If you are on social media, it is impossible to have missed the recent debates linked to celebs’ revelations about their children being unwashed unless visibly dirty. So, how often should you wash your children?
Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis revealed that they only wash their children when the dirt is visible. While Kristen Bell reacted with agreement, stating that: “Once you catch a whiff, that’s biology’s way of letting you know you need to clean it up.” Personally, as with cleaning work surfaces on a regular basis because you can’t see germs, I firmly believe that having a routine and ensuring children was regularly is vital.
When your newborn child comes home, it is often at least a couple of days before you bath them, following midwife advice. Most people choose to simply top and tail their babies until they are around a week old. This gives you time to get used to handling your precious bundle of joy. Remember, when it is time for their first bath, they lose heat quickly, so expose them to the water for no more than five minutes. Be sure to check the temperature thoroughly before placing them in the bath. A baby bath is perfect as will be tilted, supporting bubba, but always keep one hand on them, ensuring they feel safe and close to a parent.
Younger children don’t need daily baths or showers, as their skin dries out more quickly. This does not mean that they don’t need a daily wash, though. However, as children get older, they get much dirtier and so a daily shower is not out of the question.
Of course, for some children, it can be a real challenge trying to encourage them to shower on a daily basis. You may decide that every other day is worth the sacrifice for the sake of your sanity. Encouraging them to wash daily, though, is certainly worthwhile.
No one wants to be sitting next to someone who smells at school, and this could well be something that people pick up on. We all know how bullies use differences to tease and ostricise others. Encouraging good hygiene habits could minimise the risk of this happening. Bullying shouldn’t happen, ever. Let’s face facts… it does and it will continue to for the rest of time.
How often do we bath/shower our children?
All our children lead fairly active lifestyles, so almost every day is our answer. They all swim, so washing the children after that is a must as chlorine removes the natural oils from your skin and hair, drying it out. Even if they had somewhat sedentary lifestyles, we would still continue to do as we always have because it is part of their routine.
What’s the actual answer though?
There is no definitive answer as to how often children should be bathed or showered. But, we were interested to find out more, so we asked some other parent bloggers. Here’s what they had to say:
Jennifer from Mighty Mama Bear’s Book Blog says:
My eldest two (12 and 10 year old boys) shower every day but they play outside a lot and have football matches etc so are usually visibly dirty! When they were younger they’d (reluctantly!) have a bath every other day. My daughter is six and she has a bath every other day. She loves it and likes smelling nice! I don’t wash her hair every time though. It’s long and thick and takes ages to dry so we probably wash her hair twice a week.
Hayley from Devon Mama answers:
Mine are 5, 3 and 4 months, baths are normally once or twice a week. We usually go swimming once a week with a shower after and then baths and hair washes another night. If they’ve done something particularly grubby they’ll have them more regularly and they’ve just started to enjoy showers which I’m sure will change things! I think it’s just a time thing more than anything, we always seem to run out of time in the evenings during the week. I’m sure it’ll change as they grow older but for now I’m happy that they’re still (reasonably) clean and sweet smelling!
Emma from Ready Freddie Go explains:
I used to bath my boys every other night, until my youngest flared up with eczema, so we have reduced to it twice a week, with a quick shower and lots of emollient creams if they get grubby in between (especially summer days in the garden!).
Emma Reed says:
I aim for every other night but if we go a bit longer that’s ok, kids get dirty don’t they? We haven’t ever done every day as it is drying on their skin.
Kelly-Anne from Mimi Rose and Me answers:
My daughter has a bath or shower every day and we wash her hair twice a week. It has been this way since she was a baby. It was the most important part of her bedtime routine which has stuck through the years.
Lynne from The Swan Effect Mum describes:
We try and bath our daughters (3 and 10 months) 3 times a week. I always thought it was a daily routine but as we’re a full time working family we just don’t always have the time.Obviously we bath more if kids are messy from their day but I have started only washing my eldest daughters hair to twice a week as her hair is so thick and flaky. Washing less has definitely improved this, so much so that I have also pulled back to washing mine to twice a week!
Catherine from Passports and Adventures explains:
We tend to do showers on a Tuesday (after PE), Thursday and Sunday. During summer, it’s more often as we’re in the pool most days so we shower after each pool visit to remove chlorine from our skin/hair.
Nikki from Fruit Picking Farms says:
I have trouble getting my young teenagers to bath or shower once a week! I am quite relaxed about it though. There will come a time when I won’t be able to get them out of the bathroom, so it will all resolve itself in the end. As long as they don’t smell (too bad!), I don’t want them to be overly concerned with it all.
Lynn from Glasgow with Kids explains:
Mine used to get bathed every single night as a baby/toddler but now they’re older (4 & 7), they tend to get a bath 2-3 times a week depending on weather etc, plus a shower after swimming. They generally only get their hair washed once a week though – they both have the loveliest curls and I don’t want them ruined and dried out with too much washing.
Lisa from Baby Not Included details:
Mine are every other day. My eldest I bathed every day without fail but my 2nd had eczema and we were advised not to bathe every day.
Alina from We Made This Life divulges:
My youngest two (2 and 7) have a bath every day because it’s part of their wind down bedtime routine more than anything. My eldest two (10 and 14) have a shower every other day, although I’m noticing that they are starting to get body odour, so they should probably start having a morning shower every day.
How often do you encourage your children to wash? Perhaps one of the routines described above matches your family’s way of doing things.