A QUICK GUIDE TO KEEPING YOUR BABY SAFE DURING BATH TIME.
Armed with cautiousness and determination we filled the plastic blue whale tub with warm water and a few drops of honest company bath soap. Careful not to fill the tub too deep or with water that was too hot or too chilled my husband and I nervously placed our baby on the mesh support resting in his little tub. Awkwardly, we tried to support his head and neck while using the tiny corner of a super soft bamboo cotton wash cloth to wipe his milk covered neck. Was the room too cold? Does he like the water? Is he scared? So many concerns ran through our minds as we gave our precious tiny little baby his first bath! In the end his safety and comfort were our main concerns.
Well as time went on bath time naturally became less stressful, and more about splashing around. Now, we like to sit back and see how quickly the bathroom tile can be covered in puddles. These days the bath tub is more of an all purpose center. It’s used to create steam to soothe a congested toddler, a mini-pool for a water loving 1 year old, and a rolling deep sea that is home to tug boats, fish, frogs, and whatever other creatures find their way into the warm water. And when we are in a rush….the shower head becomes a spout that washes away dried applesauce, peanut butter, and crusty spinach off tiny arms and legs.
I think we can all agree that bath time is generally a fun experience! But what’s more important than your kiddo getting clean and having fun? Keeping them safe in the tub! January is Bath Safety Month and so we have a few tips to help keep your little one safe!
Newborn Bath Safety Tips
- Always check the water temperature! If it is too hot or too cold a newborns thin skin won’t be able to regulate their bodies temperature which can result in an overheated or a chilly baby. The ideal temperature for young infants is around 100* F (37-38*C). You can buy little cards that you dip into the water to read the temperature. Or dip your elbow into the water, if it feels comfortable then you are good too go. For more information see: Nationwide Children’s Hospital
- Don’t bathe your baby too frequently! Newborns aren’t really breaking a sweat! Most likely that sour dry milk smell is your nursing bra (YIKES——been there done that!) Newborn skin is very delicate and thin and you do not want to dry it out. Find a schedule that works for you and your baby whether its everyday or every few days! Don’t feel guilty if you aren’t bathing your nugget everyday!
- Wait until the umbilical cord falls off before submerging your little one in water! You never want to yank on the umbilical cord…it will dry out and fall off on its own. Once it does, and the belly button has healed then you are in the clear to submerge your baby. If you have questions or concerns call your doctor before exposing the area to water!
- Fussy Baby Solution? If your little one hates getting a bath try finding a different time of day, room, or change the lighting in the room. Maybe there is a draft and they are chilled, perhaps the TV in the background is too much stimulation. Sometimes we have to be detectives and hunt out what is bothering our babies!
- Bathe them in a way that makes you feel comfortable and confident! You can hold them and bathe them on a towel in your lap, use the kitchen sink or a bowl, or use a baby bath tub. I think having a partner with you at least the first few times is a great idea. I know my son was both squirmy and tiny which made me a little intimated! It was awesome to have my husbands large hands to help stabilize him.
Infant Bath Safety Tips
- Never leave your baby alone! Just because your little peanut can sit up doesn’t mean they can sit in the tub alone. It only takes a few inches of water for an infant to slip under and drown.
- Use caution with bubbles! You know the phase when everything and I mean EVERYTHING goes in your babies mouth? Make sure your bath products are free of harmful chemicals, dyes, and ingredients. Because bubbles are bound to end up on in their mouth!
- Add in toys to keep them engaged. If you feel like your 9-12 month old is getting bored in the tub, add in some fun toys and water proof books! Our favorite books are the Indestructible series.
Toddler Bath Safety Tips
- Push back your shower curtain! You might be thinking “huh?”. But seriously the last thing you want is your toddler yanking down the shower curtain rod or rolling themselves up in the curtain liner. If you have a super active kid like mine, you want to avoid them using the curtain as a funnel to transfer water from inside of the tub outside of the tub.
- Use a antimicrobial spout cover to avoid any bruised heads or hurt fingers! The last thing you want is your little one banging a limb on the metal spout! Or…….. trying to shove objects into the spout….again another thing I have experienced.
- Keep a close eye on them! I know it is tempting to walk away because they are older now, but they can still slip under the water! Plus now your child can stand up in the water and probably crawl out of the tub so you want to keep them safe and avoid any slips or falls.
Does your baby have eczema? Try a breastmilk bath! Check out my step by step guide to giving your baby this super moisturizing treatment.
Be prepared: No matter what age your baby is, have their towel, diaper, clothes, and lotion ready so when bath time is over you can easily transition them into the next activity!
Set a schedule: Children crave structure! Whether you have a particular day or time try and make taking a bath routine. This will not only let them know what to expect but it will engrave bathing as an important part of self-care.
What are your favorite bath time tips? Share them with the ‘hood and let us know below !!
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