My second (and last) child is no longer a baby. I know this not because he just turned two, but because he actually needs a bath most days. Though we consider ourselves cautious parents in terms of water safety (our water heater was set to 120F before we brought our first one home) I sat by and unknowingly let both of my babies chew bath toys that contained PVC and mold. Here are a few things I wish I had known about bathing babies from day one:
Squirties aren’t as cute as they look
We had them all: Santa duck, sailor duck, golfer duck, you name it. I didn’t realize how dangerous rubber ducks were until the first time black goo squirted out of one of them. I recommend the ban from the beginning, because before you know it your bath will be infested with these hard to wash sea creatures that double as hazardous teethers. Choose bath toys that can go in the laundry, or PVC free ones without holes that can drip dry. Here is an extensive guide to safer bath toys.
Babies poop in the bath
Though it may not happen often, it happens, and when it does you have to hope that your spouse or another adult is on hand to watch baby while you clean the mess. Having a baby in the house is a good reason to get used to cleaning without chemicals. I watched my mom clean everything with baking soda, but it wasn’t until recently that I actually tried it on my own tub. Wow! Jennifer recommends Seventh Generation’s Natural Tub and Tile cleaner, which I can’t wait to try.
Those Shower Curtains Stink for a reason
Maybe you’ve already figured out that those cheap colourful (or sometimes peek-a-boo) bath curtains are hazardous to your family’s health. If you’ve made this connection quicker than me, you may want to put one of these PVC free curtains on your baby gift registry.
Bath Toys Multiply
When you have babies you get a lot of bath toys as gifts. Don’t feel obliged to put them all in your bath at once (or ever). A good rule is to never let the toys spill over their container. They’ll collect mold more easily if they’re getting a shower every time you are and never get a chance to dry. This bath organizer tray gets great reviews from most parents, except for a few whose tub is too wide.
Safety tip: Always remove toys immediately after a bath is over. Toys can plug the drain and leave your bathtub full of water. More than 50% of infant drownings happen in bathtubs.
[This post was written by Tara Benwell.]