Mom Confessions: I Leave My Toddler Alone in the Bath


mom confessionsIt's time for a Mom Confession -- because, let's face it, we're real mothers and sometimes it doesn't work the way the parenting books say it should.

This Week's Confession:

"My son is just about to turn 2 and he has been playing in the bath by himself for about a month now. He likes to take long baths, and it got to the point where I had stuff to do and I got tired of fighting to get him out. So now he takes a bath in the master bathroom while I'm close by in the bedroom folding clothes and picking up his toys. I don't go far, but I don't hover over him, either. --anonymous


Do you leave your toddler alone in a shallow tub of water for a short period of time if you are close-by?

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When is a safe time to begin granting your child more independence at bathtime? Does it depend more on your toddler's age or maturity?

We all have secrets and opinions -- so thanks to this brave mom for sharing her honest thoughts, and thank you for keeping this conversation non-judgemental!

Past Confessions:

Our Children Aren't Invited to Our Wedding

I Scold Other People's Kids

I'm on Vacation, But My Kid Is Still Going to Day Care

I Favor My Older Child

I Let My Toddler Eat Food Before Paying for It



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megkel megkel

My daughter is about to turn 3. When I have stuff o do in my room (putting away clothes, picking up, etc) I let her play in the stand up shower. I don't go far and I check on her often. She can't reach the knobs to change the water temp and the shower drains really quickly. Maybe I have a false sense of security but so far it's been fine.

MarGeee MarGeee

When my kids were young I never filled the tub up to far just enough to go to tops of their chubby little legs when sitting and I alwasy listened for noise if their was no noise i go right in and check..I alwasy bathed more than one,bathtime around here was alwasy funtime!

Ooftacat Ooftacat

I just can't believe some of these answers.  "I only leave her while the tub is emptying" Or, "Only long enough to leave the room and get something".  A baby can drown in an INCH of water.  an INCH.  It doesn't matter if the inch is going down the drain, sitting there, or filling up.  It only takes 1/2 a second for a child to stand up, jump, slip and hit his head, and land face-down. 

I'm sorry. I know this sounds judgemental.  It's not meant to. I'm just shocked that people think it's ok to walk away from a baby.  Sorry.

tiffe... tiffers32788

My DD is 13 months old and there is no way I would ever leave the bathroom while she is in the tub. If I forgot to bring something in there I yell to hubby and make him get it. The furthest I have gone from her while she is in the tub is to the bathroom door to get a towel off the hook. And that is still in arms length of her. I dont think I would be comfortable until she is maybe 4 or 5...maybe even 6. That just scares me.

Bobbij24 Bobbij24

NO WAY!!! It only takes a second for something to happen!

auror... aurorabunny

I'm sorry, I always try my hardest not to be judgemental but I am also APPALLED at some of these answers.  A child can drown in less than an inch of water, leaving a 2 year old unsupervised for one second in the bathtub is just downright stupid and negligent parenting IMO.  If you don't have 10 minutes to commit to giving your kid a bath then wait until later when you do.  Geezus. 

1onth... 1ontheway

I find that bath time is wonderful bonding and relaxing time for both my daughter and myself. I'll read a short book while she is playing with her rubber toys, or even play around with colors and foam ABC's with her. It has been recorded (being a former nurse) that children can drown on 1 table spoon of water.  I don't fear that she will, I fear that she will slip and get badly hurt. I do leave the room to grab a towel or a diaper if i forget. So if i ever need to leave the room, I have put a baby monitor in the medicine cabinet.

1onth... 1ontheway

While I am reading, some of the post are really amazing to me. I agree with the ones saying not to leave them alone. And I agree with some saying for a sec or two. The facts are: 1 table spoon of water can kill a healthy adult, 2 mins under water can kill a healthy adult. One hit of the head to a WET or DRY bath tub (from a sitting position) can kill a healthy adult. If you are in the room right next to the tub you still may not be able to save a fall to a child, if you are 2 feet away from a child or one rooms length.  It all depends on how you as a mother feel about it. Like I said in my above post I have left my daughter alone, her bedroom is right next to the bathroom, and the laundry closet is right outside the bathroom door.  But other than that knowing the possible risk bath time is not like being in a bubble room.  Spare the time and make bath time fun for yourself and more importantly your child.

rebab... rebabeach2

I never leave mine alone.

My twins are 2 and I am honestly more concerned that they would slip and crack their skulls open or turn on the hot water if I wasn't watching them. We have a slip-proof mat and a guard on the spigot - but accidents can still happen. I did both as a child - burned myself and slipped in the tub and chipped a tooth. I dealt with a lot of pain over both events and simply can't imagine allowing that to happen to my kids. Besides, bath time is FUN! Why would I want to go fold laundry or clean when I can be sharing that time with my kids?

themo... themommy160

It only takes a teaspoon of water for someone to drown. It is irresponsible to leave your young child alone in an unsafe place. The bathroom especially he or she can try to get up and slip. Oops! Not wise

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