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How often do you bathe them?

The other day, I stayed home with one of our daughters, who was so sad and sick with a Rubber_duckyfever.  I was too busy playing nursemaid to even shower.  And, because she wasn't feeling well, I also gave her a free-pass for no-bath for the weekend.  It occurred to me that, by Sunday, she hadn't taken a shower since Wednesday.

I'm curious: how often do you bathe your little ones?  Is it a different schedule when they were infants versus toddlers versus older children?  Is it daily, every other day, or a different routine entirely?

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We bathe our four year old once a week, Sunday morning, after breakfast. Strategically timed so we can read all the Sunday papers while he hangs out in the bathtub.

Am sometimes a little embarassed when I think about this, as I have friends who bathe their similarly-aged kids daily. But he's good at hand and face washing, and I have a much more frequent laundry schedule, so it works for us.

We bath our kids daily, rain or shine, sick or healthy. Just a standard part of the evening routine.

um, that should be "bathe", not "bath"!

We aim for every other day (2.75 year old), but generally it depends on how late we're running in that race from dinner to bedtime. If it's late (and he's not TOO dirty), we'll just skip it in order to get him in bed at a decent hour. And then just do a thorough washcloth washing of face and hands. Also, sometimes he ends up showering with me in the mornings (i.e., I get a nice long shower while he plays with bath toys and crayons at my feet), so on those nights, I feel okay about skipping the bath as well.

I think in these winter months, TOO much bathing can also dry out their skin, which is at least what I tell myself to justify the sometimes-long spells between baths!

We pretty much do a daily bath unless it's a very late bedtime and no one is in desperate need of sudsing up. Both my boys are in school and I just feel better getting all the school grime cleaned off. When they were younger and not in school (or only preschool a few times a week ), we were every other day bathers in the winter.
In summer we pretty much have to do a daily bath since they get really dirty playing outside.

Our 5 yr old bathes about 2 times a week. He tends toward dry skin and used to have eczema and does best if he doesn't bathe too much.

Our 2 yr old bathes every other night, sometimes every night. He gets sorta grimy and doesn't have dry skin so this works.

We're a 1-2 time a week bath family with our 4.5 yr old and 1 yr old. The older brother has an all-over dry skin eczema issue and the younger has some really itchy spots so we were advised to do infrequent tepid baths. Daily we do a washcloth cleanup to get the bulk of the grime out and we have a handwashing policy that hopefully keeps germs at bay!

As an infant, my baby girl got a bath 4 times a week, full with baby oil massage before bath and after... but as a 2.5 yr old toddler now, she barely gets 2 baths a week - just a quick rinse with hand shower when i feel she is grimy from an active day at daycare is all i am able to manage in the evenings...

We try for a bath every other night for our 4 yr old and 2 yr old. But some nights we are just running late and we skip it so they can go two days without one.

Our one year old gets a bath about every other day. She loves being in the bath but honestly I just get lazy. She doesn't get too dirty during the day though so every day seems a bit excessive.

oh between 2 a week to everyday, depending on the filth. 10month old less than 3 year old.

Our 5 and 7yos get bathed once a week. A bit more often in summer because of the outside dirt/sweat factor.

Would you be disturbed if I said I bathe my kids when I notice they're dirty?

My toddler has sensitive skin and hates having her hair washed, and I know that frequent bathing isn't good for my infant's skin - or necessary. So my 5 month old has been bathed 3 times in her life. The toddler, every week or two.

I figure that, if they don't need it, why bother? It's not like I have lots of free time that I'm trying to fill!

I find we do more bathing now that she is potty training, just because the wiping thing is kind of tricky and she sits on a lot of public potties! But she loves to bathe (2.5 years old) and sometimes will get a bath in the morning before day care, then she will take a bath with one of the other girls at day care, and if she is grimy, will get a bath that night. 3 a day? Makes me crazy!!!

Our 4.5yr-old and 14mth-old usually go into the tub together 2x a week -- the night before going to grandma's house and one other evening. When they were younger we bathed by smell -- ripe baby gets washed. Right now they are getting 3 a week because we have swimming lessons twice a week and I have to wash the chlorine out of our daughter's long hair.

The kids love the water and sometimes we have tub-time just for fun. We adjust the actual washing with baby-wash according to the grime, sometimes a bath is just a body rinse and shampoo (they a blessed with greasy hair like their mama).

we try for daily, but sometimes we skip a night. i'm not so worried about my boy (although at 3 he sometimes tries to wipe himself and doesn't do a very good job), but my 2.5 year old girl almost always gets a daily bath as i just think girls tend to get stinkier "down there"! i feel like she needs a daily airing and cleaning down there (especially if she's a had a really poopy diaper day.)

We try to bathe both of our very active kiddos ages 2 & 4 every evening, hair-washing about 2x a week usually Sundays and Wednesdays...my husband and I love the bath routine (we each take nights), it's part of our evening time together with our kids. Before the bath (while it's filling up) we often put on some fun music, dance & be silly! Afterward, it's relaxing "book and cuddle time" before bed.

We try to bathe the kids most nights. I would say we average 5-6 baths per week. I can't imagine bathing my children only once a week! My 3 yr old boy comes home from preschool SO dirty with paint, dirt, etc. that we try to bathe him every preschool day. If she is still awake, we almost always stick our 10 mo. old in the bath with him.

Most nights it is a part of the bedtime routine. Probably twice a week my son skips bath at night and showers with my husband in the morning. We got a great thing at Target last year...it's a showerhead PLUS a handheld showerhead that has a suction cup so you can stick it anywhere in the shower. So we have it down low and he showers like a grown up with his very own showerhead. He LOVES it and it has made bathing much easier on us (plus he is learning how to do it himself!)

Totally not being judgemental, but I'm really surprised at the woman who only bathed her 5 month old a few times. Doesn't her bottom get dirty from pooping on herself in her diaper? I know when my 10 mo. old was really little her skin didn't take well to the chemicals in wipes, so we did a quick butt-wash in the bath nightly to make sure all the residue from the wipes and pooping was gone. Otherwise her bum was really irritated. Doesn't the diaper factor necessitate bum-washing even more than older kids?

Our 21-month old has a bath every night just before bed. It's kind of the wind down transition time before bed. Her dad has pretty much always been the bath giver so it's special quality time for them to sing songs and make up games with the toys. Meantime, I do what we call "back of the house" - tidy up her room, get the next day's clothes ready, etc. Also, on a couple really dreary rainy days, we've given her long bubble baths with extra toys in the middle of the day - I think I picked that tip up here on another thread.

we give my 9 month old a bath every night, as it is part of his evening routine and helps him fall asleep. BUT, i only use soap every other night because i feel it would dry out his skin.

Our routine is the same as Rebecca's. Papa gives the two year old a bath every night while mama cleans up after dinner, gets the pajamas out, makes lunch for tomorrow, etc. If we're running short on time we'll occasionally (like once or twice a month) skip washing her long hair.

hello this is kind of related- I have been wondering about bubble bath.

My son used to love baths (and it can be a great time for me to tidy up the kitchen since he is almost 5 and the bathroom is right by the kitchen)- anyway we are transitioning a bit into showers so this is less of a concern but what I was wondering about was bubble bath.

My son of course loves bubble bath. After the big toy scare this past fall/winter I happened to look at his Lightening McQueen bubble bath- Made in China. This was a day after a NYT article came out on how polluted China is due to industry. Anyway now I am thinking about bubble bath on a few levels- one is it OK in general for little folks. And two is it OK being made in China after the Made in china scare with lead and other toxic production methods.

Anyone have thoughts on this or use a more green product that they feel is safe for kids?

Both kids (5 and 2) get a bath together every night and we often use the bubble bath from New Seasons -- for super sensitive skin. It's not only for cleanliness, but it was our way to establish a routine that signals "it's bedtime!" My husband and I take turns and then we each read kids stories.

I wish I could feel better not doing it as much, but what with the diapers and my 5 year old boy not always wiping well, I get a little skeeved out not giving them a bath. I also know that my five year old comes into A LOT of contact with germs every day at school. We wash hair every other night and we put lotion on every night to make sure they don't get dried out.

And Laura, thanks for the tip on the showerhead! Considering showers use less water than baths, I want to go get one!

We are also nightly bath people in our house. It has been a wonderful part of our night time routine since my 6 year old was a baby - getting into the tub gets both my girls into bedtime mode. My two year old often needs it - she is a happy but messy eater. Like others we skip it if we had a late evening event or something.

Our 17 month old gets a bath every other night--it is helpful to wind her down after an active day, and it's fun for her. Sometimes her dad and I are looking forward to it more, since we know she will be thoroughly entertained for at least 30 minutes in the bath! She still bathes in our kitchen sink...but she's still a bit tiny for her age.

As far as the "Made in China" bubbles go, I would be concerned about most baby products in general, regardless of their China connection. The more you find out about all the *stuff* in commercial skincare, the harder it is to be a consumer! We ONLY use Burt's Bees or California Baby products on our baby now...after reading up on the various toxins. It's more expensive, but our bottle of Burt's Bees babywash lasts FOREVER (8 mos!) and works really well. There's a lot of good info on the Environmental Working Group website, as well as The Green Guide.

Dr.Bromers liquid castille soap is an excellent bubble bath and rates a zero risk factor with the Enviromental working groups skin deep cosmetic safety database.You can enter all your bubble baths,shampoos,ect. and they rate them on their toxicity.Check it out-its really informative. http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/index.php?nothanks=1

A great non-toxic, organic brand is:
http://www.californiababy.com/
They carry this line at Target & diapers.com.

My now 10.5 y/old daughter has always bathed at least 5 times/week...probably since 6 months. But...she's always loved the water, we never had any issues with her not liking hair washing, and she's liked showering since she was itty-bitty. Now a BATH is a rare thing, but showers are da' bomb for her. She has her own products and routine. She'll skip a day here and there, but she sweats at night and is into sports, so sweaty smelling hair usually necessitates a nightly shower.

Some of her friends who are now approaching puberty (yes as early as 10, some a bit older) are in need of the daily bathing ritual--those hormones sure do a number on our formerly sweet smelling little ones, and some of these girls who have never been in the habit of the daily bath sure do push back against it!. I am glad my daughter has been in the habit of the nearly-nightly bath, and hopefully that won't be such an issue when the hormones ramp up!

About twice a week for our three year old. He doesn't seem to need more right now. That might change come spring and summer!

We bathe our 2.5 year old (actually, dad usually does it, it's some of "his" time) whenever she seems pretty dirty. When her hair is starting to smell or has picked up an odor that is unpleasant from somewhere...when she's found a mud puddle and has sticky stuff on her face and neck and arms... but it's not more than once or twice a week at most. We do shower with soap after going swimming (once a week or every other week)...and if swimming is frequent enough we forgo bathing if she seems clean. I have eczema and extremely sensitive skin and she has had some eczema issues so we are cautious about over sensitizing her skin to cleaners or over drying with frequent bathing. This works for us because she doesn't seem to get too dirty and doesn't seem to sweat much. We typically bathe in the evening and have also been known to strategically time a bath 2 days before an event (hair never looks great the day after but 2nd-day hair looks great!) I think the little kids can easily go a week and be fine! (We do wash face/hands/bottoms, etc. daily.)

We do the nightly bathing as well. Sometimes my little guy likes to shower with dad and "shave" but most of the time we put our 4 and 2 year old together and we scrub scrub and out they go. It's funny...but I just figured that's what everyone else did. It's great to see the variety out there so I don't stress to much when we miss one.

About the bubble bath thing...I actually stopped using it because they are made with sodium laurel sulfates and there are some sources that it may be highly toxic.(I haven't found any that doesn't have the SLS's) but if I can avoid it, I think I should try. Anyone else know a bit more about this?

wow, i applaud all the moms who do a daily bath routine. that's impressive.

we all have super bad eczema, so we just bathe our 9 month old when she needs it and our 3.5 month old about once or twice a week, although he loves to jump in the shower with me or his dad once a week too. our son (3.5 yo) is surprisingly great about wiping after he goes potty so that hasn't been a problem, and we just give my daughter an extra damp cloth wipe down in between baths if she needs it.

Makeshift Mama: i'm not disturbed at all by your comment because i can relate to it :)

Jane, Thank you for sharing the skin deep cosmetic safety database site with us. I showed it to my husband yesterday and he spent the whole evening going through all of bath products that we have been given for our 15mth old and found out a lot of info. It was a real eye opener for us. We are trying to go greener and this information is pushing us closer to that goal. Now he is ready to go through all of our products as well. We did notice that the Earth Mama Angel Baby products were rated very well and they pride themselves on being 100% toxin free. (I sound like a commercial) So we are switching to their products.

As far a baths go, our little girl would love one every night but only gets one 2-3 times a week. We use cloth diapers and cloth wipes and so she gets cleaned up really well after each change. The only really stinky part of her body can be her feet. Plus she has eczema too and so we don't like to over bathe her.

We go every other night for our 18 month old. Her hair gets so grubby otherwise. Plus she loves it. We'll see what happens in the summer after she spends the day outside rolling on the lawn and sweating. We do pretty good wipe-downs on in-between nights or nights when craziness or exhaustedness happens and the bath does not. But daily hand and face washing occurs.

We generally go the daily bath route as part of our 8 month-old daughter's routine. Assuming she's not sick (like she was last night), after her bath, she generally plays for 20 minutes, nurses for 10 minutes and falls asleep for at least 6-8 hours.

Up until she was ~ 5 mos we bathed 2-3x/wk.

Just re-reading the above posts and wanted to briefly mention something about SLS (sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate). It's toxicity comes from inhaling the dry powder used to create the liquid found in many soaps. It's also somewhat "toxic" when ingested in large amounts as it will lead to diarrhea and vomiting. If someone (child/adult, doesn't matter) were to aspirate (breathe it in) while swallowing or vomiting it , it could have similar results to inhaling the powder. Skin contact is not toxic.

Having said all that, if you want to avoid it, there are some products out there.

Our routine has changed constantly since our oldest was born. She has sensitive skin so it varies with the weather. Right now we're on the every other day schedule for the oldest child (if more often, hair still only gets washed every 2-3 days depending on how dirty it gets). Baby gets a couple baths each week depending on lots of factors: time, energy, solid food mess, diaper area. In a perfect world, I think a nightly bath is a great way to start the bedtime routine. We are only able to do as often as every other day with sensitive skin because we quit all products except a tiny bit of Cetaphil soap and California Baby for the hair. After reading about Quaternium-15 (I think that's what it was), we threw out all the baby products and all skin has improved!

I go with the parent who says she bathes her kids when she notices they're dirty. I have dry skin and can't bathe every day myself, so I never thought of making it part of daily routine for my kids (ages 8 and 3). We bathe them more often in the summer, and often wash feet before bedtime even if we don't have time/energy for a full-scale bath. And of course hands and faces get cleaned multiple times a day. But a real bath with soap and hair washing? Once a week in the winter.

We take a morning bath together. Does anyone know if there is a place where you can buy baby bath/wash in bulk? We started buying our shampoo and conditioner in big gallon containers with pump dispensers at the top. Maybe partly for the environment, but mostly it is just less expensive and less time and space consuming (I haven't had to buy shampoo or conditioner since August). We use Aubrey or California Baby when we want a little soap in our joint bath, and I'd like to see if I can get something like that in bulk, too.

elizabeth, try this company for good bubble action:
http://www.californiababy.com/bath-time.html
found at new seasons, maybe whole foods & the co-ops.

We aim for a full bath, with hair washing (which is no easy feat with a curly haired kid) once a week, but sometimes it just takes longer then that, especially in the winter. Our kids (3 & 6) stay pretty clean, and we do lots of hand/face washing.

Our older child thought a bath was torture from 10 months to 3 years, so baths never became part of our bedtime routine. Honestly, I'm pretty happy to not have to run a bath every night, between the extra time and using all that water (we have a big tub)!

thanks very much for the bubble/shampoo suggestions. I am going to check them out! (and look more closely at our bath products!)

Hi elizabeth - regarding bubble bath- New Seasons and Wild Oats, etc. all have some nicer natural options that have fewer ingredients and are likely safer for little babes. They are more expensive, but i think it's worth it since lots of toxins are absorbed through skin.

Also - a great option is to buy a huge bottle of the "Biokleen" brand hand dishwashing soap. It is super low impact on humans and the environment, and it can be used as a bubble bath. I get the unscented and add my own essential oils. It lasts forever and is much cheaper than the bubble baths. (you can also get this at new seasons). I think you are right to be wary of bath care products made in China.

We bathe our 16 month old about every 2-4 nights. She's always been an early to bed child (you can't keep her up past 7 pm no way, no how right now) so getting home after work, getting dinner at least for her on the table (we often eat after she goes to bed just because it takes too long), leaving time for nursing, just doesn't leave time for a daily bath. I too do the back of the house stuff while my husband bathes her; we started that as early as possible so that it became their special time together to offset my time nursing.

We use the "organic, all natural" Rainbow brand from New Seasons - we just use a little bit and only once in a while. It has a nice light scent (I use it myself).

My daughter's skin isn't bothered by it, but I worry about UTI's, which bath products can cause (apparently, especially if they sit in them a long time).

Everything with our 4 year old tends to take a l-o-n-g time, and so our regular routine is that we go upstairs and start bedtime routines (no bath) once dinner is done! In line with this, we only bathe him once a week or less. However, part of our bedtime routine is "sponge bath", i.e. we use a warm wet washcloth with a little nonirritating soap and wipe down face, hands, genitals, and butt--especially genitals, as things get pretty pee-smelling there. This keeps us all sane, hygienic enough, and gets him to bed at a decent time.

right now my 16 month old gets a bath whenever she needs it. if she's having a hard time potty wise (it's runs season), or she has had a particularly good time rubbing food in her hair. she likes her baths, but i don't want to dry out her skin. in the warm weather she had more baths, but we also go swimming.

We (actually I) bathe our 3-year old 1-2x/week. I'm relieved to see that I'm not alone in that; I thought I was being remiss. I think now that she's using the potty regularly she will get more baths, because she does get pretty stinky. (If only as a kindness to the preschool staff...!)

I give my 11 month old son a bath about every other night. I was advised to do it once every 3 days but he gets so dirty. Between The food he gets all over him and the dirty diapers that are always messy. I feel he should be bathed at least once every 2 days. Sometimes i feel like giving him 2 baths a day but my better judgement tells me otherwise.

I bathe my 8 year old daughter once a day. She likes playing in the tub and I usually sit in the bathroom to make sure she is bathing and not making too big of a mess. Sometimes I have to take over the bathing if she is playing too much. She will come and grab my hand in the evening before bed and say, "daddy, it is time for my bath". meaning time to come keep her company during her bath. I also wash her hair and rinse it and help her dry it. She has a lot of hair. We always talk a lot and have fun during the daily ritual.

we used to bathe our daughter every night, but sinse I have gone through nursing shcool, I learned that by washing off the natural oils of the skiin, we actually remove the barrier that protects us for germs. I would say every day is OK as long as you don't use soap every time and don't vigorously rub the skin. We do a daily rinse and use soap 1-2 time/week followed by application of lotion.

Umm... Well, you should bath everyday. For hair, every other days because of natural oil.

Why do I say shower everyday ? You forgot something.. You poop and you pee a lot.. They smell! You should wash them clean. Some people would say Oh, I bathe once a week even clean the private area and butt.

Heck no!!! If you want to make love and once a week in shower will still smell a little bit funny. Believe me, I know. Maybe you knew also, don't you ?

Be honest.. Please shower everyday. If you feel lazy for a day or two.. it wont hurt but at least.. Wash your private area and butt just for the heck of cleaning up, thats all. Its very important! :)

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