We don’t own a baby tub. There. I’ve said it. When Pud was very small, the first six weeks, we used towels in his crib and “sponge bathed” him with washcloths and no sponges. As he got bigger, he joined me in the shower or tub, so that I could support his little body and wash him off while helping him develop confidence and safe habits in the water.
It’s paying off. Pud now practically dives into the tub when it’s bathtime. We’ve never made a big deal about keeping water out of his face (though I do try to keep the shampoo out of his eyes), so he blinks it away and has learned how to keep from swallowing or breathing it in if it gets around his nose/mouth. These days, he flips himself over to his tummy on the bathmat to catch and mouth his ducks and boats (he has two of each). He swims his arms and legs and we have practiced floating on his back in deeper water when he bathes with one of us, which is to give him the experience and practice so that when we start working on survival swim lessons, he’s already got an idea of what we are going for.
Our neighbor behind us, a retired army veteran, has a lovely pool and has invited us to come swimming anytime. I may take him up on it. In the meantime, I am looking around for affordable mommy and me swim classes to start getting Pud used to colder and even deeper waters. My goal is to get Pud into an Infant Swim Resource class soon, so that he will learn how to survive if he should ever happen to fall into a large body of water. Here’s a video of what they teach: