Bath time, especially for first-time mothers is a daunting task. Babies love to splash around in water but there are some rules that must be followed to make sure your baby stays safe in the water. The first and most important is to never leave your baby alone in the bath.
Read on to find out more.
#1 What temperature should my baby’s bath water be?
- Bath water should not be hot or cold but comfortably warm. Put cold water into the bath first then hot water. This will ensure there are no hot spots in your baby’s bath water.
Test the water using your elbow. It should feel warm. Water temperature can change very quickly so never put your baby in the bath while the water is running.
If you want to make sure the bath water temperature is just right, you can purchase a thermometer.
- Mixing valves are great for people who have separate hot and cold water taps. Babies can get second and third-degree burns after just seconds of being in hot water.
If you bath your baby in the family bath, teach them not to play with the taps. They may not be able to turn the tap now, but as they get older, they will get strong enough. An inflatable safety cover or something similar should be used on your taps to ensure babies do not play with the taps.
Once taken out of the water, babies quickly lose body heat so ensure the room is warm and you have a towel handy. Pat your baby dry and dress them in a diaper. You can then wrap them in another dry towel or blanket for a few minutes while you cuddle him or her before getting dressed.
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#2 How deep should my baby’s bath water be?
Baby’s bath water should not be more than 5 inches deep. If your baby is sitting in the water, it should not get up higher than their waist. If lying down, the water should just barely cover his or her shoulders.
Never put your baby in a bath with the water running as the depth could rise quickly.
#3 Supporting baby in a bath
Hold your baby firmly under the bottom with one hand as you lower her into the bath. Once your baby is settled, use this hand to support the baby’s head above water. Use the other hand to wash the baby and swish the water around.
Bath supports are available to free your hands while washing the baby. If your baby cannot sit up, a bath cradle is also useful in supporting them while in the water. Whether or not your baby is using some sort of support in the bath, never turn your back or leave the room, even for just one second. That’s all it takes for a baby to slip and they can easily drown in as little as 3 cm of water.
As your baby grows, teach them to sit in the bath and stay seated. Always discourage standing up in the bath without your support as they may easily lose balance and slip.
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#4 How often should i bath my baby?
Bath time is fun and relaxing for most children. You can wash your baby as many times as you want.
During the first month, it’s perfectly okay to bathe your baby one or two times a week. Wash off any obvious dirt and ensure you top and tail, on non-wash days.
Bath time should be a part of the bedtime routine for older babies. Use a mild cleanser specifically formulated for baby’s skin.
#5 Can i share a bath with my baby?
Once your baby is about 2 months old or older, it’s safe to share a bath with them. Shower or wash first then prepare the bath as you would if you were washing just your baby. You should then get in the tub and have someone hand the baby to you and take them from you while getting out of the bathtub.
Skin to skin contact between babies and fathers strengthens attachment so encourage your partner to bath with your child as often as possible.
#6 Can i leave my baby for a few seconds?
Never ever leave your baby unattended in a bath. Gather everything you need before starting to bath your child. If you have to answer the door or phone, get your baby out of the bath, into a towel and take her with you.
Always take the necessary precautions to ensure your baby’s safety.
Have any tips for our readers regarding bath time? Please share in the comments section.
first published babycentre.co.uk