Make Bath Time Fun And Safe With The Best Baby Bathtubs (2018 Guide)
Babies may not be super active, but that certainly doesn’t mean they can skip a bath.
While they get their first official cleaning at the hospital after they’re born, it’s up to you to continue their cleaning routine.
So, a bath it is!
You won’t be placing your baby in a full sized tub anytime soon. And, in fact, you won’t fully submerge them in a bath bathtub at first either.
You’re going to need to stock up on some essential supplies that allow you to clean your baby safely and effectively until they are old and large enough to sit in a small tub with less supports.
So, read on to learn everything there is to know about choosing the best baby bathtub, and help you get your hands on one prior to bringing your baby home from the hospital.
Do You Need a Baby Bathtub?
The answer is a resounding yes!
A baby bathtub is just the right size for your infant, and it will grow with them as they do and help them get nice and clean before being put in a full sized tub.
Babies initially need a sponge bath because they need to keep their belly buttons dry. So although laying a towel down on your bed and wiping down your baby will do, you can utilize a baby tub’s mesh yet supportive sling insert.
It will allow your baby to rest comfortably while getting wiped and washed, and also warm since they are elevated and can be covered with a towel in between washings.
The sling also supports their neck, head, and fragile body until they are able to sit supported, or on their own.
A baby tub also dramatically reduces the risk of drowning.
The tub is shallow, and cannot hold a lot of water. But, it is just the right amount to submerge and clean your little one when they are ready to go all in.
Even when your baby can sit up on their own and you add more water to the tub, it’s still more ideal than placing your baby in a huge, full sized tub where they can slip or be more prone to an accident.
Plus, having a tub or two on hand is helpful if you plan on taking a vacation with your newborn, or if your caregivers want one when baby sitting.
After all, accidents do happen!
How Long Will I Need to Use the Baby Tub?
Baby tubs aren’t used very long, but as I mentioned above, they are necessary.
Expect to use the tub until they are about six months old.
After six months, their mobility, activity, and strength really kicks in, and your baby won’t be able to be contained by the tiny tub any longer.
Different Types of Baby Tubs
I had no idea how many different types of tubs are available to use! Here is an overview of some of the different kinds:
Sink Insert Tubs
These tubs are flexible, so they conform to any kind of large sink in your kitchen or bathroom. Babies fit in these tubs up to four to six months.
- Note: Sling will be available inside the tub.
- Voted BEST bathtub in BabyCenter's Moms' Picks 2014 awards
They allow the washer to easily access the baby, and can conform to your baby’s body.
Some are more rigid, while others are soft. Either way, they store easily and are great for parents who have limited space in their home.
These tubs are easy to clean, they keep baby in place, and they are also easy to grip while washing.
You don’t get more simple or traditional than a basin.
- Baby bath for ages 0 to 24 months with 2 bathing positions, 0-6 month infants are bathed in reclining position and 6-24 month toddlers are bathed in sitting position
- Unique anatomical shape with safety supports forearm and legs
These tubs are usually made of plastic, stand on their own, and can be used pretty much anywhere—on counters, table tops, or inside the tub itself. Some parents even take the tub outside!
Basins boast a newborn feature—which has a mesh sling or detachable supports, so the basins grow with your baby and allow them to get lots of use throughout their first year because they are pretty large.
Parents also love the non-slip grip on the bottom, and some of these tubs can even convert to a stepping stool, perfect for washing hands at the sink and for potty training purposes.
Some of these basins are easy to store since they fold up and snap shut, while others have folding legs.
Some tubs are just a big, blocky basin, and do need a lot of storage space.
So, it’s wise to determine where you’d like to keep one (and if you plan to travel with it) before picking one out.
A travel tub is designed specifically for (duh) travel purposes.
It’s inflatable, so storage is a snap since you can drive or fly with it with ease. It can hold a good amount of water, so many parents also take it to the beach to fill with water to keep their baby nice and cool.
It’s not as sturdy or durable as some other tubs on the market, nor does it come with an infant insert, but it gets the job done!
Relatively new, a soothing tub is basically a big, plastic bucket.
- NEW! Updated, modern design with the same great features as the original.
- Side drains allow dirty water to flow out
The shape, size, and depth of the tub is designed to mimic the look and feel of the womb, making the bathing experience a comfortable one.
Your baby’s neck and head will still need to be supported, which can be tough for a parent to do solo.
Soothing tubs are great for cleaning hard to reach places and can help ease pain of cleaning if your little one suffers from diaper rash, since they are able to soak.
These tubs can be taken anywhere and placed on any surface.
Many parents fill up the tub to ease colic babies or help comfort sick children.
Features to Consider
When you have a specific tub in mind, it’s important to make sure it boasts some of these fabulous features:
Besides the essential features listed above, be sure that your tub also is:
Tips for Using Your Baby Tub
When you’re ready to use your baby tub, you’ll first and foremost need to clean it. Warm, soapy water will do!
Next, you’ll need to gather up some supplied to have right next to the tub to make the cleaning process safe and timely.
These items include:
You’ll also need to protect your baby’s sensitive skin. You can do this by choosing hypoallergenic soap, shampoo, and lotion.
In fact, it’s recommended that soap and shampoo isn’t even used with every washing since it could over irritate your baby and their gentle features.
A bath every other day is fine for a newborn, and soap is needed probably two or three times a week—not every single time unless they’ve spit up all over himself.
In addition to caring for your child’s skin and other gentle parts, you’re going to want to adhere to safety standards.
Here are a few important safety tips to abide by:
Tips for Washing Newborns
Newborns need to be cared for differently than older babies.
When you give your baby their first few baths, be sure to wet a sponge or washcloth with warm water. Using a very mild baby cleanser, spot treat their areas.
Wipe away immediately with non soapy water, and be sure to always wash their genitals last.
You cannot give your baby their first submerged bath until their umbilical cord stump dries up and falls off. After that, it’s safe to give them a bath in very shallow water (supported) once every three days or so.
It’s important to also keep an eye on how your baby responds to soap and shampoo.
Some little ones have extremely sensitive skin and scalp. Look for lumps and bumps, redness, scaliness, and if your baby seems to be in pain or in discomfort.
This may mean they are allergic to what you’re using, and it’s time to try another product.
Also, keep in mind that things labeled “tear free” aren’t fully tear free!
You should always avoid getting soap and shampoo in or near your baby’s eyes. To help ensure all soap and shampoo residue is removed, use a small cup to help you massage the scalp and rinse everything well since you can’t put your baby’s head under a running faucet.
It’s also important to understand that your baby may not like the feeling of getting a bath right away.
Don’t let them scream and cry, and be uncomfortable.
A bath should take no longer than five minutes. So, don’t draw it out and leave them with an unsettled feeling about getting a bath.
Your baby won’t really understand that taking a bath can be “fun” until they are old enough to sit up, unsupported.
This is when you can encourage them to play with toys and explore with water.
Initially, a bath’s only purpose is to get your baby squeaky clean!
Best for Newborns
The First Years Sure Comfort Deluxe
The First Years Sure Comfort Deluxe (click here to check the price on Amazon) is an award-winning baby tub, and for a good reason.
When designing the Sure Cofort, they obviously took into consideration the needs of both mother and baby. If you are looking for a versatile baby bathtub that will work with both your newborn and toddler, this might be your best option.
Easy to clean. Cleaning your baby can already be an event in itself. This baby tub will be easy to clean so you can go about your day. The newborn hammock is mildew resistant and machine washable as well.
Will grow with your baby. This will go from newborn to infant and will last all the way into toddler phase. The removable newborn hammock allows you to easily wash your baby in the first several months of their life. Once your little on is able to sit up on their own, remove the hammock for an ergonomic shape designed tub to keep them cozy.
Leak-proof drain. The last thing you want to do is lift a large tub and dump it while trying to wield a wet baby. This tub has a leak-proof drain that is easy to access at the bottom for quick drainage.
High-quality materials. If you're looking for an affordable baby bathtub that will stay strong, this may be the one for you. Built with sturdy PVC free plastic and a high-quality mesh that will hold up as long as you need it.
Keep in mind
Lacking heat indicator. The First Years tub does not have a heat sensor which can be a turn-off for some mothers, which may be a deal breaker for you. As always, your baby’s water should be checked on your skin before subjecting them to overly hot water.
A bit bulky. If you have a smaller home or are lacking in space, this bathtub could be an issue. Be prepared to lose a lot of space in your closet or bathroom to this large baby bathtub.
Best for Baby to Toddler Transition
Fisher-Price Precious Planet Whale
The Fisher-Price Precious Planet Whale (click here to check the price on Amazon) is a sizable tub that will give your baby a relaxing bath.
The incredibly adorable design will be one both mom, dad and baby will love. Consider this baby bathtub if you are looking for an adaptable baby bathtub that will go from infant to toddler.
Soft-grip, non-slip foam. Give your baby the most relaxing and comfortable bath time possible with this soft material. The contoured ‘baby stopper’ keeps your little one from sliding into the water.
Unisex design. This cute whale design makes a good tub for either sex. Also included is a baby strainer which can be used to lightly shower your baby or as a fun bath toy.
Removable insert. Once your child is 6 months or older (or when your baby can sit up on their own), simply remove the insert for a safe baby bathtub for your toddler.
Keep in mind
Hard to remove insert. While the removable insert is a great feature, it can be a little difficult to remove. If you have two children and intend to pop it in and out, this can be tricky.
Over-sized design. While the design is cute, this tub can only fit in a double sink with ample counter space (to accommodate the tail), or your bathtub. However, it’s still ideal for saving water by not filling up the entire tub.
Best Non-Toxic Baby Tub
The Primo EuroBath (check the price on Amazon) is one of the more popular baby bathtubs on the market.
If you have two small children or simply want a baby bathtub that will grow with your little one, this may be your best choice. It is good for giving your child the support they need throughout toddlerhood.
Lots of storage areas. This baby bathtub has several storage areas, which others simply don’t have. These are great for keeping soap, and toys handy, so you won’t have to leave your baby alone.
Use up to 24 months. The EuroBath has tons of great contours to fit your little one from infant to two years. It boasts two bathing positions, along with safety support for forearms and legs.
A really big tub. You will get years of use with this 36’’x 21’’x 10’’ baby bathtub.
Chemical-free plastic. The EuroBath is BPA free, Phthalate free and lead-free. If you are concerned about chemicals in baby products these days, you may want to try finding a tub that has these features.
Keep in mind
Longer draining time. This baby bathtub takes a lot longer than some others to drain. It can leave your baby cold while you wait for the soapy water to drain. An easy fix is to bail some water out yourself while it drains.
Big for newborns. While it's possible to bathe a newborn in this tub, you will need to keep a close eye on them. The bathtub is large, and it may be easy for them to slide or roll around. Keep a free hand available to provide them the support they need until they are old enough to sit up.
Best for Small Spaces
4Moms Infant Tub
The 4Moms Infant Tub (click here to check the price on Amazon) is loaded with bells and whistles.
This baby bathtub is designed with a clean water reservoir and side-drainage, so your baby has a constant flow of clean water while being bathed. If you are looking for a high-tech way to clean your infant, this might just be for you.
Built-in thermometer. The built-in thermometer allows you to better control the temperature of your baby’s bathing water, giving them a safe, comfortable washing.
It does the work for you. Keeping your baby clean has never been so easy. Simply turn the water on and fill the reservoir. The tub will do the rest. Clean water flows in, and the old dirty water drains out.
Fits single and double sinks. Perfect for homes with limited storage. This small bathtub can fit easily in most single sinks and storage is a breeze.
Keep in mind
Not recommended for use with bathtubs. Filling the reservoir with water from a tub will not give you the desired results. The water can flow out too heavily and from too great of height. If using this product, it’s best to stick to washing in the sink.
Not great for long-term use. The 4Moms Tub, as stated, is primarily for infants. After this, it may be time to switch to another tub. Keep it stored for baby number two or give it away to a friend.
Best for Travel
Summer Infant Bath Center
With the Infant Bath Center from Summer Infant (click here to check the price on Amazon), you get a complete 4-stage unit.
Whether you have multiple children in your household or would like to invest in a product that will last throughout your little one's toddler years, you may want to consider this bathtub system.
Versatility. With four stages of use, your possibilities are virtually limitless. This system comes with a newborn sling that can be used in a sink or the provided tub.
Portable motorized shower unit. The shower unit provides a gentle spray that can be used for cleaning and even a fun toy, well after your child has transferred into an adult bathtub.
Easy to clean. The Summer Infant Tub is made from a durable plastic which is easy to clean. The drain allows the water to flow out quickly and with a quick rinse of the flat bottom tub your work is done. You can get back to drying and dressing your little one.
Keep in mind
It’s battery operated. While the motorized shower is a great addition to this unit, it will require purchasing batteries often. If this is an expense or hassle your not willing to undertake, you may want to skip this one.
Small reservoir. The reservoir attached to the shower portion of this unit is somewhat small. Depending on how long you plan to bathe your baby, you may find yourself refilling it.
Best for Easy Storage
Skip Hop Moby Bathtub
Skip Hop outdid themselves with this incredibly cute Moby Bathtub (click here to check the price on Amazon).
A very versatile bathtub that will grow with your child, and although this tub isn’t perfect, it does feature many great qualities. If you are looking for a fun baby shower gift, this may be the bathtub for you.
Cozy mesh smart sling. The sling provided with this baby bathtub securely locks into two ergonomic positions for your baby’s optimal comfort. Made from Polyester for an easy to clean sling.
Strong upper position. This gives your newborn head-to-toe cradling, while the lower position gives support to infants learning to sit. Once your little one is able to sit on their own, you can easily remove the sling.
Will grow with your baby. The Moby Bathtub works in three stages to accommodate your little one. Great for newborns, infants, and sitters alike.
Swivel hook. A great addition to any baby bathtub, the swivel hook allows you to hang dry and store your tub until your next use. Hangs nicely on a towel rack, shower head or in a closet.
Keep in mind
No non-slip surface on bottom. The Moby tub can tend to slide around a bit, especially if your little one squirms a lot. Try using it with a towel underneath to prevent sliding. It would be nice if the bottom had the same non-slip as the inside of the tub.
It’s pretty large. Even with the swivel hook, this bathtub can be cumbersome and hard to store. If storage is a concern for you, you may want to keep looking.
Best for Easy Storage
Fisher-Price Calming Waters
Fisher-Price has another popular baby tub with their Calming Waters model (click here to check the price on Amazon).
This soothing tub will relax even the grumpiest of babies. Give your baby a spa-like feel while they bathe. If your little one is not a fan of bath time, this might just be the trick you need.
Provides baby with calming vibrations. The vibrations are a great way to relax your baby and get them used to bath time. Bathing can be stressful for some children, especially in the earlier stages of life.
Removable sling with padded headrest. The sling provided with this baby bathtub perfect submerges your baby in the vibrating pool of water. The sling is great for use until your baby is ready for the baby stopper insert.
Baby stopper insert. The baby stopper insert gives both you and your baby a less stressful bath time. It places your little one at a gentle incline while preventing unwanted slipping and sliding.
Convenient hook. Great for hang-drying your baby bathtub and for space saving storage.
Keep in mind
Batteries required. If you want to use the vibration portion of this baby bathtub, you will most likely be buying batteries often. Although this is a great tub even without the vibrations, they are the main reason most moms purchase this tub.
Padded headrest tends to float. If your baby is not positioned exactly right, the headrest can begin to float up causing your baby to side around.
Your baby has a lot of needs. Staying clean is up there on the list.
Be sure to purchase the necessary items to give your baby a safe and nurturing bathing environment.
Remember to consider some of the key features mentioned above, choose a size and style that will work for you and your home, and to choose a tub that you can get lots of use out of!