When should I stop bathing/changing in front of my 20 month old son?

Rebecca - posted on 02/17/2009 ( 14 moms have responded )

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I am a first time mum with a 20 month old little boy. When should I stop bathing/changing in front of him?

I work in the evenings after he has gone to bed and get back very late when all I want to do is sleep before he has me up again, he barely sleeps during the day anymore which means I have no private time to bath without him. He doesn't get in with me coz he has eczema and needs special lotion in the water but often stands and watches me wash and plays with the water and his bath toys from over the edge. Even if I put cartoons on he is more interested in playing with water than watching telly given the choice. I cant shut the door because then I cant hear him and ensure his safety. He has never been put in a play pen and I dont want to start trapping him in that way now.

14 Comments

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Lashanda - posted on 11/24/2010

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I think that by him being really young, its not a problem, but when he gets older and start realizing more about the body parts, you should not let him see you naked and I am sure by a certain age it will make him start feeling uncomfortable ,but at his young age, i would not leave him alone to shower. My son is 5 and I do not let him see me anymore without clothes on although he still comes in the bathroom and sits on the toilet when I shower, but I make him leave when i get out the shower. I also teaches him that your body is something that should not be exposed freely.

Melanie - posted on 11/24/2010

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I never worried about it, because I don't want my children to be uncomfortable with their bodies, but when my daughter was 2 she asked me why I have "feathers down there" I realised she is noticing that there is a difference between us and since then I shower with the door closed and put a towel around me and dress in my room with the door closed. I did explain to her though that as she gets older she will go through the same changes with her body.

Courtney - posted on 11/11/2010

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If he ever becomes uncomfortable with it, then it is time to have a talk with him about stopping, but honestly, I don't think it is a problem. I change in front of my kids because I can't leave them alone while I change or shower at times. my oldest (4) has just begun asking why I don't have a "pee pee" and I just tell him that girls don't have them but boys do. He seemed satisfied with that and hasn't asked any more questions. It is not a problem unless you perceive it as a problem. It will be different for every family, so ultimately just do what feels right for you and your child.

Cat - posted on 11/09/2010

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When it starts feeling uncomfortable for you, would probably be my best recommendation :) I don't think there's a magic number.

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I think if you just want to shower alone and not have to worry about keeping an eye on him then you should do it when you get home from work, while he is sleeping. As for when to stop letting him see you naked? My son is 3 and shower with him, dress and undress around him and so does his daddy. I don't see this changing anytime in the near future. If it ever begins to make him uncomfortable then we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

Vicki - posted on 11/09/2010

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I'll might stop when he says 'aw Mum you're embarrassing me!', so no time soon. Maybe when he hits his teens. It's bloody hot here in summer and we don't have aircon so on the worst days we are in undies only at home, not changing that for my boy!

Dikeledi - posted on 11/09/2010

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when i take a shower my 21month old boy close my door,sit on the step and play,when am in a tub he sits on the toilet sit by himself or come play with the water,yesterday h touched me on my private part, the ada day he wanted to put a nappy on me as i got out of the tub..

Jessica - posted on 02/22/2009

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My daughter is 2 and a half and she always comes in the shower/bath with me. I give her the choice of staying out and playing with my partner or coming in with me and she will come in with me 90% of the time. I dont think there is a problem with being naked around your own children.

Sure, I understand that you might need your own time, and perhaps you will have to enforce a 'nap' time like another lady has mentioned however, if this is JUST about him viewing you naked etc, then why stop? You are family, it's not a dirty or wrong thing to be naked around your own child.

Aimee - posted on 02/21/2009

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Is the question about needing private time or him seeing you naked? My son is almost 3 and I leave the bathroom door open when I shower or dress. He has not ask about the difference between boys and girls yet but, I will be ready when he is. I think as long as you are comfortable with it then he will be too. It does sound like you might need some time for you though. Maybe think about having him visit family for the day or go get a massage. Just a few hours makes a world of difference! Hang in there!

Linda - posted on 02/21/2009

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I don't really see why you should stop at all. I change infront of my children all the time.

They ask questions yeah, and thank god that i am the one to answer those questions. Better that than your children being mis-informed by someone else. I understand the opposite sex issue. Well that is up to mom and dad. Good luck and stay liberal! Children need to know the truth!!!

Tina Cramon - posted on 02/18/2009

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I don't see why you should stop??? Have never thought about this. What vill you do when you take him to the swimming pool later in his life, before he is old enough to shower and get dressed on his own - in the mens section? My husbannd and I have since our 15 month old son was born very frequently bathed with our son, it is much more fun for him to have us playing in the water with him than us just observing from the other side. He does sometimes point at or touch private parts, asking what that is, but accepts that they are ours, and plays on with the water and his toys.

Teyaka - posted on 02/17/2009

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It depends on the person. Everyone has their own stopping point. But, I dont lwt my 17 month play in my bath water. I put his toys in the doorway and have him play there if I really want to get in the shower. I save baths for when he's sleep. Although he doesn't sleep in the daytime, enforce a 2 hour naptime at the same time everyday. He doesn't have to be sleep the whole time, but he does have to be quiet and lay down. When you first start this, it's going to be hell. But stick to it and it pays off. You get 2 hours to do what you want

Gemma - posted on 02/17/2009

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My little boy will be two in a couple of weeks, whenever I am in the shower the door is open and he comes in & out as he pleases, my partner baths with him as well. If your comfortable with your son being there then why is it a problem, Im not going to stop changing or showering in front of my son, as I dont want him to grow up being embarrased about his or other peoples bodies. If you dont see it as being a problem then it isn't.

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