Toddler bath tips
- Give a few minutes' warning before starting so your toddler will be ready to move from their current activity to bath time.
- Gather everything you will need from start to finish so you are not tempted to run to get it later.
- Even though your toddler is sitting up, they should never be left unattended while in the bath. Not even for a moment.
- Commercial bath seats or rings are not recommended and have been associated with injuries and drowning deaths.
- If you forget something, or need to leave the bathroom, take your child with you wrapped up in a towel.
- Remember that bathtubs are very slippery! Use a rubber bathmat or install no-slip strips to prevent falls when getting in and out of the tub.
- Implement a “no standing in the bath” rule from a very early age.
- Bath water should be warm but not hot—the ideal temperature is 98 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Keep your toddler away from the faucet handles and turn your water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent accidental burns if the hot water faucet gets turned on.
- Allow some independence and encourage them to start washing themselves. Make the bath playful and fun. Disposable washcloth products with product pre-loaded can also be handy for this.
- Use baby cleansers and shampoos sparingly and rinse well.
- Bath toys are great fun for a toddler. Rotate them to keep them interesting.
- A pair of goggles in the bath can be their first introduction to swimming with their face in the water. They are great for practicing bubble blowing.
- Give a warning a few minutes before bath time ends to avoid protests.
- Have their towel and pajamas ready when they are done.
The information of this article has been reviewed by nursing experts of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, & Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN). The content should not substitute medical advice from your personal healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for recommendations/diagnosis or treatment. For more advice from AWHONN nurses, visit Healthy Mom&Baby at health4mom.org.