Ages: newborn and up
We saw this handy cover-up idea in an expensive baby gear catalog and decided to create our own version from a repurposed towel. The poncho keeps you dry (well, drier, at least) during even the splashiest bath times, and frees both your hands for gripping your slippery baby when it's time to lift him out of the tub.
Cut an 8-inch-wide circle (we traced a paper plate with the marker) 8 inches from one end of the towel.
Iron the creases out of the bias tape. Arrange it around the neck hole, with the towel inside the fold of the tape, its wider side on top. Overlap the ends of the tape by a 1/2 inch, trim any excess, then pin the tape in place.
Sew the bias tape to the towel with a running stitch, taking care to sew through all three layers. For a neater finish, fold under the end of the tape before sewing.
Cushion your knees: Use a gardener's waterproof pad to make tub-side kneeling a little easier. (Ages: newborn and up)
Encourage kids to pick up: Give tots a small fishing net or plastic tongs so that they can help scoop up toys and put them away. (Ages: 18 months and up)
Keep tears at bay: Outfit kids with swim goggles, a snorkel mask, or a visor to keep suds out of their eyes during the lather-rinse-repeat cycle. (Ages: 18 months and up)
Control clutter: Keep bath toys organized and accessible in a small plastic laundry basket or hanging bath pocket such as Skip Hop's Tubby Bath Toy Organizer (shown, $20). (Ages: 6 months and up)