We currently bathe our 16-week old daughter in a plastic infant tub that fits into our kitchen sink, but we'd like to switch to washing her in our full sized tub. We've heard that other people do this, but we can't figure out how to wash an infant that can't sit up on her own in the tub. Should we buy one of those bath seats? We'd prefer not to do that, because we're very space-limited in our townhouse (terraced house, I think is what the Brits call it) and we don't really have a place to store it.

asked 22 Nov '09, 21:07

Scottie%20T's gravatar image

Scottie T
accept rate: 15%

Before we were comfortable that our daughter could reliably sit up, we just both bathed her together. One person watched or held her, the other bathed her. We thought the biggest problem would be her falling backwards, but the only time we had an incident was when she went to reach for something forwards. Her legs went out behind her and she fell forward.


answered 23 Nov '09, 00:25

Scott's gravatar image

Scott ♦♦
accept rate: 10%

It does work out really well to have 2 parents there to bathe the baby. :)

(24 Nov '09, 06:47) Sabrina

This is what we have done so far. Seems to working really well; our son loves bathtime.

(25 Nov '09, 15:39) Matthew Jones

What about getting in the tub with her? You will need to have a tolerance for cooler water though!

Or, you could try one of those Bath Rings.

Personally, I bathed my little ones in directly in the kitchen sink until they could sit up reliably by themselves. It was much easier on the back than having to lean into the bathtub to keep a hand on them.


answered 22 Nov '09, 21:22

Kate's gravatar image

accept rate: 20%

It is very awkward to take a bath with an infant. I think you have to be quite a bit older than 16 weeks to fit into that bath ring.

(24 Nov '09, 06:34) Sabrina

@Sabrina: If you sit in the bathtub with the infant in between your legs (like how you might sit on the floor) it is pretty straightforward as you can wrap one arm around and bathe with the other. Also, re: bath rings - it really depends on how big & strong the infant is... at 4 months, some are still floppy, but some can sit up with assistance. Anyway, it was just a suggestion. Nothing beats the kitchen sink if you ask me!

(24 Nov '09, 16:00) Kate

We tried bathing our baby in the bath with us one time. Did you bathe with your babies on a regular basis? It just didn't seem very practical to me. It was a lot of effort on 2 parents part as 1 parent has to get wet, dry off, etc. I can't imagine doing it on a regular basis. I know it was a suggestion, I was just saying it didn't work well for us, hope you're not ofended by my downvote. I guess I should have said it was not ideal instead of "awkward." Because I didn't mean awkward in the sense of holding/bathing the baby. Also our babies were still really floppy at 4 months too. :)

(24 Nov '09, 21:43) Sabrina

Gotcha - no worries! And yes, I thought you were referring to positioning.

I didn't bathe my kids with me very much, because I got sooo cold sitting in 3" of lukewarm water (brr!) Once we started using the kitchen sink, we never went back to the tub until they were older.

(24 Nov '09, 23:21) Kate

We bathed both of our daughter in the bath tub with a the seat that came with out infant tub Our bathroom was too small to use the infant tub so we used it.


this is the one we had.


answered 22 Nov '09, 21:21

Mary's gravatar image

accept rate: 10%

We were given a baby bath when my daughter was born, we used that for a while, it was one of the first things I was happy to give away because of the space that it took up, as we too, did not have room to store it.

Our bath tub was deep so it was hard on my back to use the baby bath, and I did not want to wash her anywhere other than the bathroom. I tried bathing with her in my arms and it was much easier than I thought. ( I would recommend that you do it with the support of your partner and not alone )

The quote below from Natural Birth and Baby Care explains quite well how to bath with your baby, and regardless of the title, I would personally say that there is no reason why Daddy can't bathe with the baby too.

In the Tub with Mama

If you choose to bathe your baby in the bathtub there are a couple of ways you can do it. One is to get a baby bath seat and let your baby recline while you bathe him with soap and warm water.

You can also get in the tub with your baby. This is a relaxing, special time for both you and your baby. Fill the tub to your hips or just a little higher, testing the water to make sure it's comfortable at a tepid temperature.

It's helpful if you have someone to hold the baby while you get in the tub, especially in the early weeks. If you don't have help let your baby lie on a towel while you climb in, then lean over and lift him into the tub with you.

Your body makes a natural seat for your baby and you can find many positions to hold him in. It becomes more of an adventure as she gets older! You can also nurse your baby while she's in the tub with you. This is especially helpful if she's unsure about the bath. Fussy babies may be calmed by a bath with mama, and it's often relaxing for you too!

Again, natural cleansers are best for your baby. His warm, wet skin absorbs a lot of what you put onto it. If your baby is very sensitive to washing or doesn't seem to like bath time, you can gently wash the skin as your baby nurses in the tub with you.

Once you climb out of the tub wrap your baby in a towel or place her on your body and wrap a towel around both of you. I've always liked using hooded bath towels, which seem to be pretty standard baby gifts! You might want want to use a gentle lotion on your baby's skin, or you can use a thin layer of almond oil or olive oil to moisturize.


answered 22 Nov '09, 21:34

Emi's gravatar image

accept rate: 19%

I found it was really awkward to take a shower or a bath with my baby.

(24 Nov '09, 06:45) Sabrina

@Sabrina I didn't say showering , I said bathing in the bath :)

(24 Nov '09, 06:57) Emi

I bought the baby tub that had the sling and a "shower" attachment. I got tired or the tub so I started using just the sling and she loved it. It was great because it was a fabric that water could get through so it was easy to wash her hair, since she had a TON of it. I'd go with a sling. This is the updated version of my tub don't buy the tub but the sling was great!


answered 24 Nov '09, 02:10

Lisa%20C's gravatar image

Lisa C
accept rate: 0%

We also bought that tub and really never did use the shower portion. I agree that the sling is useful, we couldn't use it with the tub for very long as our daughter was quickly too tall.

(24 Nov '09, 02:33) Tammy ♦♦

The shower attachment sucked because the hose kept kinking. Her hair was (and still is) very long and thick it was great to be able to wash it that way.

(24 Nov '09, 20:28) Lisa C

It is very easy to bathe your baby in a tub with no need of a bulky bath seat...especially if your baby likes to float. We bathed our son in a full size bath tub since he was an infant. They pretty much float if you fill up the tub 1/2 way and hold the back of their neck. As they get older you can still easily support their back/neck with one hand and wash them with the other hand.

Another option is to use a large bath sponge that we bought for $6.00. They can lay flat on this and it holds their head up with the taller part of the sponge it was also handy as they were older and wanted to sit up so that they did not slip around on the bottom of the tub. (easy to fold & store in a small area) You could also use a small hand towel if you didn't want to buy a sponge.


answered 24 Nov '09, 06:44

Sabrina's gravatar image

accept rate: 21%

I do like your answer but just feel that new/first time parents may not find it very easy to bath their babies in a full size bath tub to begin with, even though babies generally float.

(24 Nov '09, 08:11) Emi

I was just suggesting this because they said in their question, "we'd like to switch to washing her in our full sized tub. We've heard that other people do this, but we can't figure out how."

(24 Nov '09, 21:28) Sabrina

Yes of course you are totally right, (I hope that my comment did not seem otherwise, I just wanted to point out that when its the first time around as a parent, things may not tend to be very easy)

(24 Nov '09, 23:40) Emi

I wouldn't recommend one of those bath seats. We tried bathing our baby in the full-sized tub using a bath seats and it was terrifying! Our little guy was just starting to be able to roll from his back onto his side and kept trying to roll out of the bath seat and into the bath tub. I also found it very awkward to lean over in into the tub while trying to wash the baby. Instead we bought a very large plastic infant tub. The Primo Euro Bath tub (http://www.amazon.com/Primo-340W-PRIMO-EuroBath-Pearl/dp/B000056OV0/ref=pd_sim_ba_3) is molded to fit the shape of a baby and to keep the baby from rolling or slipping under the water. It can also accommodate older babies who want to sit up on their own.

Also, we live in a very small apartment and have very limited storage space, as well. So, we put a small hook on the bathroom wall and hang the plastic tub on it to keep it out of the way.


answered 25 Nov '09, 05:51

cat_g's gravatar image

accept rate: 25%

My baby hated her baby bath and screamed every time we used it so we started bathing her in the big tub with a towel on the bottom of the tub for her to lie on. I made sure that the water was just below the level of where it would enter her ears when she was lying down (this included having the towel folded under her head so it was slightly elevated). She enjoyed the freedom of being able to move in the big tub and when she started moving enough to move off the towel we stopped putting the towel under her.


answered 03 Dec '09, 03:57

nikjoyce's gravatar image

accept rate: 11%

We kept washing our kids in the baby tub (starting with the sling), but usually put it on the floor in the living room after filling it at the sink. Once they were active in the tub we just moved to the regular bath tub. You're right, it is a pain to store it.

The problem with the regular tub is that there is no real arm support or anything formed to their bodies, so even if they can sit up, you have to actually hold them pretty much the whole time, since they will slip around and squirm. But at the age of not being able to sit up, they don't tend to want to stay in the tub and play forever, so it's easy enough.

I think the easiest thing for posture/comfort is to take the bath (or shower) with them, except it takes a lot longer, so it's only good if one of you has an evening bath/shower routine. The hard part there is getting both of you clean and out - we wash the baby first and do a handoff - that seems easiest when we do the shared bath, which isn't often.

For the first baby, we did have a seat which the baby could sit upright in which attached to the wall of the regular tub - but I can't remember if we ever used it and I'm not sure what happened to it in the end.

For the second, we just moved him into the bath with the older one as soon as he started to jump out of the infant bath...


answered 24 Nov '09, 04:03

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Cade Roux
accept rate: 0%

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Asked: 22 Nov '09, 21:07

Seen: 14,961 times

Last updated: 03 Dec '09, 03:57