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My Baby Always Pees in the Bathtub (How to Keep Baby’s Bath Pee Free)

My Baby Always Pees in the Bathtub (How to Keep Baby’s Bath Pee Free)

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You’ve just drawn a nice, warm bath for your baby to get into and relax before bedtime. You get baby undressed and put him in the tub and it happens. He pees. If this sounds familiar, you are not alone. Actually, most babies pee in the bath, but what do you do next?

If your baby pees in the bathtub, don’t panic, just don’t let him drink the water. If you want to keep him from peeing in the bath, try to get him to do so before getting in with a blast of cold air, a warm washcloth, or try letting him stand in the water with a diaper on. If he poops, you need to drain the tub and start a new bath with fresh water.

Read on to learn why your baby keeps peeing in the bath, what to do when it happens, and how to keep it from happening altogether.

How do I keep my baby from peeing in the bath

It’s very common for babies to pee in the bath. In fact, a lot of babies poop in the bath, too!

This usually happens because of the temperature change, either because of the cold air or the warm water.

If baby pees in the water, it’s okay. It’s important that you stay calm and don’t make too big of a fuss about it. You just want to make sure he doesn’t drink the bathwater (although, really, he shouldn’t be drinking bath water anyway). Now poop is a different story. If baby poops in the bath, you will want to get the poop out, drain the tub, clean it, and start a new bath.

To keep baby from peeing in the bath, you ultimately want baby to pee right before he goes into the bath. To accomplish this, you can try opening the diaper and letting a little cold air in, quickly cleaning him with a warm washcloth, putting him in an empty bath first, or letting him stand in the water with his diaper on before removing it. 

Every kid is different, so not all of these strategies will work for all babies. You just have to see what works for your baby. With any luck, you’ll find a foolproof method you can turn to that keeps baby’s bath pee-free.

Why do babies pee in the bath?

Although you may not always notice it, chances are your baby pees during most baths.

Oftentimes, babies pee in the bath because of the warm water. When baby sits down into a nice warm bath, his muscles relax. This can cause him to pee (or even poop) in the bath.

In fact, giving baby a warm bath is often recommended as a remedy for constipation.

Another reason he may pee in the bath is that he’s still working on learning to control his bodily functions. The same way he may pee while getting his diaper changed, he may also pee in the bath and not even necessarily realize he’s doing it.

Do I need to clean out the tub if baby pees during bath?

If you just started the bath and baby pees immediately, you can go ahead and clean the tub and start a new bath if you like; however, it’s not really necessary to clean out the tub and start all over if baby pees during his bath.

The fact is that any bacteria, waste, and other chemicals in your baby’s pee will be too heavily diluted by the bathwater to be a concern during a quick bath.

However, it’s a misconception that urine is sterile, but it is about 95% water and the primary concern with urine is that it attracts bacteria (mostly due to that water content) quickly.

Baby peed in bath and drank the water

You may try to get baby to drink water at dinner with no luck. But, when it comes to the bath, it’s like he just can’t get enough!

It’s good practice to teach baby to not drink the bathwater, regardless of whether or not he has peed in the bath. The bathwater is full of shampoo, soap, dead skin cells, and germs, as well as pee a lot of times.

If baby drinks a little bit of the bathwater with pee in it, it’s okay. You just don’t want him to drink more than a few sips.

What to do if baby pees in the bathtub

If baby pees in the bathtub, try not to panic. Baby picks up on our signals and if you get scared and shout or get nervous, it’s likely to make baby uneasy as well.

The best thing to do is stay calm and just keep an eye on him to make sure he isn’t drinking the bathwater. 

While you may immediately think you need to get baby out of the tub, drain it, and start a new bath, the truth is that you don’t. A little bit of pee in the water is generally okay.

How to keep baby from peeing in the bath

The best way to keep baby from peeing in the bath is to get him to pee before he gets into the bath.

So then, how do you get baby to pee before getting in the bath? I’ve got a few suggestions on how you can help baby pee first, including a quick blast of cold air, using a warm washcloth, putting baby in an empty bath, and letting him stand in the water with a diaper on first.

Not every method will work for every baby, so it may be a bit of trial and error to see which one works for your baby.

Quick blast of cold air

This method is pretty similar to what you probably do for your baby if he tends to pee while you’re changing his diaper. You just open the front of the diaper to let the cool air in, wait for just a moment, and then close the diaper back up if he starts to pee. Just wait for him to finish and you should be ready for the bath. This strategy works best for boys.

Warm washcloth

Before you put baby in the bath, get out a warm washcloth. You’ll want to open baby’s diaper and clean him with the washcloth, quickly and carefully. It’s likely that he will start to pee while you’re cleaning him so be sure to be speedy while you do this. Put the diaper back on immediately and let him finish. While you can try this one on boys and girls, it’s likely to work best on boys.

Empty bath

You can also try to put baby into the bath while it’s empty, letting the water run for a bit. Baby will feel the warmth of the water and hopefully, if he’s going to pee, he’ll do it right away while the drain is still up in the tub. Once he pees you can just rinse the tub, plug it up, and start the bath. This is a good strategy to try for both boys and girls.

Stand in water

This is pretty similar to the tip above, except here, you keep baby in his diaper while he’s standing in the water. Let him stand there for a bit and before you remove the diaper, check to see if he’s peed. He still gets that warm sensation from the water, but has the safety net of the diaper on to pee without it getting into the tub. Like the one above, this works for boys and girls.

Joshua Bartlett
Joshua Bartlett

My name is Joshua Bartlett I run this blog with my wife Jarah. We have more than 11 years of parenting experience including three girls and one boy. I started this blog in late 2018 when I realized that I was dealing with baby-related issues on a constant basis…please read more about me here!

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