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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.

Edit: over two years later, my son still urinate in the bath - however this time intentionally, and every day. The tips in the current answers were useful, but over time had less effect. The advice in this answer and this comment say it's fine and I tend to accept it, but would like to hear more opinions.

My son is not yet potty trained and we did not start potty training him, since he is not yet asking to use potty or toilets, and is not telling when he's making a pee (or more) - the only "exception" is the bath, and it's quite recent - started couple of weeks ago, out of the blue, and guess that me laughing didn't really help discouraging him. :)

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

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I don't see an actual problem. Is he drinking the bath water? Even then, it's probably so diluted that it wouldn't be harmful. What I'm saying is that the solution is to do nothing and not worry. –  Dave Clarke Feb 14 '13 at 15:20
    
@Dave thanks that's was my initial impression as well. The water does not reach his mouth, it's just the idea that he bathe in his own pee that I find unpleasant. –  Shadow Wizard Feb 14 '13 at 15:22
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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
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As others have stated, a little pee in the bath is hardly a problem. You'll soon have the opportunity to experience a much bigger and browner problem in the tub. As they say, "**it happens", and it's not a big deal. –  Peter Feb 25 '13 at 21:50
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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

4 Answers 4

As you mentioned, it is the temperature change.

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.

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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.

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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

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.

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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.

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