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To ask what is normal regarding nudity and babies/smallchildren in the UK?

(162 Posts)
honeytea Sat 11-May-13 09:44:25

I am English but I live in my dp's home country (Sweden.)

We have a baby (4.5 months) it has been really lovely and hot the last couple of weeks so I have been taking ds down to the beach or to the park and letting him lie naked in the shade (on a few old towels to catch wee) this seems fairly normal here, I didn't even really think about it. The kids swim in the lakes and some are naked whilst swimming up to 5/6+ here.

I mentioned to a friend who lives in the USA how it was lovely for babyhoney to get fresh air on his bum and she said you would never do that in the USA, she said at baby groups the mums covered their babies genitals with a cloth so the other mums (and babies?)didn't see. At the baby massage group we go to all the babies are naked and I have never seen anyone trying to hide their babies genatals.

We are coming to the UK for a month in July and hopefully it will be warm. What is normal levals of baby nudity? I am from Devon so we will be having days on the beach as well as visiting parks.


mixedmamameansbusiness Sat 11-May-13 09:48:20

I think on a beach I would think at 4.5 months naked is fine.

Past about 3 I probably wouldn't do playing naked but would still change them on the beach without hiding them. DSs are 7,5 and 2. I expect 7 yr old would run behind a rock anyway.

wonderingsoul Sat 11-May-13 09:52:12

i dont think you did anything wrong.

for me, in the uk aswell. in the garden both boys could be naked for all i cared (4 ans 7 ) but in the park beach, id say i wouldnt let them run naked from 1 1/2.

but thats not just because of some werdio may be laying about. but also becasue who wants to play in the sand where a young one has wee'd init ( which can and does happen. ) theres just no need for it really, a pair of swim trunks covers their modesty and still allows them to be cool.

HorryIsUpduffed Sat 11-May-13 09:52:53

It is rarely warm enough to be an issue. hmm

That said, beach nudity seems to be unremarkable under school age, but I would be startled to see a naked small of any age at the park.

AuntieStella Sat 11-May-13 09:53:57

I think it doesn't matter.

But I never did it on a beach (discomfort of sand in creases, not and wider thoughts on nudity).

DeepRedBetty Sat 11-May-13 09:55:31

<trying to remember> I think I started to encourage dtds to wear swimming bottoms on the beach when they were around two, and they wanted costumes like the Big Girls from about 4.

MyThumbsHaveGoneWeird Sat 11-May-13 09:56:04

I think fine for a baby to be naked on the beach or in a park in the UK. I don't know what the upper age limit is really, I think I might get DS age 2.5 to wear swimming trunks this summer but only because it would now upset him if an older child laughed at him being naked.

DeepRedBetty Sat 11-May-13 09:57:01

And the swimming bottoms was more about sandy crevices than staring perverts. Although nothing can really stop sandy crevices and small children...

soapboxqueen Sat 11-May-13 09:58:37

It's personal preference. I know some people who are very uncomfortable about any nudity. My ds is almost 4 and he loves being naked.

munchkinmaster Sat 11-May-13 09:58:41

I'm saddened to hear of mothers covering up babies at massage class. I think that's really awful. Small babies look so cute naked and I think it's sad that we should begin to think of them any other way than just as babies.

LEMisdisappointed Sat 11-May-13 10:01:55

This reminds me of when i was on holiday with DD, she must have been about three at the time (maybe a bit older) we were on the beach on a day when we wasn't expecting it to be so hot, so no cossie - we just let her strip off and play in the rock pools, it was great. There was his woman making shock faces, her DD was a bit younger and in the end she said something to me. She said she didn't feel comfortable with her DD being naked - i told her not to be so ridiculous so she let her child go naked too and they had a great time. Nobody cared!! nobody stared.

DD is 7 now, i would think that she would feel uncomfortable herself to be naked on the beach, i wont fall over myself to cover her while changing because i dont want her to feel embarrased about her body, but she woudl have a cossie on, or at least pants.

HollyBerryBush Sat 11-May-13 10:04:26

It's a cultural thing isn't it?

Scandanavians are much more at ease with themselves, Americans >massive sterotype coming< are generally uptight people about such things.

It doesn't bother me, kids will cover themselves up when they become self aware. Nothing wrong with naked toddlers in the park or on the beach.

MrsWeasel Sat 11-May-13 10:07:02

Something else to bear in mind is that you are likely to be further south in the UK than you would be in Sweden so the sun will be much stronger - fine if you are lying a baby in the shade, not so much if they are wanting to crawl about in the sunshine.

We have a loose rule of T-shirts on unless actually playing in the water.

BerthaKitt Sat 11-May-13 10:07:34

My 16/17 month old ran naked round our local beach and a lakeside campsite last summer and I intend to let h

MrsWeasel Sat 11-May-13 10:08:10

if they are wanting to crawl about in the sunshine.

Assuming you see any sunshine when you are over grin

BerthaKitt Sat 11-May-13 10:08:11

Let him this year too if it's warm enough. This is in the UK.

BerthaKitt Sat 11-May-13 10:09:24

Naked except for sunblock and a sun hat, that is.

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Sat 11-May-13 10:11:31

I used to go to a baby singing class with DS1. At the end the leader would switch on a bubble machine, and a little girl who must have been two and a half would strip off and dance around naked every time. We just thought it was very funny and cute.

I stripped DS1 's trousers off in public a few weeks ago - wet himself at a theme park. Had to wrap his lower half in my scarf to get him back to the car. I got a few odd looks, but that could have been down to the screaming....

honeytea Sat 11-May-13 10:15:37

Thank you for the advice! I do hope it it warm enough for some outdoor fun, we will see smile

With the sun burning, is it safeto use sun block? ds will be7 months when we come. Also does shade prevent sun burn or do the uv rays reflect onto the baby?

The dancing toddler with the bubbles sounds so lovely. I do ds isthat uninhibited as a toddler.

AuntieStella Sat 11-May-13 10:16:52

Another factor is whether/where they are likely to pee or poo al fresco (and whether the poo is scoopable). In a young baby this could be anywhere, and there are places where it would be unpleasant for other users of the area.

MrsBertBibby Sat 11-May-13 10:18:01

I think most mums cover the genitals at things like baby massage class so they avoid pee-in-the-eye situations. It's nothing to do with hiding them!

WilsonFrickett Sat 11-May-13 10:21:49

I tend to agree with Auntie - a bit of tummy time on a towel is fine but if your baby is crawling by then a swim nappy would be considerate for other beach or park users. That's not about nudity, just that no one wants to step in someone else's wee!

EdgeOfSociety Sat 11-May-13 10:21:50

I must admit I don't like seeing young children running around naked. I accept it's my issue but still don't like it.

IrritatingInfinity Sat 11-May-13 10:22:19

Naked on beaches is perfectly ok and normal until 3ish and older. Girls do not need to wear tops until 5 or 6 ish. I don't think people care about a bit of nudity while changing etc.
We used to live in the US and we had a big community pool. Babies and toddlers were NOT allowed to be naked at any time and this rule was enforced. However, It was ok for women to wear throng bikinis and teeny tiny triangles covering their ridiculously enhanced boobs. confused I found it real weird and hypocritical. We lived in LA.

Jinty64 Sat 11-May-13 10:36:56

My ds3 (6) merrily changes himself at the pool without covering up and he likes to go naked in the house. We live in the Scottish Highlands so need wetsuits (at very least) on the beach.

We have a local park with a paddling pool but I wouldn't let him go naked there I would leave his boxers on if I didn't have trunks. I wouldn't cover him up whilst changing though.

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