"Sitting independently is the best sign, particularly if she can reach for a toy from that position without falling over," says Felice Sklamberg, an occupational therapist at New York University School of Medicine. "But if your baby is happy in the infant tub, you can continue using it. Don't feel like you need to rush her out." The best part about graduating to the real tub: Bath time becomes more fun for both of you. Try squirt toys, plastic cups and books, foam blocks or shapes that stick to the side of the tub when wet, and bath crayons -- drawing on your baby's tummy is sure to get a giggle.
My daughter Lucy knew it was time to lose the infant bathtub long before I did: Seconds after I'd lay her in the little tub, she'd pull up to sitting (with abs I longed for), ready for action. Once we made the move, she adored the big tub, which made me wonder if she could have taken the plunge earlier. So, how can you tell when your baby is ready?