September 27, 2007

Reader Question: Keeping Grubbiness at Bay

Oh my god! What is HAPPENING in here? Diets? Exercise? Psychiatric self-analysis? *brushing frantically at walls, shoving things under carpet, brushing off hands and walking away briskly*

Let's turn our attention instead to the problem of grubby children.

The bathing! There is so much of it, and still it is not done often enough. Rob and William are old enough to take showers, and that helps. Three mornings a week (Mon-Wed-Fri) I wake them up a little earlier and toss them in. But they linger so long, and I am not sure they are really getting themselves clean--as evidenced by the fact that NEITHER BOY noticed we were out of their shampoo.

The twins get a bath once a week, twice if they're lucky. Sometimes it's a nice long play-bath; more often it's that one of them wakes up soaked through, and I think, "I can't fix it with wet wipes this time" and I do a 2-minute quick bath. WHOOSH, twin into water. WHOOSH, soapy scrubbie. WHOOSH, twin out of water. Once a week is Not Enough, but more often is not working out.

I wash Henry over the sink every two or three days. When he's mid-clothing change (so, in just a diaper, or in a diaper and the outgoing onesie), I wet his hair down under the faucet, lather it up, put a little lather on his face and neck. Rinse hair under faucet; dry with clean dry washcloth or handtowel. Wet corner of handtowel, use to wash his face and neck. If his hands feel sticky, I run them under the faucet too; ditto for feeties. Back at the changing table, use another wet corner of the handtowel to do a quick once-over of his tummy, back, arms, legs. This seems like enough, but when I DO give him an actual bath in the tub he seems cleaner.


I was glad to find I was not the only one struggling with the problem of keeping up with all this washing. Shelly of Notthedaddy writes:

I have two children, ages 5 and 10 months, and I have a hell of a time keeping them bathed. The older one is a girl and can take showers with me. However, I'm the working parent and I take my showers at 5:15 am, not a time that she is available to shower. The younger one is a boy and screams bloody murder if I put him in water. I'm still giving him sponge baths on the kitchen counter. I realize that babies do not have to be bathed every day, and I'm actually aiming for about every third day with him, but Supergirl is definitely reaching the point where she needs a shower every day. Do you have a system by which you keep your five clean? My husband, who is fabulous with the little ones on almost every front (and a stay at home dad), somehow doesn't help out on bathing at all. It has completely fallen to me. And completely fallen, most of the time.

I told her you guys would totally know what to do about this--which is lucky for me, because I've got nothing.

64 comments:

Nowheymama said...

We find it easier to clean the kids at night rather than in the morning. Morning is just too crazy. And we don't do long baths. They're 5 minutes, tops, and they are Daddy's job. There. That's my groundbreaking advice.

Penny said...

Tell shelly I envy her for her children sleeping past 5:15.

For us, bathtime is right before bedtime. It is the Holy Bedtime Routine, and we shall not mess with it. Every other day is "serious wash" day, when we do her hair and scrub the body parts. In between days are "play in bath" days, where we only basically attack her hands, face and girl parts.

CakeHead said...

I shower my son (four) at night. Even though I liked to do it every day, ummm, it doesn't always happen that way.

But seriously, shower time is for getting clean. Period. He learned a while ago that it is not play time. I know that sounds awful, but he's got a whole room stocked with toys for when he feels like playing. And a living room. And my room. And a few in the bathroom. And the closets. Oh, and outside too. :P

JMC said...

My oldest showers herself. She's 13, she'd better be doing it herself. But it did take us YEARS to get her to actually use shampoo and then to scrub hard enough to actually clean her extremely thick hair all the way down to the scalp.

I still bathe my middle 2, but we are working on independence in that area. My 6-year-old is extremely dependent and the fearful type. She REFUSES to shower, because she hates water to splash on her face. Actually, she kind of freaks out when it happens. So while she washes her body, I still have to do her hair. In the tub, the rinsing is a bitch. The 4-year-old is very independent and can almost do everything herself, but needs supervision. The two of them get bathed 2 or 3 times a week, and have swimming lessons once a week (at my house that counts as a bath). And even that sporadic bathing often means staying up late to fit it in.

The baby gets bathed 2-3 times per week, often prefaced by the waking up soaked through her diaper. She'll start swimming lessons next week. They are daily for about 6 weeks, so maybe I won't have to bathe her at all for a while. ;)

Anyway, I feel your pain.

Marie Green said...

For me, bathing falls into the category of "things that don't get done because I'm busy cleaning out the high chair... AGAIN." Kind of like weeding. Or de-trashing our car.

It was harder when Marin was an infant, because that meant 2 baths to get all kids clean. Once she was able to sit well on her own, I throw all 3 into the tub at once. I wash up Marin first, then let her splash while I do the other two.

For my big kids, I lather up the shampoo on their heads, then use the lather to wash the rest of their body. Then rinse, and then conditioner. They need conditioner or their hair is very tangly. While the conditioner sits for a minute I get Marin out of the tub. Diaper her, and then rinse and get the big kids out.

How OFTEN? Well, my big kids are always getting sticky shit in their hair, so we bath about 3 times a week. We don't have certain "days", we just do it whenever they seem dirty. We bath almost always at bedtime.

I've grown to love my semi-stinky children. It falls under "life is messy therefore kids are messty" philosophy.

(Sorry about the long comment.)

donna said...

I have no room to comment because I only have the one rugrat, but I just wanted to throw in that bath is part of our bedtime routine as well. It's Bath, Bottle, Book, Bed. Do you like that? I'm going to trademark it. We just do the washing quickly and then let her play until the water gets cold. Usually lasts no more than 10 minutes, sometimes less if she poops in the water. OK that only happened one time but I'm still scarred by it.

nikki said...

Aaron is usually bathed every night to every other night. But that's because he sweats more than Richard Simmons and is pretty gross after I pick him up from preschool. You know it's bad when I find the dirt caked in the crevices of his double chin.

Jess said...

I can't help you out on the kid-washing thing, except to point out that more than one bath a week feels overrated to me, but I did want to say that I love the didn't-notice-they-were-out-of-shampoo test. Those kids are tricky, but you out-tricked them!

Jenny H. said...

I strive for getting them in the shower every day. Since my husband works out of town, this usually falls on me.

In my opinion, it is easiest to put them in the shower and hose 'em down. I bought like, ten packs, of those disposable washcloths and I just wash them off real fast and then rinse. Wash and rinse, baby. Wash and rinse!!
Seriously, the washcloths were on mad clearance. I think I bought every single box!

Then one night when their daddy gets home they get a "play" bath. But generally? I just don't have the time. Plus with two boys they pretty much HAVE to be cleaned every day.

At least mine do!!

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, seriously??? Only a couple of times a week? Would you be satisfied bathing only a couple of times a week? AND kids get much dirtier than adults too! I couldn't hold my comment back, although it appears I'm in the minority...but my kids get a bath NIGHTLY even if it's quick. As a past first grade teacher, I am well aware of the turn off of someone else's smelly kids, kind of sends a message, you know?
Okay I'm signing off anonymously this time because I love the Swistle blog and fellow posters and I don't want to be black-listed for my "overly clean" comments....
I'm off to bathe....

janet said...

when my children were babies and toddlers, bathtime was alternatingly the fun and the horror of my week, uh, i mean day.

the happiest day of my life was when my fourth (and final) child began taking showers of her own volition, and i no longer had to remind, nag, harrass, irritate or agitate any more children about their personal hygiene. (just for the record, this didnt happen until she was 12.)

i realize this is years away for many of you. but it will happen.

Sara said...

I can't be much help here. Being that the kids go to preschool Mon, Weds and Fri they get a bath on Sunday and Thursday. I throw one in on Tuesday if they're scummy or Friday if we have big Saturday plans but I just can't handle bathing 2 kids 4 times a week.

I'm just glad to hear that I'm not the only one out there. My best friend bathes her daughter religiously before bed every night. She can't get to sleep without her bath. What a freakin pain in the ass.

LoriD said...

We do baths at night too, except on Sundays, when I try to get in a day bath where they can play a bit (I clean the bathroom, fold laundry and change the beds while they play). The rest of the week, it's quick dips in the tub for the little guys and a shower for the 6-year-old. They end up with about 3 washings a week and that's enough.

jen said...

I did not make bed + bath dependent on each other because I know I am lazy and that's kind of a stupid corner to back yourself into. Normally they'd get bathed every other day, all together now, but now that I've become pregnant and lazy I do it when they really need it and feel pretty crappy about it but what are you gonna do.

Baths around here are just standing in the tub while I wash them down and rinse them off, takes 2 minutes per child. They have a water table, they get plenty of time to play with water, why do I need to waste 2 hours of my life and get my tub all dirty??

When they were smaller, they got the same treatment in the laundry tub, or the kitchen sink.

My husband has been trained in this as well, and since he's docile and obedient (for the most part) I can just ask him to do it if I don't have time.

Sometimes if I know I won't have time, I'll do it right smack in the middle of the day, or before I dress them.

That said they're still lucky to get a bath once a week at this point, but.. can't.. focus... body.. falling apart...

CAQuincy said...

Baths are usually in the evening right before bed.

We do baths in quick-succession. Usually, I start the bath water around 7-7:30 and wash the 2-year old. Five minutes, tops. Then I let her play for a few minutes while I wrestle the five-year old dawdler into the bathroom and OUT of his clothes and into the tub. Then 2-year old comes out and I put her in jammies while 5-year old dawdles and goofs-off in the tub. 5-year old can now bathe himself, but after 5-year old dawdles for five minutes, I have to get medievel on him and get on to him to rush up. After 20 minutes, I have to go in there, rinse his hair out, and pull the drain. Usually he gets out when the water is gone....and starts to get in his jammies. That's when I bring the 7-year old in.

It took some time and "gentle persuasion", but my 7-year old now showers by herself. I may still have to rinse out her hair a little more after she gets out from time to time, but I LOVE that she takes a shower now.

I've been known to throw two, and yes, sometimes all THREE kids in the same super-fast bath. Don't do three so often anymore since they've just gotten so darn big now!

Anyway, we usually do baths twice a week. Any more than that is because they've been in something really messy, we're going somewhere special, or the little one (the DROOLER) has matted hair that can't possibly wait one more day.

OH--and Loreal Kids now has a shampoo/conditioner/body wash combo that makes ALL this SO much easier!

Wow. That post was entirely way too long. Sorry!

MadMad said...

The shampoo thing cracked me up! I have the opposite problem: my kids put the shampoo in, but don't bother rinsing it out, so they wake up the next morning with DISGUSTO-HAIR that negates the whole shower thing in the first place. So. Sorry. No help here. (There never is... I apparently just like to talk.)

Alice said...

i thought that's what hoses were for....? no? :-)

Pickles & Dimes said...

I don't have kids, but I can identify with JMC, whose daughter doesn't like to have water splashed on her face.

I was the same way, and my parents finally gave me a washcloth to put over my face when I showered so I wouldn't feel the spray on my face or have the unrelenting water drips get into my eyes. It helped immensely.

bananafana said...

ummm . . . I can't keep my ONE kid clean. We used to do baths every night - especially since it helped him wind down for bed. somehow the bath kept getting pushed back later and later and it got to be more important that he just go to bed. now that he is a little bigger we may switch his baths to morning so he can play in the tub while the hubby gets ready

Kelsey said...

Harper has terribly dry skin and eczema as a baby and the doctor told us not to bathe her more than two or three times a week. Two times a week is pretty much what she gets unless there is a reason she needs a bath, like she seems smelly or there was some kind of art material/food incident which demanded cleaning. I have also just put her on her back on the kitchen counter to wash her hair in the sink in a pinch.

Erica said...

I only have one child, and she gets a bath every night. It's part of her bedtime routine. She loves baths, so they're not a hassle. I've learned to wash her hair and scrub her down without interfering too much with her playing. Because if I do happen to interrupt her, all hell breaks loose. Her baths usually last about 10 minutes, then it's onto the changing table for lotioning up (she has eczema) and into jammies. We follow with a bottle and then it's into the crib. We do some variation of this every night. Even when out of town. It works very well for us.

Erica said...

Also, I seem to be in the minority here, but I love giving Maddie her bath. She loves to play in the tub and we have a lot of fun. It's the first place I ever heard her belly laugh and I still recall the look of joy on her face when she splashed for the first time. I cherish these memories and look forward to future ones.

I see it like this: I chose to be a sahm to devote my time to raising my daughter. I don't consider her hygiene to be a chore or a bother. It's not inconvenient or a waste of my time. It's just part of what needs to be done.

Now, some of you may get pissed at my attitude, but I can't help that. There's a lot that goes into taking care of children and keeping them clean doesn't need to fall to the bottom of the list.

Pann said...

Bath happens about every other night. My two fit together in the tub still (tho barely) and we "skip bath" whenever I feel it can be skipped which makes my children gleeful.

Bath is the part of the bedtime routine that we can skip ... everything else is sacred.
Bath, Teeth brushing , Reading, Lights out.

If I had three other kids to care for? I doubt we'd be so orderly about it!

mamaDB said...

We bathe right before bedtime. Granted, I only have a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old so I throw them into the tub together. Perhaps Rob can bathe the twins while William is in the shower and you are bathing Henry in the bathroom sink, next to all of the chaos, supervising the soaping up? I don't know, Swistle. If I were in your shoes, I'd have them all in a kiddie pool in the backyard while I sat in my deck chair sipping a cocktail. I'm good like that.

Misty said...

Eldest showers nightly now that he is a stinky stinky stinky little boy. (Is 6 too young for deoderant?) and my baby bear gets bathed when he is dirty. The time period on that depends on what we feed him for dinner. Pasta Pick-Ups? Chopped up Banana? Oh, you are getting "the tub."

Shannon said...

Here is how we do it in the W clan house.

1. Buy the hugest bath tub that they sell at Home Depot (thing montrosoity with jets).

2. Have someone else install it and do all the fancy stuff.

3. Fill with warmish water.

4. Dump entire family in at once - Papa, Mama, Toddler (or should I call her young child?), and Baby.

Jeff and I still take other showers of course because washing ones hair in a bath tub that has bathed four people...ick..ok, good for small child and baby but not so good for adult.

JMC said...

Oh, Pickles, thank you thank you!! What a wonderful idea! Though quite humbling that something that seems so simple and obvious would not have occurred to me. I am going to suggest this to her tonight and see if she'll go for it. Let's all keep our fingers crossed!

Oh, quick question: How did you hold the washcloth on your face and manage to wash your hair? Or did you just hold the cloth and your mom washed the hair? That would be okay with me, too. Anything at this point would be an improvement.

JMC said...

Erica - I'm not pissed at all. When I had one child, she got a bath every night, too. And I wasn't a SAHM then. I worked a full time job and taught college at night and was divorced and on my own. Doing all the kid stuff with one is comparatively easy. I'm not saying easy, key word here is comparatively.

But... when you add one or more to the first, things can get a little crazy. The bigger ones are getting older and have school things and after-school activities and sports, etc. All of them want your undivided attention. The amount of dishes and laundry, etc., that needs to be done increases exponentially, even when you find that you yourself have been wearing the same clothes for the past three days straight.

I don't think anyone here is saying taking care of their children is a chore (though at times, yes, it feels like it is), or that keeping them clean should be at the bottom of the list. I think we are recognizing that, while in an ideal world we would bathe them daily, sometimes it is simply not humanly possible, so we do the best we can to keep them as clean as IS possible considering everything else that has to be done so that we don't neglect the very important aspect their lives that is personal hygiene.

JMC said...

OF their lives. OF.

Devan said...

We too have bathtime then story then bed. They get a bath every night, though the baby often doesn't get any soap or shampoo...

Mommy Daisy said...

Here's how I handle baths. We do bath as part of the bedtime routine every night. At 7:00 my son gets excited that it's bathtime. I put him in while the water is still running, so he can play for a bit. Then I use a soft washcloth get it wet and wash his face. Then I put baby soap (for hair and body type) on the washcloth and scrub his whole body while he's splashing and playing. After rinsing the bubbles off, I get his hair wet, put soap in it, then rinse that out. Then I unplug the bathtub. He's allowed to play and splash until the water is gone. Then it's time for pajamas and a quick snack. Then a book (or two), brush teeth, go to bed. We've been doing this (with some variations) since he was 2 months old.

It works for us. He's now 18 months and he knows the routine. Once in a great while he can skip the bath and be ok. If we get home late for some reason and he needs to go to bed, we'll skip it. And my husband will not do baths. I don't know why, but he was never interested in it. So if he puts our son to bed when I'm not around, it's no bath that night.

Like Erica, I enjoy bathtime with my son. He loves it, and it's good for us both to unwind at the end of the day.

Pickles & Dimes said...

JMC,

When I was younger and my mom still rinsed my hair in the tub, I'd lean my head back and have the washcloth on my forehead. When she wanted to rinse the back of my head (meaning I had to have my head face-down), I'd use both hands to hold that washcloth as tightly as possible over my eyes.

(I HATED water in my eyes so badly I literally held my breath the entire time.)

When I got old enough to shower, I'd shampoo my hair, grab the washcloth, place it over my eyes, and hold it with both hands while I backed slowly into the water to rinse my hair. (I also lowered the shower nozzle so it would hit me in the chest rather than the face.)

Even today, while I don't use the washcloth, I have my towel hanging over the top so I can catch any water drips.

Katie said...

When I was pregnant I bought some Johnson and Johnson's Lavender and Chamomile Baby Bath Wash and Lotion.(http://www.cvs.com/CVSApp/cvs/gateway/detail?prodid=149167)

I spent a lot of my pregnancy sniffing it and not being able to wait to use it on my baby. Lately they have changed the formula and it doesn't smell the same, but I have found the Target Generic version still smells perfect. I think I bathe my 21 month old more often knowing I can inhale her clean, wet hair at bedtime and smell that smell. Forever, the rest of my life, when I smell lavender I will think of her as a baby.

Okay. That's not what you asked and somehow I made myself cry. What the hell? Anyway, I only have one kid. So she gets a bath nearly every night. Her favorite food is honey and she smears it in her hair more than once a day. But, mostly we do it because she is annoying me by 6:00 p.m. and I can plop her in the tub and do laundry (I can see her in the tub from the laundry area) and clean the bathroom and read a magazine and pluck my eyebrows and drink some wine. Everyone is happy!

Swistle said...

Anonymous- I see what you mean--but I think adults get grosser than kids. Kids tend to do more playing in the dirt (in which case I do bathe them that night). But adults have oils and aromas that kids don't have until they hit puberty, so adults need to bathe more often for THAT than kids do. The adult-child bathing comparison doesn't work: it would be like saying, "Would YOU go without deodorant every day??? Then put it on your kids!!"

AND, kids get their diaper area cleaned with a soapy wipe during the day, and adults usually don't. Kids get their faces and hands wiped after a meal, and adults usually don't.

Kids: more jam and dirt, true, but more washing built into the routine already. Adults: more B.O. and oil and hair product, fewer diaper wipes.

Trina N. said...

Well, our 2.5 year old gets a bath every other night (unless really dirty) before bed no exceptions. It is Daddy's job. He works pretty late most days and bath time is really the only Q.T. he gets with her during the week.

Swistle said...

Erica- I think we all agree that keeping children clean is important, and part of our parental duty to them. And so we're looking for ways to make it easier to handle, and easier to incorporate into the routine more often.

When Rob was a baby and young toddler, I bathed him every night before bed. When William was born, I went to every other night for both boys. Even with FIVE children I'm still managing to keep everyone smelling and looking nice (the bigger boys go to school three days a week with wet hair).

It wouldn't be impossible for me to bathe all five children every day, if I wanted to make that a top-of-the-list priority. But it wouldn't be the happy bath time it was with one baby, either.

Giselle said...

Is my kid the only one who gets hyper in the bath? We don't do it at night very often, because it winds him up so much, we have to wait even longer for bedtime.

Andrew gets baths when he's dirty and gross. Some weeks that ends up being every other night...other weeks it's once or twice a week. Summer definitely contributes to more baths.

Also, I don't think ANY human needs baths every day. Your body produces oil in response to the amount of bathing...it is desperately trying to keep your skin moisturized despite constantly being dried out with bathing. If you bathe every day and skip a day...you are going to feel gross and oily, because your body has been trained to produce that much oil. After a week of every other day bathing, your body will adjust and you won't feel quite so gross on day two. My family has always bathed every other day...and my father is an elected official, so he can't smell that bad ;)

My point is, if you bathe your kid every night...they probably WOULD be gross on a skipped day. And my kid's skin would probably turn into an alligator-textured mess if I did bathe him every day. At least until he adjusted (but why would I want that???) ;)

Mommy Brain said...

If only my neighbors wouldn't look at me funny if I just hosed my kids off out back...

My kids are starting to get daily baths because at 21 months they are messy eaters, play messy stuff, and always have food in their hair. We built it into our bedtime routine and they actually go to be more easily now. A friend of mine really pushes that baths are daddy bonding time. And, I recently read a blog post by a father of QUADS who always takes charge of bath time. He encourages other dads to do the same here: http://tinyurl.com/29v5wz

Lauren said...

Our philosophy: if it doesn't smell like a foot, it's clean.

If it smells a little bit like a foot douse it with baby powder.


Good luck :)

Shelly said...

Thanks for all the suggestions, ladies. There are definitely some that I can incorporate into our lives. And thanks again for posting this, Swistle. So glad I'm not alone having difficulty bathing the little ones.

Oh, and penny, thanks for the envy. : ) They are really good sleepers. Sometimes they only sleep til 7 or so, but they both sleep the night through, and that's worth a mint.

desperate housewife said...

I never did baths every day, even with just Addy- our doctor told us not to, because it would dry out her skin. We did every other day, and that's what I still aim for, unless of course she wakes up soaked in pee, which, God help me, seems to be happening EVERY STINKIN' DAY lately.
With the little guy... Well, he's four weeks old today and has had ONE official tub bath. His cord stump fell off at two weeks, then the doctor had us wait another week before Full Immersion, and then... You do the math. He just doesn't smell, I swear! I wash his bottom with wipes, obviously, and I also wipe his face and neck folds and even his hair every day, but other than that... He's not sweating or eating peanut butter or anything, so what's to wash?

Swistle said...

Oh, Giselle, and Semi-Desperate too--that reminds me. My kids often get patches of very dry skin--sometimes itchy, sometimes not. I asked the pediatrician about it, and the first thing he said was, "You don't bathe them EVERY DAY, do you?" Fortunately (because that "You don't...do you?" question format totally intimidates me), I wasn't anymore by then.

Anonymous said...

When my son was around 10 mo old, we couldn't do baths anymore either (talk about hysteria!), so my husband would hold him in the shower and I would soap up a washcloth to get the stinky parts. He held him while on one knee which supported his arm and the baby. We have one of those shower heads that you can take out of the holder, so that helped to reduce face splashing. We started with the bottom half, completely rinsed and then did the top half.
We also only did baths/showers about 2x a week since his skin would get so dry. Now he's two and LOVES showers! Since baths wouldn't fly anymore, it worked great for us!

Banana said...

I'm a believer of the "bathing everyday is not in fact good for the child" philosphy... dries the skin out. Swistle hit the nail on the head - childern are clened all the time every day - much more than adults. And most adults don't need a shower everyday... unless you have a sweaty day or have a manual labor job.

Anonymous said...

I agree, bathing every day when they're newborn is not the best idea for their skin. However, as they get older, 6 months and beyond...I am a firm believer in bathing every night, as the bedtime routine. The kids are relaxed, clean, and germs of the days are washed away and best of all, they don't smell the next day. Here's a tip for you that "don't have enough time..." LESS BLOGGING, MORE KID TIME!

Kelsey said...

Swistle,

Want a distraction from baths and mother-in-laws? Get yee to Sundry who is having a baby name discussion right now!

Swistle said...

Anonymous, the Anonymous who says less blogging, more time with kids- Play nice, please.

Jess in Nebraska said...

Wow! I bet you never thought you'd get so much response in regards to a post about your kid's bathing!!!I guess I don't have too much to add....I'm one of the "child takes a bath every day" people... however, I just have one, and he loves to "swim" in the bathtub, so that makes it pretty easy.
On a different note....Black Sheeped's new 'holiday idea' blog that you mentioned a couple of days ago (or was it yesterday? the days all seem to be running together....) is up! Here's the link:
http://www.maybepaintedpink.blogspot.com/

Sleepynita said...

I only have one boy and he is 15 months old. At our house, at 7:20pm we head up the stairs, set the timer in the bathroom for 15-20 minutes and have a good play bath. Every second day he gets a good scrubbing. Once a week I crawl in with Rito and we really play with the bubbles like a bunch of geeks. After that we get on jammies have a snack and lights out for the dictator by 8:15pm.

Sorry thats all I got. Bathtime is part of my countdown to that time of night where I don't have to chase the dictator around. I love bathtime, since it means bedtime is less then an hour away :)

Misguided Mommy said...

first of all i am in love with the bath pic. it might be my favorite of all. second mosey over to my blog i've decided i have you beat in the inlaw department ten fold!

Omaha Mama said...

We laughed at how much the bathing amount dropped from #1 to #2. #1 got a ritual bath every other day. #2 was more like once a week!

Now that they're both mobile, we bath them together most of the time. I say this like Hubs helps out at all.

They get baths every 3-4 (sometimes 1-2) days. It often depends what we've had for dinner or how much outside time they've had.

I agree though, that it's a lot. Can't imagine it with 5!

jen said...

Dear Anon, I don't want to start a fight, who knows, I probably like you in blog life. I don't not bathe my kids because I'm blogging, I do it because I'm cleaning, cooking, working around the house, playing with the children, paying attention to the husband and right now I'd do more of the above if I weren't currently hobbled by said husband's 10 lb fetus. And I'm just too tired and I guess I don't feel it's a pressing matter to do it every single day anymore. My kids are clean, and groomed, and wearing clean clothes... they are just not clean via fill-up-the-tub bath. There's more than one way to clean a body.

That said my husband gets home at almost 7pm, by the time we eat dinner and the kids get quality time with dad, there's really no time for a full play bath, so if they need one they get the quick rundown in front of the faucet.

I don't know why I'm defensive, I guess I feel all lumped in with the imaginary "I never bathe my kids!" group... my kids are nice and clean, honest.

MrsGrumpy said...

I always had a bath time problem. I'm a "it can happen tomorrow" kind of person and the children's baths often fell into that category. Plus, as a baby, my son was a bath hater...and always let us know.

Jess said...

I take baths with my toddler when the newborn is sleeping. When the newborn needs cleaning, well it's usually all about dad.

Nowheymama said...

The length and depth of the comments on this topic blows my mind. Who knew?!

Lauren: "If it doesn't smell like a foot, it's clean." I totally want to cross stitch that and hang it in our bathroom.

Tina said...

Wow. Lots of replies. My older son is 18, so he showers everyday- I think- at college. Daughter is 4, and here's how it went with her:
Newborn- 2-3 times a week.
Older baby who got food in hair (long curly hair)and really stinky tushies- 3 times a week, separate hairwash if needed (darn that long, tangly hair)
Toddler- up to age 3- 3 times a week unless covered in something filthy (like playground dirt or puddle mud)
Preschool- 3 times a week, and happily DH has taken over (finally) and now she's outside ALL.THE.TIME.
In between baths, I've always been a fan of the tushie hanging over the bathroom sink for a quick wash or feet/leg wash in the tub only. And we had to do baths during the day up to age 3, otherwise she was one wound up little girl. She also had eczema patches for awhile as a toddler, but nothing serious. We made it lukewarmish then and immediately put that goopy gentle naturals eczema cream on her. She went through a hate the hair washing phase, but now tolerates it. Daily bathing is overrated. I lived in Europe for a while with family and they were all like, "You are taking a bath again? You took one yesterday!!!" You know in the 18th century, people bathed in June. That was it.

Melissa H said...

I've only got one kid and no good advice but plenty of sympathy for your reader who's kids don't like baths. Mine either. But she seems to do better with her daddy so now I guess it's mostly his job. In fact that's where they are right now :)

Jenny H. said...

Anonymous:

Please don't tell me that you are one of THOSE mama's.

You know the one. "Bella, don't touch that, or mommy is NOT going to buy you the pretty dress". Bella, please DESTROY THE ENTIRE STORE. Because, these little peons enjoy picking up after your lazy ass.

I am SICK to death of people being bitchy on blogs I love. Hey, here is a crazy idea. You don't like what you read, THEN STOP READING IT!!

I don't bathe my children everyday, I would LIKE for that to happen. But, hey- GUESS WHAT? SOMETIMES IT DOES NOT HAPPEN! I try every day to do that. Sometimes? Meh.

It doesn't mean I am filthy.Because I am not. It just means I have a life. And that sometimes? I am more concerned with my children having fun.

SO THERE.

Giselle said...

I'm amazed how touchy people are about this subject. Of all the "mommy topics", I can't believe this is getting such a response. If we were to meet in real life, no one would be able to tell which kids were bathed every night and which were not. I'm cracking up at these heated responses...over washing. Huh!

Jess in Nebraska said...

Who would have thought....60 posts on THIS TOPIC! And some even got emotional about it...WOW! We're ready to hear from you, Swistle, before further debate about child grubiness or non-grubiness continues.....more MIL stories, PLEASE!!!

lisa said...

My son (2) gets a bath most every night and its usually daddy's job since it allows them to spend time together and lets me have 5 minutes to myself. However, my husband is in the military and is gone somewhat frequently. Even then I find myself throwing The Boy in the tub every night because he enjoys it and, like Katie said, I can flip through a magazine or something while Im sitting in there with him.

lisa said...

PS- Sounds like this could be a great job for your mother in law- your kids will *sparkle* when she is done with them. :)

velocibadgergirl said...

I'm TOTALLY IN LOVE with the "if it doesn't smell like a foot, it's clean" philosophy. Hear, hear!

Mel said...

My oldest are 12 and 10, and shower by themselves. Margo, the oldest, showers everyday, and Mallory showers every other day. My 2 youngest are 3 and 1. When Margo and Mall were that age, and would bathe them together, but that only worked because Mallory was an advanced baby and was capable of it at that time. Milo gets a bath everynight, before bed, because as a 3 year old boy he gets DIRTY. But, my youngest, Moira, was a preemie born at 28 weeks. She's not quite capable of that yet. So, every other night, I give her a quick rinse in the tub in about 3 inches of water. Again, right before bed. It takes a lot, but I already have 4 stinky dogs to deal with, and I don't want four stinky kids added to that!