Age That Kids Notice Opposite Sex?

Updated on January 21, 2011
S.M. asks from Zanesville, OH
13 answers

When did you notice your child becoming aware of body differences, or being attracted to the opposite sex? Let me explain - my 3 year old son has started acting funny about my body. The other day he came in while I was showering and said he wanted to see me. At first I thought he just wanted to know where I was, then he told me he wanted to see my "boobers." It made me really self conscious, so I covered up, and he started begging to see! Then this morning he saw me changing my shirt (I still had a bra on) and he said he wanted to hug me. I kneeled down on the floor to hug him, and he said "I loves you like that." I said I loved him too, and he said "no, I loves you like THIS" and patted my bare skin. It really freaked me out! I don't usually worry about modesty around him, so I don't know why this started so suddenly. I breastfeed his little sister in front of him and he never pays any attention then. My husband thinks maybe our son has some vague memory of when I breastfed him, and that's what all this is about, but I weaned him at 17 months, so I have my doubts.

What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers


answers from Houston on

My son was about three when he noticed. Then he started telling the whole neighborhood about his parent's private parts.... 'do you have a big weinie like my daddy?" that sort of thing. That's when we started covering up and talked to him about privacy... and what is okay to talk about and what isn't! We also had the whole not letting people touch you in private areas talk and not touching other kids in those areas, and all the info that goes with that.

Edit My Answer
2 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Columbus on

My son just turned 5 and just recently started giving me the funny look if I am naked. So, I now try and get dressed in privacy. But, our household is usually an open door policy. If mom or dad is showering doors are always open. But, like I said just recently we have started covering up a bit. But we don't put too much fuss on the issue.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Cincinnati on

Well, my son is almost four and has lately been all about the boobs (mine specifically). He will compare. "Hey mommy..___ is as big as your boobs." Recently, we were purchasing him some new shoes and (referring to the young saleslady) "Her boobs are big like yours!" We will acknowledge his statement, but then remind him about private parts and that we don't talk about them like that. He will try to play with my boobs too, but I will remove his hands and again remind him about private parts. I just hope we get through this phase before something truly embarrassing happens. :-)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I think it's different for each child. I have two boys, and my oldest started to notice when he was about 3. He just started staring at me a bit too long, so I started to cover up a bit more. My youngest is almost 7 and still doesn't seem to care if I have anything on or not. I don't parade around naked or anything, but he'll come in while I'm taking a bath to ask me questions and won't give me a second look (I still cover myself with bubbles anyway). I make sure to be in a bra and panties when either of the boys are around, but my youngest still doesn't seem the least bit curious. My oldest was much more curious about bodies in general when he was that age. Now he's 13, so he's curious about lots of things. ;-)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

My 27 month old son does the same kinda of thing. If I kneel down to him with nothing on he says "boobies" and tries to pat them lol

i get self-concious about it too but I really think it is just them noticing the difference between our bodies. We teach them all about their face, knees, hands etc. I am sure they notice that our "boobies" are different from theirs.

I wouldn't be concerned about it. We have always been a very open family, not modest about nakedness with either of our boys and our 12 year old (I do make sure I am covered up around him now) is very well adjusted and aware of differences without the curiosity that gets kids into trouble early on.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cincinnati on

I think it's pretty normal - my five year old son has always been obsessed with my "boobs" - he likes to rub them (which I only let him do once because he'll catch me by surprise when he does it) and he tells me they are his (which I remind him that they are not). I did breastfeed until he was a year old. I think it's a comfort thing. I don't have any concerns at this point and as much as it bugs me sometimes, I know I'll miss it when he's over his momma!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

well my kids just in the past year started to care about privacy, for themselves or me and the boys are 11 and 10 and my daughter is 9. I think it was when I got pregnant that seeing me undressed started to bug them. My middle son actually won't even meet my gaze while I'm breastfeeding the baby. That being said I don't think anything is odd about your son liking to be close to your bare skin. skin to skin contact is great for babies and very comforting, so it's normal for your son, even at 3, to like you to hold him next to your skin.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cincinnati on

Sounds age appropriate. I also think that sometimes they miss the skin-to-skin contact (and probably the endorphins we as humans get from it) from when they were younger, and it was much easier to hold them. I know about that age my son was asking if he could lie on my belly when we would lay down to go to sleep. But, he's too heavy for that nowadays, so I would tell him he could lie next to me, and he's tuck under my arm and snuggle close to fall asleep. Occasionally, I will let him curl up in my lap on the sofa to fall asleep. But, that doesn't happen often because he has become very heavy for me to carry up a flight of stairs. Some other moms I know have also been talking about sons wanting to watch mom pee, because they can't see how she does it sitting. My son has asked if girls have the same equipment he has to pee, and we tell him no, that's why they have to sit.



answers from Los Angeles on

hi my 3 yr old is the same way.. i think its totally normal, they wonder why our body looks different than theirs... he'll ask about his 6 yr old sister too.. dont worry its perfectlly normalll...



answers from Chicago on

i think it was around 4ish that my son would just pat or grab my boobs (or teachers for that matter). skin is soft and comforting. just need to tell him what's private and what's appropriate... i think its a normal stage.



answers from Indianapolis on

Kids notice pretty early. My daughter noticed she was different than boys when she was 3 so he is on track. She tried to pee like a boy once and got pee everywhere so it's very normal. If it bothers you then it's time to cover up. Don't worry about it. It's just another phase in the vast sea of phases kids go through.



answers from Minneapolis on

It's pretty normal at that age to be curious and notice differences. I guess I'd be more concerned about where he's learning language like "boobies" and expressing knowledge or curiosity about hugging and touching in an intimate, adult way.

It sounds like he may have seen something or heard something and is testing boundaries, or confused about them. I don't think breastfeeding is where this is coming from, unless you're doing it in a way the rest of us don't. LOL!

Maybe pay closer attention to what he sees on t.v., discussions between you and hubby, or even pay closer attention to his friends and their parents' behaviors etc.

At the very least, I wouldn't just blow it off. I think it's time to start talking about appropriate behaviors between adults and kids, kids and kids, male and female etc. He's clearly old enough to understand boundaries...and it's necessary for his own protection outside the house.



answers from Huntsville on

I have a daughter, so it's different. But, I don't cover up around her. She is going to be 5 next month. I don't remember when she started noticing the differences. When she asks about anything I just talk to her plainly about it and tell her when she's older her body will change too, etc. I just talk to her just as if I was telling her that everybody has 2 ears.. lol

I've talked to her about privacy & things you can't do in public, tho I don't really remember her doing anything much inappropriate... other than pinching my boobs! lol