10 baby bath safety tips

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When I brought my first child home from the hospital, I spent half of my time swooning madly over her and the other half terrified that I would somehow break her. She seemed so fragile, so tiny, so utterly helpless. Here was this beautiful creature and she depended on me to keep her safe.

Little things that I’d never even thought to worry about before, such as giving a bath, suddenly seemed like a big deal. Cleaning a squirming infant while trying to keep them from swallowing water can be pretty challenging.

After a while, I learned to relax and enjoy the whole process a bit. Here are some tips I picked up in order to make bath-time fun and safe.

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1. Do not ever leave a baby alone in the tub. Not even for a minute, tempting though it might be. If your phone rings or someone knocks on the door, wrap the baby up in towels and bring them with you. It only takes a few minutes and a few centimeters of water for an infant to drown.

2. Don’t let a toddler stand up in the bath. Once young children begin learning how to stand up, they want to do it all the time. Make it clear that a slippery tub is no place to do this.

3. Say no to bubbles. Yes, bubbles are fun and babies playing with bubbles are pretty much the cutest things ever. However, those soapy suds can irritate a baby’s urethra and lead to a urinary tract infection.

4. Keep all electrical appliances well out of reach. This really applies to all age brackets, but is especially important when children are concerned. Hair dryers, curling irons and any other devices should be kept a safe distance from the tub.

5. Keep the water warm (but not too warm). Infants have minimal internal temperature control and therefore get cold easily. When heating the water up, be very careful not to overdo it. A small mistake could leave a child with third degree burns and scars for life. Test the water yourself (it should feel slightly above lukewarm to the touch) before letting a child get in.

6. Use a mild soap and don’t overdo it. That super-soft baby skin is also incredibly sensitive. Too much soap can dry it out or irritate it.

7. Less is more when it comes to water. You’re not pouring a bath for an adult. A mere 5 to 10 centimeters of water should be plenty.

8. Don’t let babies or toddlers grab onto the faucets. Curious kids are going to want to investigate everything. As their arms get stronger, it’s tempting for them to try and pull their bodies up or play around with the water taps. Make it clear that this is a no-go before they’re actually old enough to do it.

9. Wait until the water has finished running to put the baby in the tub. To avoid a sudden change in water temperature, make sure the taps are set off and everything’s set to go before the child enters.

10. Baby-proof your tub. Baths, even miniature baby ones, are often slippery spaces. A bath ring or a baby bath seat will help provide extra stability. If you’re using a regular tub, consider investing in a rubber suction mat to avoid any dangerous slipping and sliding.

Photo Credit: Kit4na via Compfight cc


Expecting Expats is the online resource for parents in and around Thailand.

We provide lifestyle and medical content to our visitors, with new content posted daily. Our lifestyle contributors are themselves expat moms who share their experiences and lessons learned through blog articles. We also provide medical content from our partner doctors at Samitivej Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. Articles of interest span from before pregnancy through the toddler years and cover medical, behavioral and cognitive issues.

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