New parents are fearful of many tasks associated with caring for their babies, but few are as frightening as bathing your newborn. The idea of submerging a helpless little body in a tub of water can be imposing.

Luckily, there are a number of safety tips you can follow to make the experience safe and pleasant. Bath time is a great bonding experience for baby and parents, so learn how to overcome your fears and turn bath time into fun time.

The first rule of safe bathing is the most important: never leave your baby unattended in a tub for even a moment. This is true whether you are bathing your child in an infant tub in the sink or the bath tub.

It is also important even if only a small amount of water is in the tub. Gather your supplies and block out the time you need to focus on bathing so there are no distractions once the bath begins.

Filling the Tub

Next, make sure the room is warm and the water is a safe temperature. You know how easy it is to catch a chill when you are wet, so keep the bathing room at a warm 75 degrees.

Make the water warm but not hot. It takes just a few seconds for hot water to burn a babys tender skin, so lower your water heater temperature to 120 degrees to guarantee the water will never be too hot.

Fill the tub or sink with plain water. Bubbles and bath oils can irritate your baby internally and cause urinary tract infections. You can use soap for washing, but it is not necessary.

Some cleansers are too harsh for babys skin, so if you do want to use soap, choose one that is specifically designed for young skin. You will also want to save the suds for last. The longer your baby sits in soapy water the more drying it is for the skin.

Wait until the tub or sink is full before putting in baby. The water temperature can change as it fills, so you want to do a final test once it is finished. You should use no more than six inches of water.

Make sure the area around the tub is safe. Babies can splash and things can get playful during bath time and you do not want any electric appliances falling into the water. Remember to keep electric grooming tools out of the way if bath time happens in the bathroom.

As Your Child Grows

As your child gets older, do not allow her to touch the faucet and handles. This can result in burns once she is old enough to turn on the water, so set a strict rule right from the beginning that only grown ups turn on the water.

Once your child is old enough to bath the bath tub, make sure it is just as safe. Add slip reduction appliqus to protect from falls and teach your child to never stand up until it is time to exit the tub. You might also consider padding some of the hard, sharp spaces around the tub, just in case a fall occurs.