Bathing Safety Tips for Your Baby

Although newborns do not get really dirty, they do need to be bathed once the umbilical cord falls off. Unless they have a really bad blowout or nasty spit-up you can probably get by with bathing a couple times a week during their first weeks. For first time parents, bath time can seem like a daunting task by the thought of a little wiggly baby in sudsy water. Extra care is needed when it comes to keeping your newborn safe during bath time. Here are some bathing safety tips for getting your little one squeaky clean.

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The Safety Rules of Infant Bathing

The most important thing to remember when it comes to bathing: under NO circumstance should you ever leave a baby unattended in any depth of water. It only takes a split second for a baby to drown even in less than one inch of water. Just as you would while changing their diaper, you should ALWAYS  keep one hand on the baby at all times when they’re in the tub. Take the phone with you where you will be bathing your baby or if you need to answer the door, take baby out of tub and wrap them in a towel to bring them with you.

Rule No. 1
Be sure to have all of your bathing supplies beforehand and within arm’s reach so you are not having to grab things after you already have baby in the tub that would require you to take your hand off of them. Things you should have:

  • Baby wash/soap/shampoo
  • Wash cloth (1-2), cotton balls
  • Towel for drying
  • Fresh diaper
  • Clean clothes
  • Lotion or powder (optional if you want to use before dressing baby)

Rule No. 2
Be sure the room where you plan on bathing your baby is at a comfortably warm temperature (typically around 75 degrees). Babies lose heat rapidly and can easily become chilled so it’s important to keep the room temperature warm enough for them and limiting the amount of time they sit in the water. If there is a ceiling fan on where you are bathing baby, be sure it is turned off prior to undressing them. The bathroom is the ideal place for bathing as it is generally a smaller room and holds heat better. I had an infant tub that fit in our sink so for the first few months I bathed both kids in the kitchen because it was easier. Often times I would bathe them at night after cooking while the kitchen was still good and warm.

Rule No. 3
Draw your baby’s bath water first before putting them into the tub. The temperature of the water can change posing the potential risk of burning or fill up too quickly making it too deep. Wait until you’re done drawing water so that it can be adjusted as needed before placing baby in.

Rule No. 4
Make sure the bath water is just right. You want the water warm around 90- 100 degrees, but no hotter. Use the inside of your wrist or elbow to test the water temperature because these more sensitive areas are better for checking to be sure water isn’t too hot.

Rule No. 5
Do not use bubble bath. Babies’ skin is very sensitive and can easily become irritated. Bubble bath can cause irritation to the urethra and also dries out the skin, so skip the bubbles. Also be sure the soap you are using is mild and specifically meant for babies. You can even wash your baby without soap as long as you be sure to get into the folds and clean really well.

Safety Tips for the Big Tub

As your baby becomes more active and begins standing and reaching for things, you will want to take a few extra precautions for bath time. Once your little one has moved to the big tub you can take a few simple measures to ensure bathing safety.

  • Use a spout cover to protect your little one from hitting their head while in the tub. 
  • Do not fill tub with more than 4 inches of water.
  • Use a bath mat or textured bath strips to keep baby from sliding around in the big tub.
  • Be sure to keep all appliances and cords (such as blow dryers, curling irons, etc) out of reach and clear from the tub.

You can also keep your toddler safe by teaching them not to stand up in the bath tub and not touching the faucets. Also NEVER leave an infant unsupervised in the tub with an older sibling.

 

Safe Bathing

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