Shower Vs. Bath for Toddlers?

Updated on July 09, 2010
L.L. asks from New York, NY
15 answers

We're looking to buy an apartment and have found one with promise except that the one full bath is a stall shower, no bathtub. My kids are 16 months and 2 1/2 years. We bathe them in the tub currently and I worry that a stall shower will make bathing them a challenge and potential safety hazard. Am I being overly concerned? And at what age did you start showering your kids versus using the tub? Side note: if we move to the stall-shower apt my husband or I would be in the shower wtih the kids; they wouldn't be expected to bathe alone. Thanks in advance for your input.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Really great advice everyone -- can't tell you how much I appreciate it. We are going to check out the apartment again tomorrow and will try to visualize some of the suggestions you made. Seems like the consensus is to not worry about it -- so I won't! I'll keep you posted once we've made our decision. Thanks again!

Featured Answers



answers from San Francisco on

My daughter has been taking showers with me or her dad since she was about 13 or 14 months. She loves them, rarely ever gets a bath because it is so much easier to shower. She just sits their and plays with her toys (I do have some cups and larger tupperware in their for her so she can have some water for her duckie or boat to swim in.

More Answers



answers from State College on

i have 4 kids 7,5,3 and 1. our house has a full tub upstairs and a shower downstairs. when the kids started sitting unassisted i started putting them in the shower because it is faster and easier and i can also keep an eye on the others, they still get baths at times but mostly its showers.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Its hard being in a shower stall, all together... unless it is a shower over a tub combo set up.
JUST a shower stall, can be cramped unless it is a bigger sized shower.

I have a 3 almost 4 year old... he does not like showers... except if we are IN there with him, showering TOO. And it gets cramped in there... and it is slippery... even if we have those slip proof stickers on the shower floor. My daughter is 7... and since 6 years old, she likes showers and can do it all by herself.

With a 16 month old... they can be in a "Eurotub".... my kids were in there until about 2 years old and they are big kids. But you could use the toddler tub IN the shower stall, for your younger child.

All the best,



answers from New York on

My kids are 2 and 7 months, I bathe them in the tub still, and probably will for quite some time. However, if I was in a situation where they had to take a shower, I would be fine with that. I know plenty of people with kids your age who take showers with mom and dad.

How big is the kitchen sink? Could you bathe in there if you needed to? I had to do that last summer with my son because when I was pregnant my back was killing me and I couldn't get him in and out of the tub, but was able to give him a bath in the kitchen sink.


answers from Denver on

I don't know if I would personally buy a apartment without a tub. Right now my kids are 3 &5 and they take showers and baths but when they run a fever or are sick sometimes a bathtub is a good thing to have. Now if you are renting and this is a temporary thing I think I could manage showers for a year or two. I don't really think its a safety hazard for the 2 1/2 year old just get one of those non slip liners for the bottom. You could probably put him/her in there and just supervise from the outside and reach in to wash them. The younger ones get a little slippery and soap gets in someones eyes either yours or babies unless you give them a quick wash and hand him/her off to your spouse and then you finish showering. OR since the 16 mos old is still small you could get a big storage tub and fill it with water and set it in the shower???? There are ways around it, its all up to what you are willing to deal with.



answers from Detroit on

My kids are almost 3 and 4, and I am 35 weeks pregnant. If I am the one doing "bath" time, it is actually shower time now. It is too hard to bend down and try to wash them and all of that. I had already done the shower with me here and there before and I decided that it was just easier while I am pregnant. I do let them go in the shower by themselves. Just put a mat down or the non slip pads so they can't slip. I stand right outside the shower door and help them get their wash cloth soaped up and let them wash themselves (helping as needed). I usually help with washing their hair too. It is 100 times easier than a bath. I do like the bath sometimes because sometimes I feel like they can soak a little more and I can relax while they just play in tub, but as they are getting used to taking more showers, they want to stay in there longer too. They can still take cups and some play stuff in there. Again as long as you have the non-slip stuff, I would say it would be just fine. I actually think it is less dangerous than having them sit in a bath of full of water too.



answers from Columbus on

My daughter, who is now 6, didn't like to take showers w/ me until she was about 4 (She still loves to take a bath from time to time and play). My son who is 3 still does not like to take showers. There's something about it that scared them. Have you tried to have both kids take showers w/ you or your husband? If not, I would try it and see how they react. I think it would be really hard on you not to have a tub but I'm sure there's other parents out there that do it. If you are in there w/ them I can't think of a safety hazard. Good luck :)


answers from New York on

Before we move we use to have a bath and my then 12 moth girl didn't like the tub, I don't know why.
Now we don't have a tub anymore and I bath my now 2 year old in the kitchen sink, is a pain in the butt because the floor gets wet so I have to put a towel in the floor before I start, but she love it!
Also, lately when I take showers I let her be in the bathroom with me (I leave the door open) and at the begining she wouldn't even get close, so I would put my husband shave cream in the shower door and make faces.
Well, now she loves to get there with me, and the fight now is to get her out!!
I do miss the bath and my 12 year old too, but my 2 year old is having lots of fun in the kitchen and in the shower.
PS: There are tons of toys for the shower as well, or you can just get your husband shaving cream.


answers from Nashville on

I have a 16 month old, too, and she hates showers. She doesn't like how the spray that comes off the water (not the actual water from the shower head, but the mist like that comes off of that) gets into her eyes. It makes bathing her a real chore. Plus, it would take away her water play time. Her baths usually last for about 20 min: the first 15 she plays in the water with her toys which is also very educational and the last 5 we actually wash her. I look forward to bath time, because even though I am still there on baby duty, I still have the chance to just sit and relax a little since she generally entertains herself. I personally would hate just showering her. I hope everything works out for the best! Good luck!



answers from Grand Rapids on

My boys had no choice but to take showers once they outgrew the infant tub. We didn't realize at the time, but in the the house we bought, with only one bathroom, the tub doesn't hold water. My husband has tried everything under the sun to get the stopper out so he can install a new one and it's like the previous owners welded the darn thing to the tub. We've tried to use the rubber plugs that just lay on top of the drain, but the suction never seems to hold. So, showers it is! They love them! We just place rubber ducky non-slip pads on the floor and stay with them at the end of the tub to make sure the youngest (3) doesn't fall.


answers from Los Angeles on

Here's my opinion, go for it. My baby is 16 months and takes showers on and off. She has ever since she was little. Just get a bath mat or those little sticky safety things to put at the bottom of the tub (mine look like fish). That way they wont feel unsteady and slip. Also if you're really concerned get a shower head that has a detachable hose. You can bring the hose down to the baby, and just reach in there and bathe them instead of being in the actual stall with them. If your worried about taking away their educational water time just get the alphabet toys that stick on the wet walls or tub crayons. Hope this helps. Good Luck! =)



answers from Saginaw on

I started taking my kids into the shower with me when they were around 1. I mostly did it when we needed to all shower in the morning and get somewhere but it was pretty easy. My oldest daughter is 6 and has been showering on her own for about a yr and the yr before she would shower on her own but I would reach into the shower and help her with her hair. Try it a little bit in your current apt and see how it works! Good luck!


answers from Dallas on

I wouldn't stress at all if I were you. My husband and bought our house a month before we found out I was pregnant. We don't have a bathtub and have been giving her a shower basically since our daughter could hold her head up. (she's 18 months now) She loves them and always has. There is a plain little Ikea bathtub that I bought a few weeks ago which I sometimes will fill up for her to play in while I shower. It works perfectly bc she can play while I shave my legs or whatever. Other times she will just be in the shower like anyone else would be. We have never had a problem with it and you will adjust. It works great for us. :)



answers from Billings on

both my girls have showered with us since their cords fell off. Sometimes I let my 4yo shower 'by herself' and I just reach in and wash her hair and body. I wouldn't hesitate to by a shower only stall. You can always if you want to get one of the hand-held shower heads and set it up so it is very low for them to stand under, and then just kneel with them and wash. My 16mo loves the shower and showers with me and DH all the time but I still could do her in the sink.



answers from Dallas on

My older sister lived in a REALLY small house and they only had a tiny shower stall. She got one of those large tubs from Home Depot - basically like a big plastic bin, and gave her son baths in that. This was 25 years ago, so there are probably some cute, sturdy containers you can use for a bath, and they can stand and shower too if they like it. Hope that helps!

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions