Safe Bathing Tips for Toddlers

Wrangling a wriggling toddler into a tub is not for the faint of heart.

While bath time can be a fun bonding experience, it can also be scary for new parents. As a parent, you should be cautious.

Globally, the highest drowning rates are among children aged 1-4 years old. Children are top heavy, so they tip over easily. They can drown in water as shallow as a few centimetres, and it only takes 20 seconds. Even worse, drowning can be silent, so you may not have a verbal warning that your child is in danger. 

We don't mention these facts to scare you, but to equip you.
Drowning is often preventable. 

The only danger in your tub should be to the germs you wash away. Here are the basic steps you can take to keep bath time safe: 

two kids smiling and playing at bath time in Kindhood Poncho Towels Raya and Aliso


An adult should always be supervising bath time. Do not leave your kids alone, not even for a "quick second" or to answer your phone. It only takes a few heartbeats for a toddler to fall, drown, or turn on scalding hot water. Whatever you needed to grab, it's not worth it. 
Please note, older kids do NOT count as adult supervision. They aren't equipped to recognize or react to an emergency situation. If an adult is not actively supervising, then no bath time.
Best Supervision Practices:
  • Leave your phone on silent in another room!
  • Have your towel, face washcloth, fresh pajamas, and diapers set within easy reach before you even run the water. 
  • Set out the hair dryer, but leave it unplugged until the tub is drained to reduce the risk of an electrical shock. 


Keep the water within set temperature ranges to keep your toddlers comfortable and safe from burns. 120 degrees Fahrenheit / 50 Celsius is way too hot! The ideal temperature for toddlers is between 90-100 degrees Fahrenheit / 32-38 Celsius. 

You can measure the water temperature by 1) using a thermometer, or 2) dipping your elbow into the water. If your elbow skin flushes, then it is too hot for kids. 

Best Temperature Practices:

  • Always add cold water to the tub first to eliminate the risk of accidental scalding.
  • Slowly add warm - not hot! - water to the tub to raise the temperature.
  • Swirl the water with your hands to ensure the tub temp is consistent.
  • When you turn off the water, leave the handle pointed towards the cold setting to reduce the risk of accidentally spraying hot water during play time. 

child reaching into bath tub wearing Kindhood Poncho Towel Raya


Toddlers are typically able to sit up and stand at this stage. If this is the case for your children, then the tub water should be bellybutton height when they are sitting down.

As a rule of thumb, add just enough water for them to wash and play, no more!

Best Volume Practices:

  • Set fun bath stickers on the wall to mark the best height for your babies. You can watch how they grow as the markers move up! 
  • Drain water IMMEDIATELY when bath time is over to reduce risk during the chaotic drying off period. 


Focus on two things when toddler-proofing your bath experience. First, adjust the environment to make it safer. Second, take active steps to remove anything that would distract you, the parent.

Remember, constant adult supervision is the key to preventing drowning. 

Best Environment Practices: 

  • Unplug all nearby electrical items.
  • Purchase and apply a nonslip bathmat to your tub, if needed. 
  • Place any adult razors and shampoos out of reach. 
  • Close the bathroom door and ignore all visitors, neighbors, calls, barking dogs, and TV dramas until your angels are clean. 


While this may seem like a lot at first, you will get the hang of it in no time

Learn the basics, set yourself up for success, and don't take your eyes off your toddlers while the tub is full. 

Once you have these mastered, you can focus on making bath time a fun experience for you and your kids. We have tips for that, too! Check out our fun tips on Tubs & Toddlers here!

If you are looking for new ways to dry your kids off quickly, check what makes our Kindhood ponchos the best choice here


Dad kissing son in Kindhood Poncho Towel Aliso

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