Published Apr 8, 2004
I have a 7 y/o daughter who sees her dad once every two to three months. He picks her up on Saturday and drops her back off on Sunday. She has a shower the morning of the day she goes to visit him; but he insists that she needs a shower the next morning too. Not only does she have dry skin, she expresses that she doesn't like to take a shower while she's with him. I typically give her a shower every 2 to 3 days. Am I showering my daughter too infrequently? Just curious how often you all bathe your kiddos. I've asked him to please not give her a shower while she's with him - and he's insisting that he'll need a doctor's note to that effect if that's what I want to happen.
Anyhow - thanks in advance for any input.
manna, BSN, RN
I have two boys. In the winter, we bathe them every 2-3 days. In the summer, we HAVE to bathe them every day, they get WAY too dirty outside when it's warm!
Wow, I always insisted my son bathe every single day, sometimes twice during hot months. So do I and my husband. I guess I never thought that wouldn't be the norm.
I have 3 year old twins that also have extremely dry skin. They do not like to get into the bath tub, and they bathe every 3 - 4 days during the winter and at least every other day during the summer. They always look clean, so I don't make an issue of it ... I think pre-puberty when hair does not get greasy going a few days between baths (especially when it can actually make thier skin uncomfortable to bathe too often) is not so bad. I dunno, IMO super happy kids are more important than super clean kids. I do make sure to wash thier faces and hands and make them look clean, but an actual bath - nah not sweating that.
When I babysat for my nephew for the summer and when I have him in the winter he has to take a bath everyday!!! He has dry skin also but I think it is in his best intrest to take a bath everyday. We just buy really good moisturizing lotion for him. We want him to get in the habit of doing things like a "Big Boy" and babies are the only ones that don't take baths everyday(babies are newborn to 6 months)
She has a shower the morning of the day she goes to visit him; but he insists that she needs a shower the next morning too. Not only does she have dry skin, she expresses that she doesn't like to take a shower while she's with him.
The #1 reason I see for her not showering when she is with her dad it that SHE SAYS it makes her uncomfortable.
If she has dry skin she should NOT shower daily. Lotions are not a replacement for the bodys own oils. Daily bathing is a habit not a necessity unless there is an issue of body odor or doing something to get 'extra' dirty. No one needs to bathe daily.
*If it were my child* I would take her to the Ped (or call if I have a long standing relationship), explain the situation and get a note. Being the cynical ex-wife that I am I would file a copy of it with the court where the custody/visitation order is also filed.
Both of my daughters have extremely dry skin, and one has eczema. I bathe them three times a week. If they get dirty in between, of course I would give them extra baths, but bathing every day only dries their skin out.
There is another way around this. Stop bathing her the morning of her visit. That eliminates at least one bath.
Have you explored the reason she doesn't want to take a shower at her father's house. You seem to imply she doesn't mind showers at your house.
edited for typos
I was bathing her on the mornings she went in hopes that it would deter him from giving her a shower. However, it didn't. I can't get any other reason than "I don't want to talk about it" from my daughter about why she doesn't like to take showers when she is with him. Obviously, this raises my alert that perhaps there is something wrong here. She is with him so infrequently, it makes me very uncomfortable that he insists on showering her during the 24 hours he has her out of every 2-3 months. Furthermore, he has remarried and his new wife is with him at every visit, yet he is the one who helps her with her shower (she has very long hair and has to have help yet) - which makes me even more uncomfortable.
I will get a note from the pediatrician, and appreciate the advice about filing it with the court.
Oh, my gosh... I couldn't imagine NOT bathing my child (or myself) every single day. I don't care what's going on, there is no way that being dirty is unacceptable! Imagine if they don't get in the habit of daily bathing and they grow up to be men/women who don't bathe daily....gross! Would you wanna be married to them??? My son is 4 years old and even as an infant, he received daily baths or he had them every night. Even in the winter he takes showers every day--with me washing him. It's the same as me brushing his teeth. I just think that hygiene is extremely important. More importantly, girls need to know the importance of daily bathing. Not bathing every day is equivalent to not washing your hands thoroughly when leaving the restroom....to me.
p.s. As far as dry skin or Eczema is concerned, that's why they make Eucerin lotion and Elidel cream. Not an option.....just my opinion.
at least in my daughters case elidel only works so much. the dermatologist recommended she bathe no more than every other day. Eucerin actually makes her skin worse (so do the MANY other moisturizers I have tried). Bathing every day is not necessary in the winter. my poor daughter even with elidel and the steroid cream she uses still gets excema sometimes to the point where it breaks the skin. I think it is probably a good idea without the skin problems to get children into the habit of bathing daily - but little kids not playing in the mud do not get so dirty.
Anyway like the other posters have mentioned the concern should be more with why she does not want to shower there.
It bothers me that she says she's uncomfortable about bathing at her father's house. I think there's more at issue here than cleanliness and dry skin.
Definitely I'd look closer into the matter.
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