Bathing your baby is a lovely experience but can be overwhelming for new parents concerned about safety. In this blog post, we’ll help ease your worries and show you how to make bath time a secure and relaxing experience. Keep reading for the most important things to consider when bathing your baby.
1. When to Start Bathing Your Baby
The World Health Organization recommends waiting 24 hours after birth before giving your baby their first bath. Newborns should only be given sponge baths until the stump of the umbilical cord falls off.What’s a sponge bath?
A sponge bath is like a regular bath, except you don't soak your baby in the tub. Use the dampened cloth to wash their face and body, being careful not to get water into their eyes or mouth. Be sure to keep the baby warm during the sponge bath. Wrap your baby in a dry towel and uncover only the parts of their body you are actively washing.
After your baby’s umbilical cord has fallen off and healed, then you can transition them to a regular bath.2. How Often Should Babies Bathe?
Newborns don't need a bath every day. They rarely sweat or get dirty enough to need a full bath that often. Three baths per week during the baby's first year may be enough. Bathing more frequently can dry out your baby's skin.3. Choose the Right Tub
Here are some things to keep in mind when searching for the safest baby bath tub:
- Use an infant tub or sink with a sloped or textured surface to prevent sliding
- Choose a tub manufactured after 2017 to ensure it meets current safety standards
- Avoid bath seats as they can easily tip over
Newborns may need additional head and neck support. Using an anti-slip baby bath cushion or pillow can help comfortably prop up your baby. Check reviews to be sure it can be easily cleaned and sanitized after each use.4. Make sure the water is warm but not too hot
When you bathe your baby, the bath water should be warm, not too hot or cold. It should also be within their comfort zone; meaning they can tolerate the temperature of the bath water without breaking out in a sweat or shivering. You should be able to comfortably put your hand in the water.
Extra cautious parents may have more peace of mind using a baby bath thermometer.5. Never leave your baby unattended in the bath.
This should go without saying, but it’s important to always be in the same room as your baby when they are taking a bath.
Baby baths are not nearly as stable as an adult bathtub, and your baby's balance will be off when in the water. The chances of your baby slipping and falling out of a baby bath is not very likely compared to leaving them unattended in an adult tub. But why take the chance?
If you need to leave the room for a moment, take your baby with you.6. Safe Baby Shampoo and Soap (Ideally Tear-Free)
Safe, Gentle Ingredients Protect Baby’s Skin and Health
When it comes to bathing your newborn baby, it’s important to use safe and non-toxic products. That’s because a baby’s skin is very sensitive and more easily irritated.
You may also be surprised to learn that the safety of cosmetic and body care products is not as regulated in the United States as it is in Europe and many other countries. This means that it's hard to tell if a product is safe for use. Unfortunately, this leaves it up to parents to check labels for known and potentially concerning ingredients.
Here are Some of the Most Important Ingredients to Avoid:
- Look for on label: fragrance, perfume, parfum, amyl cinnamal
- Concern: Synthetic fragrances can trigger allergic reactions such as rashes and breathing problems
Phthalates (artificial fragrance additives)
- Look for on label: fragrance, parfum, amyl cinnamal
- Concern: linked to sex hormone disruption, reduced sperm count, and reproductive organ malformation.
Synthetic dyes or colorants
- Look for on label: FD&C Red No. 6
- Concern: linked to skin irritation, ADHD, and cancer
- Look for on label: Ethylparaben, butylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, other ingredients ending in –paraben
- Concern: linked to endocrine system dysfunction and cancer
- Look for on label: Formalin, Formic aldehyde, Methanediol, Methanal, Methyl aldehyde, Methylene glycol, Methylene oxide
- Concern: skin irritation and allergic reactions; may increase the risk of other health concerns, including asthma and some cancers.
- Look for on label: PEG- followed by a number. The lower the number, the more easily the compound is absorbed into the skin.
- Concern: linked to allergic reactions and skin irritation, possible carcinogen
- Look for on label: SLS, SLES, sodium dodecyl sulfate, sodium PEG lauryl sulfate
- Concern: eye irritation, skin rash, hair loss, scalp scurf similar to dandruff
- Look for on label: oxybenzone, avobenzone, homosalate, PABA, octinoxate, methoxycinnamate
- Concern: topical allergic reactions, potential hormone disruptor
Safer Ingredients for Healthier Babies:
At Think, we want to empower parents to make healthier choices for themselves and their children. That’s why we created ThinkBaby Bath & Body Care free of biologically harmful ingredients.
We don’t just slap marketing phrases like “non-toxic” and “gentle” on our packaging.
We support our safety claims with validation and praise from:
- Environmental Working Group (EWG) Skin Deep Ratings
Think products are EWG-Verified or Rated 1- 2 for ingredient safety
- Recommended by Pediatric Dermatologists
We’ve partnered with dermatologists that share our passion for safe, functional, and sustainable products.
- Awards in Top Media Publications
Many of our products have received awards for their safety and efficacy.
- Top Rated by Customers
We highly value the praise and feedback of our customers to ensure our products help to support a healthier lifestyle.
Click here to learn more about how we make our products so safe!7. Rinse And Dry Baby Thoroughly
You've done it! You've successfully navigated the trials and tribulations of bathing an infant - but you've got one more step to complete the mission. Once you’re finished blowing bubbles and making faces, make sure you do one last rinse with clean water. Baby’s sensitive skin is prone to irritation and leftover soap or bath water can trigger rashes and other even less fun skin issues. Use caution when lifting babies out of the bathtub - it is best to use both hands and keep one hand under their head at all times for support
Dry your child thoroughly after they are done bathing and use a soft towel. Gently pat baby dry and apply a small amount of fragrance-free, hypoallergenic moisturizing lotion right after bathing to help prevent dry skin or eczema. Thinkbaby’s Eczema Lotion and Cradle Cap Cream are excellent for little ones who already have flaky skin patches or scaly scalp.
Do you have any other tips or tricks on keeping your little one safe during bathtime? Share them in the comments!