Bubbles may seem like a great way to help a baby enjoy bath time, but bubble bath may not be the best option for infants. In fact, newborn babies should completely avoid the bathtub until the umbilical cord falls off. Give your newborn simple sponge baths, using lukewarm water and mild cleansers designed for infants. When your baby is ready to start splashing in the tub, continue to use mild soaps and avoid bubble baths and soaps with fragrances, dyes or other chemical additives. An infant's skin has just come out of a carefully controlled environment, so it's not ready to deal with harsh chemicals and other irritants [source: Mayo Clinic].
When choosing any baby bath product -- not just bubble bath -- you should double-check the ingredients. A recent study found that 48 personal care products advertised for children contained formaldehyde and dioxane, suspected carcinogens. In fact, dioxane has been banned in cosmetics by the European Union [source: Boyles]. If you decide to use bubble bath, keep an eye on babies old enough to put things in their mouths. That brightly colored container may be tempting to a curious infant, and even though many bubble baths are nontoxic, poisoning can still occur if too much soap is swallowed [source: Medline Plus].
This doesn't mean you should never indulge in a bubble bath, though -- but it is a good idea to take a look at the ingredient list before you start and to limit the time you spend lounging in the tub. For more information, see the links on the next page.