Updated July 2018
You already know that baby bath safety requires absolute, 100% vigilance. What you may not know is that most infant drownings happen in bathtubs/buckets, and that bathtubs still pose a risk for toddlers.
A child can drown very quickly in only a very little bit of water, so you can’t leave a baby or young child alone in or near a bath at all.
Most drowning fatalities happen during a quick lapse in oversight, like a parent getting a towel or answering the phone or door, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission — a fact which scares the absolute sh!t out of me.
Outside of the super-scary risk of drowning, there are simple things that can help you make bath time in general easier, safer, and more relaxing for everyone. Specifically, you want to think about three areas:
- Bath spout covers
An ideal, safe water temperature for babies and toddlers is about 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38°C) — you want it just a little warmer than body temp. Your child might prefer baths a couple degrees warmer or colder, and that’s fine, but this is a good starting point.
It’s also best to keep your water heater temp set below 120 degrees to prevent accidental scalding.
To be perfectly honest, you don’t need to overthink this. Our #1 most recommend item for checking temperature — not to mention, winner of the Innovation Award in Parenting for 10,000 years running is….
A human hand!
Yes, that’s right, people. The human hand has been a highly reliable source of temperature info for hundreds of thousands of years. And the price is right!
If you are too lazy to stick your hand in the water (people are busy, we get it! LOL) and you really need an ultra-precise, state-of-the-art temperature reading, you can always use a bath thermometer.
There’s no hands-down winner in this department, but parents like these:
You can get the classic yellow duck, crocodile, or turtle, and it reads in both Celsius and Fahrenheit. (A comparable option is the Turtlemeter, for the same price.)
4moms Spout Cover ~ $29
This is a two-in-one option that doubles as a bath spout cover and a temperature gauge. It has a digital temperature display that turns green for ideal temps, red when it’s too hot, and blue when it’s too cold. Talk about dumbing it down!
Bathtub Anti Slip Mat
To prevent slipping and sliding accidents, especially once your little one starts pulling up and cruising, you’ll probably want to use a non-slip mat for bathtime. Heck, even my 5-year-old still hits her head (and back) on the bathtub spout.
Gorilla Grip Bath Mat ~ $15
It’s not a “child proofing” product, per se, but it’s well loved by everyone. It comes in many different colors, is porous (so water flows through it easily), stays in place in the tub, is comfortable for kids to sit on, and is machine washable.
Boon Ripple Mat ~ $19
Perfect for those that prefer something more “kid-specific.”
Check out all of our bath mat recommendations.
Tub Spout Cover
You may also want to get a bathtub faucet cover to protect against bumps and scratches.
This is the runaway favorite — it’s adorable, inexpensive, and effective.
All right — scrub a dub dub!
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