Mother and baby lying on blanket in the grass

How Can I Safely Bathe With My Baby?

It's natural for first-time parents to feel a bit anxious and have questions. One common question parents have is whether to bathe with their baby. Mutual bath time is an excellent way to strengthen the parent-child bond. If the sensation of water on your baby's sensitive skin makes them fussy, having a parent close by can help restore a sense of calm. 

Other parents often ask how to shower with a baby. Safety matters most when co-showering with a newborn or infant. Read on to learn about safety precautions to create the ideal experience for both baby and parent.

Tips for Safely Bathing With Your Baby

Base Water Temperature & Pressure on Your Baby's Needs

Adults' shower preferences can vary. Some people prefer hot water and regular water pressure (between 40 and 60 pounds per square inch), while others enjoy a cold, intense blast of water as part of their morning ritual.

The right water temperature and pressure for a baby aren't as flexible. Avoid piping-hot or ice-cold water as exposure to extreme temperatures can affect a baby's body temperature. Hot water can also scald an infant's skin. 

Cleansing in lukewarm water is ideal because its temperature is closest to body temperature. Lukewarm water ranges from 72 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, so consult your child's pediatrician for guidance.

Opt for gentle water pressure. Keep water pressure normal or low to protect your little one's skin. Your child’s pediatrician can provide insight.

Move Slowly & Cautiously in the Tub or Shower

Mother and baby in nursery

First, place a slip-proof bathmat on the bottom of the tub or floor of the shower enclosure. Next, enlist your partner or another adult in the home to assist during bath time. They should hold the baby until you are safely situated in the tub or shower enclosure.  

While seated on a slip-proof bathmat in a partially full bathtub, bend your knees—there should be enough water in the tub to cover your lower legs—and place your baby on your lap to support their neck, back, and shoulders.

Always keep at least one hand on your baby. You can securely hold your little one from a seated position while grabbing toiletries from a shower caddy or your assistant. Fill the tub with a few inches of water if you plan to have your child sit directly in the tub.   

Sit on a shower stool on the slip-proof mat in the shower enclosure. Even if your baby is old enough to stand, they might have trouble balancing, so keep a secure grip around their waist. For a better grip, wear shower gloves. 

Your child might wiggle around, so pay attention to their actions and time your movements accordingly. Don't make any sudden movements as it could cause you to lose your hold on them. 

Use Soaps & Shampoos Infrequently 

Although you can't imagine taking a bath or shower without your favorite soaps and shampoos, these products could dry and irritate an infant's delicate, sensitive skin. Cleanse yourself first, drain the bathwater and then bathe your baby. 

Cleanse your baby with water alone and occasionally incorporate soaps and shampoos into their bath time routine to keep their skin rash-free. Sparingly use products, and when you do, make sure that they are unscented and specifically formulated for babies. Invest in mild products with few additives and a neutral pH, which is similar to a baby's skin and can help keep protect their skin barrier. Your child's pediatrician can recommend specific products based on whether they have sensitive skin or specific skin conditions.  

Babies typically have dry skin, so apply an unscented baby-safe moisturizer after cleansing.  

Use a Handheld Showerhead 

Co-bathing requires a lot of multitasking. You must keep a firm but gentle grip on your baby while grabbing shampoo and soap and adjusting the fixed showerhead. Using a handheld showerhead makes the entire process easier and safer. You can move the device to change its angle and thoroughly cleanse your baby while ensuring water doesn't splash on their face. You can also move the nozzle farther away to help control the water pressure, so it isn't too intense for their sensitive skin.   

Already love your Canopy Filtered Showerhead? The Canopy Handheld Filtered Showerhead is convenient for showering with a newborn or baby and filters contaminants and odors out of the water to protect your baby's skin from dryness, redness, and irritation. 

Reading Next