Avatar universal

3-year old girl masterbation OR squeezing her legs together

I've just read a "thread" regarding pre-schooler's and masterbation.  I, too, have a 3 year old girl who frequently straddles our couch arm and squeezes her legs together.  She is NOT humping.   She said it "feels good" when asked what she is doing.  I've been concerned about this behavior and it was a comfort to read that this is typical sexual discovery.  I've raised two sons.......and I guess the whole sterotypical behavior of masterbation was easily accepted by me with them...because they were boys and "boys will be boys".  Having a girl is "new to me" and I guess I was just not well versed that little girls also engage in this activity.  I've not taken her to the doctor regarding this, because of the fear of a HUGE investigation and suspicion of child abuse would result.  She never touches or rubs herself.  I began to notice her "attention" to this area almost immediately after she was potty trained.  We were at Wal-Mart and she pushed her "area" against the bars in the child carrier of the cart....then she began to push the leg divider of her car seat in toward her "area" while in the car.  Now that I have her sit inside the cart while shopping and she is now in a booster car seat....she is just doing the squeezing the couch arm thing.  She will now only do this behavior when NO ONE in around and we just kinda "catch her" in the act.  She quickly stops and says, "I'm not doing nothing".  This change in doing this behavior only in private is thankfully because I've explained to her that because this has to do with her "private parts" she needs to do this only in private.  I'm trying to make this "OK" for her but it is a concern.

My daughter is extremly bright and is starting preschool this fall......so after reading some other posts on this subject I feel better and hope to see this behavior slowly decrease and terminate as she gets more stimulation from the outside world!!

Another thing......my daughter had to undergo a "voiding cystogram" because of kidney reflux at the age of one and again a few months before she turned three.  Could this invasive diagnoistic test "awaken" her senses in this area.  Ever since she had this test, she has always been very guarded of her urthea area when I would change diapers and after potty training during bath time.   She has NO problem with me helping her wipe after peeing....just the thorough cleaning of that area.

Advice please............please help validate that her guarding may be due to her tests/UTIs and the masterbation OR whatever you want to call it..."self pleasing" is typical pre-school behavior.

This discussion is related to Advice on how to deal with 4 yr. old girl masterbating.
16 Responses
Avatar universal
my son also 2 and half does want you are describing he tenses and holds his breath for a couple of seconds he can do it where he gets quite hot and sweaty, then atfer he will try and settle down by sucking his thumb .I think it's a way of calming down if he is mentally uptight I can remember doing it when i was a child and also my sister however we never told eachother until we were older when we were little we called it swinging  because we would hanging off the table or door  it sounds so strange though i am normal.   i also have never grown out of it and i am 38 but i dont hang off doors or tables anymore  i tend to do it on the bed when i m tense a way to relax sometimes i feel i can focus better when the tension has gone i also found it leads to a beating in my vagina which i soppose you could call an orgasm however when i have sex i findit very hard to acheive and sometimes want to just squeeze my legs together.   when i was a girl i felt really dirty and guilty and i thouht i was doing something wrong  i would reassure her there is nothng wrong and try and see if you associate it to a contain time of day and maybe change her routine to ie lots of cuddles, or bike riding , mental relaxation maybe catching this little emotion and venting it somewhere else will help  always reassure she is normal and she,s ok  i hope this helps   i can be quite an excitable person and also anxious i wonder if this is anything to do with it  
Avatar universal
Avatar universal
The doctors all say it is normal. It is embarrassing though.
Avatar universal
i do this all the time but i've stopped because i'm afraid i wont get pregnant or i will never get a orgasam when i do have sex cause i am still a virgin
Avatar universal
My daughter does the same thing. She is 6 now, but has been doing it since she was about 3. Sometimes she will go days maybe weeks where I won't see her doing it, but then all of a sudden for no reason (that I can figure out) she is doing it all the time - at home, school, in the car, etc. She gets very upset when someone notices her, so upset she breaks down into tears. I have also tried to tell her that it is a private thing and should be done privately, but when she when she is caught in the act she claims she can't stop and will continue - almost obsessively. I feel so bad for her, it is almost like it is not controllable for her and once she starts she can't stop. She has always been a bit high strung and over sensitive, but this is getting out of hand. I do have to say it is actually nice to hear that I'm not the only one. We have started taking her to a counselor, but my worry is that the counselor is going to immediately, like some here, assume abuse. If that is the case of course I want it to stop, but I feel like it is highly unlikely that this is the case. I have even asked my daughter and she says that no one has touched her in those areas. I am looking into getting a second opinion on the situation. Can this behavior, if obsessive, end up being a symptom of something else...Sensory disorder, Anxiety, OCD....?
Avatar universal
My daughter is 6 and does the same thing and has since she was just about 2 yrs old. she started with a blanket and moved to stuffed animals. at 3 she found she could do it on the arm of the couch and chairs. after that she found that she could do it on almost anything especially in the car seat and stroller. i didnt mind that much until she started doing it a lot out in public. it took a while but i got her to understand that it is a private thing. she understood but was frustrated. i can remember doing it when i was that age and my parents made me stop. i did it when they were not around. about a month after she was curbed from doing it in public we were shopping at the mall and she asked me how she could do it and not have any one see her. i didnt know what to say to her so i told her i dont know but she couldnt hump anything or use her hands thinking that would take care of it. she didnt say anything so i thought she had given up on it.. a couple of weeks later i found out i was wrong. we were out food shopping when i noticed she wasn't saying much and she was flush. i asked her if she was ok and she said yes. after a few minutes i noticed what she was doing. she was opening and closing her legs and squeezing her thighs together. when i asked her what she was doing she said that she was doing that thing but it was ok cause no one could see her.this was when she was 5 and starting kindergarten. once again being shocked i just let it go. like i said she is now 6 and she does it sometimes when we are out and she does it in school and no one has said anything to me about it. she told me that she sometimes does it 1 or 2 times a day in school. she is doing really good in school and has a good social life and home life so i know that its not getting in the way of her school or regular life. i was thinking about stopping her but if its not interrupting her life i dont see a point. i have talked to lots of pediatricians and parents and read lots of books on the subject and have found that child masturbation is not the same as adult masturbation. children do it because it feels good and its stress reliever. there is nothing sexual about it like in adults. so i say if she wants to do it, its fine with me until it begins to affect her life in a negative way. and i wouldn't be too concerned you have the worst of it over. she dosent do it in public any more, that was the hardest part for me. hope this helped. ~ Heather.
Avatar universal
I used to do this all the time when I was little. The squeezing your legs together, holding your breath, and all that. I didn't know it at the time...but it was my own form of masturbation..it gave me that same kind of feeling. So, sorry to the parents that are scared by it, but it's normal. Now that I'm older it's come up in discussion with friends and we've all had our weird little things we did when we were little. Although it is awkward to watch I'm sure - it's no big deal.
Avatar universal
my three year old squeezes his legs together more often than ever he use to do this when he was a baby then he stoped at around one in a half and know he is doing it almost every day what could be happening i know he has excema but it's not bad at all no break outs or rashes while this is going on but it is very hot down in his pinus area when he do this.
2107118 tn?1333973643
Yeah I am not and I have never experienced an orgasm and I have been sexually active for 3 months
Avatar universal
look im 19 and i have a 1 yr old. i came across this  while i was looking up an awnser for my daughter squeezing her legs together tightly (thinking he had a bladder infection or something along those lines.

i remember being little and that  area was very very sensitive... when i had to use the bathroom and i didnt want to go id  put pressure on that area. this could be a good reason why children do this...  i wouldnt worry unless you "catch" them doing things they arent soppose to , or getting TOO curious about those areas

as long as they arent physically touching those spots i dont think it should be a problem
children are very curious... they are just "experimenting"
everything is very new to them! and like you said if its not getting in the way of school or life she is fine!

just watch her closely, and make sure she is not  getting tooo curious.
Avatar universal
This was a big issue for me and now is also a huge issue for my 4yr old daughter. She began holding onto arms of chairs, banisters, etc and called it "swinging" in order to not have to stop playing to go to the bathroom.. which led to constipation issues. Now having her on a regular cycle again she is still doing it and just today I noticed the red face and fact that she was holding her breath while squeezing her legs together tight. I am now 26yrs old and when highly stressed or upset.. I still do this to relieve the tension. Not by "swinging" but by various forms of external stimulation. I have always been high strung, anxious etc and this has been the best way I have found to calm myself down. It may be awkward to watch or embarrasing to admit but its better than turning to prescription or street drugs for relief, in my opinion. However, it hasn't eased my concern for my daughter.. we too discussed whether anyone had touched her "body" as we call it.. or shown her something that's feels good and she tells me no and its obvious the questions confuse her. Its just one of those things.. but if you notice here.. those of us with kids who do it used to do it and 2 of my female friends with daughters deny ever having these sensations in a non-sexual scenario... so I am considering speaking to my doctor just to get a 2nd opinion.
Avatar universal
I know this is a little late to respond but I just wanted to let you know that as a little kid I used to do this, all the time. At the time I did not understand what I was doing all I knew is that it felt good and I wanted to continue doing it. I did it mostly in private and continued to do it throughout my teen years. It wasn't until i was older that I realized what I was actually doing then I became embarrassed my parents knew about this. But this is a normal part of sexuality. Children are able to masturbate starting ages 0-3 and it is just a part of sexuality that we are all born with. I feel like thanks to this I now have an amazing sex life and am able to orgasm more than most women. My advice to you is do not make a big deal out of it if she is still doing it. She is just exploring her sexuality and that is completely normal.
7577033 tn?1392170434
i im 23 years old iv donre this my hole life i still do it i do think its wird my perants always asked me what i was doing and i said i didnt know i still do this as of today i was just wondering why i still dont understand it but i have a few ? about this
1) could this be a reson i dont get my periods?
2) can this be a reson i dont get pergent?
3) could this be a reson why i feel like i need to have sex?
please help?
7577033 tn?1392170434
please i need answers
7577033 tn?1392170434
Avatar universal
Hi, I have done this almost daily since I was 2 or 3 years old. I didn't realize I was giving myself an orgasm until I was almost 25. I am now 27. And yes my parents also saw me do this as a child. I have always had regular periods and I have gotten pregnant twice. I have never heard of an orgasm causing infertility.  I also don't think it is the reason you want to have sex. Your body is going to crave sex whether you give yourself an orgasm or not. So, the orgasm would be the relief not the cause.  I see it as a really cool trick that I'm lucky to be able to do. You can basically do it anywhere anytime without ever even having to touch it! Not many people can say that! I wouldn't be embarrassed about it either. Everyone has sexual urges. And luckily this is something that you can keep to yourself unless you want to share it with someone. I hope that I helped you with your questions. It's nice to know I'm not the only one out there who can do that!
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