Time for the Big Tub?

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How to tell when it's time to move a toddler out of the inflatable baby tub, and how to keep kiddo safe.
ORIGINAL POST:
Hoping some of you with older kids can weigh in on when you moved your toddler out of a baby tub and started bathing him/her in the big tub.
My 14.5 month-old loves the bath, and we've been bathing him in a big inflatable baby tub that sits in our bathtub. Lately, he's obsessed with climbing OUT of the inflatable tub and sitting in the big tub. As you know, it's really hard to physically control a toddler in the tub, and I don't want him to get hurt!
Is he too little to start bathing in a few inches of water in the big tub? When did you move your toddler to the big tub and what (if any) safety precautions did you take besides a non-skid mat and a faucet cover?
Thanks so much.
H. (mom to the intrepid and very slippery E.)
RESPONSES:
For my kids, there were SOOO many bath toys and water itself is SOOO interesting, my kids never had a problem getting in or staying in the tub. They were in the big tub much younger than 14 months, I'm sure. I had a floating thermometer -- unnecessary cuz you know at a touch if it's too hot. No faucet cover, they stayed at the other end all by themselves after one bump.
For myself I got a knee pad - a slab of colored foam about one inch thick, like you'd use in the garden -- so it wouldn't hurt me to kneel on the tile floor and wash heads etc.
I never ever for even a second left them alone. Yes that means hugging a naked dripping toddler soaking my nice shirt while I ran down the hall to get a fresh towel.
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We used to lay a towel in the tub. It was a pain to wring out, but it made me feel better.
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Both mine moved out of baby tubs when they were much younger. Probably around when they started walking (both around 11 months). There is a strict no standing rule and if they do they have to get out (I always wash ASAP so if I do have to pull out they're just missing playtime.) Both learned that pretty quickly, although the neighbors probably heard me (hear me) say "on your bottom" 50 times a bath! We have a bath mat for the bottom of the tub and faucet cover. They both love bath time and like I said they both learned the rules quickly!
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These are the 4 steps I did when moving my daughter to the tub at 8 months

 

(1) i bought a bath mat similar to this
http://www.amazon.com/Extra-Long-Vinyl-Bath-Mat/dp/B001I7PY1E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1349495828&sr=8-1&keywords=bathmat

(2) I kept the water level not higher than the top of your foot

(3) I sat on the edge of the tub with both feet inside. that way, in case my little one stood up or fell, my legs can become an extra support.

(4) lots of toys/plastic books to keep her busy so she doesn't stand up
http://www.amazon.com/Sesame-Street-Bubble-Featuring-Monster/dp/B003TT3B9G/ref=sr_1_1?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1349496123&sr=1-1&keywords=bath+books

Hope this helps and good luck
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Have you tried getting in the tub with your son? My 20-month old is a bit of wild child in the tub and would definitely clock himself on the head and fall on his butt numerous times if I wasn't in there running interference.

I fill the tub up a bit, keep the faucet running, and then pop him in with me (I don't actually bathe with him -- I remain standing wearing a t-shirt and shorts). He can still splash around and have fun, and I can get him clean pretty quickly. Sometimes I get pretty wet, other times not at all....

Hope this helps.
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We used a bath chair inside of the big tub starting at about 6 months, when the babies were old enough to sit and have head control. By 12 months or so, they were too mobile for that so just washed them in the big tub.  The main thing is to stay close, don't leave for any reason for any amount of time until a little older. When my eldest was almost 3 yrs olds and we had her baby brother, I would make her sing to me if I had to go out of eye sight for any reason. I would never be out of hearing range and only left for quick needed exits.

 

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Hi -- For what it's worth, we never used a baby tub -- always gave the baby a bath in the regular tub. At the beginning I'd get in with him, until he was able to sit up well on his own. Lots of cool toys are key to keep them engaged and not wanting to stand up or scooch around. There is a Yookidoo spout that is a little $$ but an awesomely entertaining bath toy -- you can find on amazon.
hope it helps

 

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UPDATE:

BIG thanks to all of you who took the time to reply to my post asking for advice on moving our son into the big tub for bathing. We did our first bath in the big tub tonight and it was a huge success -- E. absolutely loved it and behaved brilliantly. He was ready! Again, thank you!

 

H.