Practice Baby Safety during Bath Time

Black mother gives baby a bath. - 9/16/2020

During September we heighten our awareness to baby safety during Baby Safety Month. Bath time is an important time for learning and bonding between baby and parent. However, there are instances when a child can quickly be put in danger. Read on to learn what you can do to prevent injury.

Watch your baby

Never leave baby unsupervised in a bath regardless of how shallow or how quick. A baby can drown in just an inch of water – and it only takes a second for it to happen. Plan ahead and keep soaps, toys, and towels within reach. Don’t go searching for something you may have forgotten. If the phone rings, wrap your baby in a towel and take him with you. 

Don’t put a baby in the tub while drawing the bath.

Don’t put your baby in the tub while the water is running. Have the bath ready beforehand to make sure it’s the correct depth and temperature. Also, the sound of rushing water from the tap can be too loud and intense for a small baby which can make bath time a frightening time rather than a time for fun. Lower the maximum heat on your water heater to avoid accidentally making your baby’s bath water too hot. Try to keep it around 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48.9 degrees Celsius) or lower. 

Check the temperature before putting your baby in the water.

Before you place your baby in the bath water, check the temperature with your wrist or the inside of your elbow.  You can also buy a baby-friendly bath thermometer. 

Use baby-safe shampoos and soaps.

Use baby-safe shampoos and soaps. A baby’s skin is very sensitive and can be easily affected by certain soaps. Adult soaps and shampoos are often too harsh and can cause drying, allergies or rashes. Test the soap first by giving your newborn a sponge bath. You also can bathe with only water. 

Childproof your tub. 

  • A non-slip bath mat can create a better surface grip on the floor of the tub. 
  • A baby bath or bath separator can create a smaller bath space in which your baby can play and bathe.
  • A baby-friendly spout cover can soften the sharp metal edges of the faucet.
  • Fill the tub with water no higher than your child’s waist when sitting (about 2 to 4 inches).
  • Have clothes and diaper laid out to quickly dress your child after a bath to prevent them from becoming too cold.

Learn about Lakeview Center’s Infant Mental Health program at https://www.elakeviewcenter.org/MentalHealth/children/outpatient