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Co-ed Bathing: At What Age Should You Stop?

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Co-ed Bathing: At What Age Should You Stop?

My daughter just turned four. We do evening playdates often, where we have a dinner party with friends who have kids. Generally we bathe them together and read to them before we leave. We just stopped letting our daughter bathe with little boys, but she doesn’t understand why. At what age did you stop? (Or was it wrong to start in the first place?)

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  1. Oh, great question!! I think the age to stop is when they start asking questions. It could be a great time to open the discussion on privacy between boys/girls and help her understand why.

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    1. Good point. And she has just started talking about the differences and seeming too interested, which is why we stopped.

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  2. Co-ed bathing among little ones is both normal and expected. The gray area is when to stop. I think it depends on the child and how comfortable they feel bathing with other children. Some children understand very early the physical differences between boys and girls and then could not care less for years afterward. Some children are less comfortable being naked in front of the opposite sex and some don’t want to be without clothing in front of anyone except their most trusted caregivers. As long as you are sensitive to the feelings of your children, then you can’t go wrong. I also agree with Becca that honest discussions about privacy with your kids are wonderful even at the youngest ages.

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    1. Good point, Dr. Sara, about how all kids are different. This makes me feel better… My husband didn’t like the idea of co-ed bathing at all, at any age. It made him uncomfortable. (I think often we project our own feelings onto our kids and don’t realize that we overanalyze things from our grown-up perspective!)

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