Parenthood is thrilling, amazing, and terrifying … all at once. Once you have the hang of one stage, your baby changes and you’re forced to play catch up – yet again.
The transformation from baby to toddler is one of the most dramatic transitions. One day you have a baby. The next day you wake up and realize your little cherub has seemingly turned into a toddler overnight!
The toddler phase is a fun (and busy) one. Not only are toddlers absolutely adorable, but they seem to get into absolutely everything.
With a toddler in the house, you’ll quickly learn the meaning of the phrase “but I just turned my back for a second….”
Child proofing is key to managing this stage safely.
Babyproofing the Bathroom is Essential
Once your baby is moving around the house (either walking or crawling), things in your home that once appeared safe can now quickly turn into hazards.
Along with obvious dangers like your fire place, the bathroom is easily one of the most dangerous rooms in your house.
This article will offer some helpful tips on how to baby proof your bathroom and ensure your home is safe for little ones.
Baby Proofing the Bathroom Starts With Bath Time Habits
Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death among children ages 1 to 4 years-old and it takes only a few inches of water for a young child to drown.Consumer Product Safety Commission
Too many toddlers drown unnecessarily in bathtubs each year.
Between 2006 and 2010, there were an average of more than 85 fatal drownings per year for children under 5. These incidents involved bathtubs and buckets, bath seats, and toilets, as well as landscaping features.
Understanding how to safely bathe a baby is essential.
100% Supervision, 100% of The Time
The simplest way to prevent avoidable bath time drownings is to supervise children in the bath, at all times.
Never leave your little one unattended in the bath, even for a moment, and keep him or her within arms reach.
If you have to run to answer the door bell or phone during bath time, take your baby with you. Take her out of the bath, wrap her in a towel, and bring her along for the ride.
Don’t rely on siblings to keep an eye on baby, either. They don’t need that kind of responsibility!
Using bath seats is not recommended. If you choose to use these seats, you still need to follow the “100% supervision, 100% of the time” principle.
Keep Distractions & Hazards to a Minimum
Keep common distractions, such as a smart phone or magazine, out of your baby’s bath time routine. Anything that might divert your attention or prevent you from undivided supervision is a no no.
This also means you should avoid overfilling the bath with too many bubbles or bath toys. While safe, non-toxic bath toys are a great addition to bath time, make sure you select only a few so you have a clear view of your baby at all times. Same goes with DIY additions, like bubble bath, bath paint or bath dough (which makes the water cloudy over time), and bath games that might obscure your view.
You should also keep the water level low.
If you’re planning a special bath, such as a milk bath for photography, have one adult in the room monitoring safety, and another taking the photos.
Empty the Water Straight After Use
Standing water is a drowning hazard, so you should never leave water in the bathtub once you are finished with the bath.
Make it a habit to pull the plug as you take you baby from the water. The same is true for standalone baby baths – empty the water as soon as possible.
This is also a good mould prevention strategy, especially for bath toys.
Avoid Burns, Scalds, and Bumps
Don’t leave the tap running when your child is in the bath. Fluctuations in water temperature are always a possibility, and could result in water that’s too hot for your baby.
When you’re preparing the bath, fill the tub with water and then turn off the tap before placing your child in the bath. If you’re unsure whether the bath water is too hot or cold, you can buy a floating bath water thermometer to get it just right, or use a baby bath tub with a built-in indicator (like the Stokke Flexi Bath, which has a heat sensitive plug).
If you bathe your toddler in the “regular” bath tub, place them away from the faucet and put a soft bath spout cover over the faucet to prevent injuries.
Little heads and backs will thank you for this, and it could prevent burns, too, if your pipes get hot. It’s especially important once you have to wash a toddler’s hair when they’re screaming, or trying to avoid having their hair detangled.
Many new-build houses have a water temperature regulator installed that ensures water straight out of the hot tap will not burn. However, this isn’t always the case.
Use Non-Slip Mats
Bath and shower surfaces can be super slippery – doubly so if you’re using soap or bubbles for your child’s bath time.
Use non-toxic and natural rubber bath mats to baby proof your bathroom against slips and falls. Use mats inside the bath and shower to create a safer, non-slip surface for your toddler. This is especially important for toddlers that try to stand-up in the tub.
Likewise, use bathroom floor mats to soak up excess water spills and prevent slips on your bathroom floor. We recommend organic cotton bath mats for your own health, and that of our planet.
Get Organized Before Bath Time
Before you put baby in the bath, ensure you have everything you need.
One easy way to do this is by filling a basket with all the bath time essentials like kids shampoo, conditioner, detangler, soap, and lotion, and keeping it within arm’s reach. This also goes for post-bath essentials like a towel or baby lotion. That way, you won’t feel tempted to duck out and grab anything.
General Bathroom Baby Proofing Tips
Use a Safe-access step
Use a child-safety-approved step to access the hand basin or bathtub, once they’ve transitioned to the big tub. While there are plenty of plastic step stool options available, there are also a number of high-quality wood options using non-toxic finishes that won’t come with unwanted VOCs.
If your bathtub has a high side, using a stool will make it easy for your kids to get in and out of the bathtub – and this will help to reduce the possibility of bathroom accidents!
I have seen kids climbing over the side of the bathtub, with one leg hanging over the side dangling in mid air, too many times.
Importantly, you need to put the step aside when not in use.
Keep cupboard doors locked
The bathroom cupboard is like an irresistible wonderland for kids. For older toddlers, it’s easy to see how they’d be attracted to all the lotions, cleaning products, medicines, powders, make-up and more.
Keep any of the “serious stuff” completely out of reach of children. Use a less accessible cupboard such as in the laundry room or garage, or keep them up high. Anything that has a“keep out of reach of children” label on it needs to be taken very literally. Cleaning chemicals and medications should be put in a very hard to reach place. Laundry detergent – and especially laundry detergent pods – also need to be kept far away from your child’s reach.
Add child safe cabinet locks to your cupboard doors to protect both your children and the contents. These are easily installed and easy for grown ups to operate.
Shut the bathroom door
Out of sight, out of mind is a philosophy that works well with most toddlers!
However, having other siblings and people in the house means it can be hard to keep the bathroom door shut all the time.
Put a sign on the bathroom door reminding others to keep it closed.
Adding a latch on the door is also a good idea to help keep this room out of reach.
Baby Proof Your Toilet
Toilet safety latch
A toilet safety latch will be a godsend in terms of preventing you from losing things to the toilet bowl (courtesy of your toddler) and for safety.
Toilets are understandably attractive and heaps of fun for your baby. They are the perfect height, and toddlers love finding out how many toys and iPhones will fit in the bowl.
Although toilet drownings are rare, they can and do still sadly happen.
A simple latch attached to the lid will help. However, it can be tricky to teach other family members how to use it, especially slightly older brothers and sisters.
Keeping the toilet door locked with a simple latch that is out of reach of your toddler is the easiest way to baby proof your toilet, with a toilet latch as a second line of defence.
Educate guests and family members to keep the door closed and toilet lid closed, and put up a sign to gently remind them.
What toddler doesn’t love a roll of toilet paper? None that I’ve ever met!
If you have a little one who adores unrolling the entire roll and running through the house with it, simply stick a rubber band around the roll. This is a great parenting hack I discovered early in my motherhood days, and it has saved me so much paper!
Again, keeping the door shut also works, as long as you remember. Toddlers are quick!
The Toilet Brush
When child proofing the bathroom in your house, don’t forget about your toilet brush.
For some reason toddlers are fascinated by the toilet brush. Yup. And Ewwww.
Once you see your dear cherub wandering around, delicately munching on the toilet brush handle, you’ll know it’s time to act.
Childproof toilet brushes do exist. They work on a mechanism whereby you have to squeeze to remove the brush from the receptacle.
I prefer to keep my toilet cleaner in the cupboard, which is under latch as well.
Another option is to eliminate the disgusting toilet brush altogether and use a Loogun. This hygienic device sends a powerful jet of water and cleans the bowl without even touching it, eliminating the need for harmful chemicals. These water guns are handheld and are an incredibly effective way to get my least favourite household chore done!
Choose Safer Ingredients
Keep the Bathroom Clean AND Eliminate Harmful Products
Making your bathroom baby proof goes hand-in-hand with making the bathroom safe for baby. There are many ways to effectively achieve a toxin-free, safe bathroom environment for your little ones.
Safely keep your baby clean by making a conscious choice when selecting soaps for your baby’s bath time. Choosing soaps and shampoos that are free from harmful parabens, fragrance and methylisothiazolinone is a good first step in making bath time safe for a baby’s sensitive skin.
Keeping the bathroom clean will help to remove harmful toxins produced by mold and mildew, which are most commonly found in wet areas. Mold can effect susceptible children by causing skin and throat irritations, and it is advisable to keep your home mould free.
Using dangerous chemicals in your house is often the only way we think we can get things clean. But there are many non-toxic alternatives to popular chemicals used every day.
DIY concoctions such as using lemon and salt, or hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, are excellent ways to get your bathroom sparkling again without harming yourself, your children or the environment. Combining equal amounts of white vinegar with an all-natural hand washing detergent can have as brilliant an effect as a no-scrub bathroom cleaner. And using baby safe dish soap is a great way to keep bath toys clean!
Using natural household ingredients to clean means you’ll no longer have those unsafe bottles of poison lurking in your bathroom cabinets.
A Baby Proof Bathroom? Check!
Hopefully these tips will help you baby proof your bathroom. By implementing these simples ideas, you’ll be well on your way to creating a safer home for your youngest family members.