From Sponge Baths to Tub Baths: Step-by-Step Tips

Baby Tubs & Bathtub Baths

It's Tub Time

Once baby's umbilical cord stump has fallen off, he's ready for a bath in his mini tub. At this age, a baby doesn't get very dirty; he only needs a bath a few times a week.

1. Gather your supplies (same as for sponge baths) and fill the tub with a couple inches of warm water -- it should be slightly cooler than your ideal temperature, as baby's skin is more sensitive.
2. Gently lower baby into the tub as you support his head and neck with your arm.
3. Clean his face just like you did when sponge-bathing him.
4. When baby's all clean, dry him while you're still sitting, so you don't have to stand from a kneeling position.
5. Apply lotion once baby's dry -- and breathe deeply.

On to the Big Bath

Once your baby can sit up securely on her own, usually by 6 months, she's ready for the big bathtub. The baby who might have fussed during bath time now doesn't want it to end! Her new, roomier space makes it much easier and more fun to splash.

Big bath safety: By now you're a pro at bathing, but there are some safety concerns to be aware of:

  • Don't turn your back on your baby for even a second -- babies can drown in just a few inches of water.
  • If the phone rings and you must answer it, take her with you wrapped in a towel. Better yet, let the answering machine pick it up.
  • Set your water heater to 120 degrees F. That way, if your baby turns the hot water faucet handle, she won't get scalded.

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