Whether it’s a calming and bonding experience or a splashing and crying one, baby bath time is inevitable part of parenthood – and it’s also a time for extreme safety. At the end of a busy day, you’ve usually got an exhausted mom and a fussy baby, which can easily lead to avoidable bath time accidents. Keep your baby safe and take the stress out of bath time with these 5 tips for safety proofing your baby’s bath.
NOT TOO HOT, NOT TOO COLD
One of the best parts of bathing your babe is the calming effect of warm water, so making sure the water is not too hot or cold is crucial. The best way to ensure a safe bath time temperature is to run some cold water first, then top up with warm water to a safe temperature. Use a bath thermometer to make sure baby’s water is no more than 100 degrees. If you don’t have a bath thermometer, you can check the temperature by immersing your elbow into the water. When you put your elbow in the water, it should feel warm, not hot.
NEVER LEAVE BABY UNATTENDED
This should go without saying, but surprisingly, stats show that bath time drownings are prevalent. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, eighty-two percent of home drowning victims were younger than the age of two and 81 percent of the incidents involved bathtubs. Children can drown in as little as 30 seconds, in as little as an inch of water – so make sure to NEVER leave your baby unattended in the bathtub. Before bath time, gather everything that you need (washcloths, towel, change of clothes, etc.) – and if you have forgotten something, it is best to scoop your baby out of the bath and take her with you.
Is there anything better than a sweetly scented, freshly bathed (and hopefully, sleepy) baby? To safely get your little one squeaky clean and smelling baby fresh, select shampoos and baby washes that are tear-free and as gentle as possible. A mild and hypoallergenic option is your best bet, which contains chamomile to keep baby’s skin soft and smelling yummy. Since babies are extra prone to skin irritation and urinary tract infections, avoid having baby sit too long in soapy water by saving the soap and shampoo for the end of the bath.
KEEP BABY WAYM
It’s never fun to leave the comfort of a soothing bath and enter a frigid room – so avoid after bath chills, by keeping your little one warm and cozy after bathing. Keep the temperature of the room to about 75°F and keep your baby out of drafts, especially when he or she is wet. Completely pat dry as soon as you’re done with the bath, paying extra attention to covering baby’s head with a fresh dry towel.
CAUTION! SLIPPERY WHEN WET
A wet and soapy baby is a slippery baby, which can easily result in a bath time accident. Researchers report that over 40,000 children a year are injured during routine bath time, with slips and falls being the most common causes. Protect your baby from slipping with a rubber bath mat for more secure seating and a cushioned spout cover can protect your little heads from painful bumps. Also, be sure that any sliding glass shower doors are made from safety glass.