Monday, February 08, 2010

I’m kind of mad. Grace came home from Brownie’s last week a little upset because she said she didn’t shower enough. I probed a bit and apparently they were talking about personal hygiene and one of the things they said was that kids should bathe once a day. Maybe I’m going to get slapped here but this is certainly not how we role at our house. Particularly in the winter when they just don’t have the same opportunities to get dirty.

The kids used to get bathed daily when they were babes. But they were also a lot grosser then (poo, spit up) and it was also part of that all-important routine we had going on (bath, books, bed). Then they got older and all bowel functions were neatly deposited into the toilet and food remained in their stomachs. Now Edie has ridic dry skin, so unless she has rolled in jello and lint (don’t put anything past this kid) I try to limit her spa treatment to 2x a week. I still give her a little daily scrub to keep her clean, but her hair doesn’t get greasy yet, and she just doesn’t get all that dirty. Same with Grace. Gracie is our jock, she’ll sweat it out in the summer months playing soccer and doing track, but in the winter there just isn’t a whole lot opportunity to justify a bath everyday.

Personally, I tend to shower on a daily basis (not necessarily washing my hair each time) but I do roll around in jello and lint on a daily basis. Kidding, just checking to see if you were still reading. Okay, so I shower daily but I also have an unhealthy relationship with my treadmill that makes me sweat on a near-daily basis, so shower=good.

I resent this woman putting ideas into Gracie’s head about our society’s obsession with dictating our standards of clean. I have managed to talk her off the edge, but now I’m curious about other people’s habits – do you stir your kids in the porcelain cauldron on a daily basis?

13 comments:

Tiana said...

Personally, I shower every 2-3 days in the winter and the summer maybe every day if I'm all sweaty. For me, any more than that is drying to my skin and just a waste of time really.

My son gets nightly baths until he's out of diapers. That's the law right?

I think bathing frequency is something people SAY should be done daily, but most people do it less and just play along so they don't appear to be gross.

XUP said...

I think North Americans all take way too many baths and showers. We're water hogs. And it's so damaging to our skin -- especially to little people's skin. When I was a kid back on the farm, we'd all get a bath once a week because we were on a well and didn't have a bazillion gallons of water to waste every day. We washed ourselves every day and in the summer hosed off outside. I would go and have a chat with that Brownie leader and explain that it's good global citizenship NOT to waste so much water for no reason when so many other children in the world don't have ANY water at all. Shame on her.

Tiana said...

yes! XUP has a good point. Call out that brownie leader!

Lynn said...

We're the same as you. The kids get a bath every other day, for the most part, and their hair gets washed twice a week. In the summer we play it by ear -- if they have had a lot of sunscreen on or have been sweating outside, we'll give them a quick shower as needed. Usually that means four or five times a week.

Personally I only shower ever other day. I remember once I was watching Dr. Phil and there was a mom on there of triplets, and she said she only got to shower "once every 48 hours," and Dr. Phil was HORRIFIED at the state of this woman's life. He talked about how that was a major indicator that she was not making enough time for herself and changes were needed.

And then I laughed and laughed and laughed. :)

Pauline said...

I shower every day and wash my hair only twice a week. But I agree, in the winter, its really not necessary to go TOO bath and shower crazy.

Mis(s)Mannered Mom said...

My kids have dry skin and are prone to excema. so we don't have baths every day in the winter. We do every second day here. They do wash their faces every morning though to get the "sleeps out." So, 3x a week typically. In the summer, we do baths nightly because of the sunscreen (it irritates their skin) and bug spray and sweat and dirt and whatever.

Maybe the Brownie leader didn't mean bathing everyday? Maybe she meant "cleaning yourself everyday" like washing your face and stuff? I dunno-trying to give the lady some sort of benefit of the doubt as she's working with children, esp girls! Geesh!

zoom said...

I agree with you. North Americans bathe excessively and cover up their natural smells with fake toxic smells and have this conviction that they are fundamentally, naturally gross. Like others, I bathe more in the summer. Children don't have much in the way of sweat glands, so they can get by with less bathing than adults.

I'd have a chat with the Owl about this one.

The Mindful Merchant said...

I am irked by Brownie lady's judgy teachings. I agree with all the comments above. We find Ottawa winters dry and harsh on our skin. Bathing every day makes the kids skin raw and itchy. When puberty hits it will be a different schedule I'm sure. I hope a Brownie leader would promote water conservation and focus on encouraging the girls...everyone has a different way of doing things at home.

alison said...

Count me in with the group. In the winter, the girls have a shower or bath every second (or sometimes third if we've been busy) night and wash their hair.

In the summer, they need it more often due to sunscreen, bug dope, playground sand etc. Although, since we have a pool, occasionally I look at them getting out onto the deck all wet and think "good enough for tonight".

Andrea said...

I have a five month old and our doctor told us to bathe him three times a week - maximum. Any more would dry out his skin and strip him of his natural oils. Of course we clean him after messy diapers and messy feeds, but we limit the full-on baths.

Which actually kind of made me sad, because giving him baths is fun - and I was trying to establish a bath, story, bed routine.(Sleep is a bit of an issues around these parts - OK, it's a HUGE issue and I'm trying everything I can think of to establish good sleeping habits. But I digress.) My point - baths every day are unnecessary unless you're super-sweaty. But even then, hey, what's wrong with a little sweat? Just my opinion :) Of course, my office is in my home and I can go days without having to interact with people in the real world...

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

My kids have a bath every second day in the winter. Occasioanally this gets streched to 3 days. My daughters hair can't go longer than 2 days without being washed or there will be visable oil.

In the summer they are bathed daily because I won't put them to bed with sunscreen on. Hair gets washed daily because they both sweat right through their hair. They are both very sweaty kids.

Anonymous said...

My kids have a bath every second day in the winter. Occasioanally this gets streched to 3 days. My daughters hair can't go longer than 2 days without being washed or there will be visable oil.

In the summer they are bathed daily because I won't put them to bed with sunscreen on. Hair gets washed daily because they both sweat right through their hair. They are both very sweaty kids.