At What Age Have You Transitioned from Bath to Shower?

Updated on December 27, 2010
J.B. asks from Natick, MA
23 answers

I'm interested to learn folks' experiences with transitioning kids from bath to shower, and also at what age people feel comfortable their kids will do a good job with self-bathing? Do experiences differ with boys vs girls, also with multiple kids? I have a boy (5) and girl (2.5), and they both really enjoy their bath time. My daughter is much more interested in self-bathing than my son, whose sole focus is on playing in the bath. They think it is fun to have the shower turned on at the end of their bath, but it is more of a game than anything. I'm not in any hurry to push them out of the tub, but just curious how others handle this.

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So What Happened?

Thanks Ladies! Great information. I love asking these questions, as there are always so many ways to raise our kids, and it is fun to see the different approaches - on the more important and the more mundane questions. I think we'll stick with the bath and focus on building the self-bathing skills for a while.

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answers from Modesto on

Mine started showers when they started kindergarten. I always had them shower in the morning .... part of the wake up routine. Breakfast would be on the table after they got out and dried off. Robes on, school clothes AFTER breakfast to save a re-dress.

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answers from Dover on

I would say around 6, but for my daughter I still washed her hair for her up until she was close to 9 because she's mixed & just has a ton of hair. My son is 11 & once in a while I still have to remind him to really wash behind his ears & stuff like that because I think he just forgets.

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answers from Los Angeles on

I've been showering with my daughter, age 5.5, for probably about 3 years. Recently, I asked if she would like to start showering by herself since she's in kindergarten now, and I can't believe how happy that suggestion made her! OH, the little things in life :) Anyway, I then really began focusing on having her wash her hair on her own while I was in the shower and showing her how to get all the soap out (she has very thick hair like me). Couple days later, she was on her own with me checking in constantly just to keep the process going so that we don't waste too much water. I still help her put conditioner in her hair, but the rest she does on her own and she's very proud of herself! She'll occasionally still take a bath, but she likes showering better now. Good luck!

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answers from Eau Claire on

My son (9) started doing self bathing (for the most part) when he started school. I still (even now) go in and make sure he washed his hair, ect. but my daughter (4) gets in the tub ready to wash before she even wants to play. My son still takes both baths and showers, depending on how he feels.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

My son is 7 and he's still getting a bath & I wash his hair.

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answers from Boston on

My oldest is 9, and he still enjoys baths more than showers, so he usually gets a bath, and he still enjoys playing in the tub. He showers happily when we're pressed for time, or if there's another reason, but he prefers the tub, and still enjoys playing in the tub, though he has been saying he wants "older tub toys," which I have a hard time finding. I don't see any reason not to let him have a bath when there's time -- after all, I know many adults who prefer the tub to the shower when they have time. I suspect that once he starts wanting to wash before school, it will be showers all the time. I take my 5yo into the shower with me on occasion just to get her used to it and comfortable washing in the shower, but the 23 month old hasn't had a shower yet.



answers from Anchorage on

My boys just turned 5 and 7. They take both baths and showers, depending on their mood. They self clean, but I keep an eye with my 5 year old to be sure it gets done well.



answers from Minneapolis on




answers from Fort Wayne on

my dd is 17 mo and takes a shower. I have a bath mat for her so she does not slip I figured since she liked to stand in the tub your going to shower and she loves it. She is never unsepervised of course, we have the shower wand that hangs down ans sprays at her tummy it does make bath time quicker.


answers from Dover on

My daughter just turned 4 and loves a shower. We clean her but then she plays a bit.



answers from Hattiesburg on

I have 2 boys and my 6 year old occasionally likes to take a shower and he is great with taking a shower he washes his hair better in the shower I have also noticed. My 4 year old is terrified of the shower and he does okay bathing himself but come on he is 4 haha he needs lots of help haha


answers from Pittsburgh on

My son is almost 5, and he takes a bath. To expedite the process, I usually wash him just to get it done, and then he plays for a bit, but he can, and sometimes does wash himself. Hair too. And on occasion, he will take a shower, which is more of a novelty to him, but when he does, he bathes himself, because I can't really do it for him without getting soaked! He has a bath puff, and I put soap in it, and he goes to town. When he bathes himself, I'm sure it's not perfect, but as long as he hits the major areas, and rinses off well, I'm happy.


answers from Sacramento on

My older daughter (just turned 8) takes showers, but this really started this school year, when I finally felt confident that she could wash her thick, curly hair adequately on her own. My younger daughter (5.5) still loves taking a bath, and since her hair is short, it's not difficult to wash it in the bath vs. the shower. I still take care of washing her hair because I don't feel she does a great job of it on her own, but she is capable of washing her body on her own. Sometimes she takes a shower with me, but I think it's not as fun for her as the bath.



answers from Boston on

my son is 7 and started taking showers on his own over the summer. last winter I still helped him with his hair but when we were camping over the summer he went in one stall while I was in another and he was fine by himself. he just likes me to help him wipe up after the shower now. he seems to do a pretty good job on his own.



answers from Chicago on

My daughter is almost two and taking showers already. We obviously help her, but she loves it!! We rent, and our apt doesnt have a bathtub and she doesnt fit in the baby tub anymore!



answers from Kansas City on

My son transitioned when he no longer fit in the little baby tub for a bath. My house doesn't have a bathtub (I know, right?), so the little bathtub would be in the shower with the long-hanging wand to fill it and help him rinse completely. Once he outgrew it, he had to shower! At first it was with me, then around age three, he was on his own. I still wash his hair and back to ensure it gets done, then sometimes check in on him to see if there are bubbles over his entitre body. I ask if he washed his.....then name random body parts like toes, armpits, anus, shoulders, or whatever.....then take his word for it.

He still gets a bath at Grandma's house. He likes it and also gets to play.



answers from Washington DC on

My daughter transitioned at at 5. She saw that daddy and mommy took showers and wanted to be like us, and she also wanted to bathe in the mornings, when it just wasn't possible to have a bath. My husband supervises most mornings and we help her with washing her hair and making sure that she is washing everything.


answers from Tampa on

My daughter (5 y/o) has always had showers with me - where I could get her hair and body clean - no playing in the water. Sometimes for a treat since she was 3, I'd let her have the VERY occasional bath for fun time in the water, then a quick clean up.

I'll still take showers with my little one until she tells me she's ready to shower by herself.



answers from Washington DC on

Our decision was a time thing. I don't like kids to be in the bath unsupervised. It became hard to keep the younger one away from the water while the older one was taking a bath. So we had him transition to showers. He was between 6-7y. He is now 9y.

My nephew however has only ever taken showers. Ever. His parents would take their showers and then bring him in with them for his wash up. He is now 7y. Adult still has to wash his hair and such for him though.



answers from San Francisco on

my 2 yr old has been taking showers with me since she could sit on her own. she sits and plays and then when I wash her she stands in the shower to wash off. But she takes a warm bath most nights to relax and get ready for bed, I don't wash her at night because she gets mad/cranky and defeats the purpose of settling down. She loves the water though, and doesn't mind she shower on her, every kid is different, my friends daughter hates the shower.


answers from Boston on

my daughter is 4 and we just started taking showers. in the summer we rent a beach house and she started showering there to get the sand off... but she liked to play in the tub still. but she's starting to get really dry skin on her bum and privates so we switched to showers (so she's not sitting in water with soap) and it's helped her skin. i'm in the bathroom instructing her on washing.... then give her a little time to play, she slides around in the tub, and still use her little mermaid house that sticks on the wall etc...


answers from Houston on

My daughter is 4.5 and showers most of the time because she has hair down to her waist but I ussually either shower with her or at least stay in the bathroom to supervise and check to be sure her hair is rinsed. I also like the idea of her showering because as a female- sitting in that warm soapy water is not necessarily great. I do sometimes shower with my 2 year old son and this keeps the bathroom floor dryer because he splashes around like a little otter!


answers from Oklahoma City on

i showered with my daughter from the time she was old enough to walk to 5 to help her get used to it, after that i helped her and still do sometimes (she's almost 8)

to me it's really something you transition into, not an over night process...make it fun, i had my daughter look at it like playing in the sprinkler, started her off in her swimsuit and told her it's just like being out side, and being with me to start helped her

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