Movin' on Up!
When babies are able to sit confidently and without assistance they are ready for Stage 3. Stage 3 is usually the longest used of all the stages – typically for more than a year.
Unrestricted movement in Stage 3 allows babies to: sit, pull up to standing, walk, reach and bend over to grasp objects.
Stage 3 helps the transition to a regular tub or shower by allowing babies to learn how to safely navigate the water and bath environment.
A Problem with Conventional Baby Bathtubs: Fall Injuries
Because babies at this age are larger, heavier, more mobile and very active, bathing at floor level is mandatory. In fact falls are by far the leading cause of injury among children 4 years of age or less*
Floor level bathing by itself though is not enough. Conventional baby bathtubs have low walls that are easy to fall out of or trip over. They also have narrowly spaced feet so they can easily tip. Restrictive and obstructed floors immobilize your baby. Quite often walls are dangerously sloped so that a standing baby would slip if they did try to move or stand.
*CDC Childhood Injury Report: Patterns of Unintentional Injuries among 0-19 Year Olds in the United States, 2000-2006
Easier + Less Stress = More Fun
Because it’s safer against fall injuries, caregivers aren’t required to restrain babies:
- No more kneeling on the floor
- Less concern, stress and worry
- Less back and neck pain from bending over
- No need to organize everything (soap, shampoo, towels…)
- Stay out of the splash zone!
- Play, sing, talk, laugh with your baby
- Or just relax!
Summary of Stage 3 Benefits:
- Standing and moving in Stage 3 provides for an easier transition to the adult tub or shower.
- Babies play and enjoy bath-time more.
- Caregivers enjoy bath-time more because there is less stress and worry.
- Developmental: Through water-play babies explore the amazing aspects of water and their relationship to it. Buoyancy, drag, evaporation, convection, temperature, sound, transparency, mass, volume, density, reflection, refraction, viscosity and friction are some examples of the many physical properties that babies can discover and explore.
- Higher level, more meaningful experiences/bonding possible when free play replaces physical restraint.
- No need to neatly arrange everything next to the tub prior to bath.
- Caregiver has more freedom to rest or attend to other things in the bathroom while baby is bathing. Examples: folding towels or laundry, organizing, warming a bottle, putting away the baby’s clothes, etc…