For months, you've been able to use your baby's infant tub to bathe them, propping it up in the sink, and taking bath time one step at a time. But the infant tub won't last you forever. As your baby grows, and begins to have more and more control over their own body, you begin to realize that this phase of your life is coming to an end. But when should you transition your baby to a bath tub?
According to Parents, babies are ready for the big bath tub when they can sit up on their own. Transitioning them to the bathtub before they can sit up on their own can prove to be overwhelming for both you and your baby, and can create an aversion to bath time in the long run. Babies can usually sit up on their own around six months, but depending on your child's individual growth and ability, you may want to start a little earlier, or, wait a bit longer until you feel your child is ready.
Though the transition itself can prove to be overwhelming — after all, you're going from a pint-sized tub to the large expanse of a bathtub — there are several tips you can use to make the process easier on both you and your baby. Because it can be overwhelming to go from the infant tub to the bath tub without a transition, Parenting recommends using your infant tub in the bath tub, so that your baby can adjust to the new surroundings while still in the comfortable confines of their familiar infant tub. According to Baby Center, you can also use a bath seat to help transition from one bathing technique to the next, to prevent your baby from attempting to lay down in the water, or roam around the tub.
When you do make the transition from the infant tub to the bath tub, it's important to keep in mind that your baby will have more access to everything around them than they did while in the comfortable confines of their infant tub. For this reason, Kate Kelly from American Baby magazine recommends setting your water temperature at 120 degrees fahrenheit, so your baby's tender hands won't be scalded if they make a reach for the faucet. Parenting also recommends using only a few inches of water when beginning your baby's transition into the bath tub. As your baby becomes more comfortable with the idea of the bath tub, and gains more control over their body in the bath tub, you can begin adding a bit more water to each bath.
What To Expect also recommends using a skid-free bath mat to prevent your baby from getting too slippery in the bath tub. Having all of your supplies on hand, and never taking your eye off of your child will also help prevent any unexpected slips, splashes, or falls in the tub. Parenting also recommends running the bath before you bring your baby into the bathroom, as the sound of the running tub can be disconcerting for a baby who's never encountered it before. By keeping all of these things in mind, you'll make the transition from the infant tub to the bath tub much easier on both you and your baby, making it a bonding time that both of you look forward to.