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How often do your kids bathe?


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12 hours ago, happysmileylady said:

 

And, I have heard "most cultures are not as obsessed with daily bathing as Americans are."  I don't want to put down other cultures, but the very little international travel I have done tells me that..............................yes, you are completely right.   I don't think that means the results are automatically positive though.  

 

Our per capita consumption of water and pretty much every other natural resource in the US is nothing to brag about for sure; it would be completely unsustainable on a global scale. It isn't actually sustainable on a national scale. Of course this isn't just bathing, it's also stuff like watering lawns and eating food that is water intensive to produce like beef.

There really is no room for claims of cultural superiority here.

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2 minutes ago, maize said:

Our per capita consumption of water and pretty much every other natural resource in the US is nothing to brag about for sure; it would be completely unsustainable on a global scale. It isn't actually sustainable on a national scale. Of course this isn't just bathing, it's also stuff like watering lawns and eating food that is water intensive to produce like beef.

There really is no room for claims of cultural superiority here.

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It's not about "cultural superiority."  It's about the sense of smell.  It doesn't matter if it's me, my 10 yr old, or someone from another country.  If a person is getting stinky, it's time to clean up.   If my kids come inside covered in mud, they and their clothes get cleaned up, regardless of when the last time they had a bath/shower.   And I don't think it's demonstrating an obsession with bathing to say that if a person has gotten dirty or grimy or is starting to get stinky, it's time for a bath, even if that means daily bathing.

 

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57 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

It's not about "cultural superiority."  It's about the sense of smell.  It doesn't matter if it's me, my 10 yr old, or someone from another country.  If a person is getting stinky, it's time to clean up.   If my kids come inside covered in mud, they and their clothes get cleaned up, regardless of when the last time they had a bath/shower.   And I don't think it's demonstrating an obsession with bathing to say that if a person has gotten dirty or grimy or is starting to get stinky, it's time for a bath, even if that means daily bathing.

 

You might consider that the idea that human bodies should be odorless is itself a cultural construct.

You embrace this idea as a truth because you belong to a culture that embraces it.

Which is fine; it is both normal and healthy to be comfortable within one's own culture. I'm a bit envious sometimes of people who can live their lives that way.

When comparing cultures however it doesn't work to assume that your culture's truths are universal truths. They aren't, and had you lived your life in a different culture you would find yourself embracing a different set of assumptions as true.

Edited by maize
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When they were little, it was part of their bedtime routine. But, now it is much less frequent. In the summer, they swim every day, so they hardly bathe at all. In the winter, once or twice per week. I imagine it will pick up after puberty.

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1 hour ago, maize said:

You might consider that the idea that human bodies should be odorless is itself a cultural construct.

You embrace this idea as a truth because you belong to a culture that embraces it.

Which is fine; it is both normal and healthy to be comfortable within one's own culture. I'm a bit envious sometimes of people who can live their lives that way.

When comparing cultures however it doesn't work to assume that your culture's truths are universal truths. They aren't, and had you lived your life in a different culture you would find yourself embracing a different set of assumptions as true.

There’s a difference between odorless and being in need of a good cleaning and I don’t think it’s some cultural construct to recognize that a particular sort of smell indicates the need for a bath.  

 

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5 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

There’s a difference between odorless and being in need of a good cleaning and I don’t think it’s some cultural construct to recognize that a particular sort of smell indicates the need for a bath.  

I think though that the needle of what the "particular sort of smell that indicates the need for a bath" IS does change between cultures. Many cultures have a different standard and a different leniency for what can be acceptable. Even different professions probably have different standards. We may all agree that smell C means you need a bath but smell D could be acceptable in some areas. 

One of my history teacher's favorite stories was talking about his trips to rural area of Europe. He got on a bus and was bowled over by the smell of the people on the bus. They, meanwhile, tried to stay away from him because his perfumy soap smell was overpowering and gross to them. (This was confirmed by his frank discussion with a few other passengers, not his assumption.)

I've noticed since we stopped using perfumed soaps and switched to more natural cleaners, my already-sensitive sense of over-perfume has gotten easier to trigger. I'm sure that what now smells normal to me is not what's normal to someone who uses multiple products with scents. I wonder how they perceive me: I'm washed, my clothes are clean, but I don't have the typical markers of "clean" that they are used to. I'm sure some people don't like scentless body odor. 

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My kids are every other day. I think some kids don't start going into tween as early as others so they don't produce as many oils. I think it tends to be kid specific. I have one kid that smells amazing for a week after a bath 😂 then another who I am like "did you wash your hair?" The next day because he is just a more mature kid for his age. 

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20 hours ago, Farrar said:

Once or maybe twice a week? Unless they had been playing in the woods or something, they usually didn't need it too much. They were never naturally smelly as younger kids.

When they were babies, every night, part of the routine. By elementary school, we did it when we got around to it. By middle school, they needed to shower more and it was a bit of a hassle to make them. Now that they're in high school, they seem to have woken up to the need to be clean and not smelly. Whew.

This almost exactl for my boys. My daughter has always really liked showers and so takes one daily. 

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The baby gets at least one daily bath, often more.  She’s really into self feeding.  The others (ages 2-5) usually get one every other day; we have a girls’ night and a boys’ night.

The baby and 2 yo also frequently shower with me; it keeps them busy, and it’s easier to actually clean them in there.  The 4yo (girl) gets in about 2-3 times a week.  I make the 5 yo get in the shower once a week, because I know his hair actually gets clean in there.

 

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My mind is blown that people don't bathe daily. Seriously -- so foreign to me. 

Do any non-bathers have straight, fine hair? Cause youngest DD and I do, and our hair is worthless on day 2. Stringy, oily mess. 

Dh showers daily. Heck, he could probably stand a second shower. He just gets smelly. Maybe we're just naturally oily and smelly here...

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12 minutes ago, alisoncooks said:

My mind is blown that people don't bathe daily. Seriously -- so foreign to me. 

Do any non-bathers have straight, fine hair? Cause youngest DD and I do, and our hair is worthless on day 2. Stringy, oily mess. 

Dh showers daily. Heck, he could probably stand a second shower. He just gets smelly. Maybe we're just naturally oily and smelly here...

 

Nope and curly hair should not be washed daily. The oils take a lot longer to reach the tip of the strand and the hair will dry out and break off. I have to add oils to my hair. Also, my skin is generally dry (unlike DH and DD who struggle with oil and sweat) and my skin would be an itchy, dry mess, lotion or no lotion if I did that.

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19 minutes ago, alisoncooks said:

My mind is blown that people don't bathe daily. Seriously -- so foreign to me. 

Do any non-bathers have straight, fine hair? Cause youngest DD and I do, and our hair is worthless on day 2. Stringy, oily mess. 

Dh showers daily. Heck, he could probably stand a second shower. He just gets smelly. Maybe we're just naturally oily and smelly here...

I have very dry hair and it actually looks better if I don't wash it every day.  My hair needs a couple of days to build up natural oils.

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DD7 and I both have very fine, straight hair.  I personally feel compelled to shampoo and condition it at least 2x/week and did every day as a kid. However, DD7, while she takes many baths a day if allowed, only washes her hair when something happens to it, although she gets it wet fairly often.  It is much shinier and smoother and softer than mine, because she doesn't strip the oils every other day. It is not as fluffy (on days I shampoo/condition),  though.

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20 hours ago, Bluegoat said:

It used to be really common for people to wash out of a basin of some sort - my great-grandmother did, she lived in a big old house but didn't have her own bathroom, it was a sort of institute for women and there were a lot of spinsters.  So great-nana washed every day in a basin.  

I don't hear of people doing that often now, if they can't have a bath or shower often they don't bathe at all.

When I went to the field in the Army I took a plastic sink basin. You really can clean everything in there with a few inches of water. I stood in it to clean my body and leaned over it to wash my hair. For longer stays in the field I washed underwear in it. 

The guys made fun of me for taking my basin, but usually 2-3 weeks in some of them would sheepishly ask to borrow it. 🤣

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10 hours ago, alisoncooks said:

My mind is blown that people don't bathe daily. Seriously -- so foreign to me. 

Do any non-bathers have straight, fine hair? Cause youngest DD and I do, and our hair is worthless on day 2. Stringy, oily mess. 

Dh showers daily. Heck, he could probably stand a second shower. He just gets smelly. Maybe we're just naturally oily and smelly here...

The oil glands in our scalps respond to regular shampooing by producing more oil.

In other words if you could gradually cut back on how often you wash your hair you would likely find your hair getting oily less quickly after an initial adjustment period.

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1 hour ago, KungFuPanda said:

When I went to the field in the Army I took a plastic sink basin. You really can clean everything in there with a few inches of water. I stood in it to clean my body and leaned over it to wash my hair. For longer stays in the field I washed underwear in it. 

The guys made fun of me for taking my basin, but usually 2-3 weeks in some of them would sheepishly ask to borrow it. 🤣

 

Yeah, I learned to be good at this in the army too.  I could do it without actually getting undressed too, since there often wasn't any privacy from the men.  They were actually pretty anal about making sure everyone washed this way on a daily basis, some of the young guys would just not bother otherwise, and it could pretty easily result in skin infections and such.  Not to mention it was pretty gross to sleep in a tight space with some guy who hadn't washed in a week.

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23 hours ago, maize said:

Our per capita consumption of water and pretty much every other natural resource in the US is nothing to brag about for sure; it would be completely unsustainable on a global scale. It isn't actually sustainable on a national scale. Of course this isn't just bathing, it's also stuff like watering lawns and eating food that is water intensive to produce like beef.

There really is no room for claims of cultural superiority here.

dsg757_500_350.jpg

 

We got 71 inches/182 centimeters of rain last year. That’s over five feet!!!! To the best of my knowledge, nobody has figured out how to truck the excess to areas that need it more. If my daily showering habit is a real resource crisis and all of that extra floodwater can be better used elsewhere, I’d love to hear someone explain how that works because I really don’t know. 

I may just be ignorant, but until I’m better educated it feels a lot like shaming dessert dwellers for enjoying the sun too much. 

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