Lately, when I change my 1-year-old son's diaper, he reaches for his penis. Is that normal? Is that masturbation?
Many concerned parents call their doctors because their kids touch their genitals during diaper changes or their baby boys have frequent erections. They're reassured that these behaviors are perfectly normal — even the youngest children naturally explore their bodies.
How you react — your voice, the words you use, your facial expressions — is one of your child's first lessons in sexuality. By responding without anger, surprise, or disapproving words, you teach your son that this curiosity about his body is just a normal part of life.
Toilet teaching, when it starts, will present another great opportunity to reinforce accepting attitudes about your child's anatomy.
Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: July 2013
|American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.|
|Sexual Development Changes become more dramatic and complex with the onset of puberty, and kids are likely to have lots of questions. These articles can help you become a trusted source of information, comfort, and support for your kids.|
|Toilet Teaching Your Child Even before your child is ready to try the potty, you can prepare your little one by teaching about the process. Here are some tips.|
|Understanding Early Sexual Development Young kids develop an emotional and physical foundation for sexuality in many subtle ways as they grow. By understanding how your kids grow and learn, you can play an important role in fostering their emotional and physical health.|
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