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When your little one starts to move around, it's time to rethink bath time to make sure it is both safe and fun
Use your own bath
Your baby may learn to sit up without support at four to seven months and will soon outgrow their infant bath. Ease them into a new routine by placing them in the main bath.
Help them stay upright
Always use a nonslip bathmat. You may want to use a sit-up bath seat for extra support. This has suction pads to secure it to the base of the bath, a support that goes through your baby's legs and a plastic ring that goes round the waist.
Run the water before putting your baby in. Use the cold water first, then add hot, swirling it round with your hands to get rid of any hot spots. Make sure the water only comes up to your baby's waist, and test the temperature with your elbow or a bath thermometer (it should be around 37oC).
Hide hot taps
Pop an inflatable cover on the taps and make sure you have everything to hand before putting your baby in the bath, as you will need to stay with them the whole time.
Giving your little one a bath at a regular time in the evening can be a great way to help them relax in time for bed. As your baby grows older, bath time may become more stimulating than relaxing, so give them a massage when they're dry to help them wind down.
Having fun in the bath
Bathing with your baby is a great opportunity to enjoy skin-to-skin time. Get into the bath, wash yourself first and make sure someone hands your baby to you and can take them from you when it's time to get out. Whether your baby is bathing with you or not, be clear that they need to remain sitting, as they may slip if standing up.
Mum-to-mum top tips
'Bath time can be great fun for older babies, but it's important that they don't get too excited before bed, as this can impact on how well they settle down to sleep,' says Emily Leary, parenting blogger at A Mummy Too. 'A routine that works well for us is to allow them to play, giggle and have a good splash at the beginning of bath time. Try a few minutes of active games, such as funny songs or whizzing toys across the water, then once they've had some fun, settle them down to a quieter routine of wash and rinse, with softly sung nursery rhymes. Follow up by drying off and getting into PJs under dimmed lights, so that they're relaxed and ready for bed.'
By Jo Walsh