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When Can You Let Your Baby Take A Bath Alone?

4 min read

Bathing your child can either be a fun or an agonizing affair, depending on how your child is. Some kids love water time and can’t wait to get to the bath tub daily. For many others, bathing is an annoying task and they have to be dragged to the washroom every day. Whether your child loves bathing or not, it is definitely a big chore for you, and a wet one at that! Many a times, you end as much or more drenched as your little one. And in this context, letting your child take a bath alone seems to be a dream come true. But how do you know if they are ready? Read on.
Toddler bathing

What Is The Right Age For My Child To Bathe Alone?

There is no “ideal age” for letting your child bathe alone. Usually, it is driven by the following triggers:

  1. Your child wants to have privacy. This again varies from child to child. Some children do not want you to see them bath as young as 5 or 6 years old. Some kids, on the other hand, are okay with your presence and help until they are in their preteens and are about to hit puberty
  2. Your child is capable of bathing alone. This means that your child is able to clean himself thoroughly, ensuring every part of the body, including private parts, are cleaned and washed properly

Ideally, both the conditions need to be met before you let your kid take a bath alone. However, often, your child might want privacy only to splash and play in water and the actual “bathing” might not really take place. In such cases, you have to:

  • Help the child learn how to take bath alone. Stay in the wash room for a week, but let your child take bath alone. While supervising, you can give the child instructions on how to get the soap to the back, how to wash and shampoo hair and how to clean private parts. Ensure the child gets it right. Continue supervision until the child gets it right
  • Decide on the amount of time your child can take to finish the bath. Factor in some water play time as well so that bathing becomes more enjoyable for the child. However, make sure that your child knows that he has to come out of the washroom after that pre-decided time

That said, it is better not to let a child below 4-5 years old bath alone. This is mainly because of the high risk of drowning in the tub. Although you think that older kids will not drown, they might also slip on the tub and fall into the water. If they lose consciousness because of the fall, then they might drown, even if there is only few inches of water in the tub. But what if your 4 year old insists on bathing alone? There are couple of workarounds for this one.
Happy toddler bathing

Preacutions When You Let Your Child Bathe Alone

  • Let the child bathe alone, but not without supervision. Say “Mamma will just sit on this stool and read a mag. Mamma won’t even look at your side.” This way you get to make sure your child stays safe (with an added advantage of ensuring he/she is taking bath thoroughly) and the child feels independent as you are not helping. Win-win!
  • Another technique to ensure that your child does not drown is to avoid bath tubs till they are 7-9 years old. Teach them how to take a bath using a bucket and mug (which in any case is more common in Indian households). Or you can buy a non-slip mat and let your child shower alone. This will not require any major supervision as there is absolutely no risk of drowning
  • Teach them how to use the hot and cold taps. Most Indian households have one tap for cold water and one for hot. In the initial days, you would of course fill the bucket/tub for your child. Even then, the child needs to know how to mix the water. He also need to know he cannot touch the water stream only when the hot water tap is on
  • At least till you are confident, make sure your child knows that it is a “privilege” to bath alone. He should not play games, jump in water, or do anything that can lead to a fall and hurt. No goofing around. Period
  • Teach them the art of shampooing and conditioning. Starting with how to open the bottle to how much to pour on the palm of their hands to how to apply to how to wash them off thoroughly

More on toddler safety in the bathroom here. Let us know when you started letting your child take bath!

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