Rub a Dub: January Is National Bathtub Safety Month

January is National Bathtub Safety Month; here are a few tips on keeping baby safe.

Giving baby a bath can be a delightful bonding experience. There is nothing quite like the smell of a freshly soaped up bundle of joy. You’ll want to keep baby safe while they are immersed in water and here are a few helpful tips:

Bathing Newborns:

Sponge bath baby until their umbilical cord has fallen off. (If he’s been circumcised, wait until that heals, too.) Choose a baby tub that has a contoured design or an internal sling. This will prevent your baby from sliding and will allow you to have control over baby at all times.. Never use a bath seat, as they are known to tip over when the suction cups fail.

Temperature:
Fill the tub with a couple of inches of lukewarm water. Dip your elbow in the water to test., it should be warm but not hot. Your hand is desensitized to hot water, so gaging the temperature of the water with your finger, won’t have the same feeling that your newborns sensitive skin will feel. Keep testing the temp as you go. When the water cools down, bath time is over.

When and how often:
You will be the ultimate decision maker on this question, but most newborns find water extremely stimulating, so it’s a great idea to get them splashing early and often. Your baby does not need a bath every day, most commonly, baby should be bathed at least two to three times per week as long as you are cleaning their face, hands and diaper area.

Soaps
Use a washcloth with water and a mild baby wash. You will want to look for products that are void of any added perfumes or dyes. These additives can irritate your baby’s sensitive skin. Work up a lather into a washcloth before you start. Cradle your newborn’s head with one arm while you bathe them with the other.

Safety First:

  • Set up everything you’ll need within arm’s reach, soap, washcloth, towel, diaper and a change of clothes before you begin. This allows you to have one hand free at all times with one hand securely on your baby. When you’re done bathing them, quickly wrap them up in a towel so they don’t lose body heat. Dry them thoroughly, being sure to get into those adorable creases. Also, don’t forget to:
  • Empty the tub immediately after each use — a baby can drown in as little as 1 inch of water.
  • Learn infant CPR. And never leave your baby alone in a bathtub or in the care of another child, even for a second.
  • Keep the toilet seat and bathroom doors closed after you leave.
  • Use a spout cover so they do not hit their head on the faucet.
  • Place a nonskid mat beneath your baby tub to prevent it from slipping.
  • Set your water heater to 120 degrees F so your baby won’t get scalded if they accidentally turn on the faucet.