Whether you're a new parent or a seasoned one, safety for your children (and especially newborns) is a priority. That's why parents often end up asking themselves, their friends, or the internet the following question: how hot should my baby's bathwater be?
Bathing a newborn might seem overwhelming, but, with a little practice, it can become a calming part of your routine. With the right preparation and awareness, you won't have to worry about baby getting too cold or hot. One simple way to keep your water from ever getting too hot is making sure that your water heater is set to 120 F (49 C). This simple step will prevent scalding anyone in your household.
But what temperature should your baby's bathwater really be?
The simple answer is lukewarm. According to Mayo Clinic and many other experts, the exact temperature should range between 97-100 degrees Fahrenheit (36-38 degrees Celsius).
The Best Bath
If you have doubts about the exact temperature of the bath water, test it on the inner skin of your wrist. Better yet, you can use a thermometer or purchase a bath that tells you when the bath water is in the approved temperature range, like the 4moms Infant Tub. Other tubs, such as the Puj Tub, allow you to wash your newborn in the sink, which helps you get just the right temperature while keeping everything you need right within reach.
If you're worried about how to use sink tubs the right way, just check out some of our helpful how-to videos. Obviously no single tub will work perfectly for every parent, which is why we have helpful tub reviews for you to watch to help you decide which product is best before buying.
Whatever type of bath you decide to get, know that bath time can be enjoyable for you and baby when you keep baby comfortable and warm.
Tips for Keeping Baby ComfortableOne main concern regarding bath time for young babies is the amount of heat their little bodies can lose. Newborns are particularly bad at maintaining their body temperature without help, and they aren't yet able to tolerate "hot" water, either. It's for this reason that lukewarm or warm water is best. Here are some other tips for keeping your baby warm enough before, during, and after bath time:
- Keep the room at a comfortable temperature without a breeze
- Wait to undress baby just before placing him/her in the bath
- Water should only be a couple inches deep, but continue pouring warm water over your baby's body as you bathe him/her
- Keep a dry towel nearby for immediate wrapping following the bath, preferably with a built-in hood to prevent further heat loss