how old was your child when you let him or her take a bath without you in the room? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 115 Old 01-28-2010, 11:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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... and what were the circumstances? Sometimes when I am sitting in the bathroom watching dd play in the bath I feel like I am being ridiculously over-protective. I've never even left the room to go get a snack or answer the phone- because she is my first and only child, and I've always read that you should never, ever leave a baby alone in the bathtub; that even in an inch or two of water there is danger.

I don't have many "real life" friends with babies- so I'm asking you wise mamas. How old do you think is old enough to leave the room for 30 seconds to a minute? What about five minutes? What about a whole twenty or thirty minute bath within earshot but not necessarily eyesight?

My daughter is thirteen months old. She walks and has good motor control, and she is constantly babbling or talking to me and her surroundings. How risky is semi-solo bathtime?

I hope I don't sound like a neglectful parent for asking this question! I certainly don't want to leave my baby in a dangerous situation. I'm just curious- how old is old enough?

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#2 of 115 Old 01-28-2010, 11:32 PM
 
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I wasnt comfy leaving my dd until she was 5yo and ds I still dont and he is 5 now. My reasons are for safety but also the mess. There is no way I would leave a toddler in there alone at all. They would have to be at least 2yo before I would be ok with leaving for a few minutes to do something really quick. No more than a minute though.

 
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#3 of 115 Old 01-28-2010, 11:32 PM
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Extremely risky at 13 months. Somewhere I read that children should not be allowed to be alone in the bath tub until the age of 5 years. And therefore I followed that advice and never left them alone until they turned at least 5. Better safe than sorry.

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#4 of 115 Old 01-28-2010, 11:33 PM
 
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My daughter is thirteen months old.
NO WAY would I have left ds alone in the bathtub at 13 months old. Babies can drown very quickly in just an inch of water. Not to mention what if she tries to stand up and slips? Nope. No way. Heck, at 6 my ds still sticks his face in the water for extended periods and then has a freaked/panicked look when either he takes his face out or I pull his head out

DS is 6 years 3 months and we've just now started leaving the room for a few minutes at a time while he's bathing. BUT- ds has autism and I don't trust him like I would a typical 6 year old. I would say probably around 4 is when I would start leaving the room for a minute or two with a typical child.

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#5 of 115 Old 01-28-2010, 11:38 PM
 
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At that point I would have popped around the corner to get a forgotten towel (literally outside the bathroom door) but that's it. In that case if they went under I would be back grabbing them in enough time. Up until 2 yrs for sure I've seen my younger one go under while playing and I've needed to grab him.
Now younger ds is over 2.5 I will fold laundry outside the bathroom, or even pop into our room right across the hall to put some things in drawers but I'm checking in constantly. If older ds is in the bath too(he's 5) I may venture as far as my bathroom but I'll stay on the same floor and older ds knows to yell if there is ever an issue. Just older ds bathing alone I won't check in as often but I'm still on the upper floor (very open upper floorplan). The only exception to that would be a quick run to the washer/dryer at the bottom of the stairs.
My boys both also talk to themselves (and the toys) the entire time so if it is ever quiet I'm in there fast.

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#6 of 115 Old 01-28-2010, 11:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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See, now you guys are making me feel a little guilty for asking! I've never left her alone even for five seconds before! I was just sitting in there the other day watching her play and wondered- could I run to the kitchen and grab a diet coke? Would she be okay if I folded the clothes just outside the bathroom door?

I guess the consensus will be- no! Good thing I have you mamas to ask

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#7 of 115 Old 01-28-2010, 11:44 PM
 
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At 13 months the problem was more that she'd try to stand up and possibly stand up into the faucet or just trip on her own feet and smack her head.

Since 16 months, I've been comfortable stepping one step out of the bathroom to grab something, maybe 5 seconds I wasn't looking right at her? While she was intently sitting and playing in a way that seemed stable. But even then, I've only done it twice. Partly because the majority of her baths are with me.

In my mind, it's going to be around age 5 that I'll consider solo bathing, but bathtime is such a great time for playing and chatting that she'll probably initiating bathing herself before I really stop staying with her.

Once she stops randomly standing up in the tub, I'll probably stay in the room but do a bit of cleaning too.
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#8 of 115 Old 01-28-2010, 11:46 PM
 
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I'd fold clothes outside the bathroom door, with the door open and no sound that would prevent you from hearing her. Babies can drown in tiny amounts of water, but they don't do it when they first slip under, you don't have to be within arms reach to still give safe supervision, just instant reaction reach.

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#9 of 115 Old 01-28-2010, 11:48 PM
 
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As for folding the clothes and such, you could make part of setting up for the bath that you put some task in the bathroom. e.g. a basket with towels, or that book you've meant to read, stuff you can do while keeping one eye on her.
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#10 of 115 Old 01-28-2010, 11:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
As for folding the clothes and such, you could make part of setting up for the bath that you put some task in the bathroom. e.g. a basket with towels, or that book you've meant to read, stuff you can do while keeping one eye on her.

I wish I could read while she plays in the bath! Unfortunately, the times I have tried that, dd has decided that my book is superior to all other bath toys

Honestly, I don't really mind hanging out with her while she bathes. I often even jump in with her.

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#11 of 115 Old 01-29-2010, 12:04 AM
 
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I feel a little overprotective, my sons were about 5 or 6 before I felt comfortable leaving the room. Now my oldest is 9 and I know he can handle it, but my newly 7 year old, I still check on. ( They like deep baths...) But maybe thats just me..

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#12 of 115 Old 01-29-2010, 12:06 AM
 
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I should read the other replies before I post...LOL...

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#13 of 115 Old 01-29-2010, 12:06 AM
 
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With DD I would sit outside the door and read or something at 2 years old. I'd even go get a drink. Granted, I could always hear her singing or babbling and if she stopped I'd say her name and she would respond with an I'm okay or start singing again. Unless she talks a lot or makes a lot of verbal noises, I don't think I'd be comfortable leaving her. It also depends on how big your place is.

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#14 of 115 Old 01-29-2010, 12:20 AM
 
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At that point I would have popped around the corner to get a forgotten towel (literally outside the bathroom door) but that's it.
This is what I do with 15 month DD. It's maybe 10-15 seconds and I'm ok with that. Anything longer and I yell for DH to sit with her while I go get whatever.

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#15 of 115 Old 01-29-2010, 12:29 AM
 
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Well I'll go against the grain here. I wish to have no negative comments.

First my house is very small. Second I never have noise in my house like music or TV when the children are bathing. Third my children have very cautious and safe personalities yes children but very physically safe.

My first child bathed alone I'm sure by 13 months. Very often we would bathe together but when alone I didn't sit with her. She never splashed or moved quickly. She sat there and played with toys. I would open the door all the way and clean the bathroom or kitchen (3 steps from bathroom). No worries. If she were to slip and fall it's not like she is going to die or be anymore likely than if she fell walking around our house? Or drown? I am right there.

My 2nd has baths alone all the time as well. Now 17 months, maybe started around 12 months. He's splashes more and moves more so I put him in a 'baby tub' in the big tub so he doesn't walk around. He is supervised but I am not within arms reach and not visually watching all the time but always listening. Again the kitchen is 3 steps away. But I do have to step backwards from the counter to see him.

If they are both in I supervise visually much more like wash the bathroom floor.

My 4 year old bathes alone all the time and often with the door shut. Trust me if she get's any water on her face I am going to hear about it.

Oh and my children don't make a water mess very often. Usually the worst is throwing the soaking wet cloth on the floor.

I really wouldn't be that keen on bathing my children if I had to sit right there the whole time!

With both my children they will at times request company and then my bathroom gets very clean.

I feel my children are well supervised and in case of an accident I would be able to help them with what they need.

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#16 of 115 Old 01-29-2010, 12:32 AM
 
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At 4ish, I would leave DD in the bathroom while the tub was filling, with her getting undressed/playing with bubbles but NOT in the tub while I grabbed towel, pjs etc. She was old enough not to jump in. Alone in the tub, not until 5 years old. I usually clean the bathroom while they are in the tub.

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#17 of 115 Old 01-29-2010, 12:32 AM
 
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Our house is small, so I am ok leaving my 3.5 year old alone in the tub with the door open. Any room I'm in is either right across the hall from the bathroom or the bathroom and kitchen share a wall so I can hear really well. She is constantly singing or talking at the top of her lungs to herself. If she's quiet for a second I call out and she answers, "I'm not drowning!" I wouldn't ever do something loud like vacuum or watch TV while she was in the tub though.

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#18 of 115 Old 01-29-2010, 12:34 AM
 
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Way too young.. try to have everything ready and IN the bathroom before you put your child in.
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#19 of 115 Old 01-29-2010, 12:38 AM
 
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my kids like to bathe together. I would feel safe leaving them alone by themselves (6.5 and 4) but together.... oy. Dh made that mistake tonight and had a "river" to clean. My daughter innocently said that "water over the edge of the tub makes a waterfall, did you know that daddy?" Well, he does now.
As far as safety though, I definately didn't leave them alone in the tub until at least 3. My son would've been ok, but with sensory issues he was actually afraid of water so I stayed for support mostly. My daughter is just plainly prone to crazy ideas. Better safe than sorry I say.

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#20 of 115 Old 01-29-2010, 12:38 AM
 
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I still don't and my son is 5. Mostly because he shares the bath with mis younger brother and I'm worried he would hold him under or something LOL (they roughhouse a bit)

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#21 of 115 Old 01-29-2010, 12:43 AM
 
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Not until about 2 1/2 but that would be with me only in the bedroom right next to it and I had to have the door open and hear splashing around....I would never run downstairs or anything. Generally I grab a book and sit on the toilet while he plays.

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#22 of 115 Old 01-29-2010, 12:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Way too young.. try to have everything ready and IN the bathroom before you put your child in.
This isn't an issue of un-preparedness. It is one of curiosity about when other moms are comfortable doing some multi-tasking while their children are bathing, and how those comfort levels progress with the age of the child.

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#23 of 115 Old 01-29-2010, 12:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Dh made that mistake tonight and had a "river" to clean. My daughter innocently said that "water over the edge of the tub makes a waterfall, did you know that daddy?" Well, he does now.
hahahahahahahahahahaha

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#24 of 115 Old 01-29-2010, 12:59 AM
 
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I rarely post over here, mostly a lurker, but this I HAVE to say something about.

I don't care how small a house is, a baby or young toddler can drown SILENTLY in minutes. It's a fear that will never leave me because I have a friend who lost a daughter that way. She was 14 months old. My friend got the bath going and stepped out for LESS than 2 minutes. When she came back in, her daughter's face was in the water and she wasn't moving. They did CPR and called 911. Their house was relatively small and she wasn't far away, but they heard nothing. Most likely her daughter stood up, slipped, and smacked her head, but there's no way to know for sure.

My DD is 2.5 and DH and I do not leave her alone in the bath. The most we will do is step outside the door to grab a towel from the closet that's next to the bathroom.
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#25 of 115 Old 01-29-2010, 01:08 AM
 
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I make dd start singing a song if I know I have to run and get a towel or something that way I know she is okay. Our house is TINY, so even if I went to the farthest room, I would be able to hear her. I don't leave her unless she cooperates and sings and only if I really need to get something. If she stops singing, I run.

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#26 of 115 Old 01-29-2010, 01:17 AM
 
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I make dd start singing a song if I know I have to run and get a towel or something that way I know she is okay. Our house is TINY, so even if I went to the farthest room, I would be able to hear her. I don't leave her unless she cooperates and sings and only if I really need to get something. If she stops singing, I run.
And not until older than the OP's child. I probably stayed all the time until age 4 and then was comfortable folding laundry or something right near by with checking every few minutes.

I figured bath time was a great time to clean the bathroom. Now that DS is older, my bathroom isn't nearly as clean as it was when I supervised all those baths!
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#27 of 115 Old 01-29-2010, 01:27 AM
 
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When DS was about 3.5 I felt comfortable leaving the room while he bathed, but always within earshot. He was/is a very noisy bather He's 5 now and I still stay within earshot. If the noise stops I check on him immediately.

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#28 of 115 Old 01-29-2010, 01:32 AM
 
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DD is three and in the past couple of months I have started leaving her to play in the bath while I am around the corner in her room (usually putting laundry away). Both doors stay open of course. She talks constantly, so as soon as I hear a lull in the chatter I call to her and she responds. Since she was about two, I have been comfortable going into another room to get something (book, drink, phone) and then coming right back into the bathroom.

OP - at your DD's age, I would be comfortable darting into the hallway or the adjacent room to grab a towel or something, but no farther. Maybe 10 seconds at most. You're definitely not being overprotective at this point by always being right there.

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#29 of 115 Old 01-29-2010, 01:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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DD is three and in the past couple of months I have started leaving her to play in the bath while I am around the corner in her room (usually putting laundry away). Both doors stay open of course. She talks constantly, so as soon as I hear a lull in the chatter I call to her and she responds. Since she was about two, I have been comfortable going into another room to get something (book, drink, phone) and then coming right back into the bathroom.

OP - at your DD's age, I would be comfortable darting into the hallway or the adjacent room to grab a towel or something, but no farther. Maybe 10 seconds at most. You're definitely not being overprotective at this point by always being right there.

Thanks, mimie. You know, I don't think it had occurred to me that I might be being overprotective until last month when dd's paternal grandmother was here- she asked me if I had ever thought about letting dd take a bath by herself and when I thought she would be old enough to leave the room for a minute while she bathes. I said I felt she was too little to take a bath by herself, and that I hadn't really thought about when she would be old enough to be left for a minute. I asked Nana if she had ever left dd while bathing and she said no, that she wouldn't do something like that unless I told her I was comfortable with it. Then I thought about it and realized that my own mom lets my niece take a bath partly by herself, with my mom coming in and out of the room and staying close by, but not necessarily right next to my niece (who is two years and two months old).

I had forgotten about that conversation- I bet that it was in my subconscious the other day while I was contemplating this during dd's bath.

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#30 of 115 Old 01-29-2010, 01:51 AM
 
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Between age 3 and 4. With the girls, we lived in a 2 story condo with the only bathroom upstairs. Everyone was upstairs when I gave baths. Joy and Erica bathed in the bathtube as I gave Angela a sponge bath at the bathroom sink. When she was done and dressed, I put her in the bassenette in our room and bathed the other 2. By the time Angela was old enough to join her sisters in the tub, Joy wanted to bathe alone. So Erica and Angela got their bath first; then Joy. With Joy, I was upstairs but not in the bathroom. She was close to age 7 then.

With Dylan, we lived in a singe story house with the bathroom just around the corner from the living room. When he was 3, close to age 4, I started letting him play in the tub alone before I came back in to wash him.

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