Baby Bath Temperature

image001 Bath time can be a wonderful experience for your baby, but sometimes it can be very stressful. The temperature of the baby’s bath water is one part of the experience that you can control and is an important part of making the experience a safe one for your child.

What Is the Right Baby Bath Temperature?

A baby’s tender skin cannot tolerate water temperature as warm as an adult. On the other hand, water that is too cold can be a hazard for your baby. Most experts recommend bath water at around 100 degrees F (38 degrees C) is a comfortable baby bath temperature. You might consider buying a bath thermometer to check the temperature until you are comfortable with what the right temperature feels like.

Fill the tub before you put the baby in. If possible, cover the handles so your baby cannot accidentally turn the hot water on. Keep the room warm, so your baby does not get chilled when you pull him/her out of the bath. Have a towel ready for wrapping and cuddling the baby.

How Can You Keep Baby Bath Temperature Safe?

Adjust your hot water heater between the low and medium settings. This will usually allow adults in the household to have water that is hot enough while preventing your child from being burned in water that is too hot. Consider installing a regulator in the tap that you normally use for your child’s bath. With this device, even if your child turns on the tap, the temperature will be controlled. Prevent your child from turning on the water by covering the handles if your child can reach them in the tub.

What Is the Right Water Depth for a Baby’s Bath?

For a baby that is not sitting up yet, be sure the water in the bath will only cover his/her shoulders and will not cover his/her mouth or nose when he/she is in a reclining position. Do not leave your infant unattended–especially if he/she is able to roll over! For older children who are able to sit up, the water should only come to the baby’s waist when he/she is sitting up. Again, do not leave your child alone since his/her natural inclination will be to play in the water and falling over from a sitting position can result in drowning.

How Can You Give a Baby Bath?

Giving your baby a bath can be a fun and safe experience for both of you if you follow a few easy rules:

Rules

Descriptions

Gather all the supplies

Be sure you have everything you need before you start the bath. This will prevent you from having to leave the baby unattended during the bath.

Gently slide your baby into the water

Support your baby’s head as you gently slide her into the water. For older children, emphasize that you will always help them get into the tub. Once in the bath, keep one hand on the younger child throughout the bath and don’t let the young child stay in the bath too long!

Work from the top with a mild soap

If you use soap at all, be sure to use a soap recommended for babies and children and then only use a drop or two. Start at the top of the head and move down the body as you wash. Save the dirtiest parts for last! Soap can be irritating to baby skin, so be sure to rinse well.

Be extra gentle to your baby’s soft parts

The soft spots on the head, eyes, ears and neck are areas where you need to be sure to be extra gentle. Clean the baby’s head gently but thoroughly. Clean his/her eyes with plain water from the part closest to the nose to the outside of the eye. Clean the outside of his/her ears but do not put anything into the ears. Remember to clean inside the folds of a chubby baby’s neck.

Go easy on the private parts

If your newborn baby is newly circumcised, avoid a tub bath until he/she is healed. After that, gently clean his penis. For a girl, gently clean her genitals from front to back to avoid contamination.

Pat your baby’s skin with a soft, dry towel

Rough towels that may feel good to an adult should be avoided with a baby. Remember that baby skin is much tenderer! Pat your baby dry with a soft, warm, dry towel.

Warnings:

  • Safety first: Don’t forget that safety must always be your first concern. Never leave your child alone in the tub and keep at least one hand on your infant during the bath.
  • Support the child: For infants, consider purchasing a bath cradle to help support the child until he/she can sit up. When he/she is old enough to sit up, a bath seat is a purchase that can help keep the child safe in the bath. Be sure the tub is lined with a mat or heavy towel to prevent slipping. Teach your child early to stay seated while in the bath.

How Often Should You Bathe Your Baby?

The answer to this question depends on a lot of factors. First, an infant is fine with a bath one or two times a week. Older children may need a bath more often depending on how dirty she/he gets during the day. If your baby is agitated during a bath, try giving sponge baths while you work with him/her to get used to a tub bath. As your baby learns that bath time can be relaxing and fun, consider making this part of a bedtime routine. If bath time is fun and precedes bedtime, it is likely that your child will begin to associate those two events. This may make bedtime much easier for you and your child!

More Tips on Baby Bath

  • For the newborn with an umbilical cord that has not fallen off yet, avoid giving a tub bath. Instead, give a sponge bath and do the umbilical cord care as directed by your healthcare provider.
  • Be gentle during bath time.
  • Be sure your child is not hungry when you start the bath. Try giving a snack before you start the bath.

Want to have more information about baby bath? Check out the video below: