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Yes. "Many parents say their baby is interested in drinking bathwater," says pediatrician Tanya Remer Altmann, editor of The Wonder Years: Helping Your Baby and Young Child Successfully Negotiate the Major Developmental Milestones.
Altmann recommends discouraging this behavior, but says you don't need to be too concerned about it.
"I've never seen a child get sick from drinking bathwater — even though kids pee in the tub all the time," she says.
Drinking soapy water could cause an upset tummy and, if your child drank enough of it, could make him throw up. But this is pretty unlikely since most kids spit water out if it has that unpleasant soapy taste. And the amount of soap your child would actually ingest is pretty small considering how much water it's diluted with in a typical bathtub.
Even if you've recently cleaned the tub with bleach or another cleanser, bathwater doesn't pose a threat.
"The amount [of chemicals] used to clean a tub — which is usually rinsed well afterward and then filled with water — is less potent than in swimming pool water. So a few sips would be unlikely to cause harm," Altmann says.
Still, for some it's probably best not to let your child guzzle water from the tap on the tub. If you live in an old home, lead from your plumbing can leach into the water. Water from a hot tap is likely to contain higher levels of lead than water from a cold tap, too. (No amount of lead is safe to drink.)
To distract your child from his bathwater cocktail, offer up lots of bath toys. Funnels and strainers are a great way to play with water while leaving little opportunity to actually drink it.
Or make lemons into lemonade by using bath time as an opportunity to teach your child a new skill. "The bath can be the ideal place to teach your child to drink from a regular cup," says Altmann.
Offer up filtered or cold water from the sink faucet and let your child practice sipping from something unbreakable. If he dribbles, it's one place where it really doesn't matter.
Get tips on bath safety, find out when you can introduce your child to a regular cup, and see what moms say about toddlers drinking bathwater.