4.5 too young to bathe alone? - Mothering Forums
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Parenting > 4.5 too young to bathe alone?
StormySar's Avatar StormySar 02:32 AM 12-06-2008
At what age did you trust your kids alone in a bathtub to bathe themselves? My daughter is 4.5 and washes herself in the shower, but dh feels she is still too young to be left unattended in a bath. The furthest I would be would be down the hall in the play room or my office, but I thought she might be old enough to leave in a bath for a few minutes at a time to let her have some privacy. I won't leave her during a shower - I'm too afraid she'll fall. But she's pretty competant in a bath.

When did you start leaving your dc's to bathe themselves?

Annalisa84's Avatar Annalisa84 02:34 AM 12-06-2008
My oldest is 3 and 8 months and last month, she asked me for "privatcy" when she's in the tub, except when she needs her hair washed. I leave the room, but the door remains open and I check in on her every 5 or so minutes. I think at 4.5 I'll probably still have a similar approach, probably until she's six or so.
PiePie's Avatar PiePie 02:50 AM 12-06-2008
too young. i think i saw 5 as the minimum by the aap. it's just not worth the risk.
Treasuremapper's Avatar Treasuremapper 03:07 AM 12-06-2008
I'm usually in the bathroom or in the hall just outside the cracked door with our five year old dd. I would try to give it just a few months.

Or you could use my guideline -- if you have to wonder if it is ok, then it's not ok. When our 7 year old was ready, she was about our younger dd's age, and we didn't wonder, it was obvious that she was totally ready. Our younger dd is a little unsteadier so she might need a little longer.
momtokea's Avatar momtokea 03:08 AM 12-06-2008
I think it's too young. I never felt comfortable leaving them before the age of 6 or 7, depending on the child. And that's still with paying very close attention, doors open and me not too far away.
alegna's Avatar alegna 03:15 AM 12-06-2008
Dd is going on 4.5 I am comfortable a few steps down the hall with the monitor on and the doors open. She makes lots of noise

-Angela
dbsam's Avatar dbsam 03:24 AM 12-06-2008
Our two 4.5 yo's are in the bath together and we are in and out. I may go into their room next door to put away clothes or be on the computer across the hall in the study. I cannot see them but can hear them and are steps away. (They are very loud so they make noise constantly.) My husband will run downstairs to get something while giving them a bath. I don't think he should and we've had discussions about this issue. I fear he will get caught up in whatever he runs down for - too dangerous.
A&A's Avatar A&A 03:38 AM 12-06-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by PiePie View Post
too young. i think i saw 5 as the minimum by the aap. it's just not worth the risk.
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Amylcd's Avatar Amylcd 03:45 AM 12-06-2008
Mine started around the age of 4. It never seemed too young to me.
octobermom's Avatar octobermom 04:27 AM 12-06-2008
mine was a lot younger Maybe its because we have a tiny house and its pretty much impossible not to hear everything from every corner. Maybe its because she sings at the top of her lungs through out her bath time.. Not sure but hnestly she is now 6 and shes been bathing on "her own" to some extent since she was at least 3.. prpbably younger.

Deanna
CheapPearls's Avatar CheapPearls 04:27 AM 12-06-2008
Yeah, about my oldest's 4th birthday I was comfortable being close but not in the bathroom. He turns 5 in March and often when he's in the bath I am across the hall getting a head start on cleaning up toys.
octobermom's Avatar octobermom 04:30 AM 12-06-2008
Maluhia's Avatar Maluhia 04:30 AM 12-06-2008
Between 3.5 and 4 here.

I'm not really taking a nap or something but I'm going around the house getting a few things done here and there.
emaye_to_2's Avatar emaye_to_2 04:56 AM 12-06-2008
I haven't read the previous posts but I felt comfortable leaving my DS in the bathtub around 4.5 years. I wasn't more than just down the hall tho. Altho I didn't necessarily trust him to actually bathe himself well.
Meg_s's Avatar Meg_s 05:10 AM 12-06-2008
I actually let my three year old bathe or shower alone. I don't just stick him in there and leave him, but he's fine playing while I do some chores in and out of the bathroom. I'm in an apartment, hear him at all times and the door is open.
MayBaby2007's Avatar MayBaby2007 05:21 AM 12-06-2008
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DD (almost 18 mos) showers alone at times. I leave the room for several minutes at a time while she showers. I can hear everything and she'll come running out if she needs something (like when she poops and needs me to clean it up before it's safe to get back in the shower )

I leave dd in the bathtub for short periods of time as well. I'll go pick out her jammies for the night, check on her, go throw laundry in dryer (same floor), check on her, etc.

I'm pretty laxed though
Equuskia's Avatar Equuskia 09:48 AM 12-06-2008
My 3 yo bathes alone. In fact, that's the easiest way for me to get her out of the way when I need to do something without children underfoot (take things out of the oven, etc). And the bonus is that she gets clean too. But like angela's kid, she makes lots of noise and I always leave the door open.
Jessy1019's Avatar Jessy1019 10:47 AM 12-06-2008
Around 2 . . . our house is small enough that I could hear playing/talking in there, and check in frequently if they got quiet.

My kids love the bath. I would be bored out of my mind if I had to sit there and stare at them as long as they like to stay in and play!
Meg_s's Avatar Meg_s 10:59 AM 12-06-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by MayBaby2007 View Post
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DD (almost 18 mos) showers alone at times.

lol, I left ds3 and ds 18mos in the shower today while I made lunch for them. They were happy. I could hear them.. I felt they were safe.
Petersmamma's Avatar Petersmamma 11:05 AM 12-06-2008
My ds is 3.5 and we live in a very small house. I let him play in the tub by himself for a bit while I get things ready for the next day. I'm in and out, and if he STOPS making noise, I'm there. Wait. He doesn't stop making noise. Ever.
Ks Mama's Avatar Ks Mama 11:50 AM 12-06-2008
No, I'm not comfortable yet, and DD is 4, and very responsible. However, she's not yet a swimmer - so doesn't truly understand the potential danger of water.

In the shower, I'd probably be okay with that - we have a stand up separate shower. There's no water pooling at the bottom, nothing to slip on, nothing to hit her head on.

And no to either when DS is involved.
LuxPerpetua 11:50 AM 12-06-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by octobermom View Post
mine was a lot younger Maybe its because we have a tiny house and its pretty much impossible not to hear everything from every corner. Maybe its because she sings at the top of her lungs through out her bath time.. Not sure but hnestly she is now 6 and shes been bathing on "her own" to some extent since she was at least 3.. prpbably younger.

Deanna
This is totally us, too. I put my nearly 3 y.o. in the tub so I can have some quiet mommy time. Of course, we live in a small apt. and I'm just in the next room. If it gets quiet, I check on her, but she's usually singing or talking out loud the whole time.
Ks Mama's Avatar Ks Mama 11:54 AM 12-06-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by MayBaby2007 View Post
:

DD (almost 18 mos) showers alone at times. I leave the room for several minutes at a time while she showers. I can hear everything and she'll come running out if she needs something (like when she poops and needs me to clean it up before it's safe to get back in the shower )

I leave dd in the bathtub for short periods of time as well. I'll go pick out her jammies for the night, check on her, go throw laundry in dryer (same floor), check on her, etc.

I'm pretty laxed though
Yikes, 16 months alone in the bathtub?

Children can drown in an instant. A 16 month old doesn't have the balance, agility, or understanding/experience not to stand in the tub to grab the soap, or try to climb out & slip, bang her head, fall into the water, or turn on the tub accidentally all the way to hot, etc. etc. etc.

As the mom of two children in Montessori, I am ALL FOR independence, but it has to be age appropriate. 16 months is too young for independent bath tub time.
Alyantavid's Avatar Alyantavid 01:24 PM 12-06-2008
My 6 1/2 year old regularly takes baths and showers alone. My 2 year old plays in the tub while I'm doing stuff in the kitchen (which is right next to the bathroom). I can hear everything they're doing from any place in the house and I check on them every couple of minutes. My kids make tons of noise in the bath tub and I usually am talking to them if I'm not in the bathroom so I know they're ok.
blazer's Avatar blazer 01:27 PM 12-06-2008
we have a small house so we started around 3 when she was an only child, but I would check on her if she got quiet. I do leave my 5.5 and 2.5 yo alone, again checking on them if they get quiet. I have just started steping out of the bathroom (to fold towels or something) if my 2.5 was quiet.

I dont go sit down and watch tv though because then I can't really hear them well.
mistymama's Avatar mistymama 03:12 PM 12-06-2008
We live in a small apartment so for about 2-3 years now I will let ds play in the bathtub for extended periods of time while I do other things. I can hear him from every room and if he gets quiet, I'm two steps away and can check on him.

I still wash his hair, but he'll wash his own body and has for about a year or so.

Bathtime has always been a fun, calming time for him. He loves for me to sit on the toliet and talk with him, but he also likes to play in there for an hour or more. He's got toys, and sometimes even asks for his snorkle and mask.

It's a nice break for me and I feel very comfortable at his age that he's safe in there alone.
Breeder's Avatar Breeder 03:52 PM 12-06-2008
We started allowing him to play alone-alone in the tub at five, he's been doing showers alone since he turned six. At four and a half I would leave him alone but I checked on him about every five minutes

Since your DH doesn't feel good about it, I would wait. I almost always try to go with the person who cares the MOST about it. Unless you feel really strongly about your DC having alone time in the bath, his fear for her safety is going to trump it.

It won't hurt her to be supervised in the bath for a little while longer, but it may really upset your DH if she is not. That's how I would look at it.
eclipse's Avatar eclipse 04:07 PM 12-06-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessy1019 View Post
Around 2 . . . our house is small enough that I could hear playing/talking in there, and check in frequently if they got quiet.

My kids love the bath. I would be bored out of my mind if I had to sit there and stare at them as long as they like to stay in and play!

About that here, too. I live in an apartment, and I'm in earshot practically anywhere in the place. There's a constant racket when mine are in the tub (3 yo and 5 yo bathe together), so if I don't hear anything, I'll check in (but really, I can't remember them ever being so quiet in the tub that I felt worried!).

My oldest started taking showers on his own at around 18 months. At that time, our master bath was the only one with the shower, so I'd be in the bedroom while he was in the shower.
AbbieB's Avatar AbbieB 07:27 PM 12-06-2008
Each parent knows their child best. If you are not sure your 4 year old is ready then maybe he/she is not.


My DD started being alone for a few minutes at a time around 2 1/2. by 3 1/2 I was comfortable with her being alone for the entire time. I think it is important to mention that at 2 1/2 she was singing and talking the whole time so I knew she was fine. If the splashing sound changed or she was quiet I was in there like a shot. I also made sure I was just outside the door at first (she did not know that. )

By 4 she was completely independent in the bath or shower. The real danger for us was the amount of water on the floor or the amount of soap/shampoo that would be dumped to make bubbles.

Now that my 14 month old is able to sit independently in the tub I am back in the bathroom for an entire bath. DD will get in with him and keep an arm around him if I am straightening up in the bathroom otherwise I'm on a stool sitting right there.

I worry more with 2 kids in the tub about drowning than with just 1. More fooling around and potential for an accident, KWIM?
Amylcd's Avatar Amylcd 12:17 AM 12-07-2008
I'm shocked at the 18 month olds taking showers alone. I wouldn't let my 20 month old DD stand in the shower even if I were in the room with her. I would be way too worried about her slipping and hitting her head on the tile.
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