Is drinking bath water bad for your baby?

My six-month-old son loves to drink bath water – much like his two older sisters did when they were babies…in fact, they still do. I imagine that bath water is pretty high on the yuck-o-metre (wee and dirt doesn’t exactly sound like a Michelin star flavour combination) but kids seem to love it nonetheless.

Is drinking bath water bad for your baby?

I’ve never really worried about the potential health implications of drinking dirt but as my son gulped a mouthful of water just the other day, I wondered if I should be a tad more concerned.

Is bath water bad for you baby?

Paediatrician Tanya Remer Altmann, editor of The Wonder Years: Helping Your Baby and Young Child Successfully Negotiate the Major Developmental Milestones, writing for (, says that she’s never seen a child get sick from drinking bath water. Bearing in mind the fact that kids will spit out anything that tastes truly gross, the amount of soap, dirt and wee that children actually ingest is very little; the worst it could likely do is cause an upset tummy.

Altmann draws attention to the chemicals that might be present in the bathtub as a result of cleaning but says that if the bathtub is well-rinsed there’re probably fewer chemicals in the bath water than in a swimming pool.

If, however, you’re worried about your little water guzzler (perhaps your home is old and there’s lead in the pipes or your babs has had a dodgy tummy in the past after drinking bath water), try and distract him with bath toys. Or maybe just hive him water in a cup – two birds with one stone; teach him to sip and avoid dirty water consumption.

In my mummy experience, my kids haven’t been affected by the bath water they have consumed in their lifetime. Either they’ve built up immunity to it or they’re just lucky. At this stage in the game, I’m not going to ruin their fun.

(But don’t take my word for it! – Visit your GP if you’re worried).

Do your children drink bath water?

Source: – “Is it normal for my baby to drink bathwater?” (