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Skin to skin.....what would you do?

(31 Posts)
Anna85 Fri 01-Jul-11 21:27:24

My DS is 5 and has HFA. Just recently he has started to enjoy being skin to skin with me so his belly on my belly. I mentioned to his OT and she seems to think its a bit inappropriate at his age and to try combat the habit now.

The only think is I don't want him to think I am rejecting him.

Just trying to get ppl's opinions

Al1son Fri 01-Jul-11 21:38:42

DD2 is 8 and has AS and any time she sees me with no clothes on she comes and grabs me for a hug. I think it's about needing comfort and this is one of those times you have to go with your instincts.

TiffanyToothache Fri 01-Jul-11 21:48:49

IMO 5 is not too old for skin to skin cuddle with mum smile

feynman Fri 01-Jul-11 23:01:24

I agree, go with your instincts. It it feels fine to you then dont worry about it. I certainly wouldnt worry about it. Hes 5 not 15!

sneezecakesmum Fri 01-Jul-11 23:03:53

He's 5 fgs. What on earth does she mean not appropriate! I'd welcome him with open arms and a bare tummy if thats what he wants. This type of interaction should be encouraged.

lisad123 Fri 01-Jul-11 23:09:15

I sleep naked and both my girls climb into my bed in the mornings, and dd2 who is 3, like to cuddle in (she like deep pressure feelings so will force me to wrap hands around) but the 8 year one wont think twice about giving me a cuddle either.
Tell the OT to sod off, nothing is nicer than skin to skin imo, clothes are itchy and according to my dd2 they hurt grin

Jerbil Fri 01-Jul-11 23:16:12

No way is it inappropriate. Treasure him. Ignore them. I have a 5 year old boy too with some sensory issues and he loves to sit next to me stroking my arm. There's nothing to it, but him wanting comfort.

zzzzz Fri 01-Jul-11 23:21:40

Not inappropriate, I think OT is GROSS to suggest it is. Cuddle him in peace and just don't talk to OT about it. 5 is still a baby and an unusual 5 is more so, it can only help you both.

lisad123 Fri 01-Jul-11 23:22:16

any is it classed as inappropriate?? its only OT that thinks it s a sexual things, he clearly doesnt and neither do you.

pigletmania Sat 02-Jul-11 09:14:06

The OT is crazy, do what you both feel comfortable in doing. Its this sort of thing that helps children feel ashamed of their own bodies. There is nothing wrong with it.

sphil Sat 02-Jul-11 09:31:08

A timely thread for me. DS2 is 8.5 and still does this. A more recent development is burrowing down under the duvet and hugging my legs/feet. I am still letting him do it, but because he has become much more aware of his genitals of late ( coy way of putting it!) I am careful to avoid any contact in that area - not because he has any idea it is sexual, but because I dont want him seeing it as a valid source of pleasure. He only does it with me - he wasnt very affectionate at all as a baby/ toddler and I see it as catching up with something he missed out on then.

Wendihouse22 Sat 02-Jul-11 09:34:35

I disagree. My HF ds (ASD) needs all the cuddles he can get....and he's 10. Your boy is 5. It is not inappropriate with mummy. Would be with your next door neighbour or his teacher, but not at home, cuddling with mummy. OT is wrong, here IMO.

Wendihouse22 Sat 02-Jul-11 09:37:49

Sphil.....good point. My ds was not for cuddles as a baby and toddler. Not sure as adolescence looms that there'll be any on offer then, so he's catching up on an important contact he couldn't access as a wee one.

signandsmile Sat 02-Jul-11 09:38:57

agree with all, my ds and i bath together, saves water and he loves to lie on me, (what he calls tummy tummy) and kick his legs pretending to swim. He is nearly 5.

what an odd thing for the worker to say... hmm.

magso Sat 02-Jul-11 09:54:18

Let instinct guide you. If it feels OK go with it. my son developed a liking of cuddling after an early childhood of disinterest. the problem came with other people such as teachers (who were his affectionate carers when I was not there after all) for whom it did feel wrong of course! Possibly the OT is aware of difficulties with non close family hugs. So you may need to think about how to add guide your child - for instance social stories showing that close hugs make strangers or non family feel uncomfortable.

DS has just turned 6 and I think that we both get a lot of completely appropriate pleasure from skin to skin and stroking - anywhere apart from genitals obviously. I didn't even contemplate that this might be construed by anyone as inappropriate

mariamagdalena Sat 02-Jul-11 12:28:52

Join la leche league or national childbirth trust and get their leader to put her right!

Starchart Sat 02-Jul-11 13:05:06

Skin to skin boosts oxytocin in newborns and babies. Oxytocin is the bonding hormone (and the love hormone - you release lots when having sex) and needed for social interaction.

SBC (Cambridge) is currently doing a study (or it may have ended) that was showing teenagers with ASD who sniff oxytocin regularly have improved social interaction for a while afterwards (forgive me for not knowing the details but you can look it up). He suggests that people with ASD are either lacking in, or can benefit from boosts in oxytocin.

But in anycase, it's a nice and positive hormone to have and I would encourage it. If only my ds would let me get anywhere near him.........

Quite apart from anything else, children with ASD are emotionally delayed generally and so a 5yr olds needs could well be similar to a 2yr olds comfort, love and bonding needs.

That OT has done nothing more than sexualise your child's actions and that is very wrong imo.

Al1son Sat 02-Jul-11 14:21:38

Thanks for that info *Starchart. It makes a lot of sense in relation to DD2.

Anna85 Sun 03-Jul-11 20:07:23

Thanks for all your words of support......as a few have said and I relate to my DS wasn't really a cuddly baby/toddler so now I enjoy any time which I get and he seems to like the skin to skin as he says it feels warm. The OT was suggesting I use areas like arms to do skin to skin but he still looks to do on my tummy! To me my DS is not a 5 year old but still my baby x

Al1son Sun 03-Jul-11 23:28:47

Of course he's still your baby! 5 years old is still very little!

If it feels right to have tummy cuddles you go ahead and enjoy them. He won't want to snuggle up close forever so make the most of it and don't worry about other people's opinions.

mumoftwolittlerugrats Mon 04-Jul-11 00:11:51

this is an enlighting thread, my DS is 4 and 'most likely ASD' (paeditrician's words).
He takes his cloths off at any opportunity, (I don't mind him running around in his tshirt and pullup, or just pull up. Although I encourage him to keep some clothes on.
and he pulls me upstairs and says 'go to bed', then 'take trousers off mummy' and sometimes I do (wearing underwear OF COURSE and most usually a top) and we cuddle in bed.
He loves it so much.
And sodo I actually.

Life is such a struggle for him, I don't mind it if it makes him happy and relaxed, which is his best times.
We smile and laugh our heads off while laying in that bed, tell him stories, give him cuddles, have my legs brushing against him, it's lovely.

niminypiminy Mon 04-Jul-11 10:37:08

Another one here whose DS1 wouldn't cuddle when he was younger but now (7) wants skin to skin contact.

Actually what he says is 'mummy I love your fat tummy' blush, and gets under my top.

We did a social story so that he knows that is not a thing to do in public. But I think it's fine in private, and lovely to have some affectionate time with him.

Funnily enough he has also started holding my hand. When he was younger he wouldn't do it at all -- I used to use it as a consequence (if you run off you will have to hold my hand for five minutes), now he does it in the school playground, just when most boys are stopping!

I had mummy I love your tummy from my 6 yr old this morning as he lifted my top to get to my tummy. smile

MissKittyEliza Mon 04-Jul-11 13:42:29

I think my ds is catching up on a lot of contact he couldn't access or tolerate as a toddler. He is 10 now, obviously there are boundaries but, I think the OT got this wrong. And you can tell her that many MN mums agree!

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