January is bath safety month, so it’s a great time to review what you’re doing when you give your baby a bath. Some parents will line a sink with a padded surface, while some choose to put a baby tub with a sling into the tub. Whether you’re comfortable with bathing your child, or you’re pregnant and wondering the best way to get your baby clean, there are some great tips here for you.
- Always stay with your baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that you stay with your baby at all times if they are under five years of age. When you wash her, keep one hand on her at all times to make sure she doesn’t slip, fall back, and hit her head.
- Pay attention to water temperature. The right water temperature can be difficult to figure out. You don’t want the baby to be uncomfortable with water that’s too cool, but you don’t want it to be too hot, either. After you fill the tub, you should move the water around to avoid any pockets of hot water that may be sitting there. To stay safe, check the water temperature with a thermometer. Here’s a cute one from Aquatopia that alerts you if the water is too hot or cold. Another way that you can be sure the water temperature is appropriate is to set your water heat to less than 120 degrees.
- Don't fill the tub. There doesn’t need to be too much water in the tub — maybe three or four inches. That’s plenty to get your baby clean.
- Don’t let your child touch the faucet, since the hot water tap may burn skin at just a touch. Your baby’s head shouldn’t be near the faucet or taps, since baby could bang her head on them once she starts moving around more. The Milliard Rubber Bath Spout Cover will protect baby’s hands and head.
- Keep all bath items close. Baby towels and washcloths, soap, shampoo, and lotions should be next to you in a caddy.
- Make sure to stop slips. Your tub should have a slip-resistant mat — not just for your baby’s safety, but for yours too. Have a plastic-backed rug outside of the tub. It’ll be easier on you when you crouch down to wash your baby, and the mat will stay in place when you lift your baby out of the tub.
By the time your baby is a few months old, she’ll be a pro at tub time, and so will you!