Baby baths are cute and convenient early on, but sooner or later, your baby will look beyond the walls of her plastic tub with the gaze of a fishing boat captain and wonder what uncharted waters await beyond. That, or your baby will outgrow her fun-size bath spot. Either way, at some point you’ll need to start washing your baby in a regular bathtub. And when that time comes, you can make the transition easier for you both by sticking to these baby-centric traditions for the high seas.
Many parents start the baby-bath-to-big-tub switch once their babies are able to sit independently for short periods of time, which might happen around 7 months after birth. But since there’s so much space in a grown-up tub, even the parents of strong sitters sometimes add a baby bath seat to the tub floor. Not only will a bath seat offer your baby plenty of support, it will also keep her from laying down or crawling around in the tub.
Baby bath time needs to be supervised at all times, especially when the bathtub itself is designed for adults. Big tubs present some potential hazards such as water level, and on-demand water that can range from icy to scalding. For your baby’s first big-time baths, fill up the tub with no more than 1 to 2 inches of lukewarm water, as any more could frighten her or shock her off-balance from her seated position. And if the temperature is too hot to the touch for you, there's' a good chance it is for your baby's more sensitive skin, too.
By the time your baby has comfortably settled into the big tub, you can keep the cleaning routine simple and safe by using only tear-free soaps and shampoos that are specifically designed for infants. This way, when she splashes some bath water around the tub, the odds of getting irritating soap residue in her eyes will be comfortably low.