maybe set some rules. Only take your clothes off at home. My 5 year old was naked most of the 2nd and 3rd year of her life. I just didn't want her to take her clothes off at the mall or at a playdate.
Good luck :)

My soon to be 3 yr old son does the same thing. I think he does it because he doesn't like to be messy and twice he peed on his shirt. This started about a week or two into the potty training process. Now he insists on taking off all his clothes whether he pees standing up or sitting down and is always naked to poop! He also enjoys streaking around the house afterward! It's a little inconvenient at times since he is just starting to be able to put his clothes back on by himself...When we are out and about I make him keep his clothes on and he doesn't mind--distraction on being quick, new place...

Eventually he will always keep his clothes on--modesty will kick in at some point. Also, he starts pre-school next year and he'll see that others do not take their clothes off.

I hope this helps you feel better

I know this sounds strange but my 10 year old still takes all of his clothes off to go number 2. It used to be every where all the time but now it is just at home. Thank Goodness! I made mention of my concern to several people including a doctor and was told this is normal. Supposedly there are many adults who feel more comfortable with nothing on when they sit on the toilet. My brother in law in 30ish and he still does this but again only at his home. He has told me several times that when you are sitting down your pants just feel weird and confining so that is one reason he strips in the bathroom. (Our family is strange too but I would not trade any of them for the world) I would not worry. Some day she will grow out of it but if not oh well there are several others in the world who still strip to go to the bathroom. Oh and when my 10 year old goes to the bathroom and strip, he is in there for 30 - 45 min. He really enjoys his freedom I guess.

I don't know why this is but my 7 yr. old did this as a toddler and still takes off all his clothes when he goes poop. I have a couple of friends that their kids (7 & 4 yrs) do the same thing. I don't really have any advice, but atleast you know you are not alone.

Hi J.!
Come on Mom, she does it because she can :). She'll grow out of it, it could be worse, she could not be potty at all. Count your blessings!
Good luck !

All five of my kids have done this. I have no idea why, but it seems to be a normal part of pottying when they are still learning.

My kids are all adults now and I know that they stopped stripping down to go potty a LONG time ago!

My grandauther does the same thing when she was 3yrs old, however you will be glad to hear that the do grow out of it. I tell her all the time that princess don't act that way and surprising enough it worked. I had all boys so this was a different experience for me. Hope this helps. Good luck.

My daughter does the same thing. Matter of fact she likes to be that way all day long. She does it because it is some thing she can control. What is the one thing kinds want? Is to have control over what the do. She will grow out of it.

My MIL said my husband used to do that until he was 6. He was afraid he would get "stuff" on him. My daughter takes her socks, shoes pants and underwear off, she says it is b/c she doesn't want them to fall in the potty. Who knows, she will get over it, though. Maybe you could try duct taping her shirt on.

Personally I think 3-year-olds are just quirky. My 3-y-o won't go to the bathroom in a dress or skirt without taking it completely off. We have tried to explain that you can just "pull it up" but she won't have any of it. They grow out of this kind of stuff but take a picture or write it down because it will turn into a cute story to tell them later!

I laugh because my sister would strip down and our mom had to retrain her to only take off what was necessary. It was like she just got it in her head that clothes (any and all) came off for the potty.

She was being potty trained in the summer and when we had the kiddie pool out, she'd run off, strip down, and come back to the pool. She knew she was not supposed to be "wet", but didn't make the connection between when it's okay and when it's not. (Poor sis, it's still a family joke.)

She did grow out of that phase and did just fine. Maybe all she needs is a refresher on what *needs* to be removed and what doesn't.

So my son will take his pants completely off, when he goes potty and then, I think, decides it's time to be naked and they all come off. Thankfully, I hear they grow out of this. I say, just laugh in you head (if you laugh out loud they'll keep doing it for the reaction) such is life with a toddler!!

Hi J.,

It doesn't matter why. Thank God that she is potty trained.

If she still does it at 4, then you can start worrying.

It is okay. Dont' worry. Noone is perfect.

Good luck. D.

Wow reading your e-mail was like dejavu! My three year old son does the same thing. It's so frustrating we can be ready to leave and he walks out nude. He tells me "that's the way it has to be." Usually monitoring him helps, but if you get some good advice please forward it my way. I didfind it interesting that his dad used to the same thing when he was little....so maybe there's something genetic!

Hi J. -

Both of my children have gone through phases when they do this, in fact my son will come home from school and strip regardless of going to the bathroom or not and he's 6. We just maintain a "you have to have underwear on" rule. My daughter stripped for awhile but now only loses the pants sometimes and has never done this when we were out. Your daughter is still young enough that even if she does what one of my friends son's did running out of the bathroom naked, as embarrassing as it might be for us mom's no one will care. I would imagine that if you are just firm about clothes staying on while out and not overly anxious about it at home she should grow out of it.

R. A.

My husband did the same thing until he was 5. She won't do it forever.

My three year old daughter did the same thing. I honestly believe they do it because they think that inorder to not pee or poop on their clothes they have to take them completely off. Working in a daycare with two year olds I've seen it a lot. However with time it shall pass. My daughter has finally mastered the potty without taking her clothes off. And thankfully she's taught the one year old how to potty without taking off her clothes.

I have 6 kids and I have had more than one child do this while potty training. I would just celebrate that they are using the potty and in time they will get the idea that it does not require removing all of their clothes.

Hi J.,
I think I have the answer. My 7 year old son does this, but only when at home or Grandpa's house. He takes his shirt off cuz it's hard for him to hold his shirt up and wipe himself at the same time. He takes his pants and underwear off, cuz well his feet dangle when he sits down and they fall off.
Hope this helps.
M.

That's pretty much where we are. My child is such a nudist that I can't keep clothes on him. He uses potty time as an excuse to get there.

Hi J.,

I have a 32 year old sister who does the same thing. I asked her the same question you asked your 3 year old. Her response was that it made here feel dirty and if she didn't take her cloths off, her cloths will feel dirty too. She has to wash after every poop and she doesn't poop anywhere but home. She want even poop at my house. She goes all the way home. It is just a clean thing... Her daughters are the same way, but not as bad. Her 9 year old can't go to bed without taking a shower, no matter what time of the night she gets home. Do you consider yourself a clean and neat person? If so, chances are your daughter will be a clean and neat person also. Not like boys... I have boys and they will go without taking a bath all day if you don't stay on top of them. Take care.

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