What Is the "Right" Age to Stop Giving My Son and Daughter a Bath Together?

Updated on September 30, 2008
K.C. asks from Apollo Beach, FL
11 answers

Hello. I was just starting to wonder what age siblings usually stop bathing together. My daughter is almost 3 and my son is almost 5. They are very close knit and I have always bathed them togther, but latelly my son, who is in VPK and starting to learn more about the differences between boys and girls, has been asking me questions about his sisters body. I am not sure what to do and I dont want to make a really big deal about because I know he is just curious. Where should I go from here? Has anyone else had a similar issue?Thanks!

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T.L.

answers from Tampa on

they should be bathing seperate,i have two girls 7&8 and they shower seperate for a while now.they need to know that is their personal time,you can let him know he is a big boy and now that he is 5 he can have a little more privacy to get cleaned up.when the girls started bathing seperate that was when I let them start to shower,my older one wanted to be alone.I would help them,then I would just sit in there,but I was there if they needed. it made easy because they couldn't wait to shower they thought they were so cool.

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A.M.

answers from Tampa on

I too have a boy and a girl and they are the same age as yours. I started making them have separate baths probably the start of this year. My girl has the curiosity streak more so than my son and I tell her to leave him alone - hands to yourself - So I decided to stop all that, separate baths. My son likes to take a shower now too. My son also likes to "swim" in the bath - so he takes up all the space if my daughter is trying to sit there too. Sometimes I'll give them a bath together and we review site words from school - like a game show, I don't let them play as long when they're together - get em in and get em out. I remember when my son first discovered his sister was different - he looked at her, looked at him and said in a very serious manner, what happened to your tee tee? You broke it?? He's only asked really one time and never thought about it again. But I told him why he's different - because he's a boy. And also to not let anyone but certain people - who he knows WHO can - touch him.

A

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S.H.

answers from Tampa on

Mine still bath together, most of the time. They are 4 and 5, boy and girl. They are also sharing a room for the next year or two until we buy a house. Anyway, they tend to poke at eachother and are starting to act inappropriate, in my eyes...but it does give me a chance to reiterate that they need to respect eachothers bodies and leave them alone. I know they are just curious and testing the boundaries. They also get very roudy and start splashing water out of the tub, which gets them in trouble...So, I'm sure soon they won't be able to be in there together anymore, but mainly because they are running out of room and too much splashing, not because of their age or gender. You'll know when it's time.:)
S.

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D.F.

answers from Tampa on

They will decide. One day usually the oldest one will become shy around you too and want to bathe alone. Don't worry about it. You will know when that time comes. I had two sons and the oldest made that decision and seemed like overnight. I have a grandson 9 and his sister 8 who still bathe together and I see signs already that will be changing soon. The girl already wants to dress and undress behind closed doors but still will bathe with her brother. The brother is taking a shower alone most days now too.

A mother and grandmother who knows! LOL!

Hugs,
D.

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B.W.

answers from Tampa on

I have a 2 yr old gorl and 5 yr old son. I was wondering the same thing. Most the time they bathe together. Our problem was our daughter since she trys to grab it sometimes. Sometimes she does not even pay attention. My son when explained the diffrence was told not to touch her there he is not interested any more. Soon we may seperate because of not enough space. We have a separate shower (which son loves showers)so once in awhile he gets a shower and she gets the bath(she is not so sure about the shower yet.)We may soon go with that all the time, but for now they are fine. Since most of the time she still ignores him and does her own thing playing with her bath toys, or seeing how wet she can get mommy.

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L.S.

answers from Tampa on

If this were me, I would answer your sons questions as honestly and simply as possible and start bathing them seperatly. I think 5 is a good age to start seperate bathing. I think that was the age I started with my kids - only my daughter was the older one.

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C.C.

answers from Tampa on

When he or she decides that bathing alone is preferable. (I'm guessing that your son will decide this first because he's older but I could be wrong.)
Anyway, I think Rosemary is right, it's a great time to discuss the differences between boys and girls in a low pressure way, a fun thing for your kids to do together (who doesn't love water and a playmate?) and a time saver - two bathes in the time it takes for one. Also it saves water. :)

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L.B.

answers from Sarasota on

I'm not sure what other kind of responses you've got so far, but in my opinion you should have not had them both in the bath as soon as your son turned 3 possibly 4! I completely understand about the whole close knit thing, but when it comes to bathes where they are both nude etc. not a good idea, it's best to start bathing seperately.

If you think they may have trouble with the seperate baths my suggestion would be to have one play in bathroom while the other bathes so they know they are still there.

good luck!

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M.B.

answers from Tampa on

Hi K.,
I have 3 children. 7 yr old girl, almost 5 yr old boy, and a 2 1/2 yr old girl. All 3 of them bathe together. That is when I can do things I need to, for all of 10 minutes. I don't think that it is unnatural for your son to ask questions, rather him ask you then someone else! Let him know that boys and girls are different in simple terms. My son did the same thing, I told him that is why he is a boy and his sisters are girls, and he was cool with that! You have nothing to worry about! M.

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R.

answers from Tampa on

I have a 2 year old daughter and a 5 year old son. They bath together and I don't plan on stopping this practice anytime soon. This is a GREAT opportunity to answer their questions (and not someone else). If they ask what "that" is, I tell them. Not a great lengthy explanation, just the name. We use the medical words not pee pee or va j j. It is our building block for as they grow and it not being uncomfortable for them or us when the REAL questions come. We really want them to be comfortable talking to us about sex later. If you don't make a big deal about it neither will they. I love the time they spend together in the tub. Not to mention the questions that come about if they are not allowed to anymore. "Mommy, why can't we take a bath together anymore?" "Because you are a boy and she is a girl?" and then more and more questions. Are you going to not allow them to get dressed in each other's presence? That is really hard. What about changing her diaper (if she is not potty trained). I personally think you will be creating more questions by stopping bath time. It will be interesting to see some of the responses. I am sure there will be some the total opposite of how we handle things at our house. Good luck!!

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D.C.

answers from Fort Myers on

Hello K.: Of course he is curious is nothing wrong asking you about that. At this age they are about to explore the world that surround them. But, you should start taking him a bath separate. He need to learn to be responsible in taking a bath alone. Of course you watch him take a bath.I have three boys now are teens they are a year apart so when they was taking a bath around 5 years old i teach them to wash his hair, how to use the soap with the cloth and how long to stay in the tub cuz I got his brothers to take a bath too!They learn this rules since they were almost 5 before starting the school. Giving this responsability he will then stop asking and become curious about his sister.And remember never let them alone in the tub or standing in the bath tub!Well like I said at that age they are exploring and they will keep asking question they are curious and that is normal.Good luck, You looks a great mom! enjoy ur family is a wonderful life!