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Ask the Experts: How to safely bathe baby Ask the Experts

Ask the Experts: How to safely bathe baby

What precautions do I need to take when it comes to bathing my baby? I’ve heard they can drown in a matter of minutes, and I’m totally freaked out.

A: Drowning may certainly be one of the leading causes of death in infants and toddlers—but bathtub drowning is totally preventable if these few rules are kept:
  • Never leave your child alone in the tub—not to answer the phone, door or to tend to another child! Pick your little one up and bring him with you.
  • Always close the door whilst filling the tub. If you begin to fill the tub and then tend to a task in another room, close the bathroom door, so an on-the-move child doesn’t make his way into the tub while you’re away.
  • Put toys in after the child is in the tub, not before.
  • Never leave buckets or large toys in the bathroom area that a child can use as a step.
If these rules are adhered to, then bathing your baby should be a great time for fun and bonding.

It can be a learning experience for both mom and baby, too. By learning, I mean that bathtime is the best time for preparing children for survival lessons and water acclimation. Here are a few tips to help that:

  • Splash, make a lot of noise and smile!
  • Do not wipe babies’ eyes. Instead, blink yours, and they will copy.
  • Always submerge the ears. This will help them not to be afraid of the sounds and feel of water in the ear. This is a great exercise and helps tremendously when swim lessons begin.

These simple tips for you and your baby will help you to enjoy a safe and happy bathtime!

RITA GOLDBERG, CEO of British Swim School