There’s a new article floating in internet land about how many times our kids should bathe – which got us talking, “Do our kids really need a bath each night?”
I have so many friends who have a nightly routine consisting of bath time, pajamas and bedtime stories. Every night. Sounds wonderful, calming and so serene, right? For them, I’m sure it is. At least most nights. But this mom? It’s not how I want to spend my nights. Forget the soap and water, we have a bedtime routine that works for us that consists of showering my kids with hugs and kisses! Honestly, bath time just isn’t my thing.
I’m just going to put this out there and say that I think bath time is overrated. Do I enjoy clean kids? Absolutely! Do I love the way they smell after a fresh bath? Of course! Do I love watching my kids happily splash in the tub? You bet I do! Do I like how soaked the entire bathroom gets after a bath? No way! Do I love the tears streaming down my kids’ faces when I make them get out of the bath after their fingers have turned to prunes and they are shivering because they’ve been in there so long that the warm water now has a chill? Nope. Not my favorite!
I have 3 kids. They are 7, 5 and almost 3. My 7-year-old has graduated to showers. All by himself. That is amazing. My girls still prefer the bath. While they love taking baths, it’s also a lot of work. Okay, maybe not that much work. I just don’t think baths are necessary every day or even every other day. My kids get a bath (maybe) twice a week. But if I’m being honest, it’s probably more like once a week. I’m sure some of you are horrified right now by my confession and I’m sure others are nodding with me in agreement, right? I can’t be the only one who feels this way.
But I promise you my kids are not the stinky kids. I won’t tolerate that. While baths may not be our regular thing, they still brush their teeth every morning and (almost) every night. They put on clean undies and clean socks. Daily. That’s a non-negotiable. In fact, my kids probably change their underwear (and clothes) multiple times a day because they want to make sure I always have laundry to do. Thanks kids for thinking of me!
If I can see dirt or they have been playing in mud, sand or getting sweaty then it automatically becomes bath night. But if they’re not smelly or visibly dirty then we make the stretch between bath nights last a little longer. I don’t feel guilty about it in the least. In fact, do you want to guess the first person who told me to NOT wash the kids’ so frequently? Our pediatrician. That’s the truth. My oldest had eczema when he was younger and our pediatrician recommended we cut baths down to once a week. How’s that for some good medical advice? It made a huge difference in his skin and a big difference in my sanity too!
As long as your kids’ aren’t walking around looking like Snoopy’s friend, Pig-Pen, on a daily basis then I think you’re doing great! If you enjoy the nightly bath routine, keep doing what you’re doing and if you bathe your kids a lot less, have no fear. You are not alone. Showering your kids with hugs and kisses every day is more important than using soap & water!