Why Does My Toddler Put their Hands Down My Shirt?

Why Does My Toddler Put their Hands Down My Shirt?

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Toddlers can get very handsy now they’re a little bit older, they are mobile and their hands a little bit more dextrous. But, this can be annoying and embarrassing when their hands wander down your top and even into your bra. This is a completely normal behaviour and in this article we explain some of the potential reasons why they do it and how to prevent it from carrying on.

It is not ‘weird’.


To a child, breasts are not a sexual object at all and caution should be taken to ensure we don’t get weird about it or they’ll grow up fascinating by them which could be unhealthy.

Being awkward with private parts can make them become awkward in future, which is why parents should be warm and welcoming but firm if they don’t want it to happen.

The most common reason a child will put their hands down your top it because they have an interest in breastfeeding. Which brings us to our next point.

It’s instinct (feeding)

Whether they have been breastfed, still breastfeeding or never breastfed in their life a toddler will still have instincts to touch breasts. It’s instinctive which is why they will want to explore them and why it can be uncomfortable for parents.

At times, they may even do it with dad as they might associate the area of the body rather than breasts themselves.

But, with a gentle reminder that ‘no!’, along course correction when the child wants to touch your breasts or if you’re breastfeeding then remind them not to do it, this behaviour should dissipate naturally over time.

It’s instinct (comfort)

Sucking on a thumb, sleeping in the fetal position and boobies, these are instinctive actions for comfort. A toddler will instinctively want to touch breasts for comfort and why they’ll run their hands down your top.

The best way to discourage this behaviour is by not wearing tight clothing, which can make them feel less comfortable touching you because there’s nothing in the way of exploration.

It’s important that parents are warm but firm when telling a child why they shouldn’t do it. It’s why some parents will tell children that breasts are for milk.

But, it’s also a signal that they are seeking comfort – are they unwell? Tired? Hungry?

A lot of mums tell us that this seemed to happen at around 18 months and giving them plenty of attention and cuddles helped stop the behaviour gently.

They miss it

If you have breastfed your toddler in the past but they have now weaned they may still miss the feeling of suckling. They might find themselves wanting to put their hands down your top because they’re missing that closeness and intimacy, even if it’s just a memory now.

This is why some parents will offer them more cuddles and why it’s important not to push them away.

It may take time but they should grow out of this behaviour as old habits eventually die hard and the new becomes normal.

The last thing any parent wants is for their child to be uncomfortable with their body so an understanding approach would help ensure that he grows up happy in his own skin.

Is your toddler putting their hands down your top and you want to stop it?

Don’t push them away or make them feel like they’ve done something wrong.

If you’re breastfeeding, then remind them why it’s not allowed and they should use their words if they want it. If they were breastfed but not anymore then give them plenty of cuddles.

It may take time and patience but he or she will grow out of the behaviour naturally as their instincts change over time.

There are some steps that can be made to stop this from happening:

– Don’t wear tight clothes

– Less cleavage!

– Be warm but firm with why they can’t do it and why breasts are for milk


Thank you so much for reading why does my toddler put his hands down my shirt. I hope this article has made it clear why the behaviour is completely normal (it’s less about sex and more about comfort) but how to stop it if parents want too.

Now that we understand why, let us know what your experiences have been like or why this might have happened in your household.