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Is It Normal for a Toddler to Touch Themselves?

It’s normal to be concerned about your toddler’s behavior especially when it drifts into the realm of sexuality and physical appearance. Learn how to respond with understanding and boundaries to your toddler’s behavior.

Estimated reading time: 1 minute

Toddlers are naturally curious! At this stage of development, it’s perfectly normal for toddlers to explore their private parts.

Actually, this development is a good sign and opportunity for you to begin to build a healthy foundation of body image and sexuality with your toddler.

Here are some things you can do and should know when your toddler starts to explore his or her genitals.

  • Your immediate responses are important in these moments. Remember that your toddler doesn’t quite understand what’s right or wrong in this area. Remain calm with your toddler.
  • Know that your toddler’s exploration of his or her body does not produce sexual stimulation. At this stage, little kids don’t feel sexual pleasure in this way.
  • Start to build the foundation of healthy sexuality with your toddler. Introduce the name of private parts when you feel it’s appropriate.
  • Say things like:
    • “I’ve noticed you touching your private parts a lot lately”
    • “Do you know the name of your private part?”
    • “Why have you been doing this?” “Does doing this make you feel anything?”

As you navigate these complex situations and continue to build a foundation of sexuality for your children, check out more resources here.

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