ACS offers tips to keep babies safe during bath, sleep time

| May 12, 2017 | 0 Comments

Army Community Service
Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation
U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Caring for their new baby is a rewarding experience for new parents, but it can also be stressful.

Two aspects in particular – putting baby to sleep and giving baby a bath  – may seem easy enough, but they can be time consuming and need to be done properly to keep baby safe.

Below are some helpful tips.

Six Tripler Centering Pregnancy Program patients pose for a picture with their newborns during a reunion. The centering program conducts a reunion session after the babies are born in order to discuss postpartum issues, reconnect with the group and to answer any last questions the mothers may be having.

Sleep time
Most parents of newborns suffer from sleep deprivation and exhaustion, as newborns need to eat every two or three hours around the clock, and sometimes even more often.

As tempting as it is to bring your new little one into your bed for convenience and/or offering comfort, the risk to your child is not worth it. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, bed-sharing remains the greatest risk factor for sleep-related infant deaths.

It is much safer to provide your child with a bassinet next to your bed. The following are additional tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):

  • Always place babies on their backs to sleep, even for short naps.
  • Place babies on a firm sleep surface that meets current safety standards. For more information about crib safety standards, visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission website at
  • Keep soft objects, loose bedding or any objects that could increase the risk of entrapment, suffocation or strangulation from the baby’s sleep area.
  • Make sure the baby’s head and face remain uncovered during sleep.
  • Place the baby in a smoke-free environment.
  • Do not let babies get too hot.

Please make safety a priority during this challenging time. Within a few months, your baby should be sleeping longer at night and you will all be feeling more rested.

Bath time
Our lives are busy and full of constant distraction. It can take a fraction of a second for an accident to happen with a baby or toddler. Bath time is full of additional safety risks.



Please use extra precaution and block out this time for your child with no other distractions.

Make sure to gather everything you will need to bathe and dress your child prior to starting the bath. Leave the cellphone behind and ignore the doorbell or take your baby with you to answer it.

Stop using your bath seat as soon as your baby attempts to climb out of it or outgrows it. Make sure there is no recall on the product, and if it appears to be defective, do not use it and return it to the store. Also pay attention to the weight requirement, as the seat may not function properly if your child is under or over the weight limits. Only a few inches of water is recommended; do NOT fill the surrounding adult bathtub with water.

A mother plays with her healthy baby son. The Preconception Health Class prepares mothers for conception and the future with their child. (Courtesy photo)

A mother plays with her healthy baby son. Several Army Community Service classes aid parents rearing their children. (Courtesy photo)

The following is a list of infant bath safety tips according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH):

  • Young children can drown quickly, even in as little as an inch of water.
  • Keep a hand on infants at all times in the water.
  • Never leave a child alone near any water, even for a few seconds.
  • Always keep a young child within arm’s reach in a bathtub in case he slips or falls.
  • Never leave a baby or toddler in a bathtub under the care of another young child.
  • Keep the temperature of your water heater below 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48.9 degrees Celsius) to prevent burns.
  • Use warm, NOT hot, water. Place your elbow under the water to check temperature.
  • Keep all sharp objects, such as razors and scissors, out of your child’s reach.
  • Unplug all electric items, such as hair dryers and radios.
  • Empty the tub after bath time is over.
  • Keep the floor and your child’s feet dry to prevent slipping.

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Category: Community, Safety

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