Written by Liza John
Bathing your baby can be a fun and sweet ritual for parents. Babies tend to love water and splashing around in it. So, bathing your baby can also help you bond better with your baby. However, putting your baby into a tub or sink of water does have its own set of risks, and it is imperative that you take necessary steps to prevent any possible mishaps.
Even Shallow Water Can Be Dangerous
Babies can drown in as little as just a couple of inches of water. Your baby still has very little control of their neck and muscles, so drowning may happen silently and within seconds. They won’t be able to breathe even if a little water covers their mouth and nose. So never leave your baby unattended in the tub, not even for a couple of seconds. Most childhood drownings at homes happen in a tub within the first year of childbirth, so be extra cautious.
When To Start Tub Baths
Until the umbilical cord has fallen off, stick to sponge baths. If your baby has been circumcised, wait for it to heal as well. After that your little love-bug is ready to hit the tub. While choosing a tub, go for one with contoured designs, preferably with internal slings to prevent your baby from sliding. Use lukewarm water and check the temperature before placing your baby in the tub.
Safety Tips At Home
Water safety is something you need to think of as soon as you bring your bundle of joy home. Your baby’s motor skills and movement develop rapidly, and they may start crawling, rolling over or pulling themselves up without any warnings or signs. Here are some tips to help you keep your baby safe from water hazards.
Safety In Tub
Keep all supplies within your hand’s reach so that you can always have a hand on your baby. Your baby in a tub can be slippery, even a child who seems to be in an upright well propped position can slip down into the water, in a matter of seconds. So always have a hand on your baby and use touch supervision, even if you are using infant seats or slip rings.
In case you forget to get a bar of soap or towel or something comes up, take your baby with you. You might think it is a good idea to let an elder sibling supervise the baby, however, understand that they don’t possess the skills to see and react to an emergency.
Safety In The Bathroom
Bath time’s over, but your work doesn’t; a tub full of water, slippery floors, or even toilet bowls are potential hazards for your baby. You can keep your baby safe by,
Putting down the toilet lids. Install safety latches or locks on the lids to keep them curious fingers at bay.
Drain the tub after use, also pull the plug out when not in use to prevent it from filling in accidentally.
Keep the bathroom door closed. Installing knobs or latches will help keep your baby safe from going into the bathrooms without supervision.
Swimming Pools, Ponds & Fountains
Swimming pools, even those inflatable above-ground pools must be covered on all sides with fences. The fences should be effective in keeping your baby out of the pool. Ensure that there are no gaps or openings under the fence and have a self-latching gate that opens away from the pool. Routinely check the gate to be sure that it functions as expected.
Apart from pools, you may have other water hazards such as fountains, bird baths, or ponds in your backyard as landscaping features. Be extra attentive when your child is near water. You can also leave these features unused till your child grows up.
Apart from hot bath water, there are other hazards that may lead to scalding and burns at home. Coffee or other hot beverages can cause serious scalding if a mug gets pulled down, or spilled on young children or babies. Refrain from carrying hot beverages and your baby at the same time. Avoid placing mugs of hot beverages on the edges of tables or other surfaces. Your curious lovebug may tug at a table cloth in a bid to stand up and could cause serious burn injuries.