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toddlers + bath

469 Views 9 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  PancakeGoddess
When do you let your child have a bath by themselves with no supervision? This lady I know (not a friend anymore) has been letting her son bathe by himself...with NO supervision since he was 1 1/2 years old. My son is 2 1/2 and I still stay in the bathroom with him the whole time.
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That's nuts! Accidents can happen so easily. My DS is 38 mos., very strong and agile, but still I would never let him bathe alone. Bathtubs are slippery places. Aside from drowning, I'd be worried that he'd fall and bang his head or something. Or scald himself with the water.

I'm sure an internet search would reveal the recommended age, but I just wanted to chime in that I can't imagine leaving him unattended for several more years!
The furthest I go when DD (19 months) is in the tub is to the diaper pail, which is just outside the bathroom door; even then I'm in a panic until she's back within arm's reach. So many things could happen, like the PP said. She could turn on the hot water and scald herself. She could fall and hit her head on the faucet. She could try to climb out of the tub and fall. She could drown.

Never mind the fact that she would splash all the water out of the tub and flood my bathroom, and eat soap, and pour half a bottle of shampoo into the bathwater, and start sticking her bath toys in the toilet. I know, because I regularly stop her from doing these things.

Geez, I think a kid would have to be 5 or 6 before I'd let him/her bathe totally alone. Maybe even older. It's not safe.
My oldest is almost 5 1/2. She will take a bath with her 2-yr-old sister. They are unsupervised for no more than three or four minutes at a time. (I also have an infant, so his bath is a lot shorter!) I've had children fall as they're getting out of the tub *while I was in the room*, so there is no way that I would let them stay in there for a long time alone. One ER visit for head glue.

I agree, it's just not safe.
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My son is nearly 3 and we do not leave him alone in the tub. I do sometimes step out for 5 seconds (literally) to grab the phone or his jammies. I can't imagine what someone would be thinking leaving an 18 month old alone in the tub!
Mine are 2.5 and 14 months, and I generally give them baths together. The farthest I go is 3 steps away still in the bathroom if I forget to get enough towels out. I don't even let them in the bathroom alone if the water in the bathtub is running.
Your friend is NUTS.

My daughter is 18 months and always have an arm on her. She is really antsy and is always standing up and I've kept her from falling and hitting her head numerous times, not to mention the drowning factor. I have no idea when I will let her bathe by herself (maybe 5??). But it won't be for YEARS.
My son is 38 mos. and I let him hang out in the bath by himself for long stretches- like 5 minutes at a time. We talk the whole time he's in there and if he was quiet for more than a few seconds I'd be right there. I can't keep him from slipping just because I'm in the bathroom- I'd have to hold him the whole time to keep him absolutely safe, and I can't (and don't want to) do that. Our bedroom is only a few steps from the bathroom and I really trust my son to be careful- he is VERY concerned with safety (he'll correct people who buckle him in his carseat if they don't put the clip at armpit level, and won't step off a curb without holding a hand AND looking both ways).
There's no magic number for me, but I would say probably around 5. I guess it depends on his maturity level by then. There is NO WAY I would have let him bathe alone at 1 1/2 (or 2 1/2, which is his age now). He's going through this stage right now where he loves to put his face under water then flip it back up, laugh, repeat a hundred times. I would be so afraid he would not bring his face back up if I wasn't standing right there (in fact, I tried to stop him from doing it at first because it freaked me out! But I could see it quickly turning into a power struggle so now I let him do it and just make sure he's bringing his head back up within a reasonable time).
3-5 depending on maturity, and also length of time you're away. Always able to listen, etc. I'd ask for some talking or noise as reassurance.

Two is much too little, IMO, to be out of view. If you can see the tub from the next room and the kid is in shallow water, not the type to stand up in the tub, I guess I'd do that too.
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