At what age should you stop "co-bathing"? - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 18 Old 08-19-2005, 09:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My son is 9 mos old and we sometimes "co-bathe" which usually involves him sitting in his seat in the tub while i shower and then i bathe him and rinse him under the shower. He sometimes co-showers with DH.
At what age is this no longer OK? I don't have a clue!
And while we're on this subject, at what age do you start to talk about your body parts to your opposite sex child?
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#2 of 18 Old 08-19-2005, 09:39 PM
 
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I don't have an older child..

But I think you should label all body parts with their correct names from the very beginning. And use the words with your dc in context too.

I personally find it much more appropriate when children use real vocab vs. "boys have peepees" or whatever they say.

As for co-showering, that's all about what you are comfortable with. You will be bathing your dc for a lot longer than they will be able to name body parts. I can remember showering with my mom when I was school aged, but I don't remember showering with my dad.

It's all about personal comfort, not a set age when you should stop.

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#3 of 18 Old 08-19-2005, 10:46 PM
 
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Hmmm.

Dh is still in charge of dd's baths (5). I suspect she'll let us know when that's not okay anymore - my guess is between 7 and 11.

Dh doesn't get in the bath naked with her anymore. I think that stopped at 2 or 3? It was before we moved last year in April, so it was by 3.5. She and I still bathe together on occasion.

I will probably stop bathing with ds sometime after he weans. Since dd nursed until 5, it could be quite a long time before I don't bathe with ds.

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and Brigid Eleanor (11/20/08)
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#4 of 18 Old 08-19-2005, 11:23 PM
 
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I have a girlfriend who was a single mom to a boy, and they showered together until he was 4. They had healthy open discussions about their bodies. She mostly did it for the convenience, and she stopped when he went to pre-K, I think so that he wouldn't realize other people didn't do this and feel weird. But he never felt or expressed awkwardness, so she kept it up until it seemed right to stop.

I think it takes kids a while to feel that there's something "dirty" or inappropriate about nudity, so you have until then....I'm a big fan of playing it safe and not scarring your child, though. My mom made me totally freaked out about nudity by being naked all the time. And she got me naked in public (around family) after I no longer wanted to be, and it totally gave me shame and body issues. I think that was when I was 2.5-3 that I started wanting to not be nakedaround others anymore.

I guess it dependson the child and the family. My friend was very in touch with her kid and responsive to his feelings, whereas my mom disregarded and laughed at my modesty.
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#5 of 18 Old 08-19-2005, 11:33 PM
 
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I have 3 boys (9, 11 and almost 1). The older two bathed/showered with me until about age 4. When they became actively aware of the differences between MOM and OTHER GIRLS, I became more uncomfortable with it. Now I still would be in various stages of undress for whatever reason in front of them without any issues. In fact, I still run around with bra or panties exposed sometimes (I am breastfeeding). But to purposefully get into a tub with them naked I stopped about age 4.
I hope all that rambling made sense.

I still bathe with the little guy.
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#6 of 18 Old 08-19-2005, 11:47 PM
 
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Eh, I figure I'd run out of room in the tub by the time they're 13 or 14 I think it's fine as long as they want to. If they're uncomfortable then respect that. But I grew up in a family where no one closed doors in the bathroom until I was in high school.... and my parents were both at my homebirth where I wasn't wearing anything at all for the last 12 hours....

-Angela
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#7 of 18 Old 08-19-2005, 11:58 PM
 
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I co-bathe with my 5.5 yr old son & 14 month old dd at the same time.

It's just easier sometimes. I've been bathing with my son since he was a toddler. No biggee.

I was thinking about this issue the other day, asking myself "when" I would need to stop being naked around DS. I guess someday (couple of years) soon.

I remember babysitting for a family where the 5-6 year old was still taking baths with her dad (he was Japanese.) Mom made a good point - that she wanted her DD to see a real penis and not be freaked or scared or intimidated.

10 - boy
5.5 - girl
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#8 of 18 Old 08-20-2005, 12:12 AM
 
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I think it is a good and healthy thing to bathe with your children and not be overly modest, unless they feel uncomfortable about it and start saying things like, "MOOOOM, DON'T LOOK!" Then it's time to stop. But I don't think there is any reason to not bathe with an infant or toddler. I have a friend who wears a bathing suit with her 10 month old in the bath and I just think it's a little odd. I mean, won't that give him MORE issues with nakedness, which is totally different from, like, "sex" or something. I don't even really understand wanting to cover up.

THe only reason I don't bathe with DS right now is because he goes berzerk and wants to nurse if he sees my breasts. It's impossible to wash him or do anything. THough if we're both crabby I run a nice, full, warm bath and we get in and nurse for like a half hour. He usually falls asleep.

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#9 of 18 Old 08-20-2005, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for the advice. i knew it wouldn't have to stop anytime soon, but last night, my son was sitting in his bath seat looking up at me showering and i could tell he was looking at my pubic hair! i mean, that makes sense since it's a different color than my skin, but it got me thinking... :LOL
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#10 of 18 Old 08-20-2005, 07:59 PM
 
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As a former teacher of little tots I will also mention that if and when your DS goes to pre-school you should consider your comfort level with DS telling the whole pre-school class that he takes baths with mommy (and you never know, sometimes more personal details of baths, sleeping habits and underwear choices). Some people have no probkem with that but some people would feel odd if there child shared that and chances are good that they will. (especially if you'd really rather they not)

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#11 of 18 Old 08-20-2005, 09:59 PM
 
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My parents were the opposite of Yo_Becca. My parents were obsessive about none of us ever being naked around each other and because of that I had shame issues. My 3 year old runs around naked a lot more than she ever is dressed so it really does just depend on the child. She bathes with me and her younger sister all the time. She rarely bathes with DH these days but that's just an issue of when she bathes. If we're on vacation some place that has a cool tub that will hold all of us we all get in and she's frequently around when DH is getting out of the shower. She's already asked about body parts and knows we all have vaginas and Daddy has a penis. I really want things to be as natural and free of shameful associations as possible. If she ever acts remotely uncomfortable or desiring privacy I'll definitely be honoring that.
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#12 of 18 Old 08-23-2005, 04:30 AM
 
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In Sweden, and other parts of Europe families go nude all over the place, and even have communal saunas. I was quite surprized that even girls aged 9-19 were comfortable being naked in front of people they had never met before. I know this is rare in North America. I felt that it was a much healthier environment. Children will be uncomfortable if they learn it from those around them.
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#13 of 18 Old 08-23-2005, 09:52 AM
 
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Just a memory to share... I remember taking "surfs up" showers with my dad and brothers until I was about 10yo. We would plug the drain and sing beach boys songs until the water was at the edge. Honestly I can't remember if we were all naked or not but obviously it didn't effect me either way... all I can remember is the fun we had.
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#14 of 18 Old 08-23-2005, 06:04 PM
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I agree with the other posters about comfort level of both people involved. My husband would probably never take baths with our daughter because for one, he never takes baths really (he showers) ... and two, he is a much more inhibited person than me by nature anyway --- We have had long talks about my concern with him putting a negative image in our daughter's mind of nudity or bodies due to his inhibitions, but I am not going to force him to bathe with her either!

Me, I bathe with her all the time, we love it! It is such a bonding time and I plan to bathe with her as long as she is comfortable... for me and my mom that age was about 7 or so I think...

As far as opposite sex bathing, again, I think it is as long as both parties are comfortable, nothing is forced, and it is an appropriate age -- for instance, I would probably take issue with a parent bathing with like their 15 year old!! -- but I have never heard of that...

I was an intricate part of raising my nephew and I remember bathing with him I think until he was about 3-4 ... he is a perfectly well adjusted 18 year old now...so it is all good...
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#15 of 18 Old 08-23-2005, 10:37 PM
 
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I still co bathe with 3 yo DS. I don't remember when I stopped bathing with my 12 year old but I still go naked in front of him if I'm changing or going to/from the shower. I will stop if he ever expresses discomfort. But everyone in our house is pretty nudist-like. The 12 year old runs around naked alot and I have to get on him to at least put some shorts on. The 3 year old- always naked. I think as long as everyonme is comfortable it's all good. You just have to teach them about being modest around other people. The 12 year old has it down, the 3 year old not so much.

We use correct names for parts as well as silly ones. For some reason the 3yo thinks his penis is called a pee-pee and when the foreskin is pulled back it's a penis. He will eventually figure it out.

Totally true about Europe, I spent summers in Norway growing up and I remember one year at the public pool everyone kept asking me if I was American or Canadian since I was the only girl wearing a top. I also remember women in the middle of the day sitting on benches in the sunshine topless. I was surprised at first the first year when I was old enough to realize that kind of thing. After that it was no biggie.
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#16 of 18 Old 08-24-2005, 12:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avivaelona
As a former teacher of little tots I will also mention that if and when your DS goes to pre-school you should consider your comfort level with DS telling the whole pre-school class that he takes baths with mommy (and you never know, sometimes more personal details of baths, sleeping habits and underwear choices). Some people have no probkem with that but some people would feel odd if there child shared that and chances are good that they will. (especially if you'd really rather they not)

Aviva with some pretty funny memories
One of my mom's favourite stories is about me doing just that! I was in kindergarten and it was my turn for show and tell. For whatever reason I wasn't prepared, so I blurted out to the whole class that my parents slept naked! It made for an interesting parent-teacher interview.
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#17 of 18 Old 08-24-2005, 12:58 AM
 
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My dp and I both regularly shower with ds 2yr9mo
It depends on who is around and bathing at the time etc
glad to see that it is not unusual for boys to still be bathing with their mamas(or papas) at this age
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#18 of 18 Old 08-24-2005, 01:09 AM
 
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I grew up in Germany and nudity was no big issue, in my teens we went to Saunas and I even thought it was funny to see all these old men and their body shapes and relating penises. Nobody was weird about anything.
Dh is very open with his nudity, and the funny thing is, I've become more modest over time as I've lived in the US. I used to wear shirst without bras ALL the time, never even owned a bra til I was maybe 27 or so. I wonder what happened to me.
Dh just doesn't take baths, so he doesn't with dd.
I've wondered if when we play in bed in the morning and dh has the usual "morning erection" how it will affect dd. She is really young still and obviously the whole situation is non-sexual, but I feel he should hide it under the blanket. Am I being just too modest? Isn't it just as normal as being naked in the bathtub, in her mind anyway?

unschooling mama with Toots'n Fruits (6) and BeenzieBoo (3)
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