First it was sponge baths, and then you started bathing baby in a specially designed infant tub or maybe even in the sink. He’s getting a little bigger now and you’re wondering: when will it be time to move your baby to a bath in the big tub?
Once your baby can sit up on his own – typically around 6 months – he’s ready for the big bathtub. Here are some tips to make this bath-time transition a little smoother:
- Make sure the bathroom is nice and warm.
- Fill the tub with only a couple inches of water.
- Have some fun toys for baby to play with. Bath time can be a splashing, fun time – and playing around with water may be a completely new experience for baby.
- Have all of the bathing supplies – soap, washcloth, towel – handy. If you forget something, take baby out of the tub while you get it. Don’t turn your back on baby once he’s in the water.
- Use a non-skid mat under baby to keep his slippery bottom from sliding around in the tub.
- A baby’s bath water should be around 100 degrees F (38 degrees C). Test the water with your elbow or wrist before setting baby in or invest in a floating thermometer made just for this purpose. Be sure your hot water heater is set low enough to prevent scalding should the water be inadvertently turned on when baby is near the tap.
Never leave your baby unattended around water – even just for a second. Babies can drown even in just an inch of water. If the phone rings or your attention is needed elsewhere when baby is in the tub, wrap baby in a towel and take him with you, then return to the bath when you’re done.
Keep in mind moving from a comfy, tight tub to a big, open tub can be scary for some babies. Sometimes putting the infant tub inside the big tub the first few times can make this transition easier for baby.
If you don’t have a tub? No problem. Most babies (and toddlers) will happily play at your feet in the shower, and you can easily give them a quick washing before you both get out. Be sure to put a non-slip mat at the bottom of the shower though, so baby doesn’t slip around (and hurt himself). Some parents buy an old-fashioned steel washtub, a large plastic bin or a small inflatable bathtub if they live in a home with only a shower.
Written by Michelle, childbirth instructor, lactation consultant, and mother to 4 busy kids
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.