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Bathtime with 2 year old DD

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hello,

I am the father of an almost 2 year old DD. Ever since she was big enough to take baths in the tub, we have one night a week when we play in the bath together. She is old enough now to recognize the difference in private parts and we are beginning to teach her not to touch others' and that only designated people can touch her (to clean, put diaper ointment on). I'm looking for any input on this. Should I not get in the bathtub with her? Should I wear a swimsuit?

Let me know your thoughts.

Thanks!
post #2 of 17
Good to see another Dad here asking a legit Dad thread question! Rare.

My opinion is that it's fine for you to bathe with your kid at this age. I'm not really sure where my "line" would be for it to be inappropriate, but it would be closer to six or seven maybe. I think a bathing suit is a bit ridiculous, but if it makes you feel better...

Here is what I do with my 18 month old:

I don't get in the bathtub with her, but that is because I do not like baths. I do shower with her sometimes. In the tub sometimes I wash her, sometimes she helps. We do think it's important for her to know the names for all her parts. So if we say "wash your belly" she rubs her belly with a washcloth, and likewise for "wash your vulva".
post #3 of 17
It's something to think about, and really, I think it comes down to some kind of cultural-norm issue for us dads. There's clearly no ill intent, and is it going to hurt you or your daughter, no, not likely.

I feel the same way though, about bathing with my almost six year old daughter, but I try to tell myself that it's not wrong, it's just the norm pushing on my brain.
post #4 of 17
am I allowed to weigh in as a mom?
I think it's about your comfort level. I think that the options are to bathe with her or not. I don't think a bathing suit is a good idea because then it makes an issue out of something that isn't an issue for your dd.
I started feeling uncomfortable when ds was somewhere between 2-3 when we showered because he wanted to touch, inspect more closely, things I wasn't comfortable with. We still leave the bathroom door open most of the time, just don't shower together anymore.
Just telling you where my comfort level is, yours may be different. Just follow your gut feeling.
post #5 of 17
Never wear a bathing suit! I didn't. If you hide what is what is natural, the more intense (and in my view, unhealthy) the curiosity.

If she has Qs, answer them honestly and flatly. No poking allowed, you don't like it. No need to be stern, just flat, calm and decisive. (I was going to say "firm" but that risks interception from the misquote and PC word-police Nazis. Anyway, a la Frankie Howard... "titter ye not!")

hope this helps
post #6 of 17
The level headed responses in here are refreshing.

The demystification of the body, I think, is a positive endeavor for parents. It is necessary, in my opinion, to fight this sexual shame mentality the recent generations have been forced fed. Within some basic limits, however you feel is appropriate for you and your family is exactly the guidelines you should follow.

I do not get in the tub with my 3 year old daughter (and won't my son when he gets tub age) for technical reasons (I'm 6'1 and our tub is small), personal reasons (I don't like baths generally) and because I don't feel it's a necessary part of our demystification process. I bathe her though. I sit on the outside of the tub and play with toys, splash, etc.

My wife will occasionally take her in the shower. Sometimes, we are all in there together after swimming in the pool. These are things we are comfortable with.

I don't have the all the answers or even a few answers. I know that we were met with an interesting development 2 days ago when I didn't realize our daughter had come into our bathroom, stood directly in front of me, while I was shaving in the mirror and poked me, with her index finger, right in the member! I never even saw her come in! Imagine my surprise. My reaction was a violent protective arm sweep that damn near clobbered her! When I realized what had happen, she was laughing, my wife was rolling on the floor, the dog was barking, and my face was bleeding from were I had dragged the razor across in my attempt to ward off, what I thought were penis stealing gnomes or something!

On topic to close: do I personally think it fits my current level of comfort to be IN the tub with my daughter? No. But if it does you, that is all that matters.
post #7 of 17

too funny

Quote:
Originally Posted by FatherOf2 View Post
gnomes
hahahahaha too funny!
post #8 of 17
[crash]

Hi Dads. I don't think I've ever butted in here before, but I couldn't resist because this issue has come up in our house recently. Huz takes lots of baths, and DD (16 mos.) and I often talk to him and play while he's in the tub. She really wants to get in with him, but he's not comfortable with it, and I was kind of disappointed about that until I saw this thread. I guess it is all about comfort level.

I bathe with her often, and bathed with both of my parents as a child. No big deal. No trauma, no damage. OP, I think it's completely fine to bathe with her. Of course if she kick and pokes like mine, then I can see why you might reconsider. Maybe Huz doesn't want her in the bath because he wants to actually enjoy it....

[/crash]
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by justKate View Post
[crash]

Maybe Huz doesn't want her in the bath because he wants to actually enjoy it....

[/crash]
But bath-time is just an extension of play-time. We used to feed each other strawberries, paint, (the walls and each other), quizzes with the floaty letters, story time with the plastic toys etc

He's just got to try it Getting into the spirit of things toddler is fantastic!
post #10 of 17

I refuse to believe that nudity equals sexuality.  If I were in your situation, I'd just go ahead and bathe naked.  Why wear a swim suit when you're not swimming?  How you gonna' wash your bathing suit area if there's a dang bathing suit in the way?  

post #11 of 17

If neither of you are uncomfortable, than there is nothing wrong with bathing with your DD.

 

Just a word of warning though, be careful who you reveal this information to though. Not everyone is as open as those of us who are posting here and there are some people who would over react and assume bathing with DD = sexual abuse.

post #12 of 17

Not a dad, but little sister (3) takes showers and bathes with husband and has since... well, since she was tiny.  She's been taught not to touch, but other than that it's no big deal. If you're both comfortable with bathing together, I see no reason not to. It would be weird for my husband to put on a swim suit to bathe with his daughter, but that's our family.

post #13 of 17

I'm not a dad, but I see nothing wrong with dads bathing with either gender child up to whatever point dad and/or child is no longer comfortable with it.  Honestly, I wish my husband would bring our daughter into the shower with him once in awhile so I can have a short mom break :D but he has the societal mental block of her seeing his gentials so generally tries to avoid it.  I agree though that wearing a bathing suit just creates a problem that didn't exist before.  Girls seeing penises isn't inherently bad so no reason to give the impression it might be.  She is used to everyone being naked during tub time so the sudden change would confuse her and make her question what is going on and why.

post #14 of 17

I'm thread crashing, too.

 

My husband showers occasionally with our 8 month old daughter, though I don't think he's ever gotten in the tub with her (it seems like that would be crowded already). He does all of the baby-bathing at our house.

post #15 of 17

I have an almost-3-yo daughter, and we shower together regularly.  It's fine.  She just has a good time playing with bath toys and getting wet.  And every once in a while, she says "Papa has a penis!" which I do.  "And I have a vulva!"  Righty-ho there, little girl.  There's nothing inappropriate about it, but as others have said, just do what feels comfortable.  If you start to feel nervous or uncomfortable about it, then stop.  Otherwise, I say bathe away!

post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
Just a word of warning though, be careful who you reveal this information to though. Not everyone is as open as those of us who are posting here and there are some people who would over react and assume bathing with DD = sexual abuse.


i do get where you're coming from, but doesn't this just keep the whole subject (and practice) taboo?  up until the time dd was well past three, dh and i bathed with her (sans clothing).  it was mostly out of necessity, she really hated baths until she was about 3 1/2 and was only comfortable if dh or i were in there with her.  there was no way i was going to give all the baths and dh never hesitated to do it.  i actually think she preferred her baths with him because he would play more with her and i was all business (no fun sitting in a couple inches of lukewarm water). 

 

i didn't tell everyone i met that we did this, but i never felt i had to hide it.  would anyone think twice about me bathing with a son?

post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by samstress View Post




i do get where you're coming from, but doesn't this just keep the whole subject (and practice) taboo?  up until the time dd was well past three, dh and i bathed with her (sans clothing).  it was mostly out of necessity, she really hated baths until she was about 3 1/2 and was only comfortable if dh or i were in there with her.  there was no way i was going to give all the baths and dh never hesitated to do it.  i actually think she preferred her baths with him because he would play more with her and i was all business (no fun sitting in a couple inches of lukewarm water). 

 

i didn't tell everyone i met that we did this, but i never felt i had to hide it.  would anyone think twice about me bathing with a son?


Nobody would think twice about you bathing with your son, but women aren't subjected to the same level of paranoia as men. In North America, men who have an interest in children, even their own children, are "weird" and people question his motives. The general understanding seems to be that only men with unnatural urges would even think about doing something like bathing with their child.

 

It doesn't make it wrong, and it doesn't mean he shouldn't do it, it just means you have to be really careful about who knows. The wrong person finding out could mean a whole rats nest of problems including the possibility of DH ending up in prison because of an overzealous CPS worker. 

 

This is about the only place where I would openly admit that DD has even seen me in less than a t-shirt and shorts.

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