Sign up ×
Parenting Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for parents, grandparents, nannies and others with a parenting role. It's 100% free, no registration required.

When should I stop bathing my son and daughter together? What signs can I watch for that would indicate that they should be separate? Also, what are the average ages in the US and other countries and cultures?

share|improve this question
How big is the bath? Will that be a factor before anything else! – Ed Heal Sep 8 at 18:15
At what age should sisters stop bathing together? What about dark and light-haired kids? As long as the kids have fun and do not have a problem, for all I care they can do this until they are old and wrinkly and too frail to take a bath. At some points the kids will want some privacy, though. If they are allowed to have this, there's no nothing to consider for you. Just let them do as they please. – sbi Sep 11 at 17:00

7 Answers 7

up vote 33 down vote accepted

That's actually for the kids to decide I think. As long as they're having fun and generally not objecting or letting you know they'd rather bathe alone, I think it's perfectly fine.

share|improve this answer
I agree with @Zsub. Also, surely the size of the children and the bath will dictate! – Umber Ferrule Apr 7 '11 at 21:49
same for kissing. while hes young(1-4), he'll kiss you on the mouth, and even take hold of your head to make sure it lands on your lips and not on the cheek. One day, he'll stop doing this because he'll feel uncomfortable doing it. – Thierry Savard Saucier Oct 3 '14 at 18:24

When the children are uncomfortable with it. They will let you know when they don't want to bathe with their sibling anymore.

Why should noticing something is different be a problem? If your child noticed her sibling had different color hair on his head, would you put a hat over it to hide it? A girl can know a penis is different from a vagina, (and vice versa) long before she's uncomfortable seeing one.

share|improve this answer
I just wish people would teach their kids (at some age) the difference between a vulva and a vagina. Not that you don't know, but in reality the parts you've named aren't really well-matched opposites. – Ready To Learn Aug 13 at 7:15

It really depends on two main factors.

  1. The children's comfort level with bathing with others. I stopped bathing with my siblings around age 7, because I became aware of the idea of privacy and I felt it was important.
  2. YOUR comfort level with it. The kids won't be developmentally harmed by bathing separately. My son (age 6) now bathes without his sisters. Why? Because I was uncomfortable with him exploring how good touching "down there" feels in a bath with his sisters.

However, it is also vitally important to not make a big deal about it. I just told my son, "Well, I can tell you've grown up a lot. Time to bathe alone." He was unhappy at first and asked me why. The answer I gave was simply, "It's part of growing up." I did NOT mention my discomfort over his behavior. That was a conversation at another time. Ok, that was many conversations at many other times.

share|improve this answer
Make sure your discomfort is something you want your child to have, too. Exploring other children's genitals is, at least at this age, entirely innocent and may even be healthy. – Raphael Aug 13 at 9:23

Generally, I would say when one of the children reaches puberty, they are too old to bathe together without their swimming trunks on.

share|improve this answer

When my daughter and son started to realize the difference between male and female is when I decided it was time for them to not bathe together. That is when they started to learn of the basics of sexuality and the difference been male and female.

share|improve this answer
Yeah, when my daughter asked why her younger brother's privates were sticking out, I decided that was my clue to stop. She was just past four years old. – Nick DeVore May 12 '11 at 21:51
@Nick DeVore I don't think such a question cues to lack of comfort. I know it's a hard question to answer, but to me it's important to teach children about the differences in gender in a way that doesn't demonise "privates" – Paul de Vrieze Jun 10 '11 at 14:49
@Nick I think you lost an opportunity for sex education to be an integrated part of the fabric of your child's life. Withholding information that a child is curious about can create a void that drives the child to learn things on his own that if he had had satisfied earlier he would have been content with. – Ready To Learn Jun 12 '11 at 0:52
Let me put all at ease and assure you I did in fact answer her question and am comfortable doing so. And when she see him getting his diaper changed, and she asks, I answer too. However, I felt that since I have the choice of not peaking her curiosity when they bathe together, I opted to do it separate. – Nick DeVore Jun 12 '11 at 14:09
The fact that you consider her "curiosity" to be a bad thing that should be stopped is exactly the problem. – fkraiem Oct 3 '14 at 19:19

I don't believe it's up the the children to make this decision. I believe that an 8 year old boy should not be bathing with his 4 year old sister. I think at that age they need to learn about privacy and respect for the other. I understand that it's much faster to do them together but it's not always the best. By 8 years old he could be introduced to the shower and getting more independent about his hygiene.

share|improve this answer

My children are 6 and 3 and know the difference between each others genitals. They still bathe together with no problem. They actually prefer it because they don't like being in the bathroom alone in fear of monsters lol teach them that there is a difference and that its a "no touch" zone for everyone except their self and there should be no real problem. That's when I'll maybe make them stop.. When my 6 year old reaches 9

share|improve this answer
My daughter is 6 and my son is 3. If it were opposite i would make them stop sooner – zahida 2 days ago

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.