It is known that the optimal temperature for newborns is about the human body temperature, 36-38C. Most adults would find this bath water temperature too warm.

However, what is the case in the indermediate regime?

For example, given as 10 month old baby. What is the optimal bath water temperature for (s)he?

My google sources say equivocally 36-38C for babies, but they are silent for larger babies (small children).

I think, the ideal temperature would decrease as the baby (children) grows, and also it becomes lesser important, as his(her) temperature control develops, but unfortunately I could not find any data anywhere.

2 Answers 2


I could not find any research-based recommendations for children of this age group.

But I can answer a part of your question. At least one source is not consistent with your hypothesis that the ideal bath temperature would decrease as the baby grows. For a broad age group (including adults and not restricted to children) it is actually higher (40-42.5°C, see Haghayegh et al, 2019) than the one you list for babies (36-38°C). This study was limited to the effects of warm/hot bath/shower on sleep. What this means is that at some point in life, we can tolerate much higher bedtime bath/shower temperature, and it may even be optimal for sleep. This study does not mean that such relatively high temperature is recommended for 10-month-old infants.

Additionally, The Royal Children's Hospital recommends 37-38°C for "a child's bath", not specifying the age range. It further specifies that it should be "comfortably warm" to touch. No scientific research is cited, though.


Water-based passive body heating (PBHWB) as a warm shower or bath before bedtime is often recommended as a simple means of improving sleep. ... PBHWB of 40–42.5 °C was associated with both improved self-rated sleep quality and [sleep efficiency], and when scheduled 1–2 h before bedtime for little as 10 min significant shortening of [sleep onset latency].

Haghayegh S, Khoshnevis S, Smolensky MH, Diller KR, Castriotta RJ. Before-bedtime passive body heating by warm shower or bath to improve sleep: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sleep Med Rev. 2019;46:124-135. doi:10.1016/j.smrv.2019.04.008: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1087079218301552

Bath time safety

Young children have very sensitive skin, which means that hot water can scald them very quickly. A safe temperature for a child’s bath is between 37°C and 38°C (or about 36°C for a newborn).

Check the water temperature with your wrist or elbow – it should be comfortably warm, not hot. You might even want to get a water thermometer.

The Royal Children's Hospital Community Information in consultation with Life Saving Victoria. Melbourne, Australia. Reviewed October 2018: https://www.rch.org.au/kidsinfo/fact_sheets/Safety_Bath_time/#preventing-burns-and-scalds

  • 1
    42.5C is almost intolerably hot for anyone who hasn't slowly acquired a tolerance, though. It's hot enough to make any child scream. I don't object to the idea that it may have health benefits, but that's a different discussion to what's comfortable.
    – user36162
    Commented Sep 5, 2020 at 19:24
  • @dxh Thank you for the suggestion, I improved the wording and added context to the citation. Commented Sep 5, 2020 at 19:33

I don't think we need to make this issue so technical. Can you imagine researching the ideal temperature for human adults to shower in? or seriously would you ever apply it? We need to use common sense here. If the weather is hot I usually keep the bath water slightly cooler for my kids. If it's winter I'll turn the bathroom heater on and make sure the water feels warm enough. Don't bother measuring the temperature anymore but when I did I noticed my toddler liked her bath water around 36-37 in colder months.

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