Bath Time Tips
Don't fill the tub more than a few inches deep.
Put your razor and other sharp items well out of reach.
Gather all your supplies before you put your baby in the tub.
Keep soap and water out of his eyes with goggles or a plastic visor.
In a pinch, a set of plastic measuring cups, a plastic strainer, or even an empty shampoo bottle can stand in for toys.
Fold the bath mat in half or in thirds to cushion your knees; a folded towel on the edge of the tub will keep your elbows comfy.
Keep an old t-shirt or apron in the bathroom to put on during bath-time: You're sure to get doused!

Essentials for Bath Time Fun

C'mon in, the water's fine! Once your baby is sitting up well on his own you can dispense with his infant tub and bathe him in the big tub. You're both going to love this change--less hassle for you, way more fun for him: He'll feel like he's got an entire swimming pool all to himself. Here's what you'll need to keep him safe and happy:

These can be two separate products, or a head-to-toe body wash (which gets points for convenience, and makes most sense if your baby's still a baldy). Whichever you choose, go for a mild formula that promises no tears; unscented is best for especially sensitive skin. Older babies and toddlers will enjoy just-for-kids products that smell yummy (like watermelon and bubblegum), come in cute bottles, or are foamy.
We've never met a baby who didn't love to play in a tub full of bubbles. Since he'll be soaking in the stuff, you might want a bubble bath that's unscented and says "gentle formula" or "for sensitive skin" on the label. (Another way to make bubbles part of bath time fun: Keep a bottle of the ones you blow in the bathroom.
Sure, a regular washcloth-and-towel set will get your baby just as clean and dry as one made for kids--but it won't be as enticing. You can find adorable towels for tots that have hoods with animal ears, for example, or embroidered kid favorites like fairies and firetrucks. Ditto washcloths: Some slip over your hand and look like terry cloth puppets. What baby wouldn't agree to let a cute little puppy bathe his belly?
Most likely the tub's sharp-edged tap will be right about eye level for your baby. A cover that fits tightly over it will keep his head safe from bumps. These can be foam, plastic, inflatable, and even fun: Many resemble cute animals and other creatures; some dispense bubbles.
Setting the water temperature so it's not too hot, not too cold can be tricky. You can make sure it's just right--between 90 and 100 degrees F--with a gadget that will gauge the temp for you. There are all sorts of options--from bath toys that change color when the water's too hot to floating thermometers.
Now for the fun stuff! Playthings for the tub have come a long way since the first rubber ducky was, uh, hatched. Look for toys that will satisfy your baby's need to experiment (just watch out for small parts that could come off and make their way into his mouth:
  • cups and other containers that he can fill with water and pour from, or have sieves for creating mini-rainfalls;
  • boats and sea creatures that really float
  • terry cloth hand puppets
  • shapes, letters, and numbers that stick to the side of the tub or the tiled wall
  • waterproof dolls for cuddling and bathing
  • crayons and finger paints that are made for the tub (they wash right off when bath time is over)
  • toys that squirt water (these can get moldy inside, so be sure to squeeze out as much water as you can and let them air dry between baths)
  • plastic cups and saucers for aquatic tea parties (once your child is old enough to understand he shouldn't actually drink the water!)
  • toys that include nets and balls or other small toys for scooping out of the water (great for developing hand-eye coordination)
The objective here is to get the bath toys out of the way when it's a grown-up's turn in the tub, and to make sure they dry out thoroughly. Mesh bags or plastic containers with holes are ideal. Many of the ones designed specifically for tub toys attach to the bathroom tile.
Lastly, we highly recommend letting bath time last as long as you can manage. A naked baby splashing gleefully in the tub is tough to beat.