Recently I’ve found the topic of co-bathing to be very interesting. It’s also very controversial (but let’s be honest what in the world of parenting isn’t controversial?).
Co-bathing with your child can be beneficial in many ways:
- Bonding. Co-bathing with your child is an amazing time to bond. Of course bath time is always a good bonding time (even when not in the tub with them), co-bathing heightens this. Your close, and its easier to play.
- Immunity. If your co-bathing your infant you get the benefits of skin-to-skin contact. This contact has been known to both helping bonding and strengthen your babies immune system.
- No aches. When it comes to bathing your younger child you tend to need to bend and kneel that can leave you with aches and pains. Being in the bath with them removes these issues.
- Time and your needs. Not only are you getting your child clean, but you’re also bathing. This saves you some time. Being able to bathe yourself also makes sure that it gets done. Being a parent means your needs usually come second; at least now you get to take that shower you’ve been putting off.
- Water. When co-bathing your using less water. Whether it be for the environment, a drought, or the sake of your water bill, co-bathing certainly helps you conserve water.
- Education. As your child gets older they will began to make notice of body parts on them and others. Bath time is a great time to discuss personal and human anatomy.
- Breast feeding. If you have an baby who’s struggling with nursing a bath can help. Nursing in the bath itself can help with baby latching and nursing. It can also simulate re-birthing to get baby to help baby latch (Re-birthing Video Here!).
- Relax. If doing this with a baby, this is a good time to relax.
Now I haven’t found many cons of co-bathing beyond slipping with/dropping baby.
You can begin co-bathing at anytime after the umbilical cord has fallen off
One thing that is argued among Co-bathers (and outsiders) is when to stop co bathing.
–All parents have different limits and standards. The amount of time or the age you are willing to co-bathe your child is COMPLETELY up to you and your comfort levels. The following is simply opinion and personal perspective of mine.–
Some people believe that the moment your child begins to talk they’re too old to see you naked in anyway. I can’t help but disagree with this. Whether its breastfeeding, changing, using the potty(which has been known to help potty training), or bathing there isn’t anything wrong about your child seeing their parents nakedness. I mean really unless the parent is doing something they shouldn’t be while in these situations its completely okay(and if they are doing something they shouldn’t be, there children need to go to a safer home anyways). When people claim that a different parenting style is wrong or perverted it tends to piss me off(sorry for the language, I simply didn’t have a term that equates the amount of anger I feel). There isn’t a set age that this kind of parenting becomes inappropriate, however there is a point when it’s better left undone.
Other people believe the age to stop is when your child starts asking questions/notices there own or your body parts. I also have to disagree with this. You probably saw that coming from “education” being in my pros list. I feel a child learning about their body parts from there parents is a very important thing. What a better time to do this than bath time and when your child is ASKING. However, I understand some parents are embarrassed and or uncomfortable about this situation so if it is right for you I encourage you to still use the questions as a good time for a lesson AND as a time to start ending baths together. However, I personally feel this is not a time you need to stop.
I’m aware of some who feel the time to stop is different depending on sex. Personally I feel a child bathing with a parent is simply a child bathing with a parent regardless of sex. I don’t think that Dad bathing with his daughter needs to stop any sooner than Mom bathing with her.
When your child needs to become independent in knowing how to bathe themselves is also not a “must stop” time. You can teach your child how to bathe themselves while being in the tub with them to bond and play.
So now that I’ve listed all of the times I DON’T think you need to stop; when exactly should you?
You should stop bathing with your child
A. IF your child becomes preoccupied with your body parts. Curiosity is one thing but there is a limit.
B. IF your child is nearing double digits. After about ten, your coming upon puberty and its time to give your child their space whether they want it or not.
C. IF privacy becomes an issue. Now most parents can teach their children that its okay to be a less private than with strangers, however, some kids truly do struggle to see the difference. If your child is completely fine showing off his nakedness and or wants to see others, its time to teach new means of privacy. Anything your bathing suit covers is only for you to see, unless your at the doctor or you need help from mommy or daddy.
D. When your child decides their ready to bathe alone. Children often develop a sense of modesty growing up. When a child starts feeling shy about changing in front of you or you seeing them naked its time to allow them to have their own privacy.
Good-life to you all!