When your child outgrows the baby tub, you’ll have to buy a new one or switch to the conventional bath. If you’re considering the latter, you must be thinking of the signs that your baby is ready for the change.
You can leave the baby tub era behind and shift to the regular bathtub when your baby starts to sit up within 6 to 8 months. However, they will still need some support. You will need time and effort to transition them to the big bath.
Is your baby ready for the switch? Is it normal if they still can’t sit up within this time? How do you bathe them in a regular tub? You might be wondering about these questions, so let’s move on to the next to figure them out!
At What Month Can Babies Switch to a Regular Tub?
Transitioning your baby to a standard tub may take some time. You cannot make the switch if they don’t have some control, especially over their upper bodies.
Babies need time to learn how to balance their bodies and reach a sitting position before using the big tub. This starts by trying to lift their head and neck while lying flat on their stomach. Next is raising their chest and then trying out new positions using their trunk.
These usually happen around four months, and they may need some of your help. This phase also involves strengthening their muscles by trying new positions.
You can try using a regular tub to bathe your baby when they’re already six months old. But if they still can’t, don’t fret; most babies can sit right up by eight months. During this period, they will still need some support.
Babies will need more practice after that to be able to sit independently. They develop at different paces, so the baby may learn some skills quickly or take a little longer. They will get there after some time with more practice!
How Do I Prepare For the Bath Transition?
If you have used a baby bath before, you can tell that the bathing process was much more manageable. Moving to adult tubs will get tricky as you and your baby will make some adjustments.
Shifting to a Regular Tub
Before getting into the bath, prepare first all the essentials at your reach so that you won’t leave your child unattended, especially if you’re giving the bath alone. You may use a bath caddy or a stool near you to place all the necessities.
The first thing you can try upon transitioning is to place your baby directly into the tub. Set a towel or non-slip mat underneath your baby, and try to let them sit while supporting their head and back. You can stay like this for a few minutes to get them accustomed to their surrounding.
If you’re having difficulty keeping them upright, then you can try three things:
- You can ask for another set of hands to help you. It will also make scrubbing easier since you can use both hands, but it would eventually become impractical to always have two people around during bath time.
- Try joining them inside the bath. Sit down and place your baby between your legs with their back against you. This way, supporting them would become more accessible since they would be closer to you. However, you’ll also become wet.
- Grab the baby tub and place it in the large tub. This method is more manageable and similar before the transition, but only in a bathroom setting. It also works if you’re still intimidated by placing them directly on the adult tub and when your baby gets panicky with a large space.
Placing your baby for the first time in an enormous bath might surprise them with the change of environment, so it’s better to be gradual with the process.
Bathing In a Regular Tub
When your baby is now comfortable sitting in a regular tub, you can start turning on the water slowly. Ensure that the water is warm to prevent any burns. You can also splash some water on your baby’s feet to test how they would react to the water temperature.
Keep the water level preferably in line with the belly button to start. Then you can gradually increase it to waist level for the following baths.
It is vital to provide touch supervision during the whole duration of the bath. You should always be attentive and keep an eye and hand close to your child. Babies quickly lose balance, especially when they are moving so much or enjoying the water around them.
After the bath, dry your baby immediately with a towel to keep them from getting cold or wrap them in a bathrobe. You can lather some fragrance-free baby lotion to dry areas to complete the bathing experience. Nothing beats a fresh baby bath after some play time or before bedtime!
For further details, you can also view the following video:
How to Have a Better Baby Bath Experience
You can do some things to make baby baths more enjoyable and stress-free. Bathing is a bonding time between you and your baby, so make it memorable.
Babies’ skin is delicate; that’s why there are products made specifically for them. Using adult products may irritate their skin as it contains harsh additives that cause baby skin to dry faster.
Only use mild baby soaps that are tear-free. These products will keep the moisture in their skin, and a tear-free wash prevents eye irritation when the product accidentally gets into the baby’s eyes.
Add Bath Toys
To make your baby more at ease, you can bring plastic bath toys that are toxic-free. Ensure it gets cleaned before and after use to prevent molds and microbial growth.
Mind Your Comfort Too
Getting inside the tub with your baby every bath time may be a struggle if you also don’t want to get wet. You can opt to use bath kneelers to protect your knees or stools if you prefer to stay outside the tub.
When bathing, start washing their head down to their feet and focus on their baby rolls which trap bacteria and other dirt. Their hands and feet are also important as they tend to suck on them.
You should wash babies aged 6 to 12 months once or twice weekly to avoid rashes and irritations. But if they get messier more often, you can give them a sponge bath.
All of this information will help you in your bathing transition journey. It might be challenging at first, but once you get used to it, your baby will also start learning to bathe on their own.
Developing your baby’s motor skills is essential before making any significant changes, including using the adult tub. You should be patient and encouraging if it’s taking your baby a while to learn and adjust.
If you are now confident, give regular tubs a shot for your baby!