Bath Schedule

Long before I had a large family, I began scheduling bath time. I learned the concept from large families with many small children and figured if it worked for them, it would work for my two littles. So, for about 7 years now, Bath Night is on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday nights.In a large family, anything that can be done on auto-pilot is a good thing. With the routine of a set Bath Night, I just know that if it is Tuesday (or Thursday or Saturday), the kiddos need a dunkin’.

Of course, there are the exceptions…diaper blowouts, impromptu romps in the mud, and messy spaghetti suppers…that all require, if not occurring on a Bath Night, a quick run through the tub. But, I’ve been known to plan spaghetti suppers and other messy activities ON Bath Night!

This is mainly a schedule for the littler children. My oldest child, age 11, just recently began showering on his own time schedule (usually every night). He has more opportunity to become sweaty and stinky and no longer needs my assistance. (Note to all of you with only “littles”…they do grow up!)

So, how can you set up your own bath schedule? First off, you need to determine what nights NEED to be a bath night. Do you have a night when the kids go to a club meeting like AWANA or Scouts? Do they tend to come home yucky? Or maybe you have a Family Night that often ends with a mud fight or some such thing. For us, Saturday night is the HAVE TO night because of church the next morning. I know I cannot possibly get everyone through baths on Sunday morning, but I want everyone spiffy for church, so Saturday night is it. If you have a particular night that MUST be a bath night, then you can work from there.

I prefer not to bathe small children every day because of dry skin issues. That’s why we went with the Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday model. I also only wash hair once a week unless absolutely needed. Hair-washing occurs on Saturday night (so their hair is spiffy too!)

Efficiency is also the name of the game. While I do take time here and there to gently wash away the cares of the day, there are nights when time is crunched and I need to get them through their baths and into bed lickety-split. On those nights, I do several things…

*Double up ~ toddlers together, girls together, boys together, mama or daddy and baby together…whatever you can do to reduce time and water.

*Assembly line ~ As one is getting out, another gets in. Bath water gets shared as long as you can still see the bottom of the tub! lol Enlist another family member to take the clean child and dress them for bed (brushing teeth included). Gather the children to a “holding place” like the living room or your bedroom. This way, once everyone is through the bath, you can gather in one place with your children for prayers and loves.

*Bubble baths or bath oil baths ~ No need for soap…just splash around a bit and rinse off.

You might find as your family grows, you’ll need to split baths up throughout the week. Micah almost always gets his bath the morning AFTER Bath Night…Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday mornings. Bathing him takes all of 30 seconds, so no biggie, but for some reason, it is very difficult for me to fit him into the night routine. He’s either asleep by that time or I don’t feel I have the time and energy.

If you find the task of bathing all the children on one particular night too daunting, consider having the boys bathe on one night and girls on the opposing. Or have the littlest littles on one night and the bigger littles on the other. Tweak it, work with it, find your groove, then switch on auto-pilot and go with it!

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25 thoughts on “Bath Schedule

  1. We only have 4 little ones right now, so bathing isn’t too big of a deal. I almost always double up and rotate (i.e. 1 and 2 year old in together, take out 1 year old and let 4 year old get in, etc.) Thankfully, my 6 year old now showers on his own!!! I check to make sure he lathers everything, but he is very independent, and wants to shower after getting dirty or sweaty.

    I do like a set routine, and kid bathing would be a good thing to have on a schedule!

  2. Keeping a bath schedule can be very handy! I am pretty lax in the summer, but during our school year they get bath nite every other nite. Sean and Ella are at the stage where they love baths so if they see someone in water- they are in it too!

  3. Thank you, Amy! I actually just came up with a bath routine a few days before you posted this – it was very helpful to be able to see the way someone else does it. Ours just rotate days: Baby on Sunday, Toddlers on Monday, Big Boys Tuesday, start over again with Baby on Wednesday, etc. We don’t do baths on Saturday because they spend the afternoons swimming and are all fresh afterwards ;-) It really is helpful to just have something easy to follow set in place.

  4. Not sure I could love you any more! LOL

    Our girls used to get in the tub every night just so I could have some quiet time :) Now we do every other night, unless they ask, just because we pay for water now and it adds up quick.

    I’m happy to know I’m not the only one who doesn’t do a soapy scrub down every day b/c of dry skin!

  5. I am SO relieved to hear another mom say these things: bathing less than once a day, without soap, is ok. Hallelujah! I get more cranky as the night wears on, so we do baths in the early afternoon. But it is comforting to hear that you also think that it’s ok to NOT WASH a pretty clean kid. Thanks!!
    .-= mama4x´s last blog .. =-.

  6. We shower daily during the hot months for sure, but the winter months are every other night. We do a semi-weekly bath for the little kids to soak in areas unreachable by showers, but other than that, I have 6 kids showered in 15 minutes (including hair washed)–that’s less time than it takes me to take my own shower! My oldest three are now 11, 8, and 6…so they are showering on their own. Surprisingly, with only 3 it still takes 10 minutes–how is that possible? lol

  7. We alternate everyother day 3 one night 3 the next, everyone on Sat because there isn’t time on Sun morning.But I’m glad to see other moms in this situation also. Now I don’t feel so guilty about not having everyone bathed every night.

  8. I am so tickled to see this post. I was just telling DH that you write posts on so many things I have been doing mostly thru trial and error and that you come to the same conclusions with small differences in the fact that you have twice the children. lol I just started scheduling this because I would lose track of who got bathed and when and what day it was. hahaha. I am so grateful to see a mama working through the ins and outs of family in a way that gives tips and encourages at the same time!!!

    • Tara, you might have noticed I started this when I had 2 children. It a blessing then, now it is a HUGE blessing! lol

  9. With 8 teenagers in the house, showers can take forever since they share one shower.! So, to make it go quicker, we start with the youngest and they work their way up to the oldest. Before one gets in, they tag the next one in line, and tell them to get ready. When they come out, they tell the next one to get in and that one in turn tags the next person and so on. We started this by me monitoring them all with a seven min. timer. After a while, they got used to the time and I no longer have to time them. It goes pretty smoothly most nights. :)

  10. Right now we don’t have a scheduled bath night, they are just kind of random with “spot cleaning” and nail scrubbing in between. But baby #2 is on his way, so a schedule will be great. I figure I can put water in the baby tub and bathe the baby on the floor in the bathroom while DS5 (or will be 5 when baby comes) can splash around in the big tub at the same time.

  11. I started a bath schedule after going back to work full time when baby#2 was 9 weeks old. After not remembering when who was last washed I started writing it on a calandar in the bathroom until baby was big enough to share the tub. Then we went to one bath night. Best thing ever! With so much to do in only a few hours in the evening it helped us get a better routine and have more relaxing play time on the other nights.

  12. i started doing this a while back but my routine is bigs mon, wed, fri. littles tuesdays and thursdays, and then everyone on sat! :) sometimes i only allow the littles to go on sats if we are really busy then the bigs can bathe themselves sunday morning. it all always works out. :)

  13. I have enjoyed reading your blog off and on for the last few years. I read all of your big family posts a couple years ago when I was overwhelmed with my now 5 & 4 year olds (only 13 months apart!). We also have a 1 1/2 year old girl now and bath time is getting overwhelming again. No one gets a bath as often as they should and of course I have all the mommy guilt that goes with that. We’ve been throwing them in there together (yes all 3!) since she was big enough, but I realized last night, that there is not enough room anymore. So it was the perfect time to read your post again and revamp our system (or lack there of!). Thanks for writing all your big family tips for us all to read again and again whenever we need a reminder or encouragement! You are one of my favorite bloggers!

    Question: I am thinking of splitting them up with the 4 year old boy and the 1 1/2 year old girl together and then the 5 year old boy by himself. Do you see a problem with that? I realize the more obvious thought would be the two boys together, especially because they are so close in age. But, the two younger are really good friends and enjoy playing together while the older one is always arguing about who gets which toys. He always wants the best/bigger/cooler toy. They all share the same room (gave them the master bedroom!) and have to share their space (except for their beds) and toys all day long. I figure he would enjoy having some space at bath time. Also, he’s at school during the first half of the day and will be entering full day K next year, so I could bathe the younger two during the day which would work better for me. Then the 5 year old could get his own bath in the evening while the other two are playing together in their room.

    Do you see a problem with having the younger boy and girl together? The 4 year old doesn’t seem fazed by gender differences right now. He notices them, but isn’t curious yet. Ex: If they walk in the room when I’m changing, the 4 year old will just keep talking like I’m dressed or say oh, here mommy (a bra or whatever). I’m enjoying the oblivion while it lasts, but we are working on him waiting in the hallway while I’m dressing/changing. The 5 year old on the other hand would have been studying my body parts if he had walked in. Neither of them really check the baby out, she’s old news since they see me change her diaper every day.

    I’m just wondering if the 4 year old is too old to share a bath with his baby sister. Is it an age thing or am I right to go by his curiosity level?

    • Hello! I think it would be perfectly fine until about 5. The other option is “short soaks” with an occasional long bath. We do this quite often. Each child gets a quick soap and rinse. Every couple of weeks, they get a nice long bath (sometimes with bubbles!)

  14. We have 5 under 5. We usually only do bath night on Saturdays b/c my hubby works nights, and it takes both of us. He’ll do all 3 girls at once, and I’ll do the twins one at a time in the sink.

  15. We have a detachable shower head. After reading a large family blog post that blew my mind, my 2 yo and up sometimes get showers. They like to wash themselves for a few minutes and then I do a quick suds and hair wash (usually needed for the 2YO who thinks everything is a hair product). If they haven’t had a bath in while, I will plan a sensory bath as a school time activity. I love large family blogs. Y’all make life so much easier.

  16. Yes! We have bath nights for the little ones too! Nightly baths went out the window at some point when the number of little ones out numbered the parents, LOL.