How to Safely Bathe your Baby and Toddler Together
If you're a parent with two little ones, you may be wondering how to safely manage bath time for both your baby and toddler when no one else is at home to help. The thought can be intimidating, especially when you consider how slippery and wobbly infants can be. Here's how you can bathe your toddler and baby together, when they are ready.
The Challenge: Double Bath Time
The prospect of bathing a baby and a toddler simultaneously can make even the most seasoned parents break into a cold sweat. You have a splashy toddler who needs a bath to wind down for the night, an infant who smells like a mix of spit-up and diaper explosions - how do you juggle these two bath-times without dropping the ball (or the baby)?
Many parents have found innovative ways to tackle this problem. Some parents hop into the bath with both kids and hold the baby while the toddler plays in the water. This may work – but if you don’t want to bathe with them or get wet every time you have to bathe both of them, this may not be the best option for you.
Others use a baby bathtub inside the larger tub to create a separate bathing space for the toddler. It's crucial to remember that safety should be the priority in all situations – generally, most baby bathtubs should not be placed inside larger tubs of water. They are designed to be used on dry, flat surfaces, not floating around in a larger tub because it can tip over (to be sure, make sure to check the warning label on your baby’s bath tub.)
So what should you be doing?
First, ask yourself whether your baby can sit up on their own.
If your baby cannot sit up on their own
If your baby cannot sit up on their own, it is safer to have your baby bathe separately. If your baby cannot sit up independently, they’ll likely need 2 hands holding them at all times which can be dangerous if your toddler joins the bath because your hands are preoccupied. If no one is there to watch your toddler while you need to bathe your baby, bring your toddler into the bath room while you bathe your baby in the sink or tub, while making sure to keep your eyes on your toddler. Give your toddler a toy to distract her while she waits in the bath room for you to finish. Lock the bath room to prevent escapes and make sure there is nothing dangerous that your toddler can get her hands on while you are holding your baby (put away all the toilet bowl cleaners, cleaning supplies, or toilet brushes so they are not within reach of your toddler).
Once your baby can sit up on their own
It’s safest to attempt double baths only when your youngest can sit up on their own. Once your baby is sitting upright, you can bathe your children together in no more than 5 centimeters of water. Having too much water in the tub can create a drowning risk – remember, it takes only a few seconds for children to drown in as little as 2.5 centimeters of water. Always keep a constant eye on them and stay within arm's reach. If you need to leave the bathroom, always take both kids with you.
Parachute, Canada's national charity dedicated to injury prevention, recommends that parents never leave their babies unattended in a bath seat or bath ring, even for a few seconds. Parents should always supervising their children in the bath, and should never rely on infant bath seats, as these are not approved safety devices. These can give a false sense of security and lead to accidents, as reported by Health Canada. Make sure your full attention is on your kids, and that they are within arm's length.
Have all your supplies ready beforehand, including your towels (bonus: if you snap on our handsfree, wearable towel baby before bath time you won’t have to leave the bath room to grab your towel). Once you are ready to remove both kids from the tub, drain the tub. Lift your toddler out first and put their towel on and have them to wait. Then, lift your baby out, wrap them up and keep holding them. You can then leave the bathroom with both kids. If you need to lay your baby down first after taking them out of the bath, secure the baby in a bouncer seat placed on the floor after they're out of the tub.
There you have it!
If double bath time still seems too daunting, you can always wait for another adult to help, or plan baths when your toddler is at daycare. Remember, if you do decide to double bathe, safety is paramount! Always supervise and never rely on bath aids as support.
Check out our video tutorial below on how our hands-free, wearable baby towels make lifting your children out of the bath easier when you are double bathing.