When Can Children Start Bathing on Their Own?

December 11, 2018
Until about age 7 or 8, it's normal for parents to help their children during bath time. Allowing children to bathe on their own will depend on the maturity and level of responsibility of each individual child.

Bath time is a daily activity that should gradually be delegated to children as they grow. Of course, when children are very small, it’s the parents’ responsibility to assist them during baths. However, over time, parents start to wonder: When can my children start bathing on their own?

When can children start bathing on their own?

When it comes to babies, bath time is one of parents’ favorite times of day. As children grow older, it’s important that both parents work on encouraging autonomy. If they do, their children will eventually be able to start bathing on their own.

When it comes to just when that time will come, there’s no exact age. Each child is unique and has a different level of maturity and development.

At what age should parents start encouraging their children to bathe alone?

Between the ages of three and four, parents can start teaching their children how to use a sponge. 

It’s good to take advantage of this opportunity to teach children to take their first steps towards autonomy. Name the different parts of the body where your child should wash, with your supervision.

It’s important for children to be the ones to take the initiative. As parents, we can start removing the toys our children play with during bath time. That way, bathing itself will become the game.

Washing their hair and taking care of final details will still require parental supervision for a few more years.

When Can Children Start Bathing on Their Own?

The importance of bath time

Bath time involves much more than just keeping clean. It’s important that parents not only teach their little ones to wash up. It’s also about teaching them to be responsible and pick up their things after each bath. 

In other words, children should learn responsibility when it comes to tidying up after their bath and putting dirty clothes where they belong.

Many adults complain about the disasters their children leave behind after bath time. That’s why it’s important to instill good habits from a young age. Teach them to put things where they belong and leave everything in order.

Teaching children to be responsible about their use of water is fundamental. Water is an essential natural resource that is becoming more and more scarce. Teaching your children to be careful and not waste water is a meaningful lesson in taking care of the environment.

“Between the ages of 7 and 8, most children are able to bathe completely on their own.”

Bath time safety

Bath time safety is a very important aspectMany parents worry about safety when their children start bathing on their own. Below are a few tips to keep in mind when the time comes for your children to bathe themselves:

  • Don’t close the bathroom door completely: This way, your children can call you if they need anything. Also, we recommend that parents check on their kids every three or four minutes just to make sure everything is ok.
  • Lay a rug down outside the bathtub to add extra safety. This will help avoid any slips and falls when your kids are getting out of the tub. Furthermore, for your children’s safety and your own peace of mind, ask your little ones to call you once they finish, so you can help them get out.
When Can Children Start Bathing on Their Own?
  • Another useful element when it comes to shower safety is railings. These allow children to hold onto something sturdy while they scrub.
  • Preventing hot water burns is fundamental: Regulating water temperature is the first thing you should do. Also be sure to leave any dangerous objects out of reach, such as hair dryers, razors, scissors, etc.

As you can see, bath time independence doesn’t depend on a child‘s age. Rather, it has a lot to do with the skills and habits that parents instill. In the end, maturity and development will determine when the time is right for children to start bathing on their own.