Last month, we celebrated National Bath Safety Month by sharing bath time safety tips with parents, which sparked lots of terrific conversations online. Over the course of the month, nearly 4,000 parents engaged with us on Facebook alone about important things to keep in mind when it comes to bath safety for newborns, babies and toddlers.
We think these are incredibly helpful bath safety tips, because accidents do happen. Prevention is always the best route. Here are 6 Bath Safety Tips for Babies:
One Hand On Baby at all Times
It sounds pretty simple, but keeping one hand on a slippery, squirmy baby while reaching for things like soap and shampoo isn’t always easy. The golden rule is always have one hand on your baby when she’s in the bath, so make sure bath time items you need are within arm’s reach.
Be Aware of Water Temperature
It only takes three seconds for a child to get third degree burns from hot water. Most hot water heaters are set at 140 degrees, which is hot enough to cause burns. You can turn the water setting down to 120 degrees. If not, make sure you test the temp before putting baby in the tub. One mom told us she uses her elbow to test the water, not her hands. Another mom said she found a floating baby-safe thermometer that she drops in the water to check the temperature.
Newborns Are Pretty Clean
If you keep your newborn’s diaper area clean, newborns actually don’t need to be bathed more than three days a week until they are a year old. With newborns, keep in mind that you should not bathe them until the umbilical cord stump falls off and/or a circumcision is healed. It can be stressful trying to hold a slippery newborn, so many parents use special infant tubs, which act as a cushioned chairs and only require minimal water. Once baby is bigger and sitting up on her own, it’s much easier to bath her in an actual bath tub.
Have a Towel Handy
Immediately after her baby is over, wrap her up in a towel to prevent heat loss and keep her warm. Remember, babies lose their body heat faster than adults and it takes longer from them to regain it. That’s why baby towels with hoods are perfect!
Drain the Tub Completely
It may sound too obvious, but when the bath is over, drain the tub of water down to the last drop. It’s easy to get distracted after bath time, but you certainly don’t want to inadvertently leave a potentially dangerous environment by leaving a half-full tub. Babies are good climbers, so you want to make sure the tub is empty when you’re done.
The Age for Bubble Baths
Bubble baths are certainly great fun for your little one, but she should wait until she’s a toddler to play in them. According to the American Foundation for Urologic Disease, babies are more susceptible to UTIs, so they suggest waiting until the age of three.
Keep Toys Clean
We know most little tykes have lots of favorite bath toys – perhaps buckets full! - to keep them entertained while they splish and splash. Some of the squeaky toys have holes in them so they stay afloat, but this also allows for water to stay trapped in the toy. Take them time to squeeze out excess water to keep the toys clean. You can wash them separately in hot water and let them air dry. One mom shared her life hack for keeping those toys clean – fill the holes with super glue. They still float, but plugging the hole keeps water out. Nice!
In honor of National Autism Awareness Month, we're exploring important development milestones and potential red flags here.