37 answers

Bathing a Baby in the Shower Without a Tub

This is a question I have for down the road a bit, but I thought I'd gather ideas now... Currently, my husband and I bathe our baby once a week in a baby tub on the kitchen counter with "spot cleanings" the rest of the time. Once he starts crawling, eating solids, etc. he'll need full baths more often, but we live in an apartment with only a shower stall and no bathtub. The set up in the kitchen requires a bit of time and effort, including getting all the dirty dishes taken care of, so trying to do this every night seems like too great a challenge. The bathroom is small and has a weird layout so there isn't really a lot of space to put the baby tub we have anywhere but in the shower itself. Has anyone had the same problem to solve? I could just put the tub in the shower and sit on a low stepstool myself but I was wondering if anyone had other ideas. I found a couple of websites that have baby carriers that are designed to get wet-- has anyone used one of these? We aren't planning on moving anytime soon!

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Personally I think this has an easy and cheap solution. You need nothing more than large dishpan, rubbermaid bin or basin of some sort. You can put a foam liner in it if you want. Put it in the bottom of the shower and fill it using the shower. Wash as baby as usual - rinse with a cup and/ or the washcloth. You can use the bathwater or just get water from the sink for rinsing. Older babies that can sit up are too big for their baby tubs and also hate to have water on their face. We use a cabin that has only a shower stall and we still bathe my 3 yr old this way when we are there.

My husband used to take the boys in the shower with him and just hold them. He'd hold them and get them wet then I'd shampoo their hair from outside the shower and we'd scrub them down tag team style. Dad would rinse them off and hand them out to me. Very effective, quick and they both loved it. By the time they were too big to be held they could stand on their own and they'd just climb in with dad - more less the same routine. Good luck!


We didn't have this problem, but sometimes I would give my daughter to dad while he took his shower and when he was done washing her, I was standing there with a towel. I did this on days that I needed to be quick and it was fast and a lot easier than pulling the bathing stuff out.

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We didn't have this problem, but sometimes I would give my daughter to dad while he took his shower and when he was done washing her, I was standing there with a towel. I did this on days that I needed to be quick and it was fast and a lot easier than pulling the bathing stuff out.

Not to be harsh but I find it somewhat disturbing that you arent bathing the baby every night. There is nothing sweeter than that clean baby smell. Bathtime is a chore the first 6 mos or so, but well worth the result. The ritual of a warm bath before bed (whether needed or not) is the most helpful tool for winding down the baby and beginning the "time to go night night" process.
The kitchen sink was the best place to bathe newborns since you can stand and reach everything right there on the counter top. I just threw a hand towel in the bottom of the sink to stop the slippage. When they are too young to sit and play you just wash them up and get it over with, sort of like cleaning your turkey for thanksgiving.
Advancing to the shower should be easy enough when he's old enough to sit without toppling over, and is a good way to get them used to water in the face so you don't have to battle that annoyance later.

We have a tub, which makes it easier, but my son has always been happy to take showers. Start him early, and turn the spray against the wall or away from his face. I used to hold my son in the standup shower when he was a baby because having a toddler who will shower can make your life MUCH easier.
I think you can teach him to use the shower, however it will mean that you have to be in/near every second and may end up wet.
good luck!

When my daughter was born we lived in a small apartment and I always set up her tub on the floor in the livingroom with towels laid out under it.

Dear P.,
I had a bath tub but I liked to give my kids showers even when they were small. I bought a yellow foam pad, that was shaped so you could lay the baby down on it. Then with the hand held shower head I had a soft sprinkle and "showered" our babies that way. They liked it. Once they were bigger I used the hand held shower head to give them a shower while they stood. I would buy several things: 1) hand held shower head. (I think most shower heads from the top can be changed.), 2) yellow foam bath mat/pad (if I remember correctly I bought it at babies Rus), 3) non-slip dots or mat when the child is older. I hope this helps. Good luck. A.

You might want to consider the inflatable tub. We transitioned our son at 9 mos till he reached the 25 lb max to the inflat tub and it was not as scary in a big regular tub. It's about 2/3 the reg tub size but fits snuggly. I bought the babies r us brand one for $13 and it was so worth it, still in good shape to use for my second baby soon. We've used it in shower stall while away at grandparents and he felt comfortable since it was his from home. And easy to deflate for travelling also!

Even though we have a bathtub, we still use the baby tub within the larger bath tub. I find that it saves water and 'confines' the space a bit so everything isn't everywhere. I sit on a low stool in the bath tub to bathe him while he's in the baby tub. (Or sometimes I'll just kneel from outside the large bath tub) I gather that when he's older (and can stand), you could probably just shower him (as i remember my parents doing for us when we were kids).

I just gave each of my boys a bath in our kitchen sink when they were that age :O) I just didn't have the energy to keep running upstairs for things like that :O) So, I bought one of those BIG sponge pads made for babies bathing, and I put it in the "sink tub" to sit on & lean up against instead of the cold sink. It also prevented their little butts from slipping like crazy. And, I turned their back from the faucet.....for obvious "curosity" reasons :O)

Around 10-12 months, we had to "graduate" because they get too busy to sit still long enough, and I felt it was time to move on....

Getting in the shower was really fun, just VERY slippery!

Is the floor of your shower stall deep enough to hold a small bath? You can always try to plug it up for a bath ;O) Or, you can buy a "tub" of some kind that can be used IN your shower to be a "bath tub"????

That's all I can offer :O) ~N. :O)

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