Kid Bathes Only Once a Week & That’s Good Enough for This Mom

Say What!? 344

rubber duckyI'm just curious ... how often do you bathe your kids? I ask, because I suspect I am way, WAY out of the norm. Most kids we know started taking nightly baths as part of their bedtime routine when they were toddlers. Maybe even before that, when they were babies. Not my kid.

Nope. I'm lucky if I can get my 9-year-old son to take a shower once a week. And it's a huge ordeal. I shower more often than my child. Shouldn't it be the other way around?

I guess it started when he was a baby. The books I read recommended against bathing every day because it just strips away your baby's natural oils. Plus, he HATED baths. By the time he was a toddler, he kind of started enjoying them more -- that is, until it was time to wash his hair. I tried to be gentle, but I swear, he cried every time I washed his hair well into the first grade! Maybe even past that. (This is the last embarrassing thing I get to write about my kid, like ever, right?)

As far as making bathtime part of a soothing bedtime ritual goes -- no. There was none of that for us. Way too much drama and mess. Honestly, I don't know how parents do that night after night.

It was a huge relief when I stopped bathing him myself and he started taking showers by himself -- and washing his own hair himself. But it's still a major hassle. It's one of the few times I ever have to badger him to do something. He would rather do his math homework than take a shower. He would rather set the table or clean his room.

But then he finishes (at last, after getting water everywhere and coming in and out because he forgets things and leaving his towels on the floor) and he smells so much better! And his hair is all shiny. And I think -- my God, we should make him shower more often.

Oh well, maybe we'll insist once he hits puberty and really starts to smell. Anyway, I don't mind having the bathroom all to myself every morning, so I'm not complaining quite yet!

How often does your child bathe?


Image via longhorndave/Flickr


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Wheep... Wheepingchree

My 3-year old daughter takes a bath twice a week right now.  She's not stinky or anything.  I do think that bathing too frequently is bad for anyone's skin & hair, especially a baby's.  

Rosas... RosasMummy

My 2 year old has a bath minimum 2 maximum 3 times a week. having a bath every day is not healthy for their skin.

mom_o... mom_of_2_2012

Wow. Just, wow.  I also have a 9-year-old (girl), and she showers at least every other day in the winter (sometimes every day) and definitely every day in the summer.  There is no way I would let her go longer than a couple of days.  A week?  Forget it!  Even though they have not hit puberty yet at this age, they are still running around, sweating, getting messy.  Hair gets oilier as puberty hits, but a couple days without a shampoo still makes my daughter's hair resemble an oil slick.  Seriously - people (both adults and other kids) will surely notice your son's lack of hygiene.  Would you let him wear the same dirty shirt to school every day?  Of course not - you'd take charge and make him change into clean clothes, so how is this different?  You are the parent - you set boundaries and expectations, and a shower more than once a week should be one of them.

BeckyP. BeckyP.

My son is 3 now and he has a bath once or twice a week. In the summer its almost everyday. When he was an infant he bathed every night as part of his bedtime routine but he started to get bored being in the tub so we cut back. To each his own.

Jespren Jespren

My kids (and we kids growing up) took a shower or bath when we got dirty enough to warrent it. Sometimes that means twice (or more!) a day, some weeks it's every day. Other time's it's once a week. Frankly Americans bathe, and especially shampoo, way more than is healthy for our skin/hair. Until the 50's or 60's the vast majority of people shampooed (if they even used soap) their hair once a week at *most*. I have very long hair, and if I shampoo it more than about that often it gets horribly unhealthy. The whole point to bathing so frequently isn't hygiene, washing hands and face before bed like ppl used to takes care of that, it's to sell soap, the overuse of which leads to selling conditioners, lotions, etc, the use of which leads to a dozen other beauty products only needed when you're stripping your skin and hair of it's natural oils and then replacing them with synthetics. It's a multi billion dollar industry.

nonmember avatar Jez

Are you crazy? It's okay when you have a baby and you wash him each time he poops. But sweat, poop, oil all accumulate on his skin. I don't even want to think about the bad habit you're setting him up for the future. How would you like your husband if he only showered once a week? Yeah, that's what his girlfriend will have to deal with. Get him to shower everyday, you're the parent, stop being so lazy and get him to take that shower. If you had done that consistently since he was a baby, things would be a lot easier.

nonmember avatar A

Getting my 9 year old daughter to shower once a week is torture too. She stinks and is greasy, but too young to care. I have, well. Judgy moms be damned =)

nonmember avatar Annabelle

Sheesh, calm down. Over judgement much? Maybe her son doesn't have oily long hair or smell bad at this age? Sure a week is a little long if they are running around sweating, but there are worse things in child rearing than going a little long in between showers! A parent can also do a good sniff test, make sure they are washing their hands and face, and brushing teeth. Especially if it's a constant battle which will probably dissipate, I wouldn't stress about it.

BlueJane BlueJane

I remember only bathing once a week. When I got older, I started showering daily. It's not a big deal. There are bigger problems to get your panties into a twist over.

nonmember avatar Michele

Gross. My children bathe every night. Especially my baby he is in a diaper all day. Would you want to sit in a diaper all day and not wash off at night? Plus, my husband and I shower each day so a bath a day is normal. Of course the boys skip a night here or there, but really they need to develop good hygiene.

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