A Little More Wisdom

Safe Baby Bath Temperature

Written by
Cathy Hale
on January 16th, 2017

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Most babies love (I mean really love!) bath time. But even though bath time can be fun, there are serious safety tips to follow to avoid accidents. In this article, part of our National Bath Safety Month series, we’ll cover the importance of safe bath temperatures for your baby.

Since babies can be scalded by hot water in merely a second, water temperature safety is a critical component to overall bath safety.  There are many things you can do to prevent running an overly hot bath, even if you have a problematic faucet.

• One of the first things you can do is adjust your water system’s temperature setting. Most hot water systems have a temperature control. If you adjust the temperature at the source, you can avoid potential problems with the heat of the water coming out of the faucet.  If you can set it below 120˚ F that makes it easier to run a bath that’s between 90˚-100˚ F, which is not too hot and not too cold.

• Use the elbow test to determine if the bath is the correct temperature. Instead of feeling the water with your hand, put your elbow in it. If your elbow feels warm, the bath temperature is good for your baby. If the water feels hot on your elbow, the water will be hot for baby.

• If you find that your bath water is too hot, you can add cold water to cool it down. Just make sure you swirl the water to eliminate any hot spots. Also, make sure you don’t make the bath water too deep–2-4 inches of water is plenty! If it’s too deep, let the water drain out.

• Remember that your faucet may heat up while you run the bath, so make sure it’s not within reach of your baby. She could easier burn her hand on a hot faucet.

• Look for bath toys that act as thermometers to help you land on the optimal temperature. There are cute safety ducks and bears and turtles and even floating thermometers that will change colors to indicate if the bath water is too hot. Always double-check water temperature with your wrist or elbow, just to make sure.

Once you get the hang of running the perfect bath, bath time becomes a wonderful time to bond with your baby. It also serves as a terrific transition between daytime activities and nighttime snoozing. As a parent, you will spend countless hours sitting on the floor next to the tub, watching your baby splish and splash. Enjoy every moment!

What’s your baby’s favorite thing to do in the bath? Let us know in the comments section on Facebook!