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#1 of 22 Old 06-20-2011, 11:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So... our little man is messy. Messy eater, drooler, drinker, player. He always has something on his face/nose/hands. Hubby wants me to keep him clean 24/7, as in scrubbed clean with no traces of food/drool/dirt/milk on any part of his body. I usually just wipe something that could make a big mess, like after meals, and don't worry too terribly about the rest. He is also naked at home a lot (at 20 months). Sometimes I wonder if I am being lax in caring for his physical appearance and wondering what you mamas do. I know people with toddlers whose hair is styled, cut and gelled every time I see them, in very clean clothes with clean faces and hands, whereas I don't brush DS's hair on a regular basis because it is so light and short. So, do you keep your kids clean all the time, or let them run free? Brush their hair and dress them nicely each day? 

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#2 of 22 Old 06-21-2011, 12:54 AM
 
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What a struggle. I never thought I'd let my kid run around with a snotty nose until I realized the effort and struggle to get the nose clean. So my kid is snotty. He gets a bath once a day, but other than that I let him get as dirty as he wants.
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#3 of 22 Old 06-21-2011, 04:37 AM
 
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We are in the middle. I do wipe his face throughout the day, because I don't want food/snot/etc. getting on our furniture and stuff... but sometimes he's not perfectly clean, just not enough to spread the mess. wink1.gif He does spend a lot of time in just a diaper/underwear, but usually wears clothes, and the clothes are generally mostly clean, pretty much same standards as his face (I don't worry about old stains or small dried-on spots but if he is wet/grimy/etc. he gets changed). He has long hair and I try to comb it every day or two but it is still almost always tangled/snarled/messy in spots. And I should add, he often chooses his own clothes/shoes/etc. so he does not always match!!

Basically I guess as long as he's comfortable and not spreading filth around the house, I just don't worry about it. It's impossible to keep him spotless ALL DAY.

And honestly, if your DH wants him perfectly clean 24/7, then I'd hand him a pile of washrags and put HIM in charge of that... He'll learn quickly... lol.gif
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#4 of 22 Old 06-21-2011, 04:42 AM
 
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I don't think it should matter if your child is clean at home. I don't let my DD get excessively dirty but I definitely do not try to keep her or her clothes spotless. However, if we are going out, I do make the effort to make sure she is clean and has clean clothes on and that her hair is brushed. I don't like seeing kids out and about who look like they have just rolled around in a dirt pile lol... When we are home, she is dressed but that is only because she is already dressing herself. I don't like to say something based on gender but it is true that in general, little boys are messier than girls! Just let him be a boy - a loud noise with dirt on it :)


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#5 of 22 Old 06-21-2011, 09:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just let him be a boy - a loud noise with dirt on it :)



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#6 of 22 Old 06-21-2011, 10:07 AM
 
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My kids get dirty. We spend a lot of time outside and don't have a perfectly manicured lawn, so there is dirt and mud, and sand and a water table, and a beach 2 miles away.  I don't encourage them to stay clean while playing.

 

I tend to see the day as morning and afternoon.  When it's lunch, we clean up and change clothes after lunch for nap/quiet time so their rooms and beds don't get dirty (dd is 1 and ds is 5).  Then they get dirty all over again after quiet time and get a bath and clean jammies at the end of the day.  I do bathe them every day because they tend to be sticky and dirty.

 

When we go out, they are in relatively clean clothes, clean faces and hands and combed hair.  I'm really not that obsessed with their cleanliness, but if I didn't stay on top of it to some degree, they would look like pigpen all the time. But, there are definitely many times of the day that they are messy and I just let it go until it's time to clean up.

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#7 of 22 Old 06-21-2011, 10:57 AM
 
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I don't worry too much about it when we are at home. My guys love making mud and playing with wet sand. In other words, they love being messy.  I have them strip down outside to minimize the mess inside and I wipe them up after meals. If we go out, I try to make sure they are presentable, but not necessarily spotless. I remember that I loved playing in mud and dirt as a kid. It was so fun and I could do it for hours. I don't want to deny my own kids that same fun just to keep everything clean.


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#8 of 22 Old 06-21-2011, 12:10 PM
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Yes, I keep my daughter clean. If she gets food or dirt on her, I wash her hands and face and change her clothes if needed. She gets dirty eating or playing outside but as soon as she's done, I clean her up. I have no tolerance for snotty, dirty kids. We do a lot of laundry! My 8.5 yr. old is worse than my toddler or 5 yr. old. 

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#9 of 22 Old 06-21-2011, 05:33 PM
 
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My son is clean. I bathe him every night and wipe him down well after playing outside and meals. It doesn't feel like any big effort--maybe my kid doesn't get that dirty??

 

 

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#10 of 22 Old 06-21-2011, 05:48 PM
 
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My son is clean. I bathe him every night and wipe him down well after playing outside and meals. It doesn't feel like any big effort--maybe my kid doesn't get that dirty??

 

 


LOL try having a kid who HATES certain kinds of touch. A wet rag to his face? SCREAMS and runs away. A bath?? Um he's taking one right now (since I know someone here will ask, no I did not leave him there unattended lol, he's with DH!!) and his last one was at least 2 or 3 weeks ago. It's not worth all the crying (though usually we don't go QUITE that long between baths!) On the plus side, he also hates being dirty, so he's gotten better at wiping his own hands/nose/etc. and asks for new clothes if his are wet, and also avoids many dirty activities. But his idea of clean and mine don't quite match & he uses his shirt if he doesn't have a napkin right at hand so his clothes get gross. Combing his hair is torture to him (I've considered cutting it but I'd have to do it while he sleeps and he's too light of a sleeper)... So, there ya go. I don't know if all toddlers are this hard to get clean, but mine is!! At some point, we do just have to put up with screaming & tears so he's not filthy, but we do try to minimize it...

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#11 of 22 Old 06-21-2011, 05:58 PM
 
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What's clean....? ROTFLMAO.gif

 

 

Just kidding. I typically make an effort to have DS clean twice per day - when we start and when we finish. He is dressed decently (at least matching and in clean clothes) when we start our daily ventures, teeth brushed, and the like. Throughout the day, I wipe his hands or face if they're covered in dirt, food, or whatever - not necessarily to the point of clean/spotless, just enough so it doesn't get all over everything. I used to change his clothes every time he got them dirty but seriously... He's a 34-month-old BOY! That's like 5 outfits a day. I just don't like using that much water. After dinner, we wind down with a bath and fresh PJ's so he's clean for bed. There was a brief period of time where I really wanted him clean during the day (because we were trying to sell our home and I wanted IT clean) .. and it quickly started to effect his behavior...... he started avoiding getting dirty or messy in any way, panicking when there was a mess, and apologizing for things like dirty hands. It did not sit well with me and I don't do it anymore - you only get to be a toddler once! He's got to be proper for the rest of his school and working life -  let him be free.  

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#12 of 22 Old 06-21-2011, 06:05 PM
 
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My son is actually a fairly neat eater, at least for a toddler.  But that's about where his fastidiousness ends.  He likes to wipe his own hands and face periodically, and unless he has snot on his face (in which case, I'm on it as fast as I see it... that's not good for your skin!) or we're going somewhere special, I mostly leave it at that.  It doesn't bother me if he has a little bit of mystery cruft on his face, and I don't see the point in washing his hands every five minutes when he's just going to instantly get them dirty again.

 


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#13 of 22 Old 06-21-2011, 06:22 PM
 
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Until my third, I didn't understand how anyone could tolerate a kid who wasn't (mostly) clean.   I'm pretty sure he's channeling Pigpen from the Peanuts comic strip.  When we go out- they are usually clean. My older kids are mostly clean.  This child?  There could be a single spot of dirt on the opposite side of a football field and SOMEHOW- without moving- he would be covered with mud. 

 

We change clothes a couple times a day and keep a ton of washcloths handy for washing up, but still, if I look away, there is a smudge that miraculously appears. 

 

We do a ton of laundry and launder the youngest's sheets about three times a week- somehow he attracts dirt in his sleep. 

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#14 of 22 Old 06-21-2011, 06:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MJB View Post

Yes, I keep my daughter clean. If she gets food or dirt on her, I wash her hands and face and change her clothes if needed. She gets dirty eating or playing outside but as soon as she's done, I clean her up. I have no tolerance for snotty, dirty kids. We do a lot of laundry! My 8.5 yr. old is worse than my toddler or 5 yr. old. 


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#15 of 22 Old 06-21-2011, 07:21 PM
 
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Oh, I have to add my cheat of the night.  Tomorrow is sheet washing day.  After dinner tonight, we skipped baths and just did the wipe down.  In the morning, we'll stay in pj's a little late, THEN have baths before getting into shiny clean clothes and hopping straight into car seats in the car to go to town for errand running.  It's the only way I can hope to look like the kids are MOSTLY tidy while we go shopping.  I tme it so that lunch happens after errands and just before we hop back in the car to head home.  2-3 hours of nearly spotless children!  I can fake it when I have to. 

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#16 of 22 Old 06-22-2011, 06:00 PM
 
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my boys take after their dad, their bodies seem to have some mysterious magnetic force that attracts dirt even when they are playing inside! I gave up trying to keep them clean ages ago.

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#17 of 22 Old 06-25-2011, 09:59 AM
 
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Yes, I keep my daughter clean. If she gets food or dirt on her, I wash her hands and face and change her clothes if needed. She gets dirty eating or playing outside but as soon as she's done, I clean her up. I have no tolerance for snotty, dirty kids. We do a lot of laundry! My 8.5 yr. old is worse than my toddler or 5 yr. old. 


 

This is my way of thinking too. My kids get DIRTY, especially DD but, I won't let them stay like that. Once we are done an activity clothes get changed and they get wiped down. I have to change a diaper anyways, so might aswell change and clean the rest! If my kids are clean, than my clothes and house can stay a little cleaner too.

 


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#18 of 22 Old 06-25-2011, 10:10 AM
 
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I kept DS1 pretty clean when he was my only.. as in, a bath everyday, and wiped down after meals and when we came in from playing outside.... Now that I have 2 messy boys-- my standards of "clean" have laxed a little. They get a "real" bath about 3 times a week, but mostly wipe-downs or a quick rinse in the shower to keep the dirt at bay. I can't stand snotty noses, so that is always immediately addressed, but I don't mind a little dirt on them. When we go out (like to a restaraunt or to church) they are clean and in clean clothes with brushed hair (well, DS2 doesn't quite have enough hair to brush but DS1 has longish (for a boy) hair).. 


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#19 of 22 Old 06-25-2011, 01:20 PM
 
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Clean.  Hmm.  We bathe our 15 m.o. about every other day and wipe his hands if they look grungy.  Clothes?  We change his clothes if they are really dirty, but I have no problem dressing him in the same thing on consecutive days.  And his clothes pretty much never "match" as in "outfit."  My guess is that most parents deal with their kid's hygiene and clothes along the same lines they follow for themselves. 


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#20 of 22 Old 06-26-2011, 03:46 PM
 
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I had two girls and then a boy. My girls were somewhat clean even with lots of outdoor time, we never have done daily baths, way too drying on the skin in our dry climate. But I wash hands and face before and after meals, sometimes their clothes were dirty but they weren't a walking dirtball all the time. My 2 year DS? Ha!! He is impossible to keep clean or even even appearing somewhat decent. I have no idea what he does but even after a bath, he is filthy. He eats and his food is in his hair, on his shirt and pants, all over his entire face, every single time he eats, snacks and meals. I've got better things to do then chase a screaming toddler around 5-6 times a day trying to just get to food off of him, that doesn't account for all the dirt still! Did I mention he is like a cat when it comes to any kind of water except  swimming pool? His hair is also that long kind that tangles no matter what you do and sticks straight up. Yep, he is hopeless.


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#21 of 22 Old 06-27-2011, 06:45 AM
 
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...I have no idea what he does but even after a bath, he is filthy. He eats and his food is in his hair, on his shirt and pants, all over his entire face, every single time he eats, snacks and meals... His hair is also that long kind that tangles no matter what you do and sticks straight up. Yep, he is hopeless.



LOL... this is me!  My mother used to say about me, "I can dress her up, but I can't take her anywhere.  Hell, I can't even dress her up."  And it was true; still is.  The minute I put on nice clothes to go somewhere, you can guarantee that I'll spill coffee on my blouse, or brush up against a dirty car and leave a smear of filth across my skirt, or scuff my shoes tripping down the stairs, or tear a sleeve on the doorframe, or something.  It's useless trying to keep me neat and tidy.  It isn't that I don't value cleanliness or tidiness or a basically decent appearance for myself or my children... it's that I find it to be an absolutely impossible goal! 

 

My DD takes after me; she always has food in her hair or something crusted on her mouth.  I try to keep her wiped off when we're in public -- I always have a Ziploc bag of wet washcloths with me, which helps -- but otherwise she's a lost cause. 

 

DH is mystified by us both, because he is unbelievably clean.  I have seen that man climb into a muddy creek, pull out a 12-foot-long piece of rusty metal, haul it half a mile, then come home without a speck of dirt on him. 

 


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#22 of 22 Old 06-27-2011, 11:07 AM
 
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If we're going out, even over to someone else's house I try to start in clean clothes, with clean face/hands.  That doesn't mean she'll stay that way, but I'd rather her start with fresh if we're going out.  If we're hanging out at home I keep her as clean as she wants.  She has sensory issues with stuff on her hands, so her hands are usually spotless, but doesn't care as much about her face/clothes.  I have her wipe herself down now (she's 2 1/2).  As for hair, I brush it in the bath at least once a week (she has curly hair, the only way I can get through it is with conditioner), its totally wild no matter what I do with it, so even if I styled it I don't think she'd look kept.  

 

All that being said, I think that there is a pretty obvious line in the way kids look between kids who just get dirty playing/eating and kids whose hygiene is neglected.


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