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What age is ok to leave dc alone in the bath?

(30 Posts)
ThePinkOne Sat 15-Aug-09 23:09:17

DD is 3 in November and I occasionally leave the room and get a towel or whatever but how bad would it be to, for example, fold laundry on the landing? I would be able to hear her and be seconds away. I wouldn't get involved in a task sitting down or anything, or go further away.

She sits and chatters and plays in the bath and isn't one for wild jumping about and things.

So I just wondered where other people's limits were on the subject. Thanks.

Mousey84 Sat 15-Aug-09 23:11:50

3 def too young in my opinion.

I am starting to leave dd (6.5) in bath but with 2 way walkie talkies on (theres a baby monitor function so I can hear her all the time) and even then, its only to go to loo (seperate room) or to make coffee.

limonchik Sat 15-Aug-09 23:13:08

Drowning is likely to be pretty silent, so you might not hear it.

plonker Sat 15-Aug-09 23:16:38

I wouldn't leave a 3yo alone tbh.

I leave my 6yo if I'm staying upstairs and can hear her. I make her sing so I know she's ok though blush

NonGratisAnusDailyMail Sat 15-Aug-09 23:24:04

2.9 is way too young imo.

ThePinkOne Sun 16-Aug-09 09:25:58

Hmmm. The reason I asked really is cause DH left her in the other day and went in the other room to dress DS. I went loopy at him then wondered if I'd been a bit harsh but obviously not!

But, and I'm not being arsey - genuine question - I know drowning itself wouldn't be noisy but surely there would be some kind of slip/fall/splash leading up to her face being in the water which I would hear from just outside the door?

littleboyblue Sun 16-Aug-09 09:37:23

My dp went through a phase of thinking it was ok to leave ds for a minute in the bath. I went mental at him and even banned him from bathing ds!
I googled it and printed some stuff off for dp to read. I can't remember now what the site was called but it said that children under 5 are most likely to fall in water as until that age, they are mostly top heavy.

FWIW, I plan to be in the room at all times with ds's until they are 5 and then see what they are like then

MaybeAfterBreakfast Sun 16-Aug-09 12:10:13

I wouldn't leave my 3.3yo (or the 18mo).

nellynaemates Sun 16-Aug-09 12:13:44

Leaving a baby in a bath is different from standing outside the door folding washing.

Yes, drowning isn't very noisy, but change in the sounds coming from the bathroom are very evident.

I have a very small house and it's impossible for me to be more than 2 seconds away from the bathroom, I do stuff in the kitchen (right next to the bathroom and pop my head round the door every 30 seconds or so - or more if he is singing or whatever). I don't think it's dangerous.

I don't do it all the time but I do sometimes and I don't see a problem with it. (DS is 21 months)

fruitstick Sun 16-Aug-09 12:14:24

I have left DS1 in the bath (3.4) while I dress DS2 or give him his dummy back etc/ get towel.

I'm aghast you should never leave the room for an under 5.

I think you need to use your common sense. If you child is capable of getting in and out of the bath themselves, then they would have to be knocked unconscious to drown. The chances of this happening whilst you were on the landing and you not knowing are slim!

sparkybint Sun 16-Aug-09 12:41:11

Agree, 3 is far too young. I think DD (now 9) was about 6 when I even moved out of the bathroom for more than a few seconds.

HensMum Sun 16-Aug-09 12:47:18

I wouldn't do it. It might not happen, but is it really worth the risk for the sake of folding some laundry?

limonchik Sun 16-Aug-09 13:57:16

"I think you need to use your common sense. If you child is capable of getting in and out of the bath themselves, then they would have to be knocked unconscious to drown. The chances of this happening whilst you were on the landing and you not knowing are slim!"

I don't think they'd necessarily have to be knock unconscious - if their head slipped under the water and they inhaled a lungful and panicked, that would probably be enough. It's a lot easier for an adult to just pull themselves up in a slippery bath than a 3 year old for example.

TheProvincialLady Sun 16-Aug-09 14:10:32

I leave my 2.11 in the bath whilst I fold laundry in the bedroom (the bathroom is en suite) but I talk to him literally the whole time and I am never more than 3 paces away from the bathroom. If he is silent for more than 1 second (hasn't happened so far.....hmm) I go straight in.

I would not go anywhere I could not hear him easily. And I accept that this is not a risk some people would take, but we all have our own thresholds and I am happy that DS1 is safe. For one thing, he never stands up in the bath, and for another our bath is cast iron and so incredibly noisy that I would hear if he slipped.

woodlands35 Sun 16-Aug-09 14:30:44

today for the first time i left dd (3.8) in the bath for a few seconds & laid out her underwear & clothes etc , she talks CONSTANTLY & i was in the bedroom next door to the bathroom so i could hear her playing loud & clear . i got her to sing a song . smile

ThePinkOne Sun 16-Aug-09 15:06:49

Phew I'm glad I'm not the only one to step out of the room!

Interesting thoughts everyone thanks smile

cheesesarnie Sun 16-Aug-09 15:20:49

ds2 whos 3 has to sing loudly if i leave the room to fold washing etc.if he stops singing i shout 'i cant hear your lovely vioce' and hes off againgrin.

spiderlight Sun 16-Aug-09 16:18:30

I'd worry about them trying to get out of the bath to find you and slipping/banging head on taps/knocking teeth out on the side of the basin just as much as I would about drowning, though - all of which could happen in a split second if you're not there to make sure they're safely sitting down.

abdnhiker Sun 16-Aug-09 16:31:26

You can't protect them from everything... I leave DS1 who's three in the bath while I take his brother out and dress him. I normally chat with DS1 while I do it so I know he's okay. As long as I'm with a five second dash and I can hear DS1 chatting, I don't see what the issue is.

NonGratisAnusDailyMail Sun 16-Aug-09 17:18:24

By abdnhiker on Sun 16-Aug-09 16:31:26
You can't protect them from everything...

err, you can actually prevent your child from drowning in the bath by not leaving him alone in there. Tis devastatingly simple hmm

notevenamousie Sun 16-Aug-09 17:35:10

I step out of the room - for a towel or to get clothes out - mostly in direct sight but not always. DD is coming up 3. I can live with the risks personally.

NonGratisAnusDailyMail Sun 16-Aug-09 17:45:59

Why not get the towel & clothes ready before your DD has a bath mousie? That way there would be no risk as you wouldn't need to go out of the room.

I agree that the risk is small, but it is a needless one.

ThePinkOne Sun 16-Aug-09 19:47:01

Spider I thought about your post while I was getting them ready for bed tonight! I initially agreed about the knocking teeth out etc but I actually don't make her sit down in the bath anyway. We have a non-slip mat and she stands up and her toys have parties on the side of the bath and things!! So even if I was sitting on the loo watching she could fall.

NonGratis have you never forgotten a towel?

NonGratisAnusDailyMail Sun 16-Aug-09 20:37:40

Nope, I haven't actually smile

If I did though I would just take my child to the towel rather than dashing off to get one. Would be no problem getting a little damp (I get splashed to bits anyway so wouldn't make much difference).

Herbiethecat Sun 16-Aug-09 21:41:45

DD is 4.2, she chatters incessantly, and our house is small and unsoundproofed enough that I feel quite confident being elsewhere upstairs doing little jobs while she's in the bath. Heck, I bet there are people with bathrooms bigger than our entire upstairs wink

It'd be different in a bigger house, or one with actual walls rather than paper-thin things. As it is, if the chatter ever stopped I'd be 2 seconds away from being in with her.

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