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-   -   Husband steps out when toddler in tub (http://www.mothering.com/forum/31-life-toddler/1312394-husband-steps-out-when-toddler-tub.html)

BlueSkyDay 05-10-2011 11:36 PM

I need some perspective from other families.  My husband gives our 20-month old son his bath every night and does a great job.  But typically he'll leave the bathroom once or twice, probably for only 30 seconds at most, to take his diaper out, get  pajamas that he'd forgotten, etc.  They're little things that really don't need doing immediately or that my husband could just call out to me and I'd happily get for him.  But it drives me crazy.  Our house is small and my husband genuinely isn't gone for very long, and my son is very well behaved in the bath tub - sits quietly playing.  But it doesn't take long for a toddler to get in trouble in the bath.  I just need to figure out if this is a battle worth fighting.  Do you ever step out of the bathroom with a toddler in the tub?


MusicianDad 05-11-2011 12:14 AM

At 20 months, it is worth fighting. A toddler can drown in a very short space of time and do it silently too. There is also the risk that said toddler could crank up the hot water, or try to stand up and slip. I think you need to sit down with your DH and really discuss what the risks are of leaving a 20 month old in the tub alone even for a short period of time.


GoBecGo 05-11-2011 01:43 AM

I stepped out when DD1 was this age, only into her bedroom (the door was at 90 degrees to the bathroom door), or to get a towel (from the cupboard the door of which was also 90degrees to the bathroom door, on the opposite wall) and i was never longer than 30seconds or more than 4yards from her (due to the smallness of the apartment).  She would always be making a lot of noise and splash so i knew she was fine.  I was a single mama, so on the one hand there was no-one to do these things if i didn't, but on the other hand i was single from when she was 4months old and i never did it before she was able to sit steadily in the tub and i know plenty of single moms who NEVER do it, so it's down to personal comfort zones.

 

My XP would never have done so, and when he bathed her he forgot everything and i spent the entire time going back and forth sorting out every aspect of bath time that wasn't physically putting the child in the bath (i.e. fetching her bodywash, towel, PJ's, putting the heater in her room on, getting a night nappy assembled, finding her nappy cream, filling her cup with water, etc. etc.).

 

Have you talked to your husband?  Do you often find fault with the way he does stuff or is it just this one thing (if it's a lot he might be zoning out and not realising this is actually a really big issue for you).  You could try hovering around when he's bathing and whenever he stands up saying "what do you need, i'll get it!" or alternatively sitting with your son while he is off getting whatever-it-is.


crunchy_mommy 05-11-2011 04:26 AM

I would not leave a 20-mo unattended.

DS is 27mos and DH does bath time & is always in the room or even in the bath with him -- the furthest he'll go is around the corner (L-shaped bathroom) to grab a new towel or whatever from the closet, which takes all of 5 seconds. He used to be a little more laid-back and I'd always be hovering just in case DH tried to randomly take off for a minute, but we've discussed it at length and he understands it's important to me that he stay in the room (and has come to agree with me on that too!)

YayJennie 05-11-2011 06:09 AM

I do leave my 25 month old unattended in the bath because I have to get his 5 month old sister out and dried off.  I never leave for more than 30 seconds or so and am always within a few feet of him in the next room (I'm alone at night for bath time and it's way too hard to give them separate baths, so I do it at the same time).  So yes, I do leave my toddler unattended, but I wouldn't if it wasn't necessary and it does make me a little uncomfortable.  It is just too easy for them to turn on the hot water or slip in the tub.  I don't really worry about drowning, because I'm not gone long enough for that to happen, but it does worry me that he could fall and I wouldn't be right there to grab him up out of the water.  And at 20 months old, that would be a much bigger concern.  If you're right there and can help so he doesn't have to step out, I would definitely mention it to him. 


Youngfrankenstein 05-11-2011 06:11 AM

I do that all the time.  My babe is 17 months old.  I don't even think I'm gone for 30 seconds at a time but I think grabbing something quick is fine.


Ldavis24 05-11-2011 06:42 AM

Well I don't have an issue with my own kid and me stepping out to grab a towel, an action that takes 15 seconds at most. However each to their own. 


Drowning is actually the last risk I'd be worried about when stepping out for 30 seconds at most. Slipping and turning the HOT water on are my two biggies. DD is almost 2 and she just recently figured out how to twist the tub knob to hot or cold and that scares me because our hot water gets dangerously hot. MIL refuses to turn the temp on the tank down so I have scalded myself more than once doing dishes and being forgetful. 

 

Drowning is silent and can happen very quickly but stepping out for 30 seconds is not a drowning danger, it is a big danger in a number of other ways though. Slipping and falling (DD just did this with me in the shower, literally looking at her) and turning the hot water on and burning themselves. 


nextcommercial 05-11-2011 06:47 AM

I also left the bathroom long enough to grab something when my dd was that age.

 

Somewhere between age 2-3 I left her in there to play while I sat on the bed watching tv.  We lived in one of those homes where the builder thought it would be nice if everyone in the master bedroom could always see everything going on in the master bathroom, so the bathroom and bedroom were basically the same room.


philomom 05-11-2011 07:54 AM

No.. not okay. A 20 month old can still drown in an inch or two of water. Do fight the battle!

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/126/1/e253.full

Lisa1970 05-11-2011 07:57 AM

I have known children to die from being left "for only a second" "to grab a towel" etc. Not acceptable. And if your child dies or near -drowns (which leaves the child with brain damage) then you do not get do-overs. And honestly, if your child dies that way, you will be just as at fault, because you knew it was going on.

 

You should go to youtube or a bereaved parents board and hear what the parents are saying who lost their children that way. Every one of them wishes they could go back to a day before the child died and never step out like that again.


treeoflife3 05-11-2011 07:59 AM

Well I personally step out for a few seconds at a time and have for months now, but it is just us currently and she makes plenty of noise playing and all the rooms are bunched together so I don't go far and I can hear the entire time that she is fine and still sitting.

 

However, water is dangerous enough that if it makes you uncomfortable, it isn't too much to ask that he stay in the bathroom with your son.  As a PP said, drowning isn't the only risk.


Jenni1894 05-11-2011 08:15 AM

My YDD is 14 mos (in a week) and I will leave her in the tub w/her 3 yo sister.   Just for a moment if need be.   She is still little and ODD get's a little touchy feely so I worry about the baby falling and hitting her head/face.    I make sure I have everything ready...towels, pj's lotion...etc.  I've been doing this 7 yrs, so it's second nature.  I still set out my DS' stuff and he's 7. Force of habit.  lol   I would feel safe at 20 mos to step out and get what's needed.    I wouldn't go do the dishes, but to get a towel or washcloth I think it's okay.  

I don't worry about the water b/c it's off by the time she gets in.  And the knob is hard for me to pull out and turn on, by DS has a hard time with it.  So that is not a concern for me.   And she also makes tons of noise in the tub.    Plus she's never bathed alone, maybe once or twice, ODD is always in there with her.   And I make ODD sit closest to the faucet and drain. 


ShwarmaQueen 05-11-2011 10:36 AM

Not ok with me. If 6 yo DD is sitting in the tub with him, then yes, I can dart away for a few seconds, but it's too risky. If something were to distract me (happens constantly) I could easily be gone longer than intended and brain damage happens too quickly. Nope. Wouldn't risk it.


Asiago 05-11-2011 12:40 PM

If you are questioning this at all, then listen to your instincts. It sounds like the bells are going off for you, listen to that maternal instinct. It is there to keep your baby safe.


hildare 05-11-2011 12:49 PM

honestly, i do leave her for a few seconds to dart to grab something or put her diaper in the bin, etc.  i'm not gone for more than 15 seconds at the most though..  but dd seems (hopefully) fearful of the 'hot' which i have taught her the faucets are.  she is somewhat likely to think about climbing out (dangerous) if i were to leave for very long, though. 


marinak1977 05-11-2011 12:59 PM

I don't. I usually take baths with my 16 month old, I may get out of the tub to reach for the towel, but I won't go further than 2 feet outside the bathroom door. I do however let him stay in the tub once it's drained because he likes to throw the ball and have it come back. But even then I'm just outside the door folding laundry and listening/talking to him.

katelove 05-11-2011 01:22 PM

Post removed for privacy reasons.


BlueSkyDay 05-11-2011 01:55 PM


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asiago View Post

If you are questioning this at all, then listen to your instincts. It sounds like the bells are going off for you, listen to that maternal instinct. It is there to keep your baby safe.


Yes, this is one parenting rule that I usually live by.  My husband is an excellent, conscientious dad, and he's usually the one with a lower tolerance for risk.  We also just had a conversation about how it's okay for us to have differences in what we do, so I didn't want to jump the gun.  But you're right.  I'm uncomfortable, and it's a safety issue so it's worth dealing with.  Thanks for all of the input, everyone!

 


Hannah32 05-11-2011 02:14 PM

These threads make me glad that all we have is a shower stall. 


waiting2bemommy 05-11-2011 02:14 PM

I would be ok with it. My 3.5 yo bathes by himself and I started stepping out quickly when he was a year and a half I'd say.

 

However, in our house, we defer to each other as parents, so even though I'm ok with that scenario, if my DP asked me not to, because it makes him nervous, I'd oblige him. Likewise he obliges me about not leaving dd unattended in her booster seat at the table, since it doesn't have straps and she's likely to try and climb out.

 

If it's important to you then the other parent should respect that.


Ldavis24 05-11-2011 03:09 PM


that is horrible and 2 minutes is a LONG time to leave a toddler alone in a tub..

The longest anyone here has mentioned is 30 seconds...Still long but when I step out to grab a towel it is literally probably 8 to10 seconds...

 

It makes you think about it more though...Ugh, 2 minutes is so long!

 

I'm not saying that it's perfect but I won't fault a parent for literally stepping 5 feet away for seconds to grab something. 

 


GoBecGo 05-12-2011 01:32 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Ldavis24 View Post




that is horrible and 2 minutes is a LONG time to leave a toddler alone in a tub..

The longest anyone here has mentioned is 30 seconds...Still long but when I step out to grab a towel it is literally probably 8 to10 seconds...

 

It makes you think about it more though...Ugh, 2 minutes is so long!

 

I'm not saying that it's perfect but I won't fault a parent for literally stepping 5 feet away for seconds to grab something. 

 


There was a case in the UK here a while ago where a mum had left her kid for a few seconds and he drowned (i'm sure he was a baby).  It turned out when she was investigated she had left him for over 20minutes while she surfed online and had already lost a previous child who had died after being put directly into a scalding hot bath "by mistake" and dying of her burns.  Not all parents this happens to are neglectful or abusive but the abusive ones sure don't show up at ED with the full truth either.

 


katelove 05-12-2011 04:22 AM

True, no-one has said they'd leave for as long as 2 minutes. It wouldn't take 30 seconds to turn the hot tap on though, or to take a good breath of water.

 

GoBecGo, people definitely do not always give the real story in ED. Sometimes on purpose and sometimes because they genuinely mis-estimate. I must admit I do wonder, when I hear/read time estimates, how accurate they are. I might time myself one day and see how long it actually takes me to do things.


2xy 05-12-2011 04:31 AM

30 seconds isn't a long time....but then again it is. A lot can happen in 30 seconds. Not worth the risk, IMO. Everything that is needed for a bath should be already in the bathroom....towel, soap, water. There shouldn't be any reason to step out.


ShwarmaQueen 05-12-2011 06:23 AM

Even stepping out of the room for 5-10 seconds isn't a good habit. There are so many things that could pull me away- the door bell, the phone ringing, the teapot, etc. 5 seconds could easily turn into 5 minutes. I'm not saying that other moms here would forget about their babe but I guess I just don't trust myself. Keeping focus isnt my stronghold, so when I leave the bathroom, so does DS.


Ldavis24 05-12-2011 06:28 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post

30 seconds isn't a long time....but then again it is. A lot can happen in 30 seconds. Not worth the risk, IMO. Everything that is needed for a bath should be already in the bathroom....towel, soap, water. There shouldn't be any reason to step out.



our bathroom (or MIL's bathroom as it is her house) doesn't have a closet in it! I find this just so weird but anyway our towels are just outside the door and I am always forgetting to grab one, even for myself. 

You'd think I'd figure it out by now...You shower/take a bath you need a towel...So simple and so easy to forget.

 

eta...last night for DD's bath I actually used my phone's stop watch to time how long it took be to grab a towel outside the bathroom...7 seconds. I'm a nerd I know but I was curious because I do think 30 seconds IS a long time, especially in DD's case where she can twist the water to HOT without any effort...7 seconds I can live with, 30 would be too much for me personally at this time, only because I know what DD can do in the tub and I don't trust her not to play with the faucet or something.


Lisa1970 05-12-2011 11:00 AM

Everyone likes to think it is only for a second or 30 seconds, but it rarely really is. Chances are, if someone says it is just 30 seconds, it is more like...more than 2 minutes, maybe even 5 minutes. I have known of a lot of babies and toddlers, and even preschoolers to drown when the parents or whomever is watching them, steps out "for just a second."
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ldavis24 View Post




that is horrible and 2 minutes is a LONG time to leave a toddler alone in a tub..

The longest anyone here has mentioned is 30 seconds...Still long but when I step out to grab a towel it is literally probably 8 to10 seconds...

 

It makes you think about it more though...Ugh, 2 minutes is so long!

 

I'm not saying that it's perfect but I won't fault a parent for literally stepping 5 feet away for seconds to grab something. 

 



 


Lisa1970 05-12-2011 11:07 AM

If a child falls and takes in one deep breath, and then missing the breath in the next second, they can have "near drowning." The kids with "near drowning" are not included in the drowning statistics if they do not die within a very short period of time. Some of them will die eventually. Some of them will be severely disabled. A victim of near drowning rarely makes it out with a normal life. 

 

Because you were timing your time away, you probably hurried and you did not allow yourself to be distracted. Just grab the towel before you go in. If you forget to, drain the water and then grab the towel. Or take her out and carry her for the 7 seconds wet to get the towel. Or let her stand on the rug for the 7 seconds. Even my 20 month old has slipped backward in the tub suddenly, but thank goodness, I never allow him to be unwatched.

 

You take more than 7 seconds to strap your child in to a car seat. You do that, not because there is going to be an accident or death every time, but rather, because on the off chance an accident happens, your child will be protected. Well, give your child the 7 seconds to increase the child's chance at life. I would consider water safety to be a bigger issue than car seats. Google near drowning or drowning in bathtub stories. Every single one of those parents wish they could get back this time. 7 seconds to do what could save your child's life, please do that for your little one.


Youngfrankenstein 05-12-2011 11:24 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa1970 View Post

If a child falls and takes in one deep breath, and then missing the breath in the next second, they can have "near drowning." The kids with "near drowning" are not included in the drowning statistics if they do not die within a very short period of time. Some of them will die eventually. Some of them will be severely disabled. A victim of near drowning rarely makes it out with a normal life. 

 

Because you were timing your time away, you probably hurried and you did not allow yourself to be distracted. Just grab the towel before you go in. If you forget to, drain the water and then grab the towel. Or take her out and carry her for the 7 seconds wet to get the towel. Or let her stand on the rug for the 7 seconds. Even my 20 month old has slipped backward in the tub suddenly, but thank goodness, I never allow him to be unwatched.

 

You take more than 7 seconds to strap your child in to a car seat. You do that, not because there is going to be an accident or death every time, but rather, because on the off chance an accident happens, your child will be protected. Well, give your child the 7 seconds to increase the child's chance at life. I would consider water safety to be a bigger issue than car seats. Google near drowning or drowning in bathtub stories. Every single one of those parents wish they could get back this time. 7 seconds to do what could save your child's life, please do that for your little one.


I don't think that anyone is arguing that we should leave them alone.  I'm saying, for me, getting the towel for 7 seconds is something I would do.  I'm not telling others to do it.  And this may sound very, very callous but you can google thousands of accidents and conditions where there have been horrid outcomes.  You can find tearful parents who'd wished their child had gotten a meningitis vaccine, not had a homebirth, had a homebirth, had a c/s, not had a c/s, used a 5 point harness, used a seatbelt.

 


frugalmum 05-12-2011 11:38 AM

30 seconds isn't that bad if it's REALLY only 30 seconds.  The problem is it's very easy even for the best parents to get distracted so it's best to have a policy where you don't leave the bathroom at all, or don't do baths and just give quick showers.  I think quick showers are a lot safer. 



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