Drew Barrymore on how often her daughters bathe: ‘The smell can get real’


Who’s perpetuating the Bathing Confessionals? Are celebs being asked about this on the reg now or do they all feel the need to weigh in on the subject unprompted? Drew Barrymore is the latest to chime in on washing. It’s okay, though, because it’s a regular occurrence in the Barrymore home. Drew is mom to Olive, eight, and Frankie, seven. She said she bathes the girls every weekday for the simple reason that her daughters can work up an odor if she doesn’t. Although Drew admits she’ll let the pool or the ocean do the work on the weekends, she’s diligent the rest of the time.

Drew Barrymore is tossing her opinion into the great bathing debate. The 46-year-old talk show host revealed to ET’s Kevin Frazier how often she bathes her kids.

“I’ve got two girls,” Barrymore told ET of Olive, 8, Frankie, 7, whom she shares with her ex-husband, Will Kopelman. “The shoes, I’ve got some odor eaters, [the smell] can get real.”

As for her bathing philosophy, Barrymore said that she “absolutely” washes her kids every weekday, especially when they’re in school, and is “a little more relaxed” on the weekends.

“I’m just looking for balance,” she explained. “For me, I’m like, ‘You were at school all day.’ Not in the last two years [because of quarantine], but when they were, I’m like, ‘Bath every night.’ Absolutely. On the weekends, it’s like, ‘You’re in the salty ocean. Who cares? You’re fine.'”

“I guess I’m a five-day-a-weeker with a possible sixth day,” she noted of how many times her kids bathe. “Five to six days a week.”

While (Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell’s) comments sparked some social media criticism, Barrymore told ET, “These are not necessarily the things I would really flip out on people about right now with everything going on.”

“Hey, you know what? Maybe people need a break,” she said. “If this is the hot debate, I think people just need a break.”

[From ET]

I very much do not want to enter the bathing debate. However, one of the few times I absolutely must wash off is after I have been in the salty ocean. I know salt water is cleansing (although, let face it, there isn’t anything clean about California beaches) I can feel that stuff coat my skin and hair if I don’t rinse it off. Still, I get Drew’s point, everything is more relaxed on the weekend. Plus, at her daughters’ ages, they can take their own baths so that’s also a little down time for Drew. The good news is we can check Drew off the Dirty Gertie list. She’s one of the celebs we don’t have to worry about walking next to on a crowed sidewalk and her kids don’t have to hang their filthy heads in shame because Mom has cleared the air.

I do think it was sweet of Drew to try to let Dax and Kristen off the hook by making an excuse for the debate itself. Drew’s like that, a peacekeeper. She’s the friend in the friend group that everyone likes. The one they send in to diffuse the firebrand (who is usually me). And she’d be one of the few friends whose kids I’d agree to watch because I don’t have to worry if they’re coming into my house stinking or not.




Photo credit: Instagram

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36 Responses to “Drew Barrymore on how often her daughters bathe: ‘The smell can get real’”

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  1. Loretta says:

    Yikes swimming in the ocean isn’t the same to bath

    • Drea says:

      It’s one or two days a week. That’s not yikes.

      People need to calm down about this bathing thing. I, for one, can’t wait until CB just stops posting about it.

      • Anne says:

        Actually, it is a yikes, depending on which beach you go to. Santa Monica Bay (which covers a huge swath of Southern California beaches) can get hella polluted. They post signs on the beach on a regular basis telling people not to go in the water deeper than ankle or knee high because of high bacterial levels. You can get nasty infections from the bacteria in ocean water. After I go to the beach, I scrub myself Silkwood-style in the shower afterward.

      • Drea says:

        Fair point on the ocean germies. So that’s my misinterpretation of Loretta’s comment.

        I just can’t get behind people saying Yikes for not bathing their kids 2 days out of a week. I can’t get behind people saying no kid needs to be bathed every day. Do what’s right for you and can we just shut up about this conversation already. It’s almost hitting breastfeeding level contention. Bathe your kids as much as they need regarding their skin and hair types and messiness etc.

  2. Amy Bee says:

    I’m starting to think that these celebrities had their nannies bathe their children. But when Covid hit, they had to do these menial chores because their nannies had to stay home. That’s the only explanation I have for these parents all admitting that they don’t bathe their children regularly.

    • Seraphina says:

      Amy Bee, I think so too. It’s the only way it makes sense.

    • Hannah Young says:

      Amy Bee, that’s exactly what it is. These celebrities had to bathe their own kids during the pandemic and have just been skipping it. I see this all the time with friends’ kids and my kid’s classmates – 99% of the time they aren’t bathed or looks disheveled or smells a bit, their Mom has been away.

  3. Lauren says:

    I live next to the beach and I feel dirty and exhausted after spending even 20 minutes by the water. I feel the need to wash it all off too strongly to let the ocean do its thing. Plus if I put my hair under seawater I cannot not wash it, it gets super dry and starts breaking.

    • Anna says:

      I love the beach but how do you not bathe afterwards? You’re all salty and sandy. At least rinse off.

  4. Lori says:

    Hygiene is one of the most basic life skills you can teach little kids. Wash your hands and face, wash your body, groom and maintain your hair. It makes me wonder what other basic life skills are being neglected if these basics aren’t being taught.
    All you need is sink of water, a little soap and a wash cloth. It aint rocket science, and you dont need to be rich to provide it.

  5. Xoxo says:

    What is wrong with these people? Bathing is not hard work, it’s rather enjoyable. Why do they feel the need to make their nastiness public?

  6. Seraphina says:

    Hecate, THANK YOU!!!! There are tiny microorganisms in the ocean and humans have hair and crevices – ummmmm, I would think that is enough to bathe after the ocean or dip in the sea. My family came from the shores of Mediterranean – and you ALWAYS rinse off and bathe at night or bathe when done if possible.
    Personally, I remember driving home from VA beach after a day in the ocean and hot sun. I WANTED to bathe and I was a kid.

    • Kathryn says:

      Literally what is this “trend” of celebs telling us how often they don’t bathe, ew? Please keep it to yourself. I shower every morning and twice in one day if I’ve worked out or done something where I feel gross. I can’t imagine waiting that long. I once worked with a girl who told me her mother never made her bath until she couldn’t stand her anymore and said she only bathed like once a month when her mom yelled at her. I remember saying, “I wouldn’t share that story with anyone.”

  7. AmberMarie says:

    Not a popular answer based on other threads I’ve read but I don’t bathe my 2 year old EVERY day but I’d never go two days in a row. If we’re just at home and don’t leave the house on the weekend – I’m ok with skipping. If she’s outside, at daycare, goes to the store with me – she’s getting a bath. I think the thing that triggers me the most is we’re in a pandemic. Hygiene is crucial. Why isn’t this a concern for them?

    • Drea says:

      I just want this conversation to go away. It’s ridiculous – every kid is different – skin sensitivity, smelliness, willingness to roll in the mud. And every parent has the right and obligation to bathe their kid as to what works for them. Outside of negligence, this is no ones business but the parents. And it makes people feel the need to justify their own bathing behavior. It’s so stupid.

      I’m really annoyed and disappointed at CB for perpetuating this – all it does is feed into the mommy/parent wars.

  8. WintryMix says:

    So very tired of this discourse. Some people were raised to bath every day, some people weren’t. Just like a lot of other differences in what people find normal, acceptable, etc. Enough with the outrage.

    • Twin falls says:


    • BearcatLawyer says:

      Except it becomes an issue in many parts of the US if you are not white, rich, and privileged. These celebrities can get away with it. Others cannot.

      • Twin falls says:

        That’s a different conversation and one worth having but the laundry listing of showering schedules (and exceptions!) has been done to death.

      • Drea says:

        Outside of the idea of “I’m white, rich, and privileged so I can share my bathroom habits without shame”, I don’t understand the issue completely. They are being shamed for it. Why is any of this a talking point at all?

        Lots of people bathe lots of different ways due to skin type, hair type, level of sweatiness. And these are kids anyway! They haven’t reached puberty so smelliness is more minimal.

        Bathing is private. Celebs should stop talking about it and CB should stop perpetuating it n

      • BeanieBean says:

        Yeah. I know my own parents grew up poor during the depression in houses without running water or electricity. Water was obtained by one of the seven (or ten) kids from the pump at the well in the backyard. It was heated in the big tank on the side of the wood/coal-burning stove in the kitchen. Coal would be gathered from alongside the tracks after a train passed by. The bathtub was in the kitchen. It was filled once a week, once only on bath day, and everybody used the same water. It was important to our folks that their kids had a better life, which included daily baths, fresh hot water per person.
        I think a poster above had it right–these rich folks are having to take care of their kids’ every needs for the first time & they’ve altered their personal hygiene standards.

      • WintryMix says:

        @BearcatLawyer, that’s a totally different issue. I understand that it’s galling for Black Americans in particular, who have grown up in a white supremacy culture where historically they’ve been assumed to be unclean, to discover that actually many white people bathe far less often than they do. My hunch, and it is just a hunch, is that Black people actually care more about personal hygiene than any other racial group for that exact reason–because of the generational trauma and legacy of being considered dirty. But does that mean there’s something nasty, gross, wrong, unacceptable, etc with people bathing themselves or their kids less often than 1/day? No, it doesn’t. People need to understand that there is a lot of variety in what individuals, families, and cultures consider normal.

        And as far as not being able to “get away with it” if you’re not rich or a celebrity, that’s the point I think people are missing. Plenty of everyday regular people also don’t bathe every day. We “get away with it” just fine because the rest of you can’t tell. Why can’t you tell? Because we don’t smell, and we aren’t dirty. I’m sorry if that’s a distressing revelation, but there it is.

      • Norman Bates' Mother says:

        It’s an issue because people who do not bathe or shower stink and other people need to smell it whenever they are in public. To me it’s the same as with smokers (of course minus the health repercussions) or with people who microwave fish and broccoli at work – it’s not just about your freedom because it makes harm to other people who need to smell this awful odour. Celebrities have influence on others and these stupid confessions about not bathing might actually influence others to start going around smelling like piss and sweat. Ughhhh.

    • Drea says:


  9. CJ says:

    Honestly, it’s the consistency for me. Just because you tell your kids to bathe when YOU smell them doesn’t mean later in life they will every smell themselves and think “time to bathe”. Puberty hit my 10 year old hard, I can smell her underarms cooking down the hall, but she can’t smell herself unless she aims her nose at it. If you don’t give your kids the routine now… you are setting them up as adults.

    Also, I think my kids bathed themselves at 6 and 7, with me close by yelling at them not to make sudden movements

  10. Ann says:

    I kind of agree about the pool. Yes, it has chlorine in it but after a long, hot summer day I would sometimes let my kids go to sleep without a bath or shower if they had been in the water for hours, especially if they were exhausted and crashed on their own. I’m not waking them up for a bath.

    The ocean is different? Most public beaches, anyway, and many private ones (like at hotels) have a shower at the entrance/exit that people use to rinse off their feet and hair, etc. They even tell you that you HAVE to use it if you want to get into the pool. We always used those. Who likes sand and dried up salt water all over them? Love the ocean, hate the aftermath.

  11. Katie says:

    All this discussion about imagining what other people’s kids smell like really skeeves me out. It’s one thing to imagine being friends with a celebrity which is also odd, but to imagine how dirty their kids’ butts are is kind of next level yucko, ya know? I’m done here for the imaginable future.

  12. Cessily says:

    Glad this was not the fad or norm when my kids were at home.. During a school trip with my son class my son stranded me on the bus making me sit with two stinky unwashed teens on a field trip.. one of the worst headaches I ever had after a 4 hour drive to Toronto science museum. I admit to being the mom who organized a hygiene day with plenty of soaps and deodorants for the medical speaker to hand out after that experience. Please people teach your kids proper hygiene.

  13. Susan says:

    Love the Dirty Gertie reference….wasn’t that her name in ET??

  14. Andie says:

    I have three kids and I can’t imagine anyone ever being interested enough in their bathing schedule to want to discuss it, let alone make it the topic of (multiple?) podcasts? Celebs are weird and also, let us not forget, kids are naturally gross LOL

  15. Ann says:

    Well, I am tired of this topic but I really like Drew Barrymore. That is all.

    I wish Ashton and Mila had kept their mouths shut about their bathing beliefs.

  16. AnneSurely says:

    The. Igfest problem we have here is people treating hygiene like a punishment. Bath time should be just a normal part of a night time routine. Treating it like self care or down time, or relaxation makes getting kids to sleep so much easier. And it builds healthy habits in kids taking care of themselves. Honestly, parents are their own worst enemies some times.

    And you need to wash chlorine and sea salt off your kid’s skin for Christ’s sake.

  17. jferber says:

    Yes, Ashton and Mila let this dirty little secret (emphasis on the dirty) out into an already blighted mental landscape. Thanks a lot, jerks.

  18. Krystina says:

    Can we just STFU about people’s bathing schedules? Enough with the gatekeeping, already.