February 2, 2006

"What's at issue is a developing control over sensory processing."

Why kids insist on wriggling out of the coats you keep trying to bundle them up in.
Kids would rather be the way they came into the world: naked. And as they adapt to the world of clothing, extra layers -- particularly coats -- add to their heightened perception of constriction.

"It feels like they're being really tightly bound, and it feels bad," says pediatrician Lynn Wegner.

And, let me add, it's not just coats....

13 comments:

reader_iam said...

My son went through a stage when he'd just take things off, seemingly randomly, and I'd find him wandering or just hanging out naked somewhere in the house.

Exasperated one day (why, I don't know--because I'm pretty laid back about this kind of thing), I asked him why he insisted on doing this.

"Things wiggle better this way!" he said, annoyed.

To which I had absolutely no reply or comment. Never asked again, either.

Ann Althouse said...

Try saying that to the police when you're 30 years old.

Meade said...

Frostbite happens.

pct said...

OK, so why was/is swaddling claimed to be calming? link
http://www.babycentre.co.uk/expert/7660.html

Terri said...

Swaddling really only works for about the first 3 months, and it works because it is reminiscent to the close quarters of the womb.

reader_iam said...

Wow! What a story, Meade. But you scared me there for a minute.

Ann: Great, if he says something like that again, now I'll have a comeback. Although, then I'd have to explain ...

Ann Althouse said...

Tell him about the frostbite too. Wouldn't want that to happen to your wiggler.

reader_iam said...

And thanks, Ann, for the wonderful image of my son as a potential W.W.

Real comforting.

(LOL)

PWS said...

I have a 3-year old and she definitely wants to wear less; she insists on wearing sandals in the winter and would go outside in them if we would let her. Isn't wearing layers of clothing just one of many, many areas socialization that occur as a child grows in U.S. society? e.g. not throwing food at the table, not saying everything you're thinking, cleaning up after yourself. No matter how positively you frame them they're almost all restrictions.

LizrdGizrd said...

Our son stopped liking to be swaddled at four weeks. He couldn't stand not being able to wave his arms around.

Steven Taylor said...

My middle son (almost 6) would prefer to run around in his underwear all the time (and used to not even wait until we got home to strip down).

Henry said...

Underpants is one thing my four-year-old son has to be, um, persuaded to wear. He loves sweatpants and pajamas but so loves to go commando.

I am glad to see some criticism of the Eccles study, since I don't like heavy winter coats myself.

lacroix said...

Go back to the classic silent documentary "Nanook of the North". These people built an Igloo out of snow and ice. When they went to bed at night the whole family took off all of their clothes, climbed under some animal skins and shared their constant body temperature of 98.6 °F with everybody under the bear hides.

If you try to alter a childs natural body temperature with layers of clothes, you are probably going to end up with a kid that wants to shuck them off as soon as he or she can.