Every kid needs bath time incorporated into their weekly schedules, and bath time can be super enjoyable for both parent and child. Most kids love bath time and parents love how cute their little sweeties look splashing and smiling in the tub. Bath time may seem like an easy concept, hey we have been bathing/showering ourselves for years! The truth is, with a baby, bath time is a whole different ballgame. There are so many things that need to be taken into consideration- water temperature, soaps, and even how much water to put in the bath.
We have compiled a list of 15 bath time mistakes moms don’t know they’re making. Some of these things are common sense to some and some of these are a shock to others. Some of these things are a matter of life or death and some of them can make baby super uncomfortable or sick. We want what is best for our babies, and as a parent, one of our many jobs is to keep up with our kid's hygiene.
With knowledge comes power, and by reading below mom’s can learn things that can make bath time healthier, happier and much safer. No parent is perfect, and we all make mistakes, but some mistakes can be super dangerous. Are you giving your baby a bath with mold in it without even realizing? How about using products that could puncture baby’s eardrums?
Are you guilty of any of these bath time mistakes?
15 Three Baths A Week Is Ideal
It is probably not surprising that not bathing the baby enough can be a bad thing. You learned earlier in this article that bathing the baby too much is an absolute no-no. Bathing the baby 3x a week or every other day is ideal. If you bathe your infant less than that, it can lead them to get infections, rashes, and be super stinky. With all of those diaper blowouts, spit ups, and drool- its important to keep baby clean. The older they get the dirtier they get once they start eating and crawling. As a baby gets older you can give them more baths than when they were an infant. It can be helpful to write down or make a schedule for bath days for baby, so you do not over bathe or under bathe your little love.
14 Skip Out On The Q-Tips
Many people assume Q-tips are the quickest and safest way to clean those cute little ears. The dangers of Q-tips are puncturing the eardrum and even the Q-tip breaking off or coming apart leaving behind cotton in the baby’s ear. It is best to stick with a cotton square, a tissue or even a dry washcloth to dry the ears out. It may be tempting to get rid of the wax you see inside baby’s ears, but the truth is that wax protects from bacteria and really should be left alone, as ugly as it may be. Babies ears (just like the rest of them) are very sensitive, and those precious little ears need to be handled with care. You may think you are doing the right thing by swabbing the ears, but the truth is, you may be doing more harm than good.
13 Is The Baby Secured In The Tub?
It is best to use a baby bathtub or seat when washing your infant. Your cutie will be secure in the bath seat without moving around too much. If you have ever bathed a newborn, you know their skin is very slippery when wet. Keeping them in a seat or a tub made for babies can help eliminate slipping. Of course, it is not best to trust a seat or tub 100%, so please do not turn your back on your baby assuming the tub or seat will keep baby safe if you are not there. Making sure you put the baby in a seat or a tub so that there is a good grip on your baby is crucial for bath time. You can out these seats or tubs in the sink or the bathtub.
12 Always Check Water Temperature
It can be hard to know what temp to keep baby’s bath water at. Keeping the water lukewarm is the best choice. A bath that is too cold or too hot can burn or irritate their skin. A bath that is too cold can cause them to become sick as well. Your little one’s skin is much more sensitive than ours or even your older kiddo’s. Hot water can cause scalding and burning of the skin while freezing water can cause restlessness, difficulty breathing, pale skin or even becoming lethargic. It is always best to check the water temp before putting the baby in the bath. If you are uncomfortable with testing the water out yourself, it is always a good idea to get a thermometer for the bathtub to make sure baby’s tub is at the appropriate temperature.
11 Don't Bathe With The Baby
This has always been a controversial topic. Some parents swear by bathing with their kids while others think it is super dangerous. It is not a good idea to bathe with the kiddos while they are infants for several reasons. One big reason is that it can be dangerous trying to get out of the tub with the baby in hand. If you know anything about infants, you know they are super slippery when wet (and in this situation, you would be wet too, which makes it extra dangerous!) and the chance of dropping them is high. Another reason why bath time with an infant is a no-no is due to the soaps you will be using on yourself. You can use the best quality stuff on your kiddo, but when its time to wash you, the soaps and shampoos you use can really irritate baby. Their sweet skin is not used to the chemicals in the products you use.
10 Avoid Using Strong Soaps
Using products made specifically for baby’s skin is better than using the soap you would use for yourself. It is best to stay away from overly scented soaps and shampoos. Many products have ingredients that can irritate your baby’s skin. Avoiding products that have highly fragrant chemicals, parabens, and alcohols are an excellent choice. Certain chemicals can cause your baby to have an allergic reaction. So, you may be thinking, what do I use then? There are baby soaps on the market with little harsh ingredients that can be an excellent choice. These products may be pricey, but it may be beneficial in the long run. Keeping an eye out for sales and coupons is a promising idea when it comes to products like this. If these pricey products are out of the question, it is best to get samples of different soaps so that you do not waste your money on big bottles that may leave your babies skin bothered.
9 Make Sure The Baby Is Dried Properly
Not drying the baby can lead to many issues. Not drying your princess can lead to a yeast infection. Yeast thrives in warm places and places like the neck, bottom, and armpits need to be patted dry to prevent a yeast infection. A yeast infection will make baby super uncomfortable and upset. Another issue is leaving water in baby’s ears. Having a dry washcloth or cotton square to get water out of baby’s ears can be a lifesaver. This can help keep baby from getting sick and keep her from being uncomfortable. It is also best to dry baby’s hair with a towel, so her head is not left wet, which can be super uncomfortable for babies. Taking a towel over each of baby’s body parts gently can ensure baby is dry and happy.
8 No One Wants Wrinkled Fingertips
Newborns lose body heat quickly, and it is best to remove the baby from the water when the washing is done so that they do not get chilly. It is best to leave the bath for 5-10 minutes so that baby does not get cold. Leaving baby in the water for too long can also result in injuries, dry skin or skin irritations. Bath time can be a bonding time between parent and child, but that does not mean bath time needs to be drawn out for a long time. You can wash baby and sing to them or make silly faces and still get the bath done ASAP. As babies get older, they can stay in the tub for long periods of time (to splash and play) but a bath should not long to the point of chilly water. It is also not good for the baby to sit in soapy water for too long because it could lead to urinary tract infections.
7 Don't Fill The Tub With Too Much Water
Some parents think putting a lot of water in the bathtub is a good thing because they believe it keeps baby from getting cold. The truth is, there is never a reason to fill the tub with too much water. Putting baby in their own tub (instead of the bathtub) ensures that there is not too much water in their bath. If you do so choose to use the regular bathtub, it is crucial to fill it with just enough water to cover babies bottom. If you put too much water in your sweety's tub it can increase the risk of drowning (although babies can drown in just an inch or two of water) because they are not strong enough and do not have the skills to be sitting and playing in a lot of water.
6 ... And Make Sure It's Squeaky Clean!
We all should bathe in a clean tub. It is not healthy for us to bathe in a dirty tub which in turn means dirty water. A baby’s skin is very sensitive and the germs and grime from the tub can cause irritations and make baby super uncomfortable. It is important to make sure wherever you are bathing baby is clean before putting them in it. Baking soda, hot water, and soap can be a good combination to clean the tub. If you choose to use substances to clean the tub, please stay clear of chemicals that leave a residue because that can really irritate baby’s skin. Your little girl’s immune system is not as strong as yours and bathing her in dirt, germs, and grime can cause serious sickness and infections.
5 Always Scrub Softly
It can be easy to forget how fragile a baby’s skin is when you are not used to bathing a baby. When washing the baby, you do not need to apply a lot of pressure or use a bath sponge. Using your hands or a baby washcloth (which is thinner and gentler than a regular washcloth) are the best options. Bathing your cutie does not require a lot of fancy gadgets and supplies. Rinsing baby off with water from a cup is the best option instead of putting the shower on or putting baby underneath the faucet. If the baby has cradle cap, it may be tempting to scrub that off. We advise contacting a doc before tackling the cradle cap issue on your own. Baby has super sensitive skin, and you need to treat it as such.
4 Make Sure All Bath Toys Are Safe
Bath toys have the potential to have germs and even mold. Water and soap scum can get into those cute little rubber duckies. Some bath toys are super adorable, but staying away from the ones that have holes in them is best. Bath letters, growing sponges, or toys without holes are the safest bet. It is always best to clean those toys off and dry them before the next use. If you cannot resist the cute little ducky, you can squirt peroxide and really hot water in to kill any bacteria harboring inside. Remember, babies love putting things in their mouth and no one wants their baby sucking in mold and germs. This may seem like common sense now that you hear it, but many parents had no idea this was even a potential issue.
3 Always Be On Watch
It may not seem like a big deal to run down the hall to empty the dishwasher really quick, or to take dinner out of the oven- but the truth is, it can be a big deal. There is never a time that is okay to turn away from a baby who is the tub. Babies can drown in just a few inches of water and it can happen in a blink of an eye. Even if the baby is in a tub insert, it is not safe to turn your back. Baby can slip down or flip over in a second. It is best to get done whatever you need to get done before bath time so there is no reason to have to leave baby unattended. This is a matter of life and death, and even if something unexpected happens (doorbell rings, you hear a crash from the other kiddos in a different room etc.) and you have to leave the bathroom, it is crucial to bring the baby with you even for those few moments.
2 Don't Rush It
There is a recommended amount of time to keep baby in the tub (as stated above) but it is not a good thing to not give baby enough tub time. First off, if you rush bath time you may not get baby totally clean. You may not thoroughly clean or you may skip over body parts. Another reason why bath time should not be rushed is because it is good for the baby to splash around, play, and bond with mom or dad while bathing. Bathing baby can be a great way of bonding with the baby after a long day at work or with the other kiddos, and rushing bath can take away from much needed alone time. It is good for baby’s development to play, and the older they get the more they will want to do so. It is also good to get baby used to the water, and rushing him out of the tub takes away from that opportunity.
1 Remember: Babies Have Sensitive Skin
As a parent, it may feel like a failure to have a dirty baby. We want to keep baby clean, so they are healthy, happy and safe. Giving Jr. too many baths are unnecessary and can harm their sweet sensitive skin. Babies do not get dirty as adults do. Before the baby starts crawling, it is best to bathe baby every other day or so. You can take a washcloth with warm water and wipe down (and then dry) areas with dried spit up to eliminate the stink instead of giving them a bath every day. A baby’s skin dries out easily also, and bathing a baby too much can lead to skin irritation which will be uncomfortable for baby. Using soaps daily will also irritate skin as well.