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Transitioning Your Baby to the Bathtub for Bath Time

Remember your baby’s first bath? Does it feel like it was just yesterday, or a million years ago? Like most parents, you probably started with baby bathing in the sink, and most likely in a baby bathtub. But at some point, every baby outgrows the sink and it’s time to transition to bathing in a real bathtub. But it can be a big adjustment, as your baby is no longer contained and you have to adapt to keeping him safe and comfortable in a much bigger space. Here are some tips to make the transition go smoothly.

Keep it contained

Some babies move to the bathtub because they have outgrown the baby tub, but more often, it is because they are becoming too active to continue bathing in the sink. My 6-month-old started to become fascinated with the shiny hot water knob and I knew it was time to move on. But, he’s just beginning to sit up unsupported – he’s not really ready to sit up in the big tub all by himself, so I knew I had to keep him contained.

My solution was to purchase a plastic laundry basket with lots of holes in the sides. I also purchased one of those non-skid mats that use suction cups to attach to the tub. I cut it to fit the bottom of the inside of the laundry basket and attached it down. Now, for bath time, I put the basket in the middle of the bathtub and the baby in the basket. He’s contained, and has support so he can sit up while I wash him, but it’s still big enough that I can clean all of him and he can begin to play with all of the fun bath toys that he has.

Make it comfortable

I think I stretched out the era of sink baths because it’s just so nice to not have to kneel and crouch over the tub. But there are ways to make it a little more comfortable.

First, take the pressure off your knees. There are plenty of kneeling mats on the market that are specifically designed to be cute bath time accessories. Of, if you don’t want to add any more expense, a rolled up bath towel works just as well!

Speaking of bath towels, keeping baby’s towel and other bath time accessories close by had relieve a lot of stress and the need to lean away from baby while in the bath. We added a second towel rack that is easily accessible while next to the tub so that I don’t even have to leave him in the tub for a second to get what I need.

Keep it safe

Of course, everyone tells you to never leave a baby alone in the bathtub, even for a second. But there are other things to think of when you are planning bath time safety.

I hate the guesswork of setting the right temperature to fill the tub. There are plenty of gadgets that can help you to get it just right. There are bathmats that have a feature where they change colors when the water is too hot. There are also spout covers that contain a digital thermometer that ensures that the water entering the tub is just the right temperature.

If the bathtub is going to be a shared space, make sure there are no adult shower accessories that baby could get his hands on, such as a razor. But, bath time is a great time to stimulate your baby to play, so stock up with lots of baby-friendly bath toys. Just be sure to get a basket or other container to collect them in so they don’t become a hazard for other shower users as well.

When bath time is safe and comfortable, it can be a fun time for everyone! Good luck on making the transition!