"I have a 2 year old and an 8 month old and so have dealt with this issue recently. The best thing I did the second time around was to put the baby tub in the big tub for a few times before giving it up for good. I knew it was time to transition when my son started trying to sit up and was kicking and splashing the water all over me," says Maria Smith, principal publicist for Maria Rose PR, and Atlanta stay-at-home moms examiner for Examiner.com.
Mom Maggie Ruch of Virtual Assistant Services (assistspeakers.com) also put the smaller tub into the bigger tub. "She acclimated well. She was already used to the smaller tub and loves the water," says Maggie.
Some parents make the switch to the big tub more comfortable by either bathing with their baby for some time or having Baby bathe with an older sibling. This can take the fear of the big tub by making it a more nurturing and safe-feeling environment.
Sidney Clifton started her young children in baby seats beside the tub while she bathed, which got them acclimated to the environment as a happy, safe place, she says. When it was time to move them to the big tub, she just brought them in the tub with her. "Once they outgrew the basin, we took baths together for the first month or so (frankly, my 2-1/2- and 7-year-old daughters and I sometimes still bathe together -- though my sons and I stopped after the first couple of months) until they were old enough to sit unassisted. The addition of bubbles only served to make them want to stay in the tub for hours (which they couldn't do, of course)," says Sidney.
Another option is to give your baby an interim step. Instead of going straight from the baby bath to the big tub, try a bath ring (which is really a seat similar to a high chair that is for the bath).
"When they could sit up by themselves, I used a bath seat. It was a bit like a saucer for the tub: A flat platform with a solid ring about chest height, supported by three legs attached to the platform. The bottom had suction cups to secure the seat to the bottom of the tub. It provided them with some measure of freedom, yet they were supported and more secure," says Sandy Staetker of PRiority Public Relations.
Ultimately, the key is to make Baby feel secure in the much bigger tub, which can seem huge to a little body. "Get into the tub and have someone hand you the child so that you can completely support the child with your arms," suggests parenting coach Aricia LaFrance of dynamicfamilycoachingsolutions.com.
Another good tool for when Baby is in the big tub is a non-stick bath mat, which will help keep the tub from getting slippery under her little body.
Tell us: Share your best tips for easing baby into the big tub. Comment below!
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