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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.


SneakyNuts Sat 11-May-13 12:20:51

People take offence at babies being naked on a beach?! shock hmm

SchroSawMargeryDaw Sat 11-May-13 12:22:16

Nagoo I would have politely told them where to go!

Smellslikecatspee Sat 11-May-13 12:23:01

The only thing that would concern me at seeing a little one naked would be skin protection. Even in this country our arms legs etc still get more exposure than bottoms and bits. So they're going to be more vulnerable.

Modesty should be about personal comfort rather than shame if you know what I mean.

As my DNs are fair skinned they would run around with only a light tshirt and sun cream on till they were 6 or 7.

exoticfruits Sat 11-May-13 12:24:25

You would get a similar split if you asked who was happy for their DCs to see them nude-some are some are not.

Viviennemary Sat 11-May-13 12:26:20

In the UK nobody would bat an eyelind at a naked baby on the beach. But I heard parts of the USA are a bit cover up even tinies. I think the only risk would be sunburn.

5madthings Sat 11-May-13 12:27:44

Mine have gone naked on the beach as babies/toddlers and they get changed into trunks on the beach now, ds1 covers up as does ds2 now but they are 13 and 10. The yoinger ones will get changed and not cover themselves whilst doing so.iyswim. The 5 yr old would be happy naked and plays naked in the paddling pool in the garden.

Dd is two and would be naked ont the beach. She has swimming nappies but i wont be covering her top half until she needs to developmentally or she wants to.

Obviouslu sunscredn and covered up if sun is an issue but not for modesty reasons.

Florabeebaby Sat 11-May-13 12:31:48

Totally off topic but I am Finnish and your post made me so homesick! I live in the UK and miss miss miss the lovely feeling of a warm spring day after months of snow and cold...

I have been wondering the same though, as a Scandinavian I am used to kids (and even myself though not in public, in the privacy of my own home) running around naked or half-dressed. My DD is 2.5 so I will still let her roam free this summer but maybe think about covering up next year...DS is 7m, not worried about him just yet.

SparkyDudess Sat 11-May-13 12:35:58

DS loved being naked and would strip off at the drop of a hat. He became less comfortable doing that in public when he started school but was still inclined to get naked at home, or in the garden.

I actually think one of the most gorgeous things I've ever seen was my then 4 year old DS and goddaughter messing about in my garden wearing nothing but crocs and sun hats. They were so innocent, and happy, and so very perfectly made they were a joy to watch.

SchroSawMargeryDaw Sat 11-May-13 12:39:25

"I actually think one of the most gorgeous things I've ever seen was my then 4 year old DS and goddaughter messing about in my garden wearing nothing but crocs and sun hats. They were so innocent, and happy, and so very perfectly made they were a joy to watch."

^^ That. It just reminds me how lovely and innocent they are.

specialsubject Sat 11-May-13 12:50:52

naked until they want to cover up, or about school age I would think.

UV, like all radiation, reflects from surfaces. If you are at the beach you will get a lot more from the water. Strongest UV on June 21st so plenty of suncream/cover up in July, or get burnt. Temperature irrelevant, only that people get less burnt when it is cooler because they wear more clothes.

Gubbins Sat 11-May-13 12:52:39

Florabee (and OP), please don't let yourself be influenced by what other people might think. If you are comfortable with your child being naked and your children are happy, then don't start them on the road to body-consciousness. It's not something you could ever get back. I have never been aware of any disaproval of my naked children. I'm now aware that there may well have been some, but, tbh, who gives a shit. It says more about them than me or my kids.

sparkle12mar08 Sat 11-May-13 12:54:21

I don't find it offensive as such. It wouldn't make me move away and I certainly wouldn't be casting the evils at the parents! And it's not about 'paedos on every corner' either. Even sun burn/cream is a minor issue. I just don't want to see wrinkly willies and other bits bouncing around. It's not nice to look at, hardly aesthetically pleasing, if you will. My boys run around naked at home in the garden in summer, I sleep naked for the most part, so it's not about prudishness either. I don't know, I just don't like seeing it and would prefer not to have too, that's all.

lljkk Sat 11-May-13 13:12:52

See a lot of nuddy preschoolers here on the beach (UK).

I remind y'all that USA is a huge country & while I wouldn't expect to see many nude preschoolers on beach, nuddy at massage class wouldn't be strange at massage class in California.

HorryIsUpduffed Sat 11-May-13 13:23:03

There are some lovely photos from my third birthday party where it is obvious that no child is wearing more than possibly underpants (censoring table). 1980s. And I bet not a smear of sun cream between us.

catgirl1976 Sat 11-May-13 13:26:41

Agree with the poster who said it is rarely warm enough sad

Nudity doesn't bother me at all.

That said, it is rare to see school age children naked on a beach. Little children, I don't think anyone bats an eyelid

I have never seen naked children in the park. It wouldn't bother me if I did but it isn't something I have seen. That said, I have to refer you back to our weather.

Personally I would let DS go nekkid in the paddling pool, on the beach or in the park if he wanted to and it was warm enough. He's too little to have an opinion as yet and it's like bloody Winterfell up here so he would be hardy in the extreme to want to sad

Kungfutea Sat 11-May-13 13:29:06

In my experience on the east coast of the us, Americans are totally uptight about child nudity. The British a bit less so but still more than most European and Mediterranean countries

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 11-May-13 13:32:11

I struggled to keep clothes on my DD till she was 5 years old. Even now when she is 9 she rarely wears clothes in the house. I never saw any cats bum faces.
I suspect I will have a naked one for quite a while longer.

EdgeOfSociety Sat 11-May-13 14:24:17

I felt uncomfortable about being naked in front of people from an early age. Just did. I now feel uncomfortable seeing naked children as I find it embarrassing. People can shout all they want, but it's how I feel. I'm not rude, I don't pull faces or say "cover them up" but I wish they would. I also wouldn't have my own children naked outside although getting changed is fine.

Kubalai Sat 11-May-13 15:26:38

My 1 and 3 year olds are v happy naked, and strip off with v little provocation. It wouldn't occur to me that others may have an issue with it tbh. I'm quite surprised by how many do - not going to change things for me though.

Flora going to Finland a few years sgo was a big eye opener for me! Everyone was so relaxed with nudity at swimming pools etc, it seemed better for children's body image etc.

thegreylady Sat 11-May-13 15:32:03

Up to 3ish nudity anwhere-no problem.At home any age is fine.In public I'd probably use pants after age 3 unless it was a quiet beach when nudity would be fine till 6/7.

meditrina Sat 11-May-13 15:35:49

Little children - fine.

Tinies who are too young to be potty-trained, not fine. I'd be just as annoyed by an incontinent dog in an area where children are playing.

crashdoll Sat 11-May-13 15:49:57

I've seen lots of offensive things on the beach in the park but never been offended by a child's naked body. If it's hot, I would worry they'd burn their bottoms but otherwise, not bat an eye lid.

Jan49 Sat 11-May-13 16:28:40

The only time I've seen naked children on a beach is on a nice summer's day and I feel annoyed with their parents for not protecting their child adequately from the sun.

Summerblaze Sat 11-May-13 16:54:43

I got told off at disneyworld florida for having DS2 with no clothes on. He was 5 months and had a nappy on. It was so hot so we took his clothes off.

Here I wouldn't mind at all on the beach. They get to a point anyway where they don't want to. DD is 9 now and wouldn't do it (and likes us to hold a towel up when she gets changed. DS1 is 5 and would run around naked if he didn't have shorts with him. Would get changed without any fuss too. I have never done it in a park but might if there was a water part and we had no shorts with us.

Summerblaze Sat 11-May-13 16:56:32

And yes, I wouldn't have DS2 with no nappy on. That wouldn't be nice for others. They would have to be potty trained. However, how the OP describes with laying on towels. That would be fine.

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