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  Bathing Safety
 
The other day a friend came to visit during baby bath time, and she was really very firm with me about the fact that I let my six-month-old baby sit in the bath alone. The thing is, he sits really well, and I have a really sturdy bath chair with strong suction pads onto the bottom of the bath. He likes to stay in the bath for a long time and I just have to get things done at that time of night. So I leave him happily in his chair and pop in for a chat and check every few minutes. Am I really being careless to do this?

Perhaps the statistic that half of all baby drowning happens in the bath will change your mind. Remember that your baby is learning new skills every day, and the baby that sat quietly in the bath ring yesterday, is the baby that figures out how to get out of it or detach it from the bottom of the bath today. Also, while babies have amazing survival skills, they do not have the ability to extract themselves from a tricky situation. That is your job, and that is why you have to be present all the time, especially at bath time.

Although you believe that your bath seat is very safe, don’t get complacent. Make sure that the suckers are firmly attached to the bottom of the bath. Your baby must be seated on a non-slip surface, so if your seat doesn’t have one then you need to put a folded towel under baby’s bum or use a non-slip mat. Be sure that you clean all the equipment you use regularly and also allow it to dry between uses so that it doesn’t get mouldy or harbour germs.

You will have to change your routine to allow for enough time to sit with baby in the bath. It would be a pity to cut his bath time short as it is a very relaxing activity for most babies, and since he enjoys it so much it is very beneficial for him. Babies also learn a lot from the playing they do, and bath time is no exception. Perhaps you could figure out some chores that can be done in the bathroom, like sorting washing. However you figure it out, it is vital.

There is no exception to the rule that you never leave baby alone in the bath. If the phone rings or there is a problem that needs your attention, unfortunately you will have to scoop baby out of the bath into a towel and take him with!

 

 
   
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