Expert Baby Bath Tips

Baby Bath Advice

If you're a new mom or dad and want to know all about baby bathtubs and how to give a baby a bath, here are some expert tips to get you started. This up-to-the-minute info includes advice on the best types of baby tubs, what baby bath products are safe to use, how to give a baby a bath, how much and what temperature water to use, how to hold an infant in the tub, and more.

Best Baby Bathtubs

The best type of baby bathtub is a safe bathtub. Many parents prefer a small basin or inflatable tub which fits into a regular bathtub; other new moms and dads opt for a free-standing tub designed for newborns. You can also line a bathroom/kitchen sink with a rubber mat and use that as your baby tub. No matter where you bathe your baby, never ever leave a baby alone in the water. Gather all the supplies you'll need ahead of time (i.e., washcloth, baby bath towel, baby shampoo, mild moisturizing soap, baby wipes, a clean diaper, change of clothing or baby bath robe), and keep them nearby so that you can keep one hand on your infant at all times.

Baby Bath Water

It only takes about 2-3 inches or 5-8 centimeters of water to give a baby a bath; however it's important to keep pouring water over the baby's body to keep them warm. Alternatively, consider the newest European-styled baby bathtub, which automatically sits the baby in an upright/fetal position and immerses the baby's body in shoulder-level water. Use only warm water, testing it first using your hand or a baby bath thermometer.

Holding a Baby in the Bathtub

Wet babies are slippery! To securely hold an infant in the tub, use one arm and hand to support the baby's head and neck and the other hand to move/guide the baby's body. To clean a baby's back and torso, lean the baby forward on your arm while grasping the baby under their armpit.

Baby Bath Soap

Use a mild moisturizing soap to wash a baby, avoiding scented soaps and bubble bath. For a newborn, however, plain water is sufficient. To prevent rashes, dry your baby well after each bath, making sure to dry inside the baby's folds of skin. Although newborns don't need baby lotion after a bath, be sure to use hypoallergenic lotions on older babies.

Baby Bath Safety: Breaking News

Now that you have mastered the basics of giving a baby a bath, you will want to place close attention to this up-to-the-minute baby bath alert.

In May 2001, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reversed its 1994 ruling and voted unanimously to regulate the use of baby bath seats. In case you're not familiar with these popular baby bath products, a baby bath seat fits into a regular bathtub and uses suction cups to adhere to the bottom of the tub surface. Designed to keep babies safer and to make it easier for parents to wash them, about one million baby bath seats are currently sold each year in the U.S. alone.

However, over the course of the past 20 years, 78 cases of baby deaths have been linked to baby bath seats, and more specifically to improperly secured baby bath seats tipping over. While the CPSC acknowledges that parental neglect is the primary cause for these fatalities as opposed to any defect in the product, they deemed there is sufficient cause to impose tough new standards for baby bath seats and to warn consumers that baby bath seats can pose a deadly threat to infants left unattended in the bathtub.

Lest these bath aids give parents and caregivers a false sense of security, the CPSC has publicized the following safety tips regarding the use of baby bath seats:

•- Never, ever leave a baby unintended in the bath, even in shallow water

•- Do not place a baby bath seat in a non-skip or slip-resistant bathtub, the surface of which may prevent the product's suction cups from sticking

•- Carefully check that the suction cups are securely attached to both the bath seat and the tub surface