It can be a scary feeling when you realize that your precious little baby has just swallowed a mouthful of bath water.
So many worrying thoughts can race through your mind:
"My Baby Drank Bath Water - will they be ok?"
"Will they get poisoned from the soapy water?"
"What if they develop symptoms of dry drowning (or secondary drowning)?"
"How much is too much water for a baby to accidentally inhale?"
We're here to tell you - don't panic. Stop and take a breath.
Your baby swallowed bath water, panicking will not help get the water out. In addition, you will need a clear head to properly assess the situation.
Below we have listed out the most common questions parents ask when their baby has swallowed some bath water. We will look at the warning signs to watch for after the event, and the likely issues (if any), your baby may experience.
As a parent there are always going to be situations where self - doubt will creep in - and realizing your baby has just inhaled a mouthful of dirty bath water is one of those common scenarios.
Generally speaking, the amount of water that your baby actually ingested would not be enough to cause for concern. It is more likely that they will choke on a small amount of water while they were breathing, and the sound of them coughing sounds a lot worse than it actually is.
However, if you know that they ingested a large amount of water, you can look out for some signs that may lead you to seek some further medical advice. We will look at symptoms in more detail in the next section. However, watching and observing your baby for the few hours immediately after the incident is always recommended. Any signs of discomfort or distress is a signal that you should seek some professional medical advice.
In this section we are going to identify some possible symptoms to look for after your baby swallowed bath water:
The best rule of thumb is if you notice any abnormal behavior from your little one, go see your doctor. They will be in the best position to provide you with advice.
Was the water your baby ingested soapy water?
Even though the thought of drinking soapy water sounds terribly off-putting to us, the reality is the amount that of soap your baby has taken in is insignificant. And the most important thing that parents need to know about this issue is that it's normal! This happens all the time and there isn't anything to worry about.
There are a few things you can do to guarantee your baby will remain harm free should they ingest some soap - and the primary thing to do is use non-toxic mild soap designed specifically for babies. Baby product manufacturers are required to abide by a strict set of rules and guidelines when producing baby products, and this includes steering clear of harmful substances in their products.
Generally speaking, the worse case scenario would be an upset tummy for a short while. If your baby is truly uncomfortable, then giving them gripe water or gas drops will help them ease their discomfort.
Dry drowning is a form of accidental death where a baby is in a dry environment without any liquid present. This can occur when a baby has inhaled too much water while being bathed and the water enters the lungs and suffocates them.
It is a rare occurrence, but is still something that can happen. Therefore it is important to stay vigilant and know the symptoms to look for if you are afraid your baby has swallowed too much water.
The symptoms to look for are:
Secondary drowning occurs when a baby who has been in the water for an extended period of time becomes unconscious due to hypoxia (lack of oxygen) and/or hypercapnia (high levels of carbon dioxide).
Like, dry drowning, it is unlikely your baby will experience secondary drowning. If you are worried about secondary drowning you can recognize the symptoms by looking out for:
In the end you won't be able to prevent your baby from swallowing bath water. It is not a matter of 'if' it will happen, but more a question of 'when'.
Remember not to panick! There are a few things you can do to reduce the chances of any accidents from occurring.
As mentioned above, the use of non-toxic shampoos and baby friendly products will reduce any chances of your little bubs experience poisoning from any toxins.
Having a quick a methodical routine for bathing your child will help reduce your baby from staying too long in the water. This will help to stop them from getting too cold and reduce the likelihood of an excessive amount of water being swallowed.
Hopefully by now you know what to do if your baby has swallowed bath water. It's a common reason for new parents unnecessary panicking and feeling anxious.
The key is not to panic and observe your little one over the next few hours to see if they are experiencing any discomfort.
If in doubt, always contact a medical professional for their opinion and next steps on what you should do.