How To Measure A Babys Bath Water Temperature
Dipping your elbow or wrist into the water is the best way to measure a babys bath water temperature. It is the ideal way to check if the water is too hot. Hands are not suitable for testing the waters temperature because they tolerate temperatures higher than that. In this regard, elbows and wrists get preferred. Remember to stir the bath water before checking the temperature to ensure that the water is equal in temperature.
When your baby is in the bathtub, never add water, whether cold or hot. Ensure the water amount and temperature are right before immersing the baby into the tub. Alternatively, you can use an ideal baby water thermometer to measure the right temperature for your babys bath water. But not all thermometers are suitable to measure the temperature of a babys water. Read on for the insight.
Safe Baby Bath Temperature
Most babies love bath time. But even though bath time can be fun, there are serious safety tips to follow to avoid accidents. In this article, part of our National Bath Safety Month series, well cover the importance of safe bath temperatures for your baby.
Since babies can be scalded by hot water in merely a second, water temperature safety is a critical component to overall bath safety. There are many things you can do to prevent running an overly hot bath, even if you have a problematic faucet.
One of the first things you can do is adjust your water systems temperature setting. Most hot water systems have a temperature control. If you adjust the temperature at the source, you can avoid potential problems with the heat of the water coming out of the faucet. If you can set it below 120 F that makes it easier to run a bath thats between 90-100 F, which is not too hot and not too cold.
Use the elbow test to determine if the bath is the correct temperature. Instead of feeling the water with your hand, put your elbow in it. If your elbow feels warm, the bath temperature is good for your baby. If the water feels hot on your elbow, the water will be hot for baby.
If you find that your bath water is too hot, you can add cold water to cool it down. Just make sure you swirl the water to eliminate any hot spots. Also, make sure you dont make the bath water too deep2-4 inches of water is plenty! If its too deep, let the water drain out.
How To Give Baby A Sponge Bath
Your newborn should be bathed with a sponge bath for the first few weeks of life. This is the simplest way to clean your baby before the umbilical cord falls off.
Sponge baths are also the best way to bathe boys who were circumcised while the circumcision site heals.
You can also give your baby a sponge bath anytime you want to wash one part or all of their body without getting them soaking wet.
Before giving your baby a sponge bath, make sure you have all the supplies you need within easy reach. Youll also want to warm up the room to keep your baby comfortable.
Once youve gathered your supplies, follow these steps:
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Bath Temperature For Your Baby
Make sure the room you are bathing them in is warm. Close windows to prevent a draught.
Put the cold water in the basin or bath first. Then put the warm water in. Finally put cold water in again to make sure the taps are cool and won’t burn your baby.
The temperature should be about 36 degrees Celsius. Use a bath thermometer to test this.
Always check the temperature of the bathwater with your elbow. Your hands are not heat-sensitive enough. Mix the water well to ensure there are no ‘hot spots’.
When The Baby Bath Water Is Too Cold
On the other hand, too cold bath water is also not without risks. When the baby loses heat faster than the body can warm itself, the internal body temperature will drop. Babies ability to control their body temperature is limited, and they are prone to temperature drops.
Signs that this is happening are difficult or quick breathing, lethargy, and pale skin color. The longer a babys core body temperature remains below 35 °C , the risk of tissue damage and nerve damage increases.
Equally important, the rooms temperature or bathroom to bathe the baby needs to be draft-free. It has to be comfortably warm, somewhere between 24°C and 27°C .
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Babys First Bath Time
When that first bath time comes, theres a lot for parents to consider, from what products you need to use to the water temperature and depth. However, for babys first bath, its best to keep things simple and stick to a few tried and tested tips, including:
- Bathe them with someone else around for support and confidence
- Stick to gentle sponge baths initially
- Start with a short bath and a quick clean to let them get used to the experience
Remember, while your babys umbilical cord stump is still attached (this will fall off anytime between around five and 15 days after birth1 its best to avoid getting it wet to avoid infection, so sponge bathing may be the best method for keeping your little one clean in their first couple of weeks.
Caring For The Umbilical Cord
Water is all you need to clean it. Do not pull on the stump, even when it starts to come off. It will fall off on its own. You can prevent your babys diaper from rubbing the area by folding it over.
Contact your doctor if your baby has a fever or if the umbilical area:
- appears red and swollen,
- oozes yellow pus,
- produces a foul-smelling discharge, or
- bleeds significantly .
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How Can I Keep My Baby’s Body Warm During A Bath
To keep your baby warm, you can pour warm water over his or her body throughout the bath. Some research suggests that using slightly more water enough to cover a babys shoulders can be calming and help reduce heat loss. With any amount of water, be sure to hold your baby securely during the bath.
How To Sponge Bathe A Newborn
For the first week or so after birth, youll want to give baby a quick, gentle sponge bath. Heres how.
Step 1: Gather supplies. Use our handy baby bath supplies checklist to make sure youve got everything you need. At a minimum, youll want a dry towel, clean diaper, washcloths and baby soap at the ready. Have all your supplies within arms reach so you dont have to step away, Smith advises. Never leave a baby alone in the bath, even for a second.
Step 2: Pick a place. Decide where youll be giving baby that newborn bath. While not strictly necessary, baby bathtubs are convenient. They can be placed in the sink or tub, and some have a hammock-style sling that supports babys head. Choose a spot thats fairly warm and where its comfortable for you to kneel or stand while keeping a hand on baby at all times.
Step 3: Wash small sections at a time. After removing her clothes and diaper and placing her in the baby bathtub , youll want to cover baby with another towel, lifting only a small area at a time and patting dry as you go. Using a washcloth dipped in warm water, gently wipe baby all over, paying special attention to her diaper area and any creases and rolls.
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How To Measure The Baby Bath T Emperature
The best way to try if the bath water is too hot is by dipping your wrist or elbow in the water.
We use our elbow or wrist because our hands can tolerate much higher temperatures. Before you check the bathwater, stir the water to get an equal temperature in the babys bath.
It is very important that you never add hot water while your baby is still in the bathtub.
How To Bathe Your Newborn
Before you start, have everything at hand and remove any rings or bracelets.
Fill the baby bath with 5-8cm of warm water. Run the cold water first, then add the hot water to avoid hot spots.
Use a bath thermometer to make sure the water is no more than 38°C. Then test it yourself before putting baby in. Use your elbow to check the water is warm, not hot to the touch.
Undress your baby down to their nappy. Keep them warmly wrapped in a towel while you wash their face and eyes.
Use cotton wool balls moistened with cooled, boiled water and check the temperature of the water before. Wipe from the inside of the eye outward, using each piece of cotton wool once only.
Remove the babys nappy and lower them into the bath. To hold them firmly but gently, place one hand around the back and grip under their arm, with your wrist or forearm supporting their head, your other hand is then free to wash them. If your baby has vernix try to leave it as it helps act as a protective barrier for those first days. It will absorb into the skin soon.
Lift your baby out of the bath, with one hand around the back and the other gripping under their arm. Your wrist or forearm should support their head. Wrap them in a towel, remembering to cover their head, and pat dry, Then put on a nappy and dress them as soon as possible.
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When Is The Best Time Of Day To Give Your Baby A Bath
There is no one perfect time to give your baby a bathâitâs your decision. Choose a time when youâre least likely to be interrupted and when your baby is calm.
You may like to give your baby a bath in the daytime because sheâll naturally be more alert. Or, you may give your baby a bath at nighttime as part of her bedtime routine.
If you plan to give your baby a bath after feeding her, wait a while to ensure her tummy has had a chance to settle.
Does Bathing Help To Reduce A Babys Fever
Our mothers and grandmothers commonly used bathing as a way to bring down a childs fever.
When fever-reducing medicine is not at hand, a lukewarm bath or sponge bath doesnt harm a baby, and it may bring down the babys temperature. Bear in mind that if the water is too cold, it may have the opposite effect. The baby will start to shiver and, as we mentioned before, cause the temperature to rise instead of bringing it down.
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What Is The Best Baby Bath Temperature
You want to find the perfect medium for your babys safety and comfort with their tub water temperature. You want the water more warm than cold since a baby gets cold easily. Aim for the bath waters temperature to be around 100 degrees Fahrenheit, maybe a few degrees above, but definitely below 120 degrees. The room should stay at a nice and toasty temp, too. To prevent scalding, its recommended to set the thermostat on your homes water heater to below 120 degrees just in case!
You might need to hire a plumber to install a valve or thermostatic mixing valve at your water heater or hot water supply. Also, you may want to consider installing anti-scalding devices to place on taps and shower outlets to reduce the risk of scalding.
Do I Have To Leave The Water Running To Use The Cleanwater Baby Bathtub
No. If you prefer to conserve water, you can close the drain plugs and fill both the bathtub and water reservoir. Allow the water to run over the thermistor to find the perfect temperature, then close the drain plug and fill up the tub and reservoir. Once filled, turn off the faucet and use the excess water from the reservoir to wash/rinse your baby. When finished, simply open the drain plug to release the water from the bathtub.
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Bring On The Cozy Pajamas
As always, have your bathtime supplies and a fresh diaper ready to go before you put your baby in the bathtub, since you dont want to leave her unattended at any point. In the winter, placing your babys pajamas nearby too will allow you to get her dressed as soon as she comes out of the bath, before she has a chance to get cold. Post-tub, wrap baby in a hooded towel to start. This will help keep her wet head covered and prevent illness. Then, you can keep your babys head covered with the towel as you start to dress her in a fresh diaper and clean pair of pajamas.
Now that youve mastered bathtime in the winter, check out the OXO blog for more tips on creating comforting routines for your little one.
Babys First Bath At Home
Once you get your little one home, theres no set timetable for when to give baby her first sponge bath. Experts agree that the timing for bathing a newborn is up to the parents, and that theres no big rush. Many families are excited about giving a baby their first newborn bath at home, but waiting a few days is fine, says Justin Smith, MD, a pediatrician at Cook Childrens Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas.
Holly S., a mom of two, gave birth to her second baby at home and didnt bathe him for more than a week. Theres no need to wash them right away in most circumstances, she says. Any blood from the birth can be wiped off, and you just need to wipe their diaper areas thoroughly in the meantime. She also made sure to rub the vernix into her babys skin to get the most out of its antimicrobial and moisturizing properties.
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