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Bathing and Showering Together

Expert Q&A


Updated January 22, 2005

Q. My son will be 2 at the end of February and he still showers with me. At what age should this stop? My husband says now. Mary, Norfolk, VA

A. While this can be a little bit of a controversial topic, most people would think that it is fine for a toddler to take a bath or shower with either parent or with another child of the opposite sex.

Many parents stop this practice during the preschool to early school age years, but exactly when you stop has more to do with how a parent and child feel about the issue more than anything else. If either feel uncomfortable or want more privacy, then bathing and showering together should stop.

If you continue to shower together over the next few years, you should be prepared for some curiosity and perhaps even touching of body parts. This is to be expected as preschoolers are naturally curious about their body and any differences with others that they notice. If you are ready for this behavior or for any questions your child might ask, then you will be able to handle the issue easily and not make your child embarrassed or uncomfortable.

The same goes for bathing or showering siblings of the opposite sex together. At some points they might become curious about the differences in their bodies, but instead of being a source of anxiety or embarrassment, you can use it as a way to educate them about their bodies.

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