Depending on the sort of kid you have, bath time can either be a totally fun and calming experience every time, or a struggle and a fight no matter how many times your kid has been exposed to the bath. Either way, the most important thing to consider is the best bath time safety rules to set for yourself and stick by every single time, regardless of how old they get.
Granted, you won't be supervising a school-aged kid as much as you watch over your toddler in the bath, but some bath time safety rules are ones that just stick with you and really shouldn't fade away.
Of course the easiest and best way to avoid any sort of bath time accidents is to be as strict as possible with your presence in the bathroom any time your kid is in there. Okay, if your kid is out of the toddler stage, it won't be necessary to watch them use the bathroom to, well, go to the washroom, but any time your toddler feels the need to wander into the bathroom, you should be right there with them or simply keep the room off limits to them.
There is a time and place for you as a parent to be lax and let things slide, but when it comes to bath- time safety, it’s definitely not a time to back down on any parts of your safety routine. What you need to know about bath time safety may seem like common sense or a universal knowledge to people who aren’t even parents, but it still stands to reason that hearing it all at once certainly can't hurt in driving home the point that bath-time safety is ever important and what you need to know are things you'll keep with you for a long time.
10 Supervision Is Key
When you're a new parent, any sort of bath time routine can be a bit intimidating because, well, you've got an adorable and fragile little thing who gets awfully slippery when that baby shampoo comes into play. Regardless of how awesome smelling it may be. But if you're a new parent and find yourself being of the super worried variety at bath time, then keep that mentality. That's much better than the alternative.
It probably goes without saying, but keeping an extremely close eye on your child while they bathe is the most important bath time safety tip to adhere to. While it's easy to want to turn away to grab a towel or the camera to snap a quick photo of that funny soapy Mohawk, just make it a point to have all of your supplies right by you, at the ready, and not across the hall or even across the bathroom.
We can all agree about how inherently curious little ones are, and any time they're given the chance to explore things that are off limits, they'll take them. Which is both funny and terrifying, depending on the situation. And yes, in this particular situation, a curious kid is too terrifying and does best when supervised more than usual.
9 Be Sure That Your Baby Steers Clear Of Faucets
This is another no brainer that you're probably rolling your eyes at, but it has to be said. In fact, to be extra safe, when placing or helping your kid into the bath, keep them facing away from the entire faucet area.
Sure, you may be there to prevent them from turning on the water themselves, but allowing them to explore it even under your supervision, at a young baby or toddler age, sets them up for giving into their curiosity more and even when you're not around, should they find themselves in the bathroom alone.
You should always explain to them why they're forbidden to use the faucet on their own and about all of the dangers, but at this point, while they're still young enough to require bath time help and supervision, everything about the faucet in the tub should be a serious no-no.
8 Don't Fill The Tub Too Much
While it's recommended that you don't fill the bath tub even close to the halfway mark, it's also important to note that you have enough water in there to be able to use a cup for scooping and rinsing your child's hair. At this point, it's not a good idea to have them lay back to submerge even part of their head and yes, we know, your toddler will probably hate you for all of 20 seconds while you're rinsing their head with a few cups full of water, but that's one of the many parenting risks we have to take.
Over filling the tub, however, makes it that much more likely for your child to be "lost" among the deeper water, regardless of them having your undivided attention or not. Kids are literally fractions of the size we are as adults. They don't need a bathtub halfway full of water in order to splash around and have fun. To them, it's a small pool no matter how much water you put in there. So in this case, just remind yourself that less is definitely more.
Think of the depth of a wading pool, it barely goes up the lower half of your leg, and with good reason. It doesn't take much for your baby's head to slip under water and take in a mouthful of water. So be conscious of how much water you're putting in the tub and you will always keep your baby safe.
7 Invest In Those No-Slip Rubber Pads
Those rubber sticky pads and rubber bathmats are no joke - they really work! Especially when you have a bath tub that sees bubble baths too often and may be perpetually slippery because of them. Having an extra gripper for your kids' tiny feet can be the difference between stepping into a bath and plopping down safely and stepping into a bath and slipping which can cause your toddler to become terrified of the tub and cause your kid to be scared into hating baths for a phase that isn't fun for anyone.
If you can do one small thing to make bath time more physically comfortable and give you an excellent piece of mind, then invest in some of these bath mats and make bath time that much more enjoyable for everyone involved.
Bath mats have come a long way since you were a child. Now they have funky designs and colours that you can easily coordinate with your bathroom, and you can find them anywhere! So if you don't like the long rubber ones that cover the entire floor of the tub, you can definitely find the individual bath mats that can be strategically placed across the floor of the tub.
6 Remember That Any Baby Shampoo Is What It Says - Perfect For Baby
It's true, getting any sort of shampoo or soap in your eyes is less than fun, but baby shampoo is still less harsh on the eyes and skin of little ones. No, it isn't a big old scam meant to force you into buying specialty items for your family. Baby shampoo is just gentler overall and lathers in a kind of perfect way that doesn’t create all of the suds and bubbles that your typical adult shampoo might.
The best guideline for applying baby shampoo is to use a small amount. Think nickel sized dollop in your palm or directly applied to your baby's head once or twice a week. You don't want to use too much shampoo on your baby. It should create suds easily, but be just as easy to wash out when you rinse their head, this way you avoid creating cradle cap, or making cradle cap worse!
For your toddler you should use roughly the same amount unless your child has more hair, then you might want to use a slightly larger quantity. You can wash your toddlers hair three times a week, unless they've put food in their hair, then obviously you'll want to wash that out, but don't over use the shampoo, have you ever used too much shampoo on your toddler's hair and had to use cup after cup of water to rinse it out?
Yeah, we bet it was about as fun as getting locked out of the bathroom by that same kid, right?
5 Make Sure The Bathroom Is Warm Too
It's all well and good that you've got that water consistently warm and pretty perfect for your baby or toddler, but what about the bathroom itself? Have you kept it at a nice and toasty temperature too? Because regardless of the temperature of the water your kid was just splashing in, they are going to be a shivering, teeth-chattering little mess when you help them out.
Keeping the bathroom at a warm temperature ensures that your kid won't be dreading the part of bath time that signals the end of it and thereby fight you to stay in. Okay, so maybe it still won't be the easiest to tear them away now that they're playing with all of their bath toys they'd forgotten about, but once they know that the alternative to a nice and toasty bath is a nice and toasty bathroom, then they may be less likely to freak the freak out.
One way to keep the bathroom itself warm is to use a space heater, but even the space heater creates a danger, so make sure that the space heater is only turned on while you are in the room with it, and as soon as you plan to leave the room, you turn it off and unplug it. If your bathroom has a baseboard heater, you can crank it before the bath and turn it down after the bath. You can also put their towel in the drier to warm it up and make getting out of the tub easier for them as well.
4 Test The Water Temperature Throughout Filling
That means, don't start filling the tub at a nice warm temperature and leave it at that. Because most of us can agree that faucets unfortunately end up either losing some of that warmth, opting to pour out lots of cooler water toward the end, and suddenly you're left with a naked toddler running through the hall and a bathtub of cold water that has to be drained. Or, one might say, wasted. Which again, is no fun and no good.
Testing the bath water temperature throughout the duration of filling the tub ensures that the water stays the same warm temperature throughout, and gives you the chance to play with the knobs on the faucet, because you know you'll have to turn it a little warmer and then a little cooler a few different times before the tub is finally full enough.
Another long standing bath guideline, is to add the cold water first and then warm it up by adding hot water. With the use of a thermometer you can monitor the temperature as you add the hot water making sure that the temperature never rises above 38 degrees celsius. In the winter time you can make bath time shorter since the cooler air will effect the warmth of the tub water quickly, and you can take your time in the summer when the tub will hold the temperature longer.
3 Keep All Electrical Corded Items Locked Away
Even if you've adopted the habit of keeping the bathroom door firmly shut and safely locked at all times, all electric items you keep in the bathroom should be locked away within the room, especially during bath time. Between your kid splashing around like it's their job and then thrashing around when you tell them it's either shampoo time or time to get out, they could very well grab that corded curling iron in the process and knock it into the tub.
Of course, assuming it isn't plugged in, there is no risk of electrocution, but these are the sorts of items that should never be within arm's reach of kids anyway. Designate a drawer or a cupboard and lock up all your corded electronics when they're not in use.
Taking extra special care to adhere to bath time safety with your kids includes a lot of self-explanatory, common sense words of wisdom, sure. But whether you're a new parent of a well-seasoned and experienced one, it never hurts to get reminders of all of the hazards that bath time involves. And when you can conquer all of that, you can get down to the fun stuff with your kid - like squirt gun battles over the water.
2 Keep Bath Time Toys Sanitized
Cleaning toys that spend most of their time in soapy water may seem counterproductive, but over time, many of those bath toys your kid readily puts into his or her mouth and makes bath rub waves with gets dirtier than you'd think. Especially the types of squirting bath toys that toy can fill with water.
Even if you manage to squeeze out all of the water inside of them, mildew will eventually develop inside of them, sometimes seeping out when you squeeze them again, and sometimes just laying in there, caked onto the inside of that rubber ducky your little one has grown such a fondness for. There's only two options once the toys start getting mildew and mold, throw them out or clean them.
If you don't clean these toys and they continue to be used, the mold inside can cause your baby to break out in a rash after their bath. To try and prevent this sort of mishap, sanitize bath toys once a month in a gallon of water mixed with one tablespoon of bleach, and after scrubbing them, rinse thoroughly.
1 Keep The Bathroom Locked From The Outside
This might seem like a strange safety tip for bath time with your little one, but locking the door on the outside is actually the best way to go. If you keep the lock on the inside of the door, you run the risk of your kid getting out of your grasp and running into the bathroom, while the water is currently running, and locking you out. Whether they mean to or not.
It also makes it terrifyingly possible for your kid to get into the bathroom when it isn’t bath time, but also when no adult is around. Because they just want to get into everything, as we all well know, and the more off limits, the more appealing. Keeping a lock on the outside of the bathroom door, high above any reaching little hands, prevents any possibility of little ones getting bathroom time without much needed parental supervision.
Another idea is to put a handle on the door that doesn't lock at all until your child is old enough to know better. Of course that will mean they can walk in on you using that bathroom at any time, so it really is a personal decision, but one that you might make on the side of safety. On the other hand, you might already have them accompanying you in the bathroom as you try to use it anyway, so the lock on the door might be just for decoration in the meantime.