Sign up ×
Parenting Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for parents, grandparents, nannies and others with a parenting role. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I bathe my two weeks old baby boy every evening. Very often he will urinate as soon as he touch the water, obviously because of the temperature change.

So far I just ignored it, letting him pee into the water and hoping it's sterile enough.

What should I be doing? I considered using a towel to absorb the urine but is it really necessary?

Any tips and/or ideas are welcome.

share|improve this question
If it were 100% pee, then you could start to worry. But I'm sure a tiny bit of baby pee in a whole bath of water is nothing. –  Dave Clarke Feb 14 '13 at 15:26
Trivia: Boys will pee in the shower their entire life. ;) As for the baby, just keep it in the tub and you'll be fine. Pee is sterile. –  DA01 Jul 11 '13 at 4:21
It's generally a good idea to ask a new question, instead of editing to radically change the question and thereby invalidating existing answers. A question about a newborn peeing in the tub is radically different than a toddler doing the same. My suggestion is to roll back the edit, and post a new question. You can flag a moderator and see if you can get the bounty refunded. –  Beofett May 29 at 19:41
@ShadowWizard There are plenty of examples of questions that are duplicates except for the age range, because the developmental level of the child is such a game-changer that it radically changes the question. You're welcome to disagree, but I find it extremely difficult to imaging a scenario where "why is my newborn doing x" would be a duplicate of "why is my toddler doing x". –  Beofett May 29 at 19:52
@ShadowWizard is your core question still "is it a problem for my child to urinate in the bath"? If so, take out anything about age and specify that you're less interested in cause/prevention than in whether you should even care. Right now it sounds quite a bit like two completely different questions. –  Erica May 30 at 1:58

5 Answers 5

As you mentioned, it is the temperature change that causes urination.

What may work for you is this: Immediately prior to the bath, get a warm washcloth. Open his diaper, and clean his diaper area with the washcloth. Be careful with this! If it works, he may start to urinate while you are cleaning him, so you must be ready to quickly put the diaper back into place! Immediately replace the diaper.

After waiting a minute or two, transfer him to the bath. With luck, he'll be done, and won't urinate during the actual bath.

A variation on this may work for babies who tend to urinate while their diapers are being changed: open the front of the diaper, let in the cool air, wait a minute, and be ready to immediately close the diaper back up if they start to urinate. Once they're done, it should be safe to proceed.

share|improve this answer
Thanks, good advice. –  Shadow Wizard Feb 14 '13 at 13:48

What's worked well for us is to put our child into the bath while it's still empty, and let the water run for a minute or so.

This way they'll feel the water, and if they need to go, it'll be while the plug is still out. Then you can rinse out the tub and start the bath without worrying about it.

share|improve this answer
Interesting idea, but isn't the empty bath too cold? –  Shadow Wizard Feb 20 '13 at 8:02
It might be cold at first before the water warms up - if it's a concern because of a young infant, you can always start the water first to warm it up... –  Chris Feb 20 '13 at 16:10
This is dangerous advice in some countries. You must always run the bath, then check the temperature, before allowing the child to get in. Scalds in the home are a significant cause of sometimes severe injury. –  DanBeale May 29 at 10:29
@DanBeale - common sense safety advice (like making sure the bathwater is appropriate temperature, never leaving your infant alone in the bath, etc) should ALWAYS apply. Nowhere in my answer did I advocate against this. Also, none of the other answers specifically call out "don't forget to make sure the bath won't scald your child" either, but it doesn't make them dangerous answers because of it. –  Chris May 29 at 20:15
Your answer says to put children in an empty bath and run the water with the child in the bath. While it might be safe for you it is dangerous advice. Exactly that behavior causes many scalds each year. EG in the US 2 children die each day and 300 are treated at ER because of burns, and hot bath water is the leading cause of those injuries - about 50% of burns injuries are from too hot bathwater. –  DanBeale May 29 at 20:27

My children pee in the bathtub every time they get in. Urine is sterile enough that it won't cause any problems...unless there is a urinary tract infection, it's nothing to worry about. I usually just throw a washcloth over the genitals (if it's a boy - so far I have had two boys) so that they don't end up spraying themselves in the face, because that is disgusting. I honestly wouldn't worry about it.

share|improve this answer
Thanks, my boy is six months old by now and do it only rarely, maybe because the water are in right temperature. However what I do to prevent face wash when it does happen is aim the pipe "south" so it reach only the water. :) –  Shadow Wizard Jul 10 '13 at 6:13

For a child who is potty trained, or at least is physically ready for potty training (often happens around two, but it varies significantly), this is approachable in a very simple way: ask him to use the toilet prior to the bath.

At some point, often around potty training, this will become voluntary for many chlidren - like our three year old - who is very nearly frightened of urinating in the bath now. He goes every time and will even leave the bath if he thinks he has to pee.

But for those children who are not cleanliness-obsessed, it can simply be made a requirement pre-bath: urinate and you get your bath toys, urinate and we'll put bubbles in the bath, whatever works. Of course, you can also just not worry about it - the urine is not particularly harmful and will not be in sufficient concentration to smell badly.

Physical readiness for potty training is primarily awareness of the need to pee, awareness of how to do so on command, and ability to hold it in. Once these three elements are present, a child can be fairly easily potty trained, assuming he or she is willing. (Pee and poop are basically separate in this regards, both have the same basic elements though.)

If he's goofing around peeing on purpose in the bath, that may well be an excellent way to start potty training - because it means that he at least is aware of how to do so. I would use it as a transitional device.

First, the next time he pees in the bath, congratulate him. "Wow, nice job, you know how to pee! You're almost ready for potty training!" Then, after a few days of this, instead of going to the bath, go to the potty, and let him know that he can do that on the potty, too! Make a game out of it. Rewards are great for this - M&Ms, for example; stickers; coloring sheets; or in our case, we managed to get in an online garage sale a bag of old Matchbox-type cars - something like 100 for $5. Enough that we used them for potty training our first child, and now have plenty left for our second! I would give him that reward once for going in the bath, and then tell him that if he does it on the potty he can have more rewards. (Yes, I sound like a drug dealer... sigh.)

He may resist doing it on the toilet at first, in which case don't push too hard - but remind him of the reward if he does. When he pees in the bath each time, remind him he can pee on the potty for a reward. Eventually this can become a very effective way to get him into the habit of peeing on the potty.

share|improve this answer
I will add that my two year old (26 months) is basically at this stage: he knows how to urinate on purpose, and tends to urinate infrequently (so he probably is able to hold it). He loves going potty, but is still at the 'sometimes' stage of actually doing it - and we're fine with that, 26 months is very early for a boy. He hasn't had a habit of urinating in the bath that we've noticed (And his older brother almost certainly would), but we'll see if that continues! –  Joe May 27 at 16:21
Thanks, good advice. We (i.e. wife and me) considered starting potty training when he first did it, but consulting with his daycare staff decided he's not ready yet since he shows no other signs. But when we will, what you describe with prizes and all sounds just fine. :) –  Shadow Wizard May 27 at 22:47
What we're doing with my 2 year old right now is probably not really "potty training" per se - we're just taking a real laid back approach, thinking that it will help him not be as stressed by it in the later stages (maybe six months from now, who knows). Potty familiarization, perhaps. My real hope is that at some point the rewards cause him to decide to push on his own... i've heard enough stories about parents whose children told them they were ready to potty train I'd reaaaaaaaaally enjoy that as a change :) –  Joe May 27 at 23:28
Sorry, I shouldn't have edited the question - the answer isn't relevant anymore. –  Shadow Wizard May 30 at 15:46

Should I let my son keep doing it, or try and explain to him that it's not good?

Just let him pee.
He would be probably the first, who ever died (or became sick) after peeing periodically in the bath (assumed,of course, that there is more water than pee in the bath).

share|improve this answer
Don't use an Answer to ask for clarification to a Question -- do that in Comments :) –  Erica May 30 at 1:49
Sorry, I shouldn't have edited the question. –  Shadow Wizard May 30 at 15:46

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.