I have slept nude since I was in high school- I just prefer it. So does my dh. We don't walk around our house nude, but I will be nude in my room when I first get up, take a shower, use the bathroom, etc. So we have a 4.5 year old dd now and a 1.5 yo ds. I bedshared with dd until she was 2.5 and now I bedshare with ds. The bedsharing, extended breastfeeding, and then potty training (demonstrating how to use the toilet) just sort of created an environment where our kids see our body parts on a regular basis. Our kids are often around us and in our bedroom in the morning and they often walk in on us in the bathroom so they see us nude. We also sometimes shower with the kids instead of a bath. Dd is not ready to shower on her own. At 4.5 dd is of course interested in body parts so she is always pointing out the differences between mommy and daddy and sometimes asking questions. She also started pointing out things like it's okay for boys not to wear shirts, but not girls and showing us advertisements in magazines that she labels "inappropriate" b/c the man or women is not wearing a lot of clothing (like an underwear ad or something). Clearly she is very focused right now on bodies and what is appropriate. We've always truthfully answered her questions, keeping it simple, but explaining and always using the correct terminology. Recently she asked if she could sleep naked, too.
So here's the thing, dh and I both felt like it wasn't appropriate for her to sleep nude, but we couldn't put a finger on exactly why. I think maybe sleeping nude feels like an adult thing to do, but it is an odd double standard. This triggered a lot of thinking on my part about when it's no longer appropriate to be nude around your kids. Part of me would feel more comfortable shutting down the whole nudity thing- all of us sleep in clothes, close the bathroom door, no more showers together, etc.. Or create boundaries- dd can't come into our room if the door is closed or something. But another part of me doesn't want to create a huge taboo around nudity. I grew up being embarrassed by my naked body. I hated changing in the locker room for gym class or at sleep overs. I was embarrassed of even wearing a swimsuit- it felt too naked. It was crippling in a few ways. I later got over my fears with the help of some less inhibited friends whose attitudes about changing clothes and taking showers after practice showed me that it was okay. I felt so freed by this knowledge and I wish that I hadn't had all those years of feeling so embarrassed.
I know that nudity is an issue that varies from household to household and ultimately we'll have to do what feels right to us, but I would love to hear experiences from other parents and how you have decided to handle the nudity situation... what age, what's okay, what's not okay, how you balance appropriateness with a healthy body image, etc. Thanks!!