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What is the ideal, tips and security | My Baby My Star

A baby’s bathing temperature should be 37-38°C. Babies have thinner skin and therefore need cooler bath water than adults. A caregiver can check the temperature with their elbow or a water thermometer.

While bathing a baby becomes easier with experience, caregivers may have concerns about the right water temperature.

This article explains how to check if a baby’s bath is a safe and comfortable temperature, bath time tips, and a step-by-step guide to bathing a baby.

A safe temperature for a baby bath is 37–38 °C (98.6–100.4 °F), or about 36 °C (98.6 °F) for a newborn. A baby’s skin is thinner than that of an adult, so an ideal bathing temperature for an adult is likely to be too hot for a baby.

One way for a caregiver to check the temperature is to put their elbow in the bath, as it is more sensitive to heat than a hand. If the water does not feel cooler or warmer than the elbow, the temperature is suitable for a baby.

Caregivers can ensure water temperature is safe for a baby by:

  • Check the temperature with either an elbow or bath thermometer before bathing a baby.
  • Mix the water well to make sure there are no hot spots.
  • Run the cold water first before adding hot water. To cool the faucet, run the cold water for a few moments after turning off the hot water.
  • Make sure hot water does not run on its own when a baby is in the bath as this could accidentally scald the skin. When water needs topping up, run cold and hot water together.
  • Place baby away from the faucet when using a full-size bathtub.

That World Health Organization (WHO) recommends lowering the temperature in hot water systems to minimize the risk of burns. A temperature around 50 °C is ideal.

Bath time can be a great opportunity to bond with a baby. To make it as comfortable and safe as possible, people can consider the following:

  • Make the bathroom warm and draught-free.
  • If possible, place the baby’s towel on a warm heater so that it can warm them up after the bath.
  • Have everything close by before you start bathing.
  • Talk soothingly during bath time. This can help the baby calm down and is a great way to encourage language development.
  • Make sure you never leave a baby unattended near water. If a caregiver needs something from another room, they should take the baby with them.
  • Ensure that an older child does not have to supervise a baby as they may not have a fully developed perception of danger.

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends that once a newborn’s umbilical stump has fallen off, it’s safe to give them a traditional bath.

Caregivers may use a sink, baby bath, or typical tub-supported tub to bathe the baby.

  1. Fill the tub with 2-3 inches of warm water and check the temperature with an elbow or thermometer.
  2. Undress the baby. Supporting the head with one arm and the buttocks with the other, gently lower the baby feet first into the water.
  3. Place one hand behind baby’s head for support while bathing. Never submerge your head and neck. Gently splash or pour water over exposed areas of skin to keep baby warm.
  4. Avoid splashing water on the baby’s head. Instead, use a soft washcloth to clean your face and head. Use unscented baby shampoo once or twice a week if the baby has hair.
  5. After cleaning baby’s face and hair, use the washcloth and mild baby soap to clean the rest of his body by moving from top to bottom. Pay special attention to skin folds and wrinkles.
  6. Gently lift the baby out of the bath and immediately wrap them in a towel. Place them on a changing mat or stable surface. Keeping baby covered, pat each area dry with the towel, again checking for wrinkles and creases.
  7. If the baby has dry skin, consider using a mild baby moisturizer or bathing them less frequently. The National Health Service (NHS) in the UK does not recommend using lotions or oils on a baby under the age of 1 month.

Read here how often you should bathe a newborn.

There is no need to buy a lot of expensive equipment to bathe a baby. The essential elements are:

  • bathtub, baby bath or washbasin
  • soft washcloth
  • mild, fragrance-free baby soap
  • Hand towel

Some non-essential items that people might find useful are:

  • bath support
  • water thermometer
  • jug
  • Hooded baby towel

The ideal temperature for a baby bath is 37-38°C (98.6-100.4°F). A caregiver can test the temperature with their elbow or a water thermometer.

Bath time can be a pleasant opportunity for a caregiver and baby to bond. It is useful to have all the equipment ready before you start bathing so that the bathing goes smoothly.

The bathroom should be warm, and the baby should be wrapped in a towel immediately after bathing to keep his warmth.

A baby should never be left unattended while bathing.


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