Big Tub for Baby
By now, Baby is probably too big for the infant tub, but wet baby bodies are slippery, and placing a baby directly in the tub may be frightening for parents. You may want to use a bath seat, a small seat with suction cups on the bottom that attaches to the floor of tub, especially now that Baby enjoys sitting. Often these seats swivel and have seat belts and toy bars. They offer a helpful way to introduce Baby to the big tub.
Additionally, there are devices on the market designed to minimize drowning risks; these items help maintain shallower bathing depths while recirculating clean bath water at a temperature comfortable for your baby.
Just remember, whether Baby is in an infant tub, a seat, sitting on her own in the tub, or even in a tub with a shallow-water device, you should never turn away from your child in the tub—not even for a second. It takes very little time and very little water for disaster. Enough said.
Another fun way to handle bath time with your child is to join her in the tub. She will feel secure with you right there, and you can both relax and enjoy the water (and the bath toys!).
Bath time is a great opportunity to connect with Baby after a long day. Test the water with your elbow, a part of your anatomy that is more sensitive to temperature than your hands. Have your supplies ready: towel, washcloth, cleanser, shampoo, and anything else you need. Take Baby out of the water carefully and quickly cover her in a fluffy towel and dry off. Often, it is not the water that bothers babies who don't seem to like the bath, but being wet and cold.
There are, of course, great toys for the bath, ones that squirt water or soft sponges in the shapes of animals. Plastic cups for baby to stack, fill with water, and pour are winners. And no baby's bath is complete without a rubber ducky.
Sometime between month six and 12, your baby may show the first signs of being wary of strangers. She can now clearly distinguish between people she knows and people she doesn't. It is a normal phase and affects children in varying degrees.
You play a very important role in helping her deal with strangers. First, you never have to apologize to anyone for her reactions. Her response is not an indicator of insecurity or a reflection of your parenting skills. Instead, talk to your baby about the stranger: "This is your Uncle Peter. He has heard a lot about you. He looks very happy to meet you." Your baby will accept the stranger must faster if she can feel your own acceptance. If you like this person, then maybe he is safe.
From the safety of your arms, Baby will watch the stranger's face and listen to the tone of the conversation between you and the mysterious, new person. Give her the space to become more comfortable. If your baby is more sensitive to strangers, it may not be a good idea to hand her over to the new person to be held. In time, she will warm up and engage the stranger in her own individual way. (Click here to see other social and emotional milestones in Baby's first year.)