When your tots are tiny, you don't question shared baths. But as little kids grow older, many moms express confusion about when to switch to a separate bath routine. And let's face it, one bath at the end of a long day is often better than two, but older kids need their independence (and privacy)! So along with the help of some Circle of Moms members, we've rounded up three important perspectives to help you decide when to transition your kids to solo baths.
1. Follow Your Children's Lead
When it comes to brothers and sisters bathing together, many moms share Shana S.'s opinion: "I say go with what the kiddies want!" They reason that as long as your kids like playing together in the tub, shared baths are fine. As Sarah M. notes of her children bathing together: "My son is 18 months and my daughter is 5 and they still have a bath together, they both enjoy playing together so for the time being they will still share a bath."
Then, when one of your children eventually wants privacy for bath time, let them have it. "I think they should stop bathing together when one of them raises concerns about bathing with their sibling," Cassie C. explains. "As long as you are in the room with them while they bathe, and they don't show any issue with bathing together, I don't think there is anything wrong with allowing them to continue bath time together."
2. Stop at Particular Milestones
Not all moms feel comfortable with waiting until children ask for privacy, however. Once boy-girl siblings start noticing and asking about the other's body parts, it may be time to end shared baths. As Candace S. relays: "My children are the same ages, opposite sexes. I plan to separate them when she begins to ask why [her] brother doesn't look like her."
Just keep in mind that these questions are totally normal and may simply indicate curiosity, and as long as you teach your kids that those body parts are private and not to be touched by others, a shared bath time is still fine. As Ashley S. reflects: "My daughter is four in April and my son is three in about four days; they usually bathe together. They are both fully aware that they are different and are aware that we have a 'hands off' policy. As for them seeing each other, rarely are they paying any attention to that in the bath; [they're having] too much fun with bubbles and toys."
Other moms say that school age (around age 5-6) is when shared baths between brothers and sisters should end. As Sarah D. explains: "I like the school-age rule. My brother and I are almost 4 years apart and I remember taking baths with him when we were little. I think I was about 6 when I told my mom I didn't want to anymore."
3. Follow Your Gut
The truth is that there is really no magical right or wrong age for your children to be bathing together; it depends on your own level of comfort and that of your children. To that end, many suggest you follow your own instincts on when to end shared bath time: "Stop when one of them is uncomfortable or when you get a gut feeling that it shouldn't happen anymore," suggests Angie B. Nicole K. agrees: "Go with your own gut."
Of course, in addition to the considerations above, there eventually may be a very practical reason to switch to solo baths. As Ashley S. explains, "I will probably start separating them when she turn five or six, mostly because she is now the height of an average five or six years old and only getting taller. Soon there won't be room!"
Source: Flickr user Gordon