At What Age Do You Let Your Kids Bathe Themselves?

Today, one of my readers commented in one of my posts and raised a very interesting point, which got me thinking hard.  She said that my kids should be able to take their baths themselves by now.  Personally, I feel that Alycia (4 years old) and Sherilyn (1 week shy of her 3rd birthday) are still too young to know how to bathe themselves properly.  Even if I  let Alycia off the leash and let her learn to bathe herself, I will still stand inside the bathroom to supervise her, guiding her what to do but definitely not Sherilyn.  If I let Sherilyn off the leash and give her a tad freedom, she will definitely get herself in trouble. Since young, she’s really very inquisitive, curious, mischievous, daring, not afraid of strangers and thus, prone to accidents. She has given me far too many heart attacks and heart stopping moments that I am paranoid whenever I leave her alone anywhere.  Once, I went out of my bedroom for less than 1 minute and Sherilyn went into my bathroom and played with the water from a huge pail and got herself all wet. That really freaked me out and I really learnt a lesson there.  She could have been drowned.  I’ve since fixed a latch to lock my bathroom door from outside whenever no one is using the bathroom.  Another time, she got her left thumb squashed and broken by a steel door in the kitchen when my maid and I were busy with something else.

Maybe I pamper and spoil my kids too much and still treat them like babies but my kids are really too precious to me coz I went through an extremely difficult time to have them.   On the flip side, maybe it’s time for me to teach them to be more independent since I will be having a 3rd baby very soon and can’t afford to find the time to spoonfeed them in every single task. 

I’d love to hear from parents out there – at what age do you allow your kids to bathe themselves, to go to the toilet (pee and poo) and do other chores themselves without any adult supervision?

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15 thoughts on “At What Age Do You Let Your Kids Bathe Themselves?

  1. Hi Shireen, indeed this is a very useful topic for us Mothers to know. I hope more readers with such experience will tell us more. From my reading of your blog for sometimes, I think u r doing just fine to train them to be independent, just keep up the good job and wait for more Mummies to share their experiences.

  2. My girl’s going to be six end of this year and i’m still bathing her. First of all, our bathroom is not child friendly, I cant expect her to be able to reach up to the knob to turn the shower on or adjust the temperature. The kids do their pee and poo by themselves, but they will still need my help to wipe and wash their buttock for big business. Seriously I have not thought about this, not even about letting themselves brush their own teeth. I think I do a better job in cleaning them rather than they do it themselves.

  3. both my kids almost same age like yours. I still not train them independently as I feel they are still young for shower by their own. As for my son, he can go pee by his own but I still keep in eye on him when he is in the toilet. For me, I think 6-7 years old they can bath independently, as my mum did that too on me.

  4. Probably the best age is around 6? I remember taking my own bath when I was 6. Sher and Aly are still a bit young. I am sure you have read about young kids being drowned in their own bathrooms because no one supervised them. Then the fingers will be pointed at the parents. Don’t worry about what others think. Just do what you think is right. Mothers know best!

  5. Hi Shireen,

    I’ve been reading your blog for awhile now, and this is the first time I’m commenting.

    I have 3 kids, aged 7, 5 and 3. I do once in awhile let my two older ones bathe on their own. I’ll take the shower down for them and put it back. They put the shampoo and body soap on their own. I’ve thought them how much to shampoo and soap to squirt. And also how to put wash themselves. BUT they do tend to play in the bathroom. My 2nd one loves to blow bubbles while bathing. So although I let them bathe on their own, I still keep a close watch on them. I don’t allow them to go into the bathroom without me knowing. But when I want to be quick, I will bathe them. They tend to be very slow. I guess they just enjoy playing water.

    As for peeing and pooing. When they were younger, I had a potty. And made them do their peeing and pooing on their own there. Now that they are able to climb onto the toilet, they do it there. I’ve thought them to wash themselves too.

    My youngest can go pee on his own too. But I’ll wash him if he does his big business.

    It’s quite natural that the kids might not do a good job on their first few tries. But with practise I’m quite sure your daughters will be able to do it too.

  6. Tee just started going to wee on her own as I was fed up of taking her so I forced her to learn. I still do the poo cleaning though, can’t trust her! As for bath time, I usually bathe her but she is capable of bathing herself (under my supervision, of course) as I’ve taught her the process – I do it just cuz it’s faster that I do it – LOL

  7. hmm…i remember bathing myself when i was 6 and guess what i did. I climb into the tangki, you know last time old house, they got this tangki cement in the bathroom one. Since I was tall enough for a 6yo, i actually climb in and tried to swim and then accidentally scratched my back over the water tap LOL. I dare not tell anyone even my mom cause she will sure scold me for going into the tangki where everyone all takes water and bath hahaha.

    but i think by 6 should be ok..or even 5, but if it’s me, I’d prefer not to have tangki in the house cause it’s very dangerous since kids love water, they might get drowned. if it’s just shower then it’s ok. and I’m worried if it’s gonna be clean or not :|.

    faythe likes to stand under the shower head and bath herself usually after i finish bathing myself and them. Yes we bath all 3 together LOL. and now vyktore too likes to do that.

  8. Peeps….Thanks everyone for your comments 🙂
    Personally, I think the ideal age for a kid to be independently taking bath himself/herself is age 6 or 7. I started taking bath myself at that age too but thinking back, I remember I did it in a real ‘cincai’ (not thorough) fashion… that’s why my hair even got infested with ‘kutu’ (head lies) in school.

    Jazzmint…. LOL! I was chukling away reading your comment coz that’s just what I did when I was young. My parents didn’t know I did that too…. they would surely be mad if they found out. Thinking back, it was really so dangerous for us… climbing into the tank with our wet and slippery feet, not to mention unhygienic too… imagine the entire tangki of water dirtied when we swim inside, haha!

  9. Very interesting topic.. Shireen..! like my mother in law would say.. they will be ready..when they are ready. So the day.. the brat says she wants to bathe herself.. that will be the day.. she gets to clean herself. Until then.. PB will still bathe her on the nites.. we donch have keegan around.

  10. I should be more clear…I mean let them bath, help themselves ‘with’ your supervision. That way, you don’t strain yourself as much such as squating up and down. Of course, not all the time, but particulary when you are tired…as we all know they are not capable of cleaning themselves very well yet.

    I started to let her experience herself when I was pregnant with my 2nd one (with supervision)..when she was about 2+ as I can definitely imagine how tough it would be for me when I am heavily pregnant. By 3+, she pee and poo, clean up mostly by herself and wash hand herself after that. I should clarify that our toilet are clean and dry as we have a separate bath area. I have a stool for her to reach for the water tap to wash her hand herself too… It’s the Ikea round may say it is slippery and not stable..but after a while, she learn to balance herself well.

    She pee and poo in the normal adult toilet bowl. Somehow, got trained to do that in school since she was about 3…

    By around 4, she is capable of bathing herself…with my supervision. Now, 4.5, she can wash her hair and rinse off clean..and I don’t supervise all the time ..but peek once in a while. Again, not all the time but only when I’m busy.

    At night, she normally rinse (or wipe her body herself) and wash her private part herself, then change into pj herself now. We tends to wash her teeth at night but let her do it herself in the morning.

    Yes, they will do it when they are ready…but I also believe that until you give them the chance to try, only then they themselves would know if they are ready or not.

  11. Shireen, I think this is very individual. Age should not be a factor here. Children develop at different pace and each one of them is different. We should not follow the norms but to observe for ourselves whether or not our children are ready.

    Off course, before letting them do themselves, we should go through the process, then watch as they do, then let go. I started training my eldest when he was 6 last year and only let him bathe himself without supervision this year.

    Don’t pressure yourself. Follow your own pace and your children’s.

  12. ian is turning 5 this yr and sometimes i will tell him to scrub here n there. but i will still be in the bathroom with him. to be totally independent, i think around 7 yrs perhaps..

  13. Hi I new to your blog.

    I still being shower by my mum/maid as our bathroom is not that user-friendly (need to adjust the hot/cold tap). I started washing buttock on my own last year (6yrs old)

  14. I kinda agree with the idea of 6-7, which means they are in there by themselves with the door locked. When younger, I used to put them in abt 6-8 inches of water in the tub and they washed for abt 30 mins or so while I sat on a chair in the bathroom reading!

  15. Wow – reading the responses to this subject makes me think that I was rather late as a child! Although I started bathing myself at around 8/9 Mum would still wash my hair in the bathtub once a week followed by her washing the shampoo off my head and shoulders and giving me a general wash over. I think this continued until I reached 12. It wasn’t embarrassing or anything and we’d just chat about school and stuff while she did this. I started puberty at around 13 but I was bathing myself a bit before then anyway.

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