The Washington Post: Why you should stop giving your kid a bath every night

Dirt activist, Oliver. (By Lauren Knight, author of this piece)

I’m always struck by how many of daughter’s play date friends are compelled to wash their hands after stroking our dogs.  Not just before a mealtime, every time they stroke the dogs.

After a while the frenzied to’ing and fro’ing between cute fluffy dogs and bathroom becomes unbearable for me, and them, and we gently broach the idea that nothing bad will happen if they stop…

Some of them are so fearful of their Mummy’s upset and disapproval, you’d think I was offering them a cigarette…

Thank goodness for this article by Lauren Knight, trying to help us see sense:

16 thoughts on “The Washington Post: Why you should stop giving your kid a bath every night

  1. Dear God, no wonder kids are always sick. My boys are mud magnets and there are days when Matthew can leave sticky mitt prints just by standing still. Yes, wash your hands after using the loo and before you eat…. but otherwise……


    1. I admit that I ended up “estranged” from a mummy friend over her clean phobia and anti-bac squirty gel addiction. We had a play-date arranged and I’d got the paddling pool out. My dirty, naked and happy kid was just that. Hers was not allowed to remove nappy or sandals on the grass so wasn’t able to get in. She also asked to be able to give her LO a full bath and hair wash before they went home! I was gobsmacked! 😀 xxx


  2. I never understood the “need” for kids to have daily baths, so mine never did! And they hardly ever got sick – go figure… Now I do confess to carrying a bottle of anti-bac gel in my bag but just for emergencies – my Aspie is happy to use public loos but often won’t use the washing facilities (probably to do with the dryers) so that’s about the only time it gets used 🙂


    1. I’m with you on anti-bac for public loos etc, daughter sadly hates the texture of loo seats so she lifts and sits on the “porcelain” (that’s upped my housework standards quite a lot!), I am teaching her to “hover” in public but she’s not quite tall enough (bleugh) so I’m armed and ready with all sorts of wipes and things for that! (Not that we ever use public loos except emergencies due to hand dryer phobia!) XXX


      1. If it’s just wees, you could consider obtaining a female urination device. P-mate is my favourite brand, for ease of use, but they’re cardboard disposable things and not terribly practical to carry. Anything with a long, wide top would be easy to use, though. If you carry a sports bottle of water, you can rinse into the toilet, and because you only ever touch your clothes and the outside of the device, handwashing is not such a huge issue.

        Sorry to be sticking my oar in again. Back in the blogging community for 5 minutes and I’m giving unsolicited advice already 🙂


          1. Expertise due to a combination of camping in a place that had lady-urinals and being a natal female transgender person. Someone dared me to try peeing standing up, and I discovered it was really cool because I didn’t have to take quite so much costume off (roleplay events, nobody wants to have to take off weapons, body harness, utility belt, tail belt and pull down wool pantaloons just to take a leak). After that I decided I’d buy a more permanent device. I have the Whizz but it’s one of those that takes a lot of practice. Many wet trouser-legs later, I’ve just about mastered poking it through the fly on menswear but it still takes a while to convince my bladder that peeing standing up is ok.


          2. OMG! I’ve just looked at some pictures and I’m impressed that you can do that through the fly of trousers. Years of long country walks mean I can pee on command au naturel but think I’m a born squatter!! Over-sharing again!!! XX


          3. Menswear has a better fly for that kind of thing. Helps that I wear trunks rather than knickers, too. Keyhole fly and a long zipper makes all the difference. The Whizz, in my opinion, is no good for girly clothing; the fly is never long enough, so unless you’re wearing a skirt or dress you end up pulling everything down anyway. But if you’re just looking to avoid sitting on the toilet seat, it’s probably OK. I’d still go for a more solid design, though, as they’re easier to get the hang of.


          4. *goes off to do more googling*

            I will report back on how 7 going on 17 and painfully desperate to be cool reacts to all of this (eventually, when I feel courageous enough to broach the idea)!!!!!

            We are dealing with a new sensory aversion to plastic and certain cardboard 😫 which doesn’t help!



          5. Cardboard is icky, as is paper. Readymix paint on paper is extra icky. Are you able to describe the kinds of plastics that are problematic? Also, peeing standing up is very cool *nodnod*


          6. Cardboard xD … and now we venture into the little-trod land of my can’t-bear-the-cat-licking husband… wet cardboard is his Kryptonite!

            It’s mostly plastic bags at the moment. Came out of the blue about a month ago! I never disbelieve her when she says its a sensory thing and try not to challenge her (only human, I F up sometimes) but tiredness plays a key in this one and maybe control a little bit?

            She will start to go into meltdown if we don’t remove a carrier bag that she’s noticed out of her sight/out of the room immediately but yesterday she happily coped with a carrier bag full of treats for her birthday party being out on the table for several hours, no mention of it, rummaged through it lots of times…

            I didn’t pass comment, I try not to disrespect her like that and I certainly didn’t want to ruin her (rare) happy fulfilled play, but it’s hard to understand.

            I think it might be mostly the thin recycled/degradable bags, they have a particular shishy noise…


          7. Sometimes it depends on mood. If I’m already stressed or having a particularly irritable/sensitive day, I react more to things that normally I can deal with for a short time. If I’m unusually relaxed, I can tolerate (for a short period) things that normally bother me. I suspect the treats went a long way towards compensating for the aversion, and the quality of the plastic may well be a thing. I totally get where “shishy” aversion comes from.

            Positives: this weekend, stepson tried some passionfruit juice off the back of a spoon in exchange for 5 stickers. He didn’t like it, said it hurt his tongue, but agreed that he will try more new things in return for more stickers. Proudly took them home to his mum in an envelope.


          8. You’re right and that’s no different for NTs – bad mood, tired, injustices during the day – we’re all less able to cope… sometimes, I think that whilst I need to be mindful of daughter’s autism, I mustn’t forget that sometimes she’s just being human too. (or as we say, super-human)

            🙂 gosh, I wish stickers still had value here: daughter only wants to deal in cold hard cash LOL!

            Liked by 1 person

          9. Squeak gets 50p pocket money a week. I want to start early with making transactions routine and comfortable. Don’t want him to have the anxiety I had over it.


Start a Conversation...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s