39 answers

When and How to Teach Your Baby Body Parts

Hello ladies. I am seeking some feedback/tips regarding when and how to teach your child certain body parts. My husband and I have different views on this. My daughter will be 2 on 12/27/08 and has recently started to discover certain body parts. To me, this is normal as she is only exploring her body and doesn't know the difference of her chest versus her nose. If she is calling out names of her body parts, my perception would be to teach her the appropriate words for each body part (including the private parts). Anytime my husband sees her touching herself, he tells her to not do that. This only happens when she is taking a bath. Last night she was touching down south and called it her belly. What I would do is teach the appropriate word then move on to other body parts such eyes, mouth, etc. My husband told me not to teach her anything like that, and that she doesn't need to know yet. I wonder if part is because that's his baby girl and he's protective or doesn't really want to go there with her but at the same time, I don't want to teach her to be ashamed of her body. My only worry is if she is too young to learn the name of those body parts. Any advice or tips on how and when to teach her and also how to get my husband on board to understand the appropriate approach to situations like this. I of course want he and I to be on the same page before doing anything. Thanks!!!

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So What Happened?™

Ladies, THANK YOU for all your responses and to those who had the courage in sharing their personal experiences! These responses only supported futher more why it's so important to teach her early on. I talked to my husband and it's very awkard for him to teach her about the "private" area so I offered to lead it since us girls can relate. He seemed agreeable once I volunteered for the job...that's okay, I'll remind him when we have a boy! I plan to teach her the appropriate words and also teach her that these are private areas so only her, mom, and dad can touch her there...anyone else she needs to let us know. It never crossed my mind about chance of molestation but that only increases my desire to teach her. Thank you all so much!

Featured Answers

I taught me son the names of body parts as he discovered them. As for the touching of himself down south, thats normal but when my son does it, I tell him that is something he should do in private and not in front of others

1 mom found this helpful

What about teaching her the Head, shoulders, knees and toes song? She can learn some body parts that won't embarass anyone in the grocery store. auntie L.

More Answers

You are right on. My daughter just turned 2 and can name her body parts including her cheeks, nose, knees and even vagina. We have always stuck to the correct anatomical/scientific names for body parts and have been matter of fact when talking about them. This also helps when they are older and have to discuss pains/ injuries with the doctor (my oldest just had a urinary tract infection, and the doctor was able to talk to her about her body and how to avoid this in the future). They are, after all, just parts of the body that every one has. Good luck with hubby:)

5 moms found this helpful

We use the proper names for the parts. But we call the whole general area the "privates". That way boys and girls both have privates, but boys and girls have different parts to their privates. I figured it would be an easier thing later, too, if she was in public and needed to say something - not as embarassing for the adults, lol! I also tell my kids not to touch themselves in their privates in front of others. That includes on the toilet (I tell her she will get her hands dirty) or in the bath because others are watching. What my sister used to tell her kids was if you want to touch your privates, you need to go to your room alone. Hopefully this will not create embarrasement or bad feelings about their privates, yet will not have them touching themselves at inappropriate times!

4 moms found this helpful

By all means, if she is asking, then you should teach her! It's never too early to learn the appropriate names to your own body parts! Your husband is the oen with the problem--bless his heart--but you can't afford in this time to hide from it. Your daughter will pick up on that and develop a negative sense of it. I'm so overwhelmed with all the information that I can't even put it all here...so much of who we are at our core (including sexually) is determined at the current age of your daughter. You can't run and hide, so the best thing you can do is to make sure that she has a healthy foundation. I think that it's awesome that you tell her the name and then (not too quickly, though) atlk about other random body parts, so that no part feels like a secret.

Keep doing what you do. Explain to your husband what we've shared. It's a shame that you have to do this, but even read up on some child development concerns and share it with him.

Goo dluck with all of that.

3 moms found this helpful

I thought they were too young, too, until a friend had an incident with her grand-daughter being molested...and her g-d was 9. Poor dear! I felt so terrible for her, and although my kids knew their body parts somewhat (legs, arms, etc.), I realized it was time for them to know that certain (private) areas were private. So, any place their bathing suits covered was off limits to touch (family, friends, teachers, etc.) NO ONE should touch them or make them feel badly about their bodies. I also taught them that if anyone did try to touch them there, that they should tell Mom or Dad or someone they trusted and loved to help them.

L., I can't tell you how grateful I am that I did that. It ended up helping us later on with an incident at day care, and the place is now shut down. Please, pray if you must to help your husband understand the importance of this. My prayers are with you also, because no matter how much we love our children, we can't be with them 24 hrs. a day in every single situation. We have to prepare them, no matter how terrifying or uncomfortable it is for us. How will they know something is wrong if WE, as their parents, don't teach them that? Best wishes to you, dear.

3 moms found this helpful

I believe that it is incredibly important for children to know about these things at an early age. I know that no one likes to think of the bad things that could happen, but it's important that a child know what there private parts are and why they are private and that no one else should touch them. Unfortunately, in this day and age there are some real sickos out there and these people aren't just on the streets. They could be friends, family, baby sitters, child care workers, neighbors, and even their own friends or friends of their siblings. For this reason I think it is incredibly important for her to understand not only what the parts are called but also that they are hers/his and that someone else trying to touch those parts is very very wrong (besides of course you when she needs help cleaning those areas and the doctor if and when they need to look down there as well) and that if it does happen that they need to tell you, the parents, about it.

3 moms found this helpful

L.: We taught our children the correct anatomical names of there private parts. By not naming them correctly, and or not allowing exploration, you are already labeling those parts as something to be ashamed of. You are right. To a child there is no difference between any of his/her body parts, and rightly so.

2 moms found this helpful

L.,

Use the correct names for body parts. This is really important so that if anyone ever touches her inappropriately (God forbid) she will be able to tell any adult about it and they will understand what is going on. Your pediatrician will tell you the same thing. Good luck with your hubby. Sometimes they're on Mars!

Peace,
C.

1 mom found this helpful

You have gotten great advice - the only thing I would add is that with my daughter who is 7 (and I will with my son) we added to our talk about the correct names is that these things are private. We talk about these at home with mommy and daddy or, if necessary, to your doctor.

That has worked well and not too many embarrassing moments outside the house! It is also a great concept for them to grasp as there are simply things that should be kept private - not a secret, but private.

It offers respect for their body, and respect for others as well when we learn things correctly.

Good luck!!! Isn't if fun being a parent!

1 mom found this helpful

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