Mom’s Twice-a-Week Bath Time Routine for Kids Sparks Conversation

Watch the video behind the viral discussion and get to the bottom of how often kids really need to bathe based on American Academy of Dermatology recommendations.
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By Wyndi Kappes, Associate Editor
Published February 12, 2024
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Image: LightField Studios | Shutterstock

There’s no doubt that bathtime can be quite the endeavor—especially if you have multiple kids in the house. Whether you are spending time trying to convince your toddler to sit still or your teenager is hogging the hot water, the bills and time spent quickly add up. After spending years fighting the chaos, one mom of six has decided it was time for change.

Utah mom Sharon Johnson, recently went viral on TikTok after sharing that the designated bath and shower days in her house are Sundays and Wednesdays. A part of a larger video where she outlines the rules her family has to manage their busy life, Johnson noted that “if you need a bath in between that, then absolutely, but otherwise, that’s good enough.”

In the comments, Johnson’s opinions on sleepovers and tech limits sparked some discussion but nothing to the magnitude of what Johnson now refers to as “Bath Gate 2024.” Parents all across the internet came out of the woodwork to give their opinions on Johnson’s bathtime schedule.

In one camp, parents vehemently disagreed with Johnson’s suggestion of only two baths a week. “2 washes a week?!” wrote one user. “If someone told me I could only bathe TWO days a week… I’m throwing hands,” noted another. “As a teacher I am begging you to please send your kids to school having been bathed every day. They smell rancid,” added an educator.

On the other hand, some parents seemed to agree that whatever worked for Johnson’s family was perfectly fine. “All of the hate on your 2x a week baths. You said IF THEY NEED another one, then yes. Every family is different. It works for you! Love it,” noted one commenter. “Omg she said mandatory baths twice a week. Cause some kids hate to bath but if they want more she said they can. I did the same thing mother of 4 here,” added another.

In response to the overflow of comments, Johnson pointed out that according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD), children 6 to 11 can bathe daily if desired, but once or twice a week is also okay. The group notes that showers should increase based on activities and body odor and by the time puberty starts, children should be showering once a day.

When it comes to little ones, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends about one to three baths per week during a baby’s first year. Looking for more? Check out these guidelines about how to and how often to bathe baby.

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