Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

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Bringing children to mikveh

7 September, 2006

Question:

I would be most grateful if you have any solution to my situation.

Is it permissible to bring young children (3 yr old and 10 month old) with me to the mikveh? It has never happened to me before, but I just cannot seem to be able to find someone to look after them this time!

I am scheduled for a tevillah next Sunday night P-G, except my husband (who usually stays with the children) will be out of town for a business travel. Unfortunately there is a big wedding that night and most of my friends whom I usually ask to look after the kids all seem to be there.

We moved to the new house quite recently, so I don't know the neighbors well enough to ask.

I spoke with the mikveh shomeret, and she was quite sympathetic.

My husband can be understanding but I don't really like to postpone.

Is it better to wait one extra day till he comes back, or bring the kids to the mikveh (I'm hoping they'll be asleep in the car)? The mikveh is about 20 min driving so leaving them in the house by themselves is not an option again.


Answer:

If your husband will be away, there are grounds to postpone immersion.  However, if you and your husband would, understandably, prefer that you immerse the night before his return, then you should make every effort to do so.

It is halachically permissible to bring your small children to the mikveh, especially if you have prior consent from the shomeret.  However, there are practical concerns: that they might disturb other women or distract you from preparations.  Leaving sleeping children alone in a parked car is also not a safe option. We think the best alternative might be to ask the shomeret and your neighbors if they know of any reputable babysitters.  Given that your friends will be at a wedding, you might be able to ask to leave your kids with a friend's babysitter while you go to immerse.

If you do take the children with you, arrange with the shomeret to come early to be first or to come late and be last, so as to disturb the fewest possible women.  Perform as much of your preparation as possible at home (preferably when there is child care or a neighbor available) to minimize your time at the mikveh.  


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