Bathtime is a great way for you and your baby to bond over something fun and relaxing!
Many parents wonder when is the best time to introduce bath toys, well here at YourTot we would recommend as soon as your baby has good head control and can sit unaided which is usually around six months (it is important to note that every baby develops differently). Bath toys are a great way to help your baby reach milestones whilst doing it in a fun way but it is important that you can keep them clean.
Below we guide you through what to look for and how to clean bath toys, to ensure a happy and safe environment for you and your child.
Types Of Bath Toys
There are many types of bath toys out there on the market that range from just a few pounds (silicone toys) to more interactive toys that come with a higher price tag.
It is important to note that you do not need to spend money to find those good quality products. For example in our ‘Best Bath Toys’ article, we have listed fun interactive toys suitable for all budgets.
For newborns and those up to the age of about 6 months, the water sensation alone may be enough stimulation for them. However, as they grow babies love anything colourful and easy to pick up and most likely they will put these in their mouth, therefore you want to ensure that these toys are clean and safe for your baby.
How To Know If Your Baby’s Bath Toy Is Safe?
When purchasing a bath toy, it is important that you purchase these from reputable brands, this is to ensure that these comply with the basic UK safety requirements. These safety requirements can be found in the toy safety directive, which lays out the legal requirements that all toys must comply with to be sold in the EEA.
How To Clean Bath Toys
Once you have your range of bath toys, you will need to ensure that these are kept clean to be safe for your little one to use and play with (roughly cleaning once a week).
Due to the fact that these bath toys are being used in the bath and sitting in water, they will be prone to mould.
Below are our top recommendations to clean your baby’s bath toys.
- Simply pop them into the dishwasher (check the label)
- Use the cold water sterilising method (as shown in the photo)
- White vinegar or apple cider vinegar (2 cups in roughly 5 litres of warm water) leave it to sit overnight and then rinse under cold water in the morning.
Types Of Bath Toys That Are Prone To Mould
Mould within bath toys is very common and all toys that you use in the bath or any type of water will be prone to mould.
From personal use and experience, the toys that we have found are prone to mould and especially mould that is hidden, is the silicone ones (where you squirt e.g. rubber duck) or flexible soft plastic toys that have lots of holes in them.
This is because it isn’t easy to clean the inside after every use and water stays within the toys (even if you do feel you have got it all out).
The best way to tell if your toys need to be cleaned is if you can visibly see the mould on the toy or if you squirt the toy and you see black bits in the water. The black bits that you see in the water is mould, this is from where the water has been laying stagnant in the toy for a long period.
To give you an example of how we checked mould in a rubber cow bath toy, here is a picture of how you can see that there is mould without cutting open the toy (i.e. you can see the black mould at the bottom of the cow)
In the second image, we cut the cow toy open and you can clearly see the mould inside the toy.
We also tried another bath toy (‘rubber duckie’) and in the video below that we posted on our YouTube channel, you can see us cutting into it to show how mould can be hidden.
Although bath toys may look nice and clean from the outside, ensuring they are clean and safe on the inside is the all important part. It is always worth checking and squirting the toys out after every use to get out the last bits of water that may be lingering inside. Whilst you won’t get out all the water, you should be able to get out the majority of it so it doesn’t sit idly in the toy. Following the all important basic hygiene with bath toys and discarding toys that are damaged or broken will ensure a safe and fun environment for your child to play in.