Water Temp For Baby Bath

Warm water is best. To prevent scalding, set the thermostat on your water heater to below 120 F (49 C). Always check the water temperature with your hand before bathing your baby. Aim for bath water around 100 F (38 C).

Warm water is best. To prevent scalding, set your thermostat to less than 120 F (49 C). Always check the water temperature with your hand before bathing your baby. Aim for bath water around 100 F (38 C).

Your little one will love bath time, but it can be hard to know just how warm the water should be. To prevent scalding injury, set the thermostat on your water heater below 120 F (49 C). Always check the water temperature with your hand before bathing your baby. Aim for bath water around 100 F (38 C).

Warm water is best for baby baths. To prevent scalding, set the thermostat on your water heater to below 120 F (49 C). Always check the temperature of bath water with your hand before bathing your baby

Warm water is best. Always check the water temperature with your hand before bathing your baby. Aim for bath water around 100 F (38 C).

Temperature for Baby Bath Water in Celsius

Many parents may wonder whether their newborn baby’s bath temperature is ideal. Some prefer giving their babies a warm bath because it seems to calm and relax them. However, it is better to bathe your newbie in lukewarm water.

While bathing your baby, ensure that the water temperature does not exceed a level that could harm their delicate skin. In case of fever in babies, giving a lukewarm bath or a sponge bath may help temporarily lower the fever while administering the fever medicines prescribed by the pediatrician (1) (2).

Read on to know the recommended bath temperature for newborn babies, how to offer them a safe and pleasant bathing experience, and how to determine the water temperature.

What Is The Safest Bath Temperature For Infants?

The safest and most preferred bath temperature for newborns and infants is around 98.6° to 100° F (37° to 38° C). Bathing your child in water higher than the ideal temperature can burn their sensitive skin and even lead to dry skin. On the other hand, bathing them in cold water can cause chills.

How Warm Should The Bathing Water Be In Hot Weather?

When the temperature rises in summer, you can bathe your baby in water that is slightly lower in temperature than the usual bathing water. However, the water should not be too cold, as it might make your baby feel cold.

How To Measure The Baby Bath Temperature?

Here are a few ways through which you can measure your baby’s bath temperature.

  • Use a bath thermometer.
  • Insert your elbow or wrist in the water for a few seconds to check if the water feels mildly warm.
  • Use bath toys or floating thermometers that change color to indicate extremely hot water.

Avoid using the standard mercury-in-glass thermometer to check the water temperature, as the device is delicate to use and may offer only a limited range temperature reading. Besides, the digital thermometer may not be waterproof, so inserting it in a bathtub might ruin it.

Regardless of the method you employ to check the water temperature, always double-check the water by inserting your hand into it to ensure it is safe for your little one. Also, when bathing, if you feel that the water has become cold, pull out your baby immediately.

Ways To Ensure Safe Water Temperature For Your Baby’s Bath

You need to exercise caution when bathing your little one in warm water. Here are some tips to ensure the complete safety of your child.

  • Bathe your child in a clean plastic tub or a sink. Also, keep a sponge and a mug ready before you start bathing your baby.
  • Keep regular or cold water handy. When the bathtub is partially filled with hot water from the tap, you can mix some cold water to adjust its temperature and make it safe for your child.
  • Throw in some bath toys that track water temperature. Follow it up with a floating thermometer to check the exact temperature of the water.
  • Always insert your wrist or elbow to check the water temperature before putting your child in the tub.
  • Ensure that the water level in the tub is not above two inches or five centimeters. You can gradually increase the level as your baby grows.
  • Install child proof taps and knobs to prevent accidental scalding. You can also add faucet covers to prevent burns in case a child accidently touches the faucets when they are hot.
  • Empty the bathtub and buckets completely and close the toilet lid after use to prevent accidental drowning.
  • To avoid shocks all the electrical outlets not in use should be covered. Also devices like electric razors and hair dryers should be unplugged after use as electricity may leak even after the device has been switched off.

Additional Safety Tips To Follow

  • When placing your child in a bathtub, always hold them carefully with your dominant hand. You can use the other hand to support their back and head.
  • The faucet attached to the bathtub heats up after running hot water. So, ensure that you place your baby away from the faucet to avoid chances of accidentally burning their skin.
  • Do not bathe your child with warm water running from the faucet.
  • If there is a risk of your child touching the hot faucet, cover it with a faucet cover.
  • Never leave your child alone in the bathtub, as they could drown or accidentally slip and hurt themselves.
  • Ensure the room temperature is warm so that your child does not feel cold during or after a bath.
  • Ensure that there are no drafts of air entering the bath area.
  • The ideal time to bathe newborns and infants is noon when the environmental temperature is highest in the day.
  • Wrap your baby in a soft, thick towel and dry them quickly and thoroughly so they do not catch a cold.
  • Your baby’s body should be completely dry before you put on the diaper and clothes.

Although many parents and elders have varied opinions on the right newborn baby bath temperature, most people stick to lukewarm water ranging from 37° to 39°C. This is an ideal temperature to give your baby a relaxing bath. While you must be alert and cautious when bathing a newborn, you need not be too worried about it. Though you may not be able to constantly measure the water temperature, be intuitive and ensure it suits your baby’s delicate skin. Further, ensure you follow the safety measures listed above to have a safe baby bathing experience.

Key Pointers

  • A safe water temperature to bathe your baby should be 98.6° to 100°F.
  • You can check the temperature with a bath thermometer or dip your elbow to feel it. Also, the bath toys change color if the water is too hot.
  • Ensure to keep aside some regular or cold water ready and never leave your baby alone in the bathtub.


MomJunction’s articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.1. Everything you need to know about fevers in children; Children’s National Hospital2. When your baby or infant has a fever; National Institutes of Health

When to Start Bathing Baby Daily

You can bond with your baby while bathing them. Talking, singing, and playing during bath time will help them develop their language skills. Bathe them 3 to 4 times a week with mild soap to prevent skin rashes and chafing.

You Will Need

  • Warm water
  • Baby shampoo
  • Comb and hair brush
  • Dry towels
  • Damp washcloth
  • A shirt, gown, or sleeper
  • A diaper
  • Baby blanket
  • Scent- and alcohol-free soap


It is important to follow these safety rules when bathing your baby:

  • Keep the room warm so your baby does not get cold. Bathe your baby quickly to avoid chilling.
  • Person putting their elbow in water to check temperature.Keep water around 100° Fahrenheit (F) or 37.8° Celsius (C). Test the water with a bath thermometer, your elbow, or your wrist (Picture 1). The water should feel warm, not hot.
  • Set water heaters at 120°F (48.9°C) to prevent burns.
  • Keep one hand on your baby at all times.
  • Never leave your baby alone in any amount of water.

Types of Baths

  • Your baby’s umbilical cord will likely fall off 1 to 2 weeks after they are born. Give your baby sponge baths until the umbilical cord falls off. This can be done on a towel, blanket, changing table, or bath pad. Make a bath pad by putting a clean towel on top of a folded blanket. After the umbilical cord falls off or a circumcision heals, you can use a sink or baby tub.
  • Do not use a bath chair. These can cause injury or death.

How to Bathe Your Baby

  1. Fill the sink or baby tub with no more than 3 inches of warm water. Test temperature of the water.
  2. Undress your baby. Place them on the pad, if giving a sponge bath, or in a basin of water.
  3. Before putting soap on a washcloth, gently clean your baby’s eyelids. Using a clean spot on the cloth, start at the inner corner of the eye and wash toward the ears.
  4. Then, wash your baby’s face with only water. Do not use soap on their face.
  5. Use clean water to wash the outer part of the ear. Do not use cotton swabs, like Q-tips®, inside your baby’s ears.Hold your baby securely
  6. Wet your baby’s head with water. Put mild soap or shampoo on the washcloth. Gently rub the washcloth over their head from front to back. Keep soap out of their eyes. Rinse their head with clean water and gently pat dry with the towel.
  7. While your baby is lying on the pad or in the basin, reach under them to lift their back and head up with your arm (Picture 2).
  8. Make a soapy lather on the washcloth or with your hands. Start at the neck and lather your baby’s entire body. Be sure to clean between fingers, toes, and skin folds.
  9. Use the soapy washcloth or your hands to clean the diaper area.
    • Start at the front and move back to the buttocks.
    • If your baby is not circumcised, do not pull back the foreskin to clean the penis.
  10. Rinse the soap off your baby with a clean, wet washcloth.

After the Bath

  • Pat your baby dry with a clean towel.
  • If you want, use lotion. Do not put lotion on your baby’s face.
  • Brush and comb your baby’s hair.
  • Clean their fingernails and toenails. Carefully clip the nails with baby scissors or clippers when needed (Picture 3). Do this by making short, little clips above the white nail line. This will help avoid cutting the nail too close. Or you may file the nails with a nail file. Keep your baby’s fingernails short so they do not scratch their face.

Scalp Care

Your baby’s scalp may look dry or scaly. This is called cradle cap. These things can help with cradle cap:

Child's foot with nail clippers and nail file.
  1. Put a small amount of baby oil on their hair after shampooing. Leave it on until the next day.
  2. Brush your baby’s hair and scalp the next day to remove old skin, then shampoo your baby’s hair.
  3. Wash the brush and comb with soapy water, then rinse and dry.

If you have any questions, please ask your health care provider.

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