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Bedtime with several kids?


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Our non-independent bathers are all little, so I bathe them altogether in the tub every other day or when something especially messy happens.  It is not part of the bedtime routine; I use it more as a "come do this special thing" (and stop irritating your older siblings for a while) event.  


My preteen showers daily and would shower 3x a day if I'd let her.  DS9 is not interested in bathing or water and never has been; I insist twice a week or so.  

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I run the shower water and just put one kid in right after the other. It takes probably 10-15 minutes for the four of them (but they are all boys with short hair). They can stay wrapped in a towel if they can't dress themselves. After I have showered everyone I help kids get dressed.


When they were younger I put them all in the tub together.

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On a non-bath night, we read stories (they each choose at least one generally), pray, brush teeth, and tuck them in.

On a bath night, I run the water in the tub. Then I ask the 3 yo if he wants to take a bath alone or with someone. If he says alone, in he goes. Sometimes the others join in (5 and almost 7). Sometimes they take individual baths. Sometimes its a boys' bath and then DD gets her own.

It takes a long time. When they are all done, we proceed with our normal bedtime routine.

These days though, with a 5 mo, I'm just happy that they all end up in bed eventually.

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Once the pool opens, the 12yo is good (bad skin; bleach bathing or chlorine pools cure him, so no standard bathing on swimming days, dermatologist approved. Lol).


The 9yo wants her hair cut, so that will limit my involvement especially if she's bathing nightly so no deep cleaning is needed.


The 11yo also wants her hair cut, but still long enough for a hair tie. Not sure if she'll be able to deal with it then. She's got some thick hair!


(Part of the issue is that when I have everyone, they *need* baths, and hair is usually matted. Hopefully that'll change as we're cleaning nightly and keeping hair brushed and in a braid.)


Same as above for 2yo; a matted mess. When I have her for 3+ days, it's pretty easy.

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When my kids were tiny, I used to put all four of them in the bath together. I'd hand them out one by one to DH, who would dry them off and get them into PJs. We kept to variations of that routine for many years. As they got bigger, I'd bathe them two by two. Later they would take their baths alone, but they were always short and one right after the other. I'd supervise the tub time, and DH would help them dry off, comb hair, etc., while I moved onto the next child. They weren't completely independent and taking showers by themselves until age 9 or 10, which may be later than average.


The tangled hair thing is another issue. I suspect the key will be regular daily hair care, whether there is a shower involved or not. We have kept my tangly girl's hair shoulder length or shorter to make it easier (older sister's hair is very long and thick but never tangly).


ETA: We did baths for the kids three times a week, so basically every other day until recently. Now that it's summer, they all need showers almost daily to wash off the sweat and grime from paying outside all day, but in the winter, we can still get by with about four times a week.

Edited by Storygirl
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