How often to bathe/wash hair??? (Help me settle this disagreement with my husband...) - Mothering Forums
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Parenting > How often to bathe/wash hair??? (Help me settle this disagreement with my husband...)
ekh's Avatar ekh 06:26 PM 11-28-2011

How often should children's hair be washed/how often should they bathe? 

Every day? Once a week? Twice a week? Twice a month? 

 

My kids are in the pool once a week and I wash their hair once a week. One kid loves to splash in the tub, the other hates it, and they both hate having their hair washed. 

My husband thinks that pool time is sufficient bathing, and that I'm going WAY overboard with the hair washing. I think once a week is the minimum...



swd12422's Avatar swd12422 07:46 PM 11-28-2011

I would say once a week is fine. However, reality is, I wash DS's hair far less often than that. He just doesn't get smelly or dirty (well, not his hair...). When he was smaller, I washed his hair more often b/c he would rub dirt in it every time he was outside and his scalp was always gritty. But I really think that it depends on the kid, the hair, and the tolerance for it (both kids' and parents').


pianojazzgirl's Avatar pianojazzgirl 08:08 PM 11-28-2011

My kids are in the pool once a week too, and I wash their hair right afterwards.  For me them being in the pool is the main reason *why* I wash their hair!  Chlorine is so hard on hair!  (and skin...)  During breaks from swimming lessons we do often go longer than a week between hair washes.  Dd gets her hair washed more often than ds because the conditioner really makes it easier to get the tangles out (ds has short hair).

 

Besides that we have weeks with no bath (besides post-pool shower), and weeks with 3-4 baths.  It depends on a variety of factors - dirtiness being one, and also that they sometimes "need" a bath to help mellow out and calm down before bed time.


Imakcerka 08:17 PM 11-28-2011

My girls love to shower... okay they don't love it but feel like they need it.  Could be the sweaty TX mentality.  I think whatever your kids are comfortable with.  You don't want them to be the stinky kid either.  Washing hair in my opinion when they're in school is a good way to get a look at their scalp.  This is from a mother who has had two lovely bouts with lice! 


One_Girl's Avatar One_Girl 08:18 PM 11-28-2011
I vote for bathing with at least soap day and doing the hair every other day. The nurses in school recommend twice a week as the bare minimum. I don't recommend the minimum because two of my friends do that and they don't realize that other people can tell. One still denies that her son stinks more than is normal for a child despite being banned from the inside of a friends home because it was beyond what they could stomach.

Smell is something you get used to when you live with it and I really worry about my DD being labeled the stinky kid. As your kids get older that will start to become more of an issue so even just playing in the tub daily might be something to consider to help set the stage for more frequent serious bathing when they are school age.
elisheva's Avatar elisheva 08:25 PM 11-28-2011

All my kids are under 5. My boys are in the pool once a week and rinse off afterward. My dd is 2 and likes to play so bathes pretty much every other day. Aside from that, they get 1-2 other baths per week depending on circumstances (in summer they are in every day because they get dirty playing in the yard). I at least have them wet their hair usually but in reality it only gets washed with soap about every 10 days.


Peony's Avatar Peony 08:36 PM 11-28-2011

My toddler gets his hair washed once a week. I can and have let it go longer then that especially if we have gone to to the pool but he has a lot of hair and it doesn't start getting gross after a while. Once they are school aged then they usually bath every other day. 


onlyzombiecat's Avatar onlyzombiecat 08:47 PM 11-28-2011

I think bathing and washing hair every other day is pretty good for my dd  but I would go for once a week at a minimum.

 


LionessMom's Avatar LionessMom 08:52 PM 11-28-2011

my kids get twice a week sometimes once a week. more if they are getting dirty. my kids dont smell or have greasy hair. the 7 year old takes them more frequently than the younger ones and the teen takes one every morning. it all depends on the person. i wash my hair and self every other day if i am leaving the house but i have been known to go 3 days. i base it on how fast your hair gets greasy, how much you sweat, and how dry it makes your skin. we bathe almost every day in the summer (or at least play in water). my 7 yr old gets really dry skin so she takes them lots less in the winter and i use cocoa butter or coconut oil on her afterwards.


lifeguard's Avatar lifeguard 09:51 PM 11-28-2011

We do baths most days but it's more for fun than cleanliness. We only use soap if there is actual dirt/stink but at this point that is not often. I only wash hair when it is needed which with ds' short hair is rare. Fwiw - I have verrrrry dry hair & only wash my hair with shampoo when i swim to get the chlorine out.


ashleyhaugh's Avatar ashleyhaugh 10:14 PM 11-28-2011
my ds is usually in the tub every day or every other day. sometimes i actually soap him down, but sometimes hes just playing. he usually has bubbles though, so hes playing in soap either way, lol... i dont even know how often i wash his hair... when it smells sweaty, lol, or when its dirty. more often in the summer, less in the winter.

even when he was a baby he was in the tub every day, hes always loved playing in the tub smile.gif
Heavenly's Avatar Heavenly 10:28 PM 11-28-2011

The idea of a child bathing less than once a week is kind of gross to me to be honest.  Is there some benefit to not bathing I'm unaware of?  My kids used to bathe 2-3 times a week but now the older two are hitting puberty (almost 11 and 9) and they stink and get oily hair if they don't shower every other day.  By the older age it isn't a big deal because they do it all themselves.  My almost 6 year old still needs help with her hair but like I said, a minimum of twice a week. I guess I am just one of those parents that thinks sometimes your kids just need to suck it up and do it because its necessary. 


jess in hawaii's Avatar jess in hawaii 11:00 PM 11-28-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavenly View Post

The idea of a child bathing less than once a week is kind of gross to me to be honest.  Is there some benefit to not bathing I'm unaware of?  My kids used to bathe 2-3 times a week but now the older two are hitting puberty (almost 11 and 9) and they stink and get oily hair if they don't shower every other day.  By the older age it isn't a big deal because they do it all themselves.  My almost 6 year old still needs help with her hair but like I said, a minimum of twice a week. I guess I am just one of those parents that thinks sometimes your kids just need to suck it up and do it because its necessary. 



Yes, exactly. I only diverge from this in that my younger ones wash hair usually once every 5-7 days but give it a good rinse during their other showers. Their hair is dry like mine, and I can't wash mine more frequently than every 4 days (under extreme conditions like swimming or otherwise getting it unusually dirty somehow). 5-7 is optimal for us, though some people may need to more often.


LynnS6's Avatar LynnS6 11:01 PM 11-28-2011

My kids are lucky to get once a week. Sometimes it's every 10 days. Dd is in swim lessons, so she washes her hair every week after swimming. Ds has always hated to bathe, and so I've had to put my foot down about washing his hair weekly.

 

He's going to enter puberty in the next year or two, and then I'll have to enforce more frequent bathing. But for now, he doesn't have the pubescent smells, his socks/shoes don't stink, and he can get away with about once a week. In the summer it's a bit more frequent because he gets sweatier, but then he doesn't mind the shower so much.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post

I vote for bathing with at least soap day and doing the hair every other day. The nurses in school recommend twice a week as the bare minimum. I don't recommend the minimum because two of my friends do that and they don't realize that other people can tell. One still denies that her son stinks more than is normal for a child despite being banned from the inside of a friends home because it was beyond what they could stomach.

 

This is extreme to me -- there's got to be more going on here than simply not bathing more than 2x a week. Some kids do get smellier than others, but I've never met a kid who smells so bad they'd be banned. I've got an incredibly sensitive nose, as does my mother. I'd know if ds stunk. I do enforce good hygiene on the toilet. My kids change their socks and underwear daily and wear clean clothes daily. They don't stink. They've never been banned from anyone's house for their smell.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavenly View Post

The ide Is there some benefit to not bathing I'm unaware of? 


Bathing too often can dry out your skin. My kids both have pretty sensitive skin (dd more than ds). When dd was 2-3, I couldn't wash her hair more than once a week because she would break out in a rash, no matter what shampoo we'd use. (She's also the kid who breaks out for all but one sunscreen that I've found!) Ds had sensory issues and he couldn't just "suck it up". So, we settled on once a week. They're fine.

 


meemee's Avatar meemee 11:29 PM 11-28-2011

shampoo hair - once in two weeks. or something like that. 

 

actually soap in hair is unnecessary. just nice hot water is a great 'soap' by itself. tried giving up shampoo and just do water and unfortunately though i could see benefits to it, just did not like it. 

 

bath whenever she was stinky - whether that be once a week or once in two weeks. and again she doesnt have to use soap. a good rinse with bare hands adn fresh flowing water is good enough for me.

 

though i have found its the clothes that have most of the odor = not skin.

 

after a chlorine pool no matter how many times a day or week dd would have to take a good long soaking bath. 


mamazee's Avatar mamazee 05:54 AM 11-29-2011

My 9-year-old has to bathe or shower every day or she gets stinky.

 

The toddler only gets bathed about twice a week or her skin gets too dry. Once a week would be OK but she generally gets filthy often enough to need two.


Imakcerka 06:27 AM 11-29-2011

I wonder about if I'm allowing mine to bathe too often?  Though the days they go a weekend without bathing there are complaints about irritation in the girl parts. I'm that way too though.  I can go a day or too but then I don't feels so fresh... I've tried just having them take a Whore bath, but they prefer a shower.  Though their skin does get pretty dry too. 


hildare's Avatar hildare 06:54 AM 11-29-2011

our general rule is when there's poop/food/crust in it.  otherwise not so much. 

however, i would get the pool chemicals out if it were me.


bodhitree's Avatar bodhitree 07:20 AM 11-29-2011

DD splashes around in plain bath water every night as part of her bedtime routine, but we don't soap her up very often. I don't think there is really a "minimum" that is appropriate for every child. Just wash them when they get dirty.


blessedwithboys's Avatar blessedwithboys 07:25 AM 11-29-2011

My personal opinion is that a daily bath WITH SOAP/SHAMPOO is a must.  Non-negotiable.  The only exception is if we are having a lazy day and don't leave the house.  Or very rarely in the winter if we truly don't break a sweat, I may let it go.

 

I know a gentleman from church who freely admits that he never uses soap, just rinses off head to toe daily.  His car and his person smell horrible.  We gag on the smell.

 

I have a family member who claims that her vulva stinks after being cleased with soap, so she gave it up years ago.  Guess what?!  She still reeks of crotch rot! 

 

If, and only if, we lived in a place with four distinct seasons and the winters were cold and we truly did not get sweaty, I could understand letting my kids go a day in between baths/showers.  But we live in a state where the air is sticky with humidity for about 10 months out of the year.  Thus, we bathe daily.  My kids wash hair daily.  And soap is mandatory each and every time.  I occasionally skip a day of washing my hair, but it chemically over-processed and naturally dry and frizzy anyway.

 

I guess this is the only non-crunchy thing about me.  :)


Imakcerka 07:31 AM 11-29-2011

crotch rot!  Ah, gotta love that term!


JollyGG's Avatar JollyGG 07:41 AM 11-29-2011

I live somewhere where winter is long, and cold, and dry. I don't know a single pre-pubescent child whose parents have them wash more than 3 times a week, with twice being more the norm. I do not hang out with a very crunchy crowd. Most parents I know start out with more frequent bathing and them move to less frequently as they discover how drying a bath or shower can be to their kids skin.

 

The kids are washed whenever they get stinky, or sweaty or have been in the pool (nothing dries out the skin and hair faster than chlorine left to sit in the hair and on the body). So they do take more frequent baths during the summer, however, then it is more likely to be every other day.


4midablemama's Avatar 4midablemama 08:01 AM 11-29-2011

My kids have eczema, so we avoid soap in favor of shower oil, but I just can't see not using anything at all, or foregoing bathing for more than a few days at a time. They're five and three, they don't have BO yet, but they play outside, they get food on their faces, DD comes home from kindergarten with playground dirt embedded in her knees and marker all over her hands. There are a million things that they do in the course of their normal, everyday kid lives that I feel necessitate bathing on a regular basis. DD still has trouble getting herself clean after she uses the bathroom, she has to have a bath at least every couple days or she ends up with an itchy bum. DD also has minor sensory issues, so I can understand why the rules would need to be relaxed for a kid with SPD or the like, but letting a "normal" (totally for lack of a better word) kid go without bathing just because they aren't feeling it? Nope, sorry, this is one instance where my kids don't get to choose their own path. 


bodhitree's Avatar bodhitree 08:15 AM 11-29-2011

See, we live in a very dry climate, and if I soap DD up every day, her skin gets irritated. We do end up using soap more often in the summer because she sweats more and thus actually needs to be washed with soap, but it's still not necessary every day. That's why I said there isn't a minimum that is appropriate for every child. I still don't see what's wrong with just cleaning your child when he/she is dirty enough to need it. That may be every day for some children, but that doesn't mean it has to be every day for all children, you know?


Alyantavid's Avatar Alyantavid 08:58 AM 11-29-2011

My boys bathe daily.  We usually skip a bath on Friday night and Saturday is bubble bath night, but otherwise they get washed and soaped every day.  We all shower after swimming in chlorine.

 

I really can't imagine only washing my kids in the swimming pool.  My kids have very sensitive skin as well, but a daily bath has never bothered them.


dbsam's Avatar dbsam 09:03 AM 11-29-2011

In the summer my children, now age 7, have a bath/hairwash daily.  They are just dirty/sandy from playing outside.

In the winter, they normally bath/hairwash every other day unless they need one - sweaty after tennis or playing in the snow, etc.  My children sweat a lot...I don't think they are stinky at this age, but just getting the sweat off makes them more comfortable.  They could probably have their hair washed less often - growing up, my mom washed our hair once a week. 


meemee's Avatar meemee 09:38 AM 11-29-2011

so all your kids use soap in the crotch area? no one complains?

 

dd cannot. it hurts and burns her. she is 9 and had never had soap anywhere near her crotch area. she freaks out if soap goes anywhere near there. water has worked for us fine. 

 

truly the only place dd needs soap is her underarms for BO. but even then its when she's had a sweaty day. its BO on her clothes that is noticable. 

 

for us summer is very different. dd is in the pool every day and thus needs a shower everyday because of the chlorine. 


onlyzombiecat's Avatar onlyzombiecat 09:49 AM 11-29-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

so all your kids use soap in the crotch area? no one complains?

 

dd cannot. it hurts and burns her. she is 9 and had never had soap anywhere near her crotch area. she freaks out if soap goes anywhere near there. water has worked for us fine. 

 

truly the only place dd needs soap is her underarms for BO. but even then its when she's had a sweaty day. its BO on her clothes that is noticable. 

 

for us summer is very different. dd is in the pool every day and thus needs a shower everyday because of the chlorine. 


Dd uses soap on her underarms, feet and other places as needed.  I think soaking in a tub of water for 30 minutes to an hour is enough for the crotch area to get clean without putting soap there.

 


Mittsy's Avatar Mittsy 09:51 AM 11-29-2011

Bathing about twice weekly here. We don't use shampoo on the kiddo's hair at all, just water, that's all that's necessary at this age imo.


sagewinna's Avatar sagewinna 10:53 AM 11-29-2011

Older kids shower every other day, though older dd washes her hair 2 times a week only.

 

8 year old dd showers or bathes 2 times a week in general, more if she is sweaty/dirty/etc. We wash hair every time.

 

Youngest dd showers or bathes 2-4 times a week, hair washing 2 times a week.

 

More often hair washing makes their hair dry. None of my girls can take a bubble baths or use soap in the genital area or they get irritated. None of them have "crotch rot".

 

 


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