Kids Do Not Need to Bathe Every Day


If you ask most parents about their bedtime routine with their kids, it usually involves some variation on the same theme -- brushing teeth, taking a bath, and changing into pajamas. Every day they follow the same three steps. So it should be easy. Not so in my house. This is why bath-time is actually only two or three times a week.

When I tell people I only bathe my 3- and 4-year-old a couple times a week, they're often shocked (or they admit the same). But the fact is, bath-time is often a soaking wet struggle. My daughter has long hair down to her waist and my son hates to have water poured over his head. And now the two are too big to bathe together, so the whole thing is one big mess.

No thanks. Twice a week is plenty.

Now, obviously I bathe my children when they need it. If they have had swim lessons or worn extensive sunscreen, then yes, it's bath-time. But in the colder months when neither applies, they bathe far, far less.

Part of it is how they behave in the bath. There is often screaming and crying whether they don't want to bathe at all or they don't want to get out. They splash too much and never "keep the water in the tub" even though I tell them to. Mostly they're having fun, not being defiant, but it's still hard to manage, especially for one person.

Besides, they will get older and have to bathe every day (sometimes twice a day), so why put that on them now?

They never stink and if the dirt is caked on, well, that's why G-d invented baby wipes. OK, I am kidding. If the dirt is caked on, it's bath-time. Usually.

How often do you bathe your kids?


Image via Brandi Jordan/Flickr

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ceciliam ceciliam

We aim for our son to get in the shower nightly. We are not alwyas perfect with this, though.

arlis... arliss123

Yes! Thank you. We bathe our daughter only a few times a week, and I have gotten funny looks when I've mentioned it before. Good to know I'm not the only one.

nonmember avatar me

totally agree. they don't need baths everyday. unless they got super dirty.

Happy... Happypancake

Every other day unless needed after a dirty day. :)

nonmember avatar JenInNC

My daughter doesn't bathe every day and her hair is washed less frequently than her body. She has dry skin and hair that dries if washed too often. Glad to know we're not the only ones. :)

Mommah3 Mommah3

My younger 2 (7 and 5) usually only get a bath every other day or every 3 days...unless they have a really dirty day. My oldest is 10 and he usually showers every day.

Ladyw... Ladywithtwo

I agree in winter. Summer, my kids sweat too much!

tinyp... tinypossum

In the summer, my boys (ages 2.5 and 5) NEED a shower every night. They sweat and roll around on dirty playgrounds all day long. In the winter, skipping a night or two is no big deal as long as my older one has been diligent about his *ahem* personal potty hygiene. That's a whole other issue. Switching from baths to showers has saved us a lot of time and mess, too. Much, much easier and faster than baths. Now, baths are a treat when we have extra time so they can play. 

Sleep... SleepingBeautee

Every two to three days. My kids have very sensitive skin and will get an eczema flair up if they are bathed everyday. Now my oldest son is 12 and is just getting to be really he is bathing every day.

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