Bathing with my toddler is not weird. But you know what is? People who sexualize an otherwise banal and normal routine. How did we end up as a society that can plaster porn stars on billboards and be okay with that in one breath, and then freak out when a parent does something as ordinary as take a bath with their babies or toddlers in the next breath?
Internet, you’re drunk.
Bathing with babies and toddlers is just plain easier than bending over a bathtub. Most moms will tell you that it is also a fun way to hang out and play and bond with their child. This completely normal routine is right up there with breastfeeding and co-sleeping — a natural act of closeness and love that is about protecting and nurturing a child. Not abuse.
Don’t believe me? Check out what these moms had to say:
“My husband and I both bathed or showered with our son until he was around 3 1/2 or 4 years old. We want him to be comfortable with his body and know that not all bodies look like those on TV and in magazines. Plus it taught him the steps to cleanliness.” —Shana
“We still shower with my almost-6-year-old son. It’s that or he doesn’t get clean. Whichever of us happens to be showering around the time he needs one takes him in and monitors. My almost-9-year-old son has been showering alone for close to two years. He decided when he was ready.” —Sierra
“My eldest daughter is 4-years-old and asks now and again to bath with me, but she usually likes her ‘me time’ ha-ha! Until I had daughter number two, eight weeks ago. We are now three in the bath and the eldest is very good at helping to wash her baby sister! I can see this continuing for a good few years. My husband (eldest’s step-father) puts swimming trunks on if she wants to jump in with him for a splash about and she always copies and puts her swim suit on too!” —Bryoni
“My 2-year-old daughter and I bathe together. We splash, play, and she’s learned to wash and rinse her own hair, which she hates me doing for her. I have no idea when I’ll stop. Never thought about it really.” —Danielle
“I bathe routinely with my almost 2-year-old. She likes to mimic when I wash and go through the routine, so shower time is not only fun but super educational for us too.” —Janell
“My 4-year-old and 2-year-old shower with me whenever they want. I’ll know it’s time to stop when they feel weird doing it!” —Melanie
Not one of these parents expressed anything about inappropriateness, sexualizing the experience, or even being embarrassed about being in the tub with a toddler. You know why? Because it is simply a common part of parenting.
Sometimes I think that people with the most unpopular opinions coupled with the ability to be anonymous have ruined parenting for the rest of us. We now have to defend basic parenting decisions like circumcision, breastfeeding, bathing with our babies, co-sleeping, and so much more. At what point was any of this anyone else’s business?
Kudos to the moms and dads out there who DGAF about these Negative Nancies running around pointing fingers and slinging accusations of bad parenting. Negative Nancy probably doesn’t even have kids. Or worse, she’s a crabby know-it-all sanctimommy.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, my 3-year-old is stomping his feet and hollering at me because it is bath time, which means we get to play — together — in the tub.