I have a 7 year old granddaughter who will not wear underwear or anything she feels is too tight. We've tried everything from larger sizes to trying every style of undies for children. She needs to stretch everything before she puts it on. Aside from being unclean, we have no idea how to handle this problem? Any suggestions?
By Ann from Tyngsboro, MA
It could be that she is allergic to the latex in the elastic. You could try 100% cotton underwear that has the elastic enclosed in hems at the waist and leg openings. She could also have an undiagnosed stomach or bowel problem, and the elastic around her waist is aggravating it. (08/06/2010)
By Patty Lynn
How about pull ups? She may be on the spectrum of autism, not necessarily autistic, but on the spectrum. Many of these children seem egocentric in some ways, but act normal in most other ways and function well. I am on the spectrum, as is my son, we do not like collars or clothing that does not have mostly natural fibers in it. Some children just don't like the waistbands. Talk with a professional like a autism teacher to find out how to deal with it without making your daughter feel totally out of control. (08/10/2010)
My daughter had the same problem. She is now nine, and has grown out of it. My advice is to not get overly excited about it. There were days she just did not wear underwear, and I didn't throw a fit. She is now fine with wearing underwear. Sometimes, it is just a phase. Of course, it may be other things like allergies to the materials or extreme sensitivity to them. My family is extremely sensitive to laundry detergents. I have finally found one that doesn't make us itch and get rashes. It is All Free and Clear. (08/11/2010)
Check with her pediatrician for allergies and/or an autism spectrum disorder. Some people are just hyper-sensitive to how their clothing fits, and you just learn to deal with it. My son is 13 1/2 and very picky about socks and shoes and how they fit. We have finally worked out which specific brands and styles work for him. (08/11/2010)
I am now 44 years old and I have never been able to stand wearing tight or rough clothes. The physical sensation is very annoying and irritating and just makes my day horrible. I recommend just letting her go without panties for the time being, she will probably eventually start wearing them (peer pressure). I personally cannot stand socks with terrycloth bumps on the inside, they must be smooth inside or else I have to turn them inside out. I've found that diabetic socks are a great choice as they don't have tight elastic. I wore a bra when I was younger, but finally in my 20s it turned into torture and I stopped wearing one. I compensate by wearing loose shirts so you can't tell that I'm not wearing a bra. My skin is so sensitive that I can feel a single hair laying on it. If she is anything like me you need to be accommodating to her unique needs. Fleece is a wonder item by the way, very soft. Good luck to you and to her of course, she is not alone.
I agree with some of the posts that wonder about autism. I don't think this is an allergy because most likely you would see a rash. She may just have issues with the constriction of the clothing. I am the same way, I feel like I am suffocating. My sons do not wear socks that have seams across their toes. Maybe you can try the girl panties that they call boy underwear they look like little shorts. Good luck on this I just think she is highly sensitive. (08/15/2010)
If you have a friend or family member that sews, let your granddaughter help pick out some fabric she likes, and have someone sew her some that fit her comfortably. I Googled "pattern for underwear" online and found several free patterns for children you can print (and probably adjust so it is comfortable for her, too.) (08/17/2010)
My 7 year old does not wear underwear either. I'm with the autism spectrum, but this runs in families. The knot in socks feels like pebbles to a child that has extremely sensitive skin. I no longer stress about her not wearing underwear because if anyone else notices then there too close to my daughter, and I told her if anyone asks, tell them to ask her mother. (08/22/2010)
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