A baby bath isn’t complete without bath toys, but what do you do when an unexpected something floats up to the surface and interferes with bathtime fun?
One of the best ways to bond with your baby is during bathtime. What can be cuter than watching a baby in a bubble bath?
Splashing their cute little stubby hands against the surface of the water, while bringing up a bouquet of bubbles with every upward motion. The laugh and glee on their face when you put bubbles on their heads or make a bubble beard.
Dad pulls out the camera to snap hundreds of pictures to post on Facebook or share in your Google image gallery with family members. The baby, who loves having his picture taken, hams it up for the camera; smiles even bigger and giggles even louder.
Then within a split second, the once joyous face of your baby turns stiff, tense and red. Just when you realize what’s about to happen, it’s too late.
Oh, no boys, we have a floater!
And then, the inevitable happens……
You freak out.
The baby sees your change in temperament and not knowing why he begins to cry.
At this point, you’re too wrapped up in your freak-out session thinking your baby’s gonna get a rampant case of E.Coli that very second. Your hearts racing a mile a minute. You can’t think straight.
You yell at your husband to get out of your face with the camera, as he’s chuckling watching the floater sail around like a cruise ship in the sea of bubbles. Although you’re still yelling; he continues snapping away at the cameras shutter release button.
In one fell swoop, you grab the baby, turn on the shower rinse him off, only to hear him wail even louder as the heavy stream of water hits his fragile body. He’s scared. He only knows of a pool of food colored bubbly water he can frolic in, but now, he’s caught in a rainstorm between mom and dad yelling at each other, with neither one knowing what to do first.
Once the dust has settled and the poop lays still like a lilypad, you’re dumbfounded as to what to do? Okay, you know you have to take the turd out of the bathtub, but with what?
How to clean baby poop in the tub
Here are your options:
- Drain the water out of the tub, hope the poop doesn’t get sucked down the drain, pick it up with toilet paper and flush it away.
- Find something to scoop it up, then flush it down the toilet.
But which do you do?
Remain calm. Getting your freak on, or even yelling at you kid (if they’re a little older and potty trained), can make them fearful of ever taking a bath again, or even pooping.
Think of something you’re fearful of, and odds are that fear probably stemmed from your over paranoid mom. My nephew is afraid of the sand and won’t go to the beach because his mother freaked out when he was 2 and got sand all in his Vans and tracked it into the house.
Step 1: Remove the little doody maker from the tub.
Remove the baby from the bathtub and rinse them off with soap and water either in the kitchen sink, another bathtub, or the shower.
Just remember, everyone poops and everyone has accidents; even adults.
Do not put the baby back in the tub after removing the poop and draining the tub.
Remove all bath toys and put them in a bucket or trash bag. You’ll have to sanitize them later.
Step 2: The poop protocol: Getting the poop out of the tub
Depending on if the poop is firm, loose or liquid is going to determine which protocol you take.
Firm: Remove it before draining the tub. Scoop it up with a fishnet, plastic cup or a plastic take out container you were planning on throwing out, or an empty liquid laundry detergent cap.
Loose or liquid: If there are chunks floating, try to remove as much as you can like you would with a firm poop. If it’s liquid; grab a pair of disposable gloves, pull the drain and set it free.
Bottom line. Remove as much poop as you can even if it’s liquid.
Step 3: Drain the tub
If you don’t have any disposable gloves, you’ll want to grab something else that will help you dislodge the drain. For emergencies, it’s always a good idea to buy a cheap pair of cooking tongs at the dollar store for times like this.
Once the tub has been drained, rinse the tub with hot clean water.
Step 4: Disinfect everything
This particular step is purely optional. Before disinfecting the tub, you can spray it down with your favorite bathroom cleaner. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then rinse with hot water. There’s no need to pull out a cleaning sponge or scrub brush as the bacterial from the poop won’t be able to seep into the porcelain of the bathtub.
If your bathtub has cracks in it; give it a good scrub before disinfecting.
Before I get on with how to sanitize the bathtub, I did want to mention, this is not the time to get all eco-friendly. As wonderful as vinegar or hydrogen peroxide are, they will not kill bacteria such as E.coli.
Although vinegar has antimicrobial properties it’s NOT effective against bacteria like E. coli and staphylococcus. Don’t get me wrong, vinegar is a great bleach alternative for general cleaning. But when you need to actually disinfect something, use household bleach.
Bathtub. Mix a solution of 1 cup of household liquid bleach to a gallon of water. While wearing disposable gloves, use a sponge or rag to apply the bleach mixture to the sides and bottom of the tub. If the poop was liquid and was drained, pay special attention to the drain.
Let the bleach solution sit on the surface for 5 to 10 minutes, then rinse again using hot water.
Bath toys. In a bucket, fill with 1 cup household bleach and 1 gallon of water. If you have more toys, then double the recipe if needed. Place them in the bleach bath and let soak for 5 to 10 minutes, then rinse with hot water.
If the bath toys are the kind with the holes in the bottom, that allows you to suck up and squeeze out water, make sure you squeeze them in the bleach bath first so they’ll get filled with the water. This will ensure not only is the outside sanitized but the inside as well.
With all bath toys or anything that holds water, there’s a slight chance mold can grow in the toys. If you want to avoid that ever happening, just seal it up with either some hot glue or non-toxic plastic safe epoxy.
Since baby’s love to put things in their mouths, you can always run the already sanitized toys in the dishwasher.
Important facts about household bleach
Don’t put straight bleach on your chrome drain, as Bleach is highly corrosive. It can do more damage to your skin than it can do to your bathtub, so always wear rubber gloves when working with household bleach.
Simply pouring undiluted bleach directly onto the bathtub surface may cause the porcelain or other material to become permanently discolored, and may cause pitting or corroding to the chrome stopper and your pipes.
What if the poop gets stuck in the drain?
That’s always a real stinky situation. The best solution would be to remove as much of it as you can and poke the rest of it down the drain using a wooden skewer, a stick, or twig from outside.
You can always use the toilet plunger, but please do that before you sanitize the tub.
Cleaning supplies to always keep on hand in your in case of an emergency poop survival kit.
- Disposable rubber gloves
- Tropical Fish Net to scoop up the poop
- Cheap cooking tongs from the dollar store
- Wooden skewers (optional)
- A bucket or laundry basket from the dollar store, to put all the toys that were in the bathtub
Although no one knows when a baby’s gonna poop, if you can, try to schedule their bathtime after you know they’ve already pooped for the day. If they’re a poop machine and fill that diaper often, you may want to keep track of the times of day they usually poop and schedule your bathing sessions accordingly.
Has this ever happened to you? If so, did you freak out or remain calm? Share in a comment below.