How to Keep Kids From Taking Off Their Clothes

by Melissa Lewis

    Oh, the shame. It's actually your child taking off his clothes, and in public! Mama, don't sweat it. Yours isn't the first child to do this, and he isn't going to be the last. You may get nasty stares from some people, but the rest are probably rejoicing it isn't their kid this time or remembering the days when their young children picked just the right time to show off their belly buttons and their cute but oh-so-inappropriate butt cheeks. Yes, some behavior modification is in order, but preventative measures sure will go a long way too.

    Items you will need

    • Onesies
    • Larger buttons
    • Safety pins
    • Rope
    • Doll
    • Doll clothes
    Step 1

    Use onesies for your toddlers -- they aren't just for babies. Onesies are hard to remove and will help keep your little one from taking off her diaper too. If you have a particularly talented clothing escape artist, turn that onesie backward to make it even more difficult to shed.

    Step 2

    Pick clothes with buttons, which are more difficult for children to master. If your little one can undo the buttons that come with the garment, remove them and replace with slightly larger ones.

    Step 3

    Forgo the elastic-waist pants and wide-neck shirts, which are just asking to be removed. (Unless, of course, your sweetie is stripping because she can't tolerate tight waistbands or collars, in which case elastic and wider shirts just might be the perfect solution.)

    Step 4

    Put your child's regular clothes and jackets on backward. Button-up or polo-style shirts and button or zipper pants will be nearly impossible to remove if the fasteners are in the back. Start at home to help get your tot out of her tog-removing habit. You can let her wear backward clothes out of the house too. Just ignore the weird looks -- they're better than the looks you'll get if she goes commando again.

    Step 5

    Use a safety pin to secure a zipper in place. Slide it through the hole and pin it to the shirt, jammies or pants. Several safety pins also work well to pin the shirt to the pants. You can also run a rope through belt loops and tie it in a knot. Make sure it's a knot you can untie quickly, though, otherwise you'll have another problem to deal with: bathroom accidents!

    Step 6

    Don't overreact when your child does take off her clothes. She could just be doing it for the attention and the wow-factor, and it's likely just a phase. Simply tell her it's a no-no and redress her.

    Step 7

    Give your child a doll to dress and undress, with several outfits from which to choose. This may help fulfill the desire to work with buttons, zippers and such.

    Step 8

    Determine if she is undressing because she has to go potty or needs a diaper change. If so, then teach her to ask for a diaper or to go potty. Simply saying "pee-pee" or "poopy" can be her way of asking or letting you know she needs a diaper or bathroom help.

    Step 9

    Provide her time at home to run around naked or with just her diaper or undies on. Then, when she does start to undress at an inappropriate time, remind her it's not naked time yet or that she already had naked time. "Naked time" (or whatever cute name you want to call it) could be after an afternoon diaper change but before nap time, before bath, or another time that is convenient for you.

    About the Author

    Melissa Lewis is a former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist. She has also written for various online publications. Lewis holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

    Photo Credits

    • Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images