Baby bikinis: Are two-pieces for children appropriate?

A mum has started a debate online about whether toddlers should wear bikinis [Photo: Getty]

A mum has ignited a parenting debate about whether it is ok for toddlers to wear a bikini.

Taking to parenting site Mumsnet the woman posed the question after noticing an increase in the number of bikinis available to younger children in the shops.

In a post, which has since received hundreds of replies, the woman asked: “Am I being unreasonable to wonder why you would put your toddler in a bikini?”

“I keep seeing these in the shops and I don’t get it,” she wrote.

“Personally I prefer my own daughter (who is three) to be covered on the beach so that she doesn’t burn. I’d probably put her in one of those swimsuits that’s like shorts and a T-shirt.

“I’d put her in a swimming costume in an indoor pool.”

The mum went on to say that she wasn’t bothered about parents letting their kids run around naked, but couldn’t understand why anyone would choose to dress their children in what she deemed age-inappropriate two pieces.

“I wouldn’t bat an eyelid at a preschool aged child running around naked or in pants,” she wrote.

“But I don’t understand the bikini trend for toddlers – why does a three-year-old need something to cover their chest on the beach or at the pool?

“Ugh. Why are we trying to turn out children into mini adults at every turn?”

How young is too young to wear a bikini?

After opening the topic up for debate, the mum received comments that were mixed in opinion.

Some parents agreed that it wasn’t appropriate for toddlers to wear bikinis.

“Why does a three year old girl need to cover her chest?” one poster wrote.

“Three year old boys don’t need to cover their chests.”

“Bikinis are such a weird thing to dress a young child in, bottoms only,” another user agreed.

“The little tankini style bikinis are great but I genuinely don’t agree with the tiny versions of adult bikinis,” another user offered. “The ones with a tiny little bottom and the top is just two triangles with string. The ones that an adult woman would wear in order to look sexy so why would you want your kid to wear one?”

“I think bikinis on toddlers are ghastly!” another user wrote. “Bikini tops are for concealing/supporting boobs. Let toddlers wear something comfortable and free, they have plenty of time to wear bikinis when they hit puberty.”

Should toddlers wear bikinis? [Photo: Getty]

Sweet or sexualising children?

But though many agreed with the original poster’s viewpoint, others argued that children should be able to wear what they want.

“YABU and judgy,” one poster responded. “In Europe most children just wear the bottom half. Is that worse or better? Of course we should cover up their skin in the sun but what about at the swimming pool. A bikini is less revealing than just the bottoms that we dress our boys in. Should girls feel ashamed of their chest?

“It’s only sexualised if you see it that way otherwise it’s just an item of clothing.”

“I am in my 40s and wore bikinis when I was a little girl,” another woman agreed. “Lots of girls did. They weren’t skimpy/sexualised but were still 2 pieces. And my parents were pretty strict.”

“I personally think the age appropriate ones look really cute. My DD loves them and doesn’t see any difference between them or a full swimsuit,” another poster commented.

“It’s the adults who are overtly sexualising them. In reality, they are just a swimming costume IMO.”

Other users pointed out that bikinis could be more practical in terms of going to the toilet.

“The advantage of a bikini, whatever your age, is that you can put it on under clothes and easily go to the loo,” one user explained.

The toddler bikini debate isn’t the only issue dividing parents recently.

Last month a mum went online to garner opinions after being berated for describing a child as ‘gorgeous’?

Taking to parenting site Mumsnet the mum described a meeting with a dad and his toddler while she was out with her 9-month-old baby girl in her pram.

“He said his dd [dear daughter] wanted to look at the baby. A little bit of small talk followed in which I introduced my baby to the toddler. I asked how old his dd was (22 months) and said to her, “hello lovely, aren’t you gorgeous!”

But the seemingly innocuous comment didn’t go down well with the dad.

“The man looked me sternly in the eyes and said, ‘oh no, don’t tell her that, language like that ruins them!’”

Also last month a mum took to a forum after being left upset with her children’s father for telling their kids they were ‘too old’ to call him ‘daddy.’ 

The issue of body hair has also been getting parents worked up after a mum turned to the Internet to ask if her husband had the right to comment on her body hair. 

While another mum kicked off a heated discussion after asking if four was too young to get her daughter’s ears pierced. 

Meanwhile back in April a thread about party bags went viral after a mum sent back her daughter’s with a note complaining about the contents.

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