ideal baby bath temperature

What is the ideal baby bath temperature?

What is the right baby bath temperature, is for most new mothers a concern? Is the bathwater too hot or too cold? How on earth do you measure this?

The perfect water temperature depends on several things. Firstly on the age and the preference of the child.

Especially for newborns, the water must have the right temperature. Newborns do not have the ability to regulate their own body temperature. They can lose heat four times faster than adults.

For newborns, the temperature should ideally be between 37°C and 38°C (
98.6°F and 100.4°F), close to the baby’s body temperature. When babies grow a bit older, an acceptable temperature is between 36°C and 38°C (97°F and 100°F).


How to measure the baby bath temperature?

The best way to try if the bath water is too hot is by dipping your wrist or elbow in the water.

We use our elbow or wrist because our hands can tolerate much higher temperatures. Before you check the bathwater, stir the water to get an equal temperature in the baby’s bath.

It is very important that you never add hot water while your baby is still in the bathtub.

Can you use a regular thermometer to measure baby’s 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 are the best baby bath thermometers?

There are baby bath thermometers on the market specially designed to measure the baby bath temperature. These are more reliable and do not have to cost a lot.

If you don’t trust yourself testing with your elbow, another option is to buy one of these bath thermometers to check the baby bathwater.

The latest models are all digital thermometers displaying the temperature on a little LCD screen. To make it more fun for your baby, choose one you can use as a floating bath toy.

Here are my top recommendations for baby bath thermometers, all under $20

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Beware of scalding accidents

Take great care with too hot bath water, as this can be very dangerous for a baby’s skin.

A baby’s skin is so thin that it would only take 5 seconds for a baby to suffer a 3rd-degree burn. For an infant, this is a life-threatening condition. So never bathe your baby before checking the water temperature.

Read the heartbreaking story of a toddler who was scalded in the bath and how long it took him to recover.

When the baby bath water is too cold

On the other hand, too cold bath water is also not without risks. When the baby loses heat faster than the body can warm itself, the internal body temperature will drop. Babies’ ability to control their body temperature is limited, and they are prone to temperature drops.

Signs that this is happening are difficult or quick breathing, lethargy, and pale skin color. The longer a baby’s core body temperature remains below 35 °C (95°F), the risk of tissue damage (hypoxia) and nerve damage increases.

Equally important, the room’s temperature or bathroom to bathe the baby needs to be draft-free. It has to be comfortably warm, somewhere between 24°C and 27°C (75°F and 80°F).

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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.

Does bathing help to reduce a baby’s fever?

Our mothers and grandmothers commonly used bathing as a way to bring down a child’s fever.

When fever-reducing medicine is not at hand, a lukewarm bath or sponge bath doesn’t harm a baby, and it may bring down the baby’s temperature. Bear in mind that if the water is too cold, it may have the opposite effect. The baby will start to shiver and, as we mentioned before, cause the temperature to rise instead of bringing it down.

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