You know what they say: Safety first! (Snacks second.) When you’re wrangling your tiny humans into the tub for a scrub, there are a few things you can do to make sure bathtime is fun and safe for everyone…
1. Have all the important stuff within arms reach. You don’t want to be scrambling for a towel while you’re holding a slippery, squirmy rascal. So round up everything you’ll need for bathtime (and beyond) before you get started. Think: washcloths, body wash, shampoo, toys, towels, nappies, and clean clothes.
2. Get the water temperature just right. A safe temp for a child’s bath is between 37°C and 38°C (or about 36°C for a newborn). If you don’t have a thermometer, check the water temperature with your wrist or elbow, which are more sensitive to the hot/cold.
3. Don’t make the bath too deep. No one’s doing a springboard dive into the bath. (Sorry, Sud Bud.) You only need to run enough water to get your kid clean and let them have a splash – for a child who can sit up on their own, that’s around belly-button height.
4. Stay within arms’ reach of your child. Even if they’re sitting in a bath seat or cradle. Kids are wild and unpredictable and prone to attempting a triple backflip out of the tub on a whim. It’s much safer if you’re there to deter and/or physically restrain them.
5. Avoid anything that might be distracting. Including (but not limited to): books, phone calls, Instagram, other children, last night’s episode of And Just Like That… If there’s a lot going on and you can’t give bathtime your undivided attention, delay it for another time.
6. Make it less risky by making it less slippery. Put down a non-slip bath mat to give your kid some extra grip. If you want to avoid bumps and bruises, you might also consider tap covers.
7. Empty the bath immediately. When bathtime is over and your kid is finished getting clean and covering every inch of the bathroom in bubbles, empty the tub straight away. Standing water is a drowning hazard, and it’s especially dangerous if you have other kids running around.
8. Keep plugs out of reach. Because you are a magnificient parent, you probably made bathtime SO fun that your kid wants to do it all again! While you’re not around. Avoid any chance they’ll fill up the tub without you by keeping the plug well hidden or out of reach from little arms.