Bath time should be an enjoyable experience for both you and your baby. It’s a chance for your baby to play and splash around as he enjoys some quality, one-on-one time with you. Before you get out the rubber ducky and start filling the tub with water, here are some tips to help keep bath time safe, easy and fun.

Essential Bathing Equipment & Supplies

Gather and organize everything you’ll need before placing baby in the water. Babies can drown in as little as one inch of water within seconds, so it’s extremely important to never leave your baby’s side while he’s in the tub.

The following items will help make time in the bath comfortable and easy:

Baby Bathtub – If your baby is too small or you simply choose not to bathe him in the tub or sink, a baby bath tub is an excellent option! Place it inside a regular tub or on a clean, dry surface like a counter top for easy access. If the umbilical cord is still intact, these tubs help prop your baby up, offering the perfect setting for a sponge bath.

Rubber Bathtub Mat – If you do bathe baby in a full-sized tub, placing a rubber mat inside will keep him from slipping.

Baby Washcloths – Because they tend to be softer and thinner than regular wash cloths, baby washcloths are gentler on baby’s delicate skin.

Thermometer – If you’re unsure of the water temperature in your baby’s bath, a thermometer is an essential! Avoid the risk of burning your baby’s skin by first ensuring the water temperature is 90 – 120 degrees Fahrenheit (32 – 48 degrees Celsius). It takes just seconds for your baby to receive serious burns from water that’s too hot.

Mild Baby Soap – Because your baby’s skin is so sensitive, he can easily develop a rash from certain soaps. To avoid negative skin reactions, keep soaps and shampoos to a minimum. Stick to fragrance-free, natural products made specifically for babies which have fewer additives and are designed to avoid eye irritation as well.

Soft Bath Towel – Have a towel ready to dry baby off and keep him warm when he comes out of the tub. A hooded towel offers additional comfort as it covers and helps dry the head.

Once you have all of the necessary supplies, it’s time to give baby a bath!

Some babies love bath time but others aren’t as enthusiastic. If your baby tends to dislike the water, consider getting in the tub with him. The skin-to-skin contact will help keep him warm and feeling safe.

When washing your baby, avoid scrubbing the skin. Instead, gently rub each area ensuring you take extra care around the genitalia. Also, don’t forget to clean the creases, behind the ears and behind the neck.

When washing the hair, lean baby back and pour a cup or bowl of clean water over his head. If using shampoo, gently massage into scalp and rinse again with water.

Once bath time is over, be sure all soap is rinsed off the skin and all areas are dried off. If left, soap and moisture can cause rashes and other skin irritations.

It’s not necessary to give baby a bath every day. Bathing every two or three days will help maintain your baby’s natural oils and prevent his skin from developing irritation. When it is time to soak in the tub, take time to organize everything you’ll need ahead of time and enjoy the experience together as you bond while splashing around, singing and exploring.