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What's a Safe Baby Bath Temperature (& How Can You Check?)

Ways you can Measure the Bath’s Temperature

There are a few ways you can measure the temperature in your baby’s bath.

One of the ways is keeping a thermometer handy for the rest of the bath

This way you’ll know if the water is getting too hot or cold. Some thermometers are designed to be cute little bath toys, which can swim around in the water and your baby can even play within total safety.

Feeling with your skin

But not just any skin, and you may recall your mom doing this motion when you were a baby or a toddler.

Check the temperature with your elbow, not with your hands. When touching the water, it shouldn’t either feel hot or cold.

Why not hands? Because the skin on our hands is very different from the skin on our arms, legs, and other parts of the body since each serves a different function. Hands are not good judges of temperature since the skin is thicker here. However, the skin around the elbow area is thinner and resembles more like what your baby may feel.

If you really want to get a perfect bath drawn with the perfect temp, we recommend you turn on the cold water first and then level the temperature out with hotter water, but without turning the cold tap off, this one should be turned off last.

After this, make sure you mix the water around well, to avoid stagnant hot spots in the tub.

Now, don’t put your baby into the bath until the water is turned off, as the water’s temperature can change after seconds.


How Often Can I Bath my Baby?

For newborns and very young babies, you don’t need to bathe them daily – 2 to 3 times per week is a good guideline. Baby’s skin is soft and full of naturally occurring, moisturizing oils. Bathing new baby’s too frequently can dry out their skin. Be sure to use a baby safe soap and cleansers that are delicate enough for their soft skin.

If you find they are still dirty between baths, from a messy dinner or play time, you can also give your little one a sponge bath between bath days to keep them healthy and clean.

When your little one is a little older you may want to develop a bath-book-bed routine as part of your wind down routine before bedtime.

How often should I wash my baby’s hair?

A baby’s hair doesn’t get greasy like adults, so once per week with baby safe shampoo is usually enough to keep their head fresh. Babies don’t need conditioner or detangling spray, so save that until you’ve got a toddler.

If your child has a skin condition like cradle cap, you may want to wash their hair a little more frequently, using a shampoo that is especially designed for their scalp.

Once your child is older, washing toddler hair (and dealing with toddler tangles) becomes a whole other story, so enjoy the minimal hair washing required at this stage!


Consider your bath additives

There are a few lovely options for additives that you can add to your bathtub. Luxury bubble baths can be a lot of fun, but the detergent-laden blends aren’t great for the skin, so here’s what we recommend. 

  • Natural bath bombs are amazing because they fizz, sparkle, and smell gorgeous. It’s even better if you learn how to make your own!
  • Epsom salts can be a simple, affordable addition that’ll help your muscles unwind
  • To nourish your skin, pour in some bath oil or even just a spoonful of coconut oil. Just remember that oil will make the bathtub a little slippery when it’s time to get out. 
  • Finally, a few drops of your favorite essential oil will turn the entire bath into an excellent aromatherapy experience. Be sure to always be mindful of what oils you allow to come in contact with your skin and always test on a small area of your body before putting anything in the tub. 

Does an Ideal Bath Temperature Have Health Benefits?

A warm bath has quite a few health benefits, including better sleep, potentially lowering your blood pressure, and relieving stress (but you already knew that one).

If you’re active, a warm bath helps to relieve tired muscles, and some studies show that it may even improve your heart health. Learn more about the benefits of a warm bath and know that you’re doing good for your entire body next time you get in the tub!

How full should your bathtub be?

Aim to fill your tub no more than 70 per cent fu

Aim to fill your tub no more than 70 per cent full. Getty Images

Again, this is completely down to how deep you like to be submerged, but a flooded bathroom doesn’t exactly create the relaxing experience you’re probably aiming for. Try to get the water level at about 65 to 70 per cent full – this shouldn’t overflow once you get in, but should cover you up to your neck in water, rather than leave cold knees poking out of the suds.

Can you use a regular thermometer to measure babys bath water?

The old fashioned mercury in glass thermometers are fragile and have a limited range. Therefore, they are not suitable for measuring a baby’s bathwater. Furthermore, many of the newest battery-powered digital thermometers are not your best choice either because they are not waterproof.

What should you do in the bath?

First things first, leave your phone in another room – this is not the time to check your emails, take work calls or fall down the virtual rabbit hole of news headlines. To help your mind switch off, now’s a great time to crack into that bestselling book you’ve always been too tired to open at bedtime.

You could also listen to a podcast, play some soothing music, or watch a little light entertainment on a laptop propped up on a suitable surface. (While you should limit screen time as you near your bedtime, let’s be honest – a little Netflix a couple of hours before sleep can be just the escapism you need).

Baby bath water temperature in hot weather

When it is boiling in the summer, it’s tempting to cool off your little one with a bath. When you do so, make sure the water is just slightly cooler than the usual bath temperature. Too cold water will cause the baby to shiver, causing a rise in body temperature.

How to Keep the Water Temperature Safe for Your Childs Bath

A baby’s skin is very delicate, and he can get scalded in just seconds. It is therefore very important to check the water temperature before you bathe your baby.

  • You can check the temperature of the water with a bath thermometer. If you don’t have one, you can dip your elbow into the water to gauge the temperature.
  • When adding water to your baby’s bathtub, fill cold water first, followed by hot water. Mix the water well to avoid any hot or cold spots.
  • Keep checking the water temperature at regular intervals to know whether it is becoming too hot or too cold for your baby. Again, use your elbow to detect whether the water is too hot or too cold for your baby.
  • Try keeping some bath toys or floating thermometers handy to indicate the temperature of the bathwater.

Final Thoughts on Perfect Temperature for Bathing your Baby

Remember, baby bath temperature of the bath water should be right around 100 °F so it’s not too cool or hot.

Use a bath thermometer to check the water temp, or test it with your elbow to make sure it feels warm (not hot or cool).

I hope this article has been useful for you, and will help you find the perfect bath temperature the next time you bathe your baby.

Feel free to share this article with other moms and families you may know who have a new infant and may find this health information about bathing informative!

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How long should I bathe?

While some may easily lose track of time in the bath, others find the whole idea of sitting doing nothing challenging. Give yourself at least 15-30 minutes of doing absolutely zilch. But is there a magic number when it comes to optimizing your soak? Hannah thinks so:

“If you’re adding something like Epsom salts, magnesium or anything to help ease aches and pains, then to really get the benefits and help with muscle function, you should be in the bath for about 20 minutes to help the osmosis of those ingredients into your skin.”

Are There Health Issues With Taking Baths That Are Too Hot?

Believe it or not, taking baths that are too hot does have some negative side effects.

The biggest risk concerns your skin. Bathwater that is too hot depletes your skin’s natural oils, causing it to dry out faster than it normally would. This can exacerbate skin conditions like eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, and sensitive skin. If you struggle with any of these conditions or find yourself slathering on extra lotion to treat dry skin, take extra care to make sure your bathwater isn’t too hot.

If you want to take care of your skin while enjoying a warm bath now and then, try applying lotion or body oil immediately after your bath to lock in moisture.

Another risk to be aware of is the fact that soaking in hot water can temporarily lower your blood pressure. For those that already have low blood pressure, this could cause it to dip too low. If your blood pressure is already on the low end, take extra care when getting out of a hot bath. Move slowly and sit down immediately if you start to feel lightheaded.

And off to bed 

After a relaxing shower or a luxury bubble bath, you’ll be ready for bed! The bath routine is designed to promote calmness and relaxation. It’s ideal to save the pampering for the end of the day when you need to unwind. By the time your bath is over, you’ll want nothing more than to sleep deeply and soundly. Bonne nuit!