showering/bathing with your little ones??

Vegemite - posted on 11/07/2010 ( 206 moms have responded )

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Hi girls I was just wondering at what age do you think it's no longer appropriate to shower or bathe with your kids, particularly boys? My oldest son has just turned 3 and while showering with him tonight I was thinking that maybe this occasional practice might have to stop soon even though he isn't showing any interest in different body parts yet. So what do you think?

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Dana - posted on 11/08/2010

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I don't think there's anything wrong with showering with your children. You're mother and child it's not about anything sexual. They're body parts, woman have vagina's men have penis's...
I say go until you feel it's appropriate, you'll know when.

Amy - posted on 11/08/2010

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I don't see a problem with it as long as everyone is comfortable with it and I'll explain why. 1). My son offers me no privacy I can't even sneak off to use the bathroom without someone barging in! 2). My son who's 4 helps give his 7 month old sister baths, so he asks questions even when not showering with me. 3) I'd rather have my son get the correct information from me then from someone else. Don't get me wrong I would love a little privacy once in awhile but I don't see it happening anytime soon!

[deleted account]

I still shower with my 3 year old son and plan to continue until the day comes that I notice HE is uncomfortable with it.

Kate CP - posted on 11/08/2010

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I sleep naked, my husband sleeps naked, my four year old daughter runs around naked yelling "Naked child!" and giggling maniacally. The only reason I don't shower with her any more is because I'm pregnant and my big belly blocks most of the water so she just stands there freezing. There's nothing wrong with familial nudity and young kids.

Krista - posted on 11/08/2010

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I would say that as soon as one of you feels uncomfortable with it, you stop.

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Dana - posted on 11/15/2010

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Thanks for all the responses ladies, we're going to lock this one down now. ~Dana WtCoM moderator

Ashlee - posted on 11/15/2010

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I stopped bathing with my sone when he turned 1 but he is always askin about body parts so I guess it differs from child to child

Veron - posted on 11/15/2010

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Well I actually took a bath with my son last two weeks. If I didn't we'd be late for work and school. But it was normal no funny questions and he's six years old. The age of the curious mind. Well I am always open with my son and explained the parts of each gender well enough for him to understand but not in too much depth he's still only six years old.

Nicole - posted on 11/11/2010

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My son is almost 2 1/2, he knows the diff between girls and boys (penis and boobies LOL) but that's as far as his intrest goes! I think once he starts noticing and paying attention to the diff. body parts that's what we will call it quits!!!
You'll know as his mother when he's getting to old for it!!

Sandra Christin - posted on 11/11/2010

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Not appropriate....YOU need your own bathtime, he needs his...I have 2 grown daughters, and 3 granddaughters...and we take our own private baths..Even when my daughters were infants and little girls....they were bathed in a baby tub...and I had my own quiet bath time.....I needed some space...I breastfed both of my darlings....and my bathtime was when they were sleeping....it is important to give our loved ones some space....mentally, physically, and spiritually...Blessings to all wonderful mothers...It is such a gift to love our children.....I would not have wanted to view my dad at age 3.....he needed his space....ahhahahah

Marsha - posted on 11/11/2010

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I did it til they were old enough to shower on their own. My girls are now 6 and 7. i think I stopped when they were 3 or 4. In all honesty, it's based on your own comfort zone with your children. There is no 'morn' with this.

Liana - posted on 11/11/2010

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My son is 3 1/2 and we used to shower together frequently. I work from home so it was easy to put him in the bath with me so i can keep an eye on him. He is very aware that we do have different parts but its not like he dwells on that when we shower.
Now my son tells me that he wants to bathe alone. He knew when he was ready to not take showers with me, but i think it has more to do with the fact that when we bathe together we take a shower and when he bathes alone he gets a bath.

Kristal - posted on 11/11/2010

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i say i would go untill he starts showing interest in the fact that you are diff. my daughter is 3 1/2 and i still sometimes shower with her. she did start asking a few months ago like mommy is that you hiney.(sp) and i was like yup just like you. and she said you have boobies just like me too. didnt make me really feel uncomfortable just bc i would bathe with my mom when i was lil and i remember sitting on the counter while she was showering just talking to her untill i was like 15. and i showered with my sister or best friends when i was in highschool. but she did stop showering with her dad . no biggie when she was lil but at 1 it was like okay no more. cuz she didnt realize or even look at him like that but i didnt want her to either. when it comes time that she aks questions i imagine around 5 or 6 i will explain it to her. rather then her ask others.

Laura - posted on 11/11/2010

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I'm with Tasha... our human body, naked or clothed, is nothing to be ashamed about. It's interesting...in Europe, parents do not concern themselves with nudity or sexuality in movies and the media, but they adamantly shun violence in their culture. I like that. We're kind of the opposite in America. Shower with your kids until it's uncomfortable for one or both of you and consider any questions they ask an excellent opportunity to communicate and share your thoughts about your body and sexuality - age appropriate, of course. And if a child grabs a penis or breast, simply explain that we have to respect each others bodies in a healthy way.

Genevieve - posted on 11/11/2010

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I have 3 and 4 year sons. I stopped bathing with them when my oldest was alsmost 4 years old. Last time I bathe with he asked if someone cut off my pipi, it was really funny. I just explained to him that boys have different parts than girls. He also asked why mommy has smaller boobies than grandma. They start getting curious at this age so I figured that was the right time.

Afza - posted on 11/11/2010

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I personaly think what ever works for you is the best solution as some of the other moms mentioned. My son is eight and he still ask to bathe with me at times and it is not a problem with me also he has his moods where he feels he is to big for me to see him not the other way around. Mummy will always be mummy.

Tasha - posted on 11/11/2010

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BE NAKED!!! I grew up in a "Peace & Love” home of the 70's and I very much appreciate that my parents never made me feel self conscious about my body. Be naked and let your kids be naked. Shower with each other for as long as possible, its better for the planet and conserves water. I promise he will start telling you to go away soon enough. If there are questions answer them and of course explain there is a time and place for naked time. The only thing you can do by this is create a more confident person. If people find naked wrong then they are the ones with the problem and are looking at it the WRONG way. If you go anywhere else in the world they do not have these crazy hang-ups and many places do not have a choice and would never think that showering together is wrong in any way. So again, be confident , communicate and BE NAKED!!

Laura - posted on 11/11/2010

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Hi Christine. I think the reason you're asking, which I commend you for doing, is because you may be beginning to feel a little less comfortable with it. I think there is absolutely nothing wrong with bathing with your children. And, it is when you start questioning it or feeling less comfortable that you may want to re-evaluate it. You sound like you have a great head on your shoulders and I'm confident that you'll know exactly when the time is appropriate to stop bathing with your boys.

Anita - posted on 11/11/2010

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I am so selfish I really enjoy the me time of bathing or showering alone and I think my husband agrees with me on this one.........however I do like taking my children and grandchildren to the swimming pool from a very early age.

Adina - posted on 11/11/2010

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Joy, I feel ya. After a while I lose track of how long it's been since I shaved. Usually if I really feel the need I'll take a bath after my son has gone to bed. I'm a single mom and it's just me and my son in our home, so - more than usual - that's really the time to get things done!

Keri - posted on 11/11/2010

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Once he was too heavy to hold, we stopped showering with him regularly. Every now and then he wants to shower with Daddy or Mommy, but he usually wants his own bath. He will point at things - on our bodies and his own and ask what they are or name them himself.

Brenda - posted on 11/11/2010

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I never showered with my sons. I don't think it is appropriate either. My son and daugther took bathes together until the age of 3 and 4.

Lillian - posted on 11/11/2010

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I let my husband take over showering with my son when he was about 5 or 6. He loves the science of anatomy, so he could care less about the differences. My daughter turned 9 last January - I've showered with her constantly til this past summer, she was about 9 1/2. Now I only shower with her about once or twice a month. That's when we have time to talk about womanly things. She is well aware that she will be starting puberty within the next couple of years and what to expect. She understands about menses and that it is a function of life. I encourage my husband to talk to our son during showertime in a similar manner, although as I mentioned earlier, my son understands anatomy and at age 12, has already had 2 years of essentially sex ed in school.

Verrazano - posted on 11/11/2010

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i would say at the age he is now . has he start asking u question? Like mommy what are those and other little things yet?

[deleted account]

Adina, I feel that way sometimes too! Sometimes I think to myself, "If he would just let me shower ONE TIME by myself, then maybe I could shave my legs for the first time in...." (I'm embarrassed to say how long it's been lol) I tried shaving with him in the shower with me once. Once. I was bent over getting the area around my ankles and he poked me in the butt. Bullseye. Now I don't shave unless I get a chance to shower alone, which is rare.

Esther - posted on 11/11/2010

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The advice I used was this: as soon as a child points to or, worse, grabs at, "inappropriate" parts of your body it is time to stop bathing with the child (this is true of BOTH sexes, male or female and same sexes) and helps your child to start developing personal boundaries.

After that, you simply explain to them what the part of the body is or does that they pointed to and, if necessary, that it is inappropriate to touch other people there, and then stop taking showers with them.

It can be hard. It's been a little over half a year (my son was 3 and a few months) since we had to end showers. My son still misses showers with mommy, but I've been consistent in how I address this with him and so he listens when I tell him I can't shower with him and accepts the alternatives I give him. He now showers after me with his male baby doll and gets snuggled in towels afterward. Hope this helps!

Sam - posted on 11/11/2010

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I am inlined to say that it is only inapropreate (in my opinion) if you feel it so, as long as you and your family are ccomfortable with it I see no problem. My family were very open and had no problem with nudity, in fact coz we were decorating and renovaqting, dont think we had a door on our bathroom til I was about 10 lol! but as long as you are all happy and it its not detrimentally affecting ur child do what u feel is right. xxx

Adina - posted on 11/11/2010

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My son turned 3 in August and I wish he'd let me shower alone! Lol. The second I turn on the water he strips down and comes runnin'. Not to say I think it's wrong, or that it's uncomfortable - shower time is just really my only "alone time" all day long.
I'm with a lot of the other moms, stop when you're uncomfortable.

Kate CP - posted on 11/11/2010

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Joy: Yea, I don't get it either. My daughter asked me once why I have hair on my vagina. I told her that when she grows up she'll have hair like Mommy. She asked me why Daddy has a penis. I told her that's what makes Daddy a boy. She asked me why Mommies have breasts. I said because some Mommies, like me, use them to feed their babies. I see nothing wrong with answering their questions and being honest about it. I was a little hard pressed to answer her questions when she asked me about tampons...that was a toughie that I eventually answered with "All Mommies bleed a little bit every once in a while. I'll tell you more about it when you're older," and she was fine with that answer. :P

Tina - posted on 11/11/2010

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I had my husband help when I could not handle it after awhile. He was really good at that ! But when he is three I should think that is a bit old to have them in the shower with you. I would have stopped when he was old enough to stand up and walk comfortably around by himself . I have a son, who is now a father himself. They have an infant at this point, so that makes me a grandma long distance though. I stopped showering with him when he got to be too big to handle. When he could stand on his own, and manage things on his own, I helped him in the bath tub as in monitering him so he wouldn't slip and slide too much, but let him do a lot of playing while I bathed him, fully clothed outside of the tub. I.e. I let him be in there by himself when he felt comfortable to be by himself. But I was in the room there until he was able to dress himself and did a good job I think there. I have two grown daughters, and they also I did that same thing, with them. When they were infants then I had them in the baby tub to bathe them, and on occaision I would have them in the shower with me, but it was not easy, as being with a slippery body myself and then having a baby slippery is not a safe way to do things. So I didn't do that for very long. I let my husband help with the care of the son as well when he could do so. I felt it was better that way.

Kelly - posted on 11/11/2010

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I think age 3 is it for boys to bathe with mom, and girls with Dad. But I have no problem with girls to bathe with mom till 5 and boys with dad till 5.

Heather - posted on 11/11/2010

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I have twin boys who are now eight years old...and I agree with showering with them. Sometimes it is just more time effective to do it together. I do sometimes still upon an occassion, if need be, shower with them. Our entire family is open...we have never even worried about "nakedness" so they feel it is just natural. I hope people don't judge me, but my feeling is that each family is probably different depending on your level of comfort with the issue.

Jill - posted on 11/11/2010

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Tough one. I think it depends on the child (when he starts noticing differences) and your comfort level. I personally never did it. Although, for those times when I needed to shower & no one else was home, the boys would bring toys/books into the bathroom to entertain themselves while I took a quick shower.

[deleted account]

I still don't get why a child asking questions would be the time to stop showering with them or changing in front of them. My son (3) points to different body parts on me while we shower and I tell him what they are. I get that some people were raised in more "modest" environments so I get that train of thought. But if a child has questions, we're supposed to be the ones who give them answers.

Him: "Mommy, whassat?"

Me: "It's a breast."

Him: "Bwesst. Mommy, whassAAAT?"

Me: "That's Mommy's butt. See? You have a butt too." (point to his butt)

Him: "Butt. MY butt!"

I think it's healthy to answer the questions. Getting uncomfortable about body questions is only going to make our children think that there is something wrong with their bodies, especially if we don't give them answers. Who else is going to teach them these things and that it's ok that we have them? I want my son to be comfortable in his own skin and to have confidence in his body so I look at my son's body questions the same way as I look at his questions when he's asking me what every single thing is in my kitchen when we're unloading the dish washer.

Jo - posted on 11/11/2010

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I have 4 boys and I stopped around age 2 or 3 with them and either had their older syblings shower with them or my husband. I would suggest you stop when you feel uncomfortable with showering with them. It's a personal preference. I will still stick my head in and shower the little ones off but I'm no longer in the shower with them. I stop helping all together around age 7.

Cathy - posted on 11/11/2010

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my little girl gets into the bath with me occassionaly and she's six.....bodies are not to be ashamed of, we walk around naked, most of the time if children are comfortable in their own skin and see you are as well hopefully they'll be a few less hang ups later on.

Lucy - posted on 11/11/2010

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Hi Christine. Goodness! There are so many cultural differences and it really doesn't matter when you stop, as long as you are doing what feels comfortable to you and it doesn't upset your son. You seem to be on the right track, aware that this fun time does have a time limit. I would encourage you to have fun until it feels like time to stop. And don't worry about a little boy's interest in different body parts too much. Gosh, aren't we all interested in people who are different from ourselves? You'll do the right thing. I know you will.

Sharon - posted on 11/11/2010

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I would say it would be time to stop showering or batheing when he starts taking interest or asking questions. Perhaps if his father is around he could bathe with your son.

Karin - posted on 11/11/2010

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I still shower occassionally with my 3 y/o son. He knows that he has a "pee pee" and I don't but he doesn't really pay attention. He thinks it's fun to shower with mom and mostly just plays with his duckies anyway. I'm not uncomfortable with it and I'll know when it's no longer appropriate so I'll just keep showering with him. He usually only takes baths so shower time is more like a special treat for him. I don't see anything wrong with it. That is what works best for us so that's what we'll keep doing.

Amanda - posted on 11/11/2010

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my son was about 3 1/2 when i stoped showering with him we had a small waterheater and i was a single mom with 2 kids so i would get all of us in there but or shower my daughter in the am b4 school and then my son and i would shower when she was at school but i felt at though it should stop when he asked about my hair down there and tried to help me wash my back side also he was getting ready for preschool so i thought that should stop so he didnt tell his teacher we showered together and they took it in the wrong way

Chantelle - posted on 11/11/2010

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I only have girls, 3 1/2yrs and 11 months. my hubby and i bathe with them (sometimes all together others just one, but then there are times where it is just them. but i guess we have always been open to that sort of thing, it's our way of showing them that we are comfortable within ourselves and that everyone is different (not that they understand that yet though) but yeah, showing the girls that we are comfortable in our own skin, will hopefully remind them when they become teens that everyone is different and that you should be happy with yourself no matter what you look like, i think though that my hubby will stop once they are 4 or so. but really i think i will continue until they don't want to anymore. just my opinion.

Twanika - posted on 11/11/2010

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My son is 2 n i still take bath with him sometime . He is my only boi so i just feel like that a lil quality time but i would probably stop at like 4 or 5 because thats when the real question slowly start .

Pamela - posted on 11/11/2010

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Although I have girls, my husband, had my 3 yr take a shower with him, (I was in the hospital having another baby), I was livid...My daughter did recognize the differences between mommy and daddy, and @ that time, I gave my husband a lot of heck because of it. He explained to me that he had no choice @ the time and he did find it a bit awkward because my daughter had a lot of questions for her daddy and wasn't ready to answer THOSE kind of questions. I think it all depends on the child's observations..I say, shower with them until they want to FEEL the differences.

[deleted account]

I know there are a ton of replies and mine will get lost in the weight of it all, but I wanted to say my peice anyways.
Growing up I mostly lived with just my dad. Nothing icky ever happened in our household at all just for the record ;) But anyways, I didn't like to be away from my dad much, so unless he expressly asked for privacy, even in my early teens I would go in the bathroom while he was showering and sit on the toilet and talk to him. Obviously showering together at that age would be just creepy, but I can't see anything wrong with a 3 year old boy and his mommy. I'd say it'll be appropriate all the way until early puberty. I think it's nice for a family to be open, that way your children never feel embarrassed in front of you. You are the only intimate relationship your children have until they get married, show them how to have a great open, happy relationship now so they can securely attach to a person in their life. I think it is more healthy than pretending that the human body is this nasty thing that must be shaded from everyone, really how sick is that?

Louise - posted on 11/11/2010

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I have two boys, I used to have baths with my eldest til he was about 4 , he is now 6, I think its entirely up to you when you stop, my youngest is 2 and they now have baths together.

Katariina - posted on 11/11/2010

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Hello! For me this whole conversation seems crazy. I am from Finland and here we have this custom of having sauna together, the whole family together. Nudity in that situation is natural. Of course there will be a time in childs development when she/he starts noticing that we are different, but that is a wonderfull opportunity for us parents to explain that, yes we are different and we are two different sexes, girls will grow up as women and boys will grow up as men. There is no reason to hide that fact. The inapropriate thoughts come from adults not from kids. For a child there is nothing 'dirty' in nudity unless we teach them to think so.

Lorena - posted on 11/11/2010

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I think that you will know when it isn't appropriate any more. Children usually begin to get a bit private themselves and won't want to bathe with you anymore. Around 7 or 8 years they begin to get a sense of modesty and personal privacy.
I grew up in a house with all girls 5 to be exact and we always shared a bathroom sometimes all of us at the same time doing this or that(it was a big bathroom) Two in the tub, usually the twins, one on the pot, one brushing teeth the other blowdrying hair. It was really fun actually. By the time we were 6 or 7 dad was annexed from the bathroom, but same sex siblings and mom were no problem into our early teen years.

Effie - posted on 11/11/2010

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I have a 6 yr old daughter, a 4 yr old daughter and a 2 yr old son. I still bathe w/ all 3 of them, Sometimes at the same time. For the girls, I think it is a great time to bond and discuss girl stuff. I figure, it's better for me to teach them than someone else. I haven't decided about my son yet, he's still little but I suppose it will be when he's old enough to be trusted in the shower by himself. I don't bathe w/ them all the time but if we are in a hurry and I'm trying to conserve water than I'll take them w/ me and have my hubby standing by w/ towels. I would say for than feel free to shower w/ your son until YOU start to feel uncomfortable w/ it and as long as it's not an everyday thing than it shouldn't be of concern at this point.

Chantal - posted on 11/10/2010

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Hi, i've grown up with a very open minded family. Nakedness was never an issue. i have a b/g 7 year old twins and they bath together most days- come weekends we all in the bath together. my kids ask questions all the time! i agree, go with your gut feeling, when you see that it's becoming an issue, then that's when you start making changes... ALL THE BEST :-)

Pami - posted on 11/10/2010

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I think you should stop when boys turn 2 or when ever yours starts asking questions ours asked them early on and he showered with his dad

Charlie - posted on 11/10/2010

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I would love to see those articles because quite frankly i do not believe it .

Andrea - posted on 11/10/2010

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I think that when they are asking questions about differences between mommy & son. Before I had my son I thought I would never shower with my children but there's kind of no avoiding it because it is so convenient and when you can teach him how to bathe themselves without you standing over them it's definitely time to stop :)

Michelle/Shelly - posted on 11/10/2010

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For me it was when they started to take notice of the difference in our bodies. I really wanted them to grow up being comfortable with their bodies, so I didn't want to make an issue out it. There was just a slight shift in awareness, and I started to encourage them to shower by themselves, which they both seemed ready to do at this stage.

Danielle - posted on 11/10/2010

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I have wondered the same thing. I think it is different for each child. My son is 5 and still barely acknowledges the diferrences in our bodies. He has recently started school so I have stopped showering with him, even more so because he mostly bathes with his little brother we simply dont all fit! For me, most of the time it was just easier to bring him in and let him play in the water than it was to take a 5 min shower while I was worrying about what he was doing. While I dont plan on my son seeing me nude forever, even at 5 a kid is not looking at his mother in a sexual way. I think each parent and child is different. So no matter what someone else thinks you should do what you feel is best!!

Joyce - posted on 11/10/2010

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I never showered or bathed WITH my children. Frankly, I wouldn't take the chance that I'd be soapy and slippery and have to hang on to a squirming little one. I always believed that the parent should be outside the tub on slip proof floor, preferably with sneakers or similarly soled shoes.

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