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Mommy's Dirty Little Secret

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MomLogic guest blogger Kristen comes clean on why she doesn't give her kid a bath every day.


Before you read this post, please promise not to turn me into Child Services. Last week, I took my 3-year-old in for his annual check-up. And when the pediatrician asked me what time I give him his nightly bath, I lied, right to her face, "Bath time is every night at 7," I said, as if covering up a hideous crime.

The truth is quite different. Sometimes I give him a bath and sometimes I don't. Mostly I don't. After all he's not a car mechanic. He doesn't get that dirty. I do touch up work, wiping his face and hands throughout the day. What do you think? Or have you already sent Child Services to my house?

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17 comments so far | Post a comment now
Renee April 13, 2008, 11:36 AM

You are not a bad mom just because you don’t bathe your kid everyday. Most parents I know bathe out of routine and because it helps prepare the child for bedtime. Not because their child is “dirty”.

There are no rules to how often you should bathe your child, just as long as you provide good hygiene for them and teach them that being clean is a good thing. I do recommend a routine to help cover your bases on all the tasks you need to do. Plus it gives peace to you and your child by knowing what comes next.
Hope this helps-

Anonymous April 13, 2008, 12:12 PM

I bathe my kids every two (sometimes 3) days. Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday are pretty much bath nights. You’re not a bad mom.

momof9 April 13, 2008, 12:12 PM

I think that how often you fully bathe a child should depend on the child. I think a good sponge bath is fine for most infants on a daily basis with a full “in the tub” bath maybe only being needed 2 or 3 times a week. Some infants should even have less full “in the tub” baths than that because the water can worsen skin conditions and dry out their skin.

Beckie April 13, 2008, 3:06 PM

I don’t bathe my children everyday. My son has severe eczema and no amount of special soaps keeps his skin from drying out after a bath, and my daughter has psycho long curly hair, and if I washed it everyday it would be a haystack!! They seems to have survived, no ill effects ;)

Plus, I just don’t see the point, as you say, they don’t get that dirty, when they do I bathe them. Otherwise we keeps our hands and faces clean, and bathe as necessary :)

EG April 13, 2008, 5:43 PM

I wasn’t bathed every day as a kid (except during swim season so my hair wouldn’t turn to straw) and I don’t bathe my kid every day. Every 2-3 days or sooner if he needs it! Entering the toddler room at daycare has required more frequent baths.

Wendi April 13, 2008, 7:59 PM

Ok, you all might think I’m nuts for doing this. I bathe our 20 month old 2 times a day. Actually, it’s mostly showers with either my husband, my older son or myself. There are nights when the little guy gets an actual bath in the tub, but he always gets a shower first thing in the morning. He just loves showers and baths and asks for them. He always gets one or the other after dinner as well.

I think toddlers get very dirty and I do not like it getting everywhere. Now before you think I have lost my mind, please keep in mind that we live in Tucson and it is very dusty here and hot in the summer months. We all end up taking more than one shower a day on most days.

For my little guy, he does know that it is part of his routine at night to eat, bathe and then play for a bit then Blues Clues and bed.

Velveteen Mind - Megan April 14, 2008, 8:43 AM

My kids are 3 yo and 20 months and I bathe them probably 3 times a week.

I won’t give you all the reasons because who cares? I’m the mom and I know what’s right for these two particular dirt devils.

A little dirt never hurt anyone. Hello, antibodies!

Cyn April 14, 2008, 9:21 AM

I give my girls a bath every few days. It’s usually every 2-3 days.
I remember when my oldest was a 5 month old baby and we were staying with my husbands friends…they thought I was a horrible mother for not giving her a bath every day. I just don’t think they get that dirty that fast. Of course in summer everything is different, for me. She’s now 3 and will be filthy come the end of a hot summer night. They will both be getting baths more frequently.

Nicole J. April 14, 2008, 3:25 PM

My 20 month old son gets a bath most nights before bed. It’s just part of our routine and he enjoys the time with both of his parents. We do bath time as a full family event, along with the story and tuck in, because we don’t get that much other time to be together. Some days we skip it, if he’s too tired or we’re out late, or we are just lazy.

I don’t think a daily bath is necessary for most people. I am a 3-4 times a week person myself.

Amy April 15, 2008, 1:28 PM

My son (9) takes a bath or shower almost every night but he likes it so I just let him. His skin doesn’t get real dry except in the winter and then I tell him to skip a night or turn down the temp.
On the other hand, my fiance will get his kids from his ex after a full week and they will not have had a bath since last time they were at his house. I understand the concept of bathing as necessary and not just daily out of compulsion but when you get these kids in a car and you need to roll the windows down, they need a bath! The ex-wife doesn’t bathe often either, just adds more body spray every day. She doesn’t advocate regular teeth brushing either but that is a whole other issue.

grace April 15, 2008, 4:44 PM

I think that bathing should be decided on what was done that day. Park days or outside days are def bath days. my son is in school so he absolutley gets one every night. my daughter is only 3 and gets them as needed sometimes 2 a day sometimes every other day. i just think it depends on the child and situation.

Pam  April 17, 2008, 8:43 PM

Infants and toddlers really don’t need a nightly bath, just a wipe off, but when they get to be 6-7 they need a daily shower or bath. Puberty is fast approaching and introducing them to good hygiene is a must. Plus with children getting involved in sports at early age, they need a bath after that sweaty practic or game!

Syberchick April 18, 2008, 1:26 PM

My 1yr old gets a bath no more than twice a week (usually once a week). I wipe his face and hands with a wetwipe after he eats, and when I change his diaper. He just doesn’t get that dirty. People always comment on how ‘clean’ he is. I don’t see the issue.

Abriel May 21, 2008, 4:09 PM

I have a 2 yr. old son and I don’t bath him anymore than 3 times a week. But lately “bathtime” is a hassle because when I was giving him a bath about 2 wks. ago he peed and it went straight in his face. So now he remembers that every time its bath time and I have to chase him around the house. He won’t even sit down in the tub, he stands and hangs on to me saying “out”, leaving me soaking wet. Does anyone have any suggestions to make it fun for him again and easier for me.

Quincy June 6, 2008, 8:14 PM

My 27 month old is on the Sunday,Tuesday,Thursday schedule also.Unless something comes up of course,we add a bath or bump a day out.My girl also loves bathtime or DID until the “poop incident”… when I freaked out,she freaked out and my husband rushed in and scooped her out of the tub and plopped her down on the big toilet,dripping wet and bawling!! What a fiasco!!
Now she’s afraid of pooping in the tub AND of the toilet!!!!!!

kriss June 12, 2008, 11:41 PM

i think good gygiene is important and i also have a routine i try to follow, i have a almost 2 yr old and i bath her every night but once in a while i well slip a bath if she is already tired by “bath time”, i lso do wipe her hands,face etc down daily…baths are a good way to get your child into bed time mode.

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