The 7 baby bathing safety tips you shouldn't ignore
Find out how to keep your little angel safe during bath-time...
It is quite normal for first-time parents to feel overwhelmed by almost everything related to looking after their baby.
Bathing your brand new baby is one of these concerns. Newborns are so delicate and they must be handled carefully at all times, especially when in the water.
Because of this, it’s important that mums and dads understand how to bathe their baby properly.
This will ensure their little one’s safety as well as bring about peace of mind that they are doing all they can to keep their baby safe.
Do keep these expert-informed seven tips in mind when you bathe your little one. And if your helper or another caregiver will be bathing your baby, please make sure you share this information with them, too.
1. Delay the first bath
Paediatric experts recommend waiting until your baby’s umbilical stump falls off (around two weeks) before you give him his first bath.
This is because the area around the stump needs to be kept clean and dry at all times in order to prevent infections, and submerging your newborn in water could be counterproductive to this.
Also, newborns don’t really get dirty, so until your little one’s umbilical stump falls off, a gentle wipe-down with a soft washcloth and mild soap will do.
According to WebMD, you will only need to gently wipe around the stump with a damp cotton swab for effective cleaning, remembering to pat the skin dry afterwards.
2. Never leave your little one alone in the bath
Remember: having your baby within eyesight is not enough to stop him from drowning – it takes just seconds for a baby to slip into and under the water, with potentially devastating consequences.
Always have one hand on your little one at all times. To prevent having to step away from him to get a washcloth, soap or other bath item, get everything you need in one place before bath-time.
If you forget something, ask your helper, husband or someone else to get it for you. If no one else is at home, take your baby with you while you fetch the item.
3. Use a baby bathtub until your baby can sit up alone
It might be easier for you to bathe your newborn in the sink or even with you in a full sized bath tub.
But the professional recommendation is that until your little one can sit up by himself, the safest place to bath him is in a baby bath with a non-skid mat placed at the bottom. You only need a few inches of warm water and a drop or two of soap to effectively clean him.
Once your baby can sit up alone, you can move him to an adult bathtub if you wish.
Image: YouTube screengrab.
4. Your little one should be kept warm and moisturised
As soon as your baby’s bath is over, take him out and wrap him well in a warm, soft towel to prevent the loss of body heat.
Do ensure you dry your baby thoroughly before dressing him, paying special attention to creases and the folds of his skin. Don’t forget to gently unfold his hands (newborns often clench their hands into fists) and dry his palms too.
Use a moisturiser if you wish to keep your baby’s skin hydrated before dressing him.
Image: YouTube screengrab
5. Baby-proof the tub and bathroom
The bathroom is probably the most important room in the house to baby-proof, after the kitchen.
To prevent tub-related injuries, always place a non-slip mat at the bottom of the tub. Be sure you clean it thoroughly after each bath, as mold and dirt can accumulate especially around the suction pads on the underside.
As your baby grows older and makes the transition to a full-sized tub, ensure you set your water heater to below 48 degrees Centigrade to avoid scalding injuries, according to Mayo Clinic.
Only use age-appropriate and specially-designed bath toys in the tub.
6. Empty the bath immediately
Once your baby is more mobile, remember to empty the bath as soon as bath time is over to avoid accidental drowning.
A baby can drown in just a few inches of water and it takes just a moment of distraction on your part for your mobile baby to wander into the bathroom, where a full bathtub could put his life in danger.
7. Train all caregivers in CPR and basic child and baby first aid
Anyone who takes care of your baby (including yourself!) should be trained in basic CPR and other forms of first aid, should an emergency arise.
To find out more about this, please contact the Singapore First Aid Training Centre at +65 62978123.
We hope you found these tips useful. If you have any more baby bathing safety tips to add to our list, do share them with us in a comment below.