In this discussion, we take a look at some of the best baby bath tubs. Baby bath tubs are very useful for keeping our babies clean and removing the grime that builds up daily. Some kitchen sinks are just not cut out for the job and can make bath time a cumbersome chore and an unpleasant experience for baby. Also, the hygiene and food preparation cleanliness comes into question when your cleaning up baby poop and other nasties in the same general area that dinner is prepared.
Our first stop on this page will be a deliberation on whether you even should purchase a baby bath tub or not and the benefits of having one. Next, we have an overview of the types of baby bathtubs and which applications they are best used for. In our review section, we check out the best baby bath tubs of this year.
It is a great question. With all the other baby gear parents are supposed to pick up along their parenting adventures, sometimes it is a good idea to step back and ask whether you can make things work without it. The nice thing about most baby bathtubs, even the best baby bath tubs, is that they are relatively inexpensive when compared to a crib or changing table for example. There are some great budget options in this product category. While it may not be necessary to bath your baby every day, most moms strive to at least do bath time about 2-3 times a week. Buildup from their messy eating habits, spit up, and all other manner of discharge adds up quickly.
Though we usually steer away from budget options in many of our recommendations due to safety concerns and the like, baby bathtubs are a pretty straightforward design. Plus, they are only going to be used for early stages, until baby is sitting up well on their own. At that point, they can usually graduate to the big tub. Such is the case that sometime this time period is only a matter of months, so these tubs don’t need to be built to last 20 years.
The fact of the matter is babies are slippery. Squirmy baby + many, many rolls + soap and water = bath time being no easy undertaking. Some babies love bath time and some babies will scream their heads off and may even throw some flailing in there for good measure. Depending on your babies disposition, having a baby bath tub becomes an asset of greater or lesser value.
While the kitchen sink is still an option, it can be pretty difficult to use, especially with newborns. They are just so tiny a deep and wide kitchen sink is not suitable. Some families have food hygiene concerns on top of this and not everyone has access to a secondary sink located in a garage or utility room. Sometimes bathroom sinks work just fine and other times the design doesn’t lend a hand to making bath time any easier.
Newborn Baby Bath Tubs vs. Infant Bath Tubs
Newborn Baby Bathtubs: The advantage of most the best newborn tubs is that you can use them in the sink or countertop. That means you won’t have to be bending over or kneeling on the floor at the bathroom tub. This is particularly nice for moms recovering from delivery or older grandparents who may be helping out. At this age, most parents really do need a baby bathtub because babies cannot sit up. Really, they have difficulty controlling any part of their bodies for that matter. There are a few neat little tubs designed specifically for tiny newborns (0-6 months). However, you can just skip to a regular infant tub if you so choose. These will also do a fine job of accommodating newborns.
Infant Bath Tubs: Most regular infant bath tubs are designed to be placed in in the bathtub. Infant tubs are designed for babies that are a bit older usually around (6-12 months). That being said, some of these will usually work fine for newborns too. Products such as the popular “blue tub” by The First Years can be used throughout all stages of infancy. There is a sling that acts as a safety harness for newborns. For those babies who have learned to sit (usually about 6+ months) the hump can be removed. It hovers around $15-20 on Amazon which is a fair price for how much use you’ll get out of it.
Types of Baby Bath Tubs
In this section, we take a look at the different types of baby bath tubs and some of the most common baby tub designs. In recent years, the number of baby bath tub designs have multiplied.
#1 Standard Plastic Basin Tubs
When most people think of baby bath tubs they usually have an image of the iconic plastic blue tub that sits on their sink. This is a simple and straightforward tub that gets the job done. Some of these tubs will feature a sloped interior to help babies that haven’t quite got down the whole sitting up thing. Probably the best tubs in this category are convertible, meaning the tub can grow as your baby does. These tubs can typically be adjusted to two or more positions to accommodate each stage of your baby’s development: newborn, infant, and toddler phases.
#2 Sink Inserts
Another very common design in the baby bath tub category are sink inserts. These are very portable and great space savers because of their small footprints. Most are constructed to fit a variety of sink shapes and sizes.
#3 Hammock Baby Bath Tub
This design is great for very young babies and newborns. Since they are unable to support their own body, having a hammock to lay them in to support their body is very helpful (and safe). Us humans have only two hands, so it can be difficult to get a thorough washing job done and support a baby at the same time.
#4 Cushion Bath Tub
These perhaps shouldn’t be considered tubs in their own right. They do not hold water like other baby tubs. Instead, the cushion provides a perimeter that supports your baby in a regular bath tub. This creates a nice and safe sectioned off bath area for your little one.
#5 Inflatable Baby Bath Tubs
These are the most portable baby bath tubs. When purchased, they arrive flat and take up minimal room. That makes for easy storage when you’re not using it or going on a trip. Once filled with air, they provide a wonderful cushion-like tub that can hold water and your baby. The trade-off with these types of tubs is while they are light and portable, they are not very durable.
#6 Bucket Bath Tub
While bucket baby bath tubs may appear odd at first blush, they are quite useful for infants. Some babies that dislike bath time will enjoy a bucket bath tub. It provides a place for them to be held upright and oftentimes calms the baby. Baby buckets are actually used throughout Europe in maternity hospitals because of their efficient design.
#7 Fold up Baby Bath Tub
Many baby tubs can be annoyingly bulky, which can make storage difficult. Foldable baby bath tubs can be emptied of water and folded down to a fraction of their original size. This makes them easy to tuck away into a drawer or cabinet until the next bath time. Like the inflatable baby bath tubs, this fold up feature also makes them a great option for traveling.
#8 Luxury Baby Bath Tub
These baby bath tubs come with all the bells and whistles. For the most part, they seem kind of ridiculous, however on second glance some of them are pretty neat. Most of them are operated by batteries which power automatic bubble machines, spa jets, a mini shower nozzle to help rinse soap from your baby, and other such extravagances. The compromise is that they become pretty heavy in this category and obviously are more expensive too.
Baby Bath Tub Safety Concerns
Baby bath tubs are inherently designed to be safer than bathing your baby in a regular tub. That being said, you never want to leave your baby unattended during bath time. While slings and support modules are helpful, they are not a substitute for your attention. Always make sure that the bath tub is on a flat surface and/or very stable before placing your baby in it. You don’t want it slipping away when you are washing them.
Ideally, you want to use wash cloths instead of sponges for bath time. Sponges (or pieces of them) can easily end up in your baby’s mouth and become a choking hazard. Furthermore, sponges are a ripe place for bacteria to form since they air dry. Wash cloths don’t have this problem because they go through the washer and dryer. Another thing to avoid is trying to pick up the bath tub while your baby is still inside. This could result in your baby’s head slipping under water or you could accidentally drop the tub which could result in a fall injury to your baby. For more safety tips, check out this page on Medline Plus on the US National Library of Medicine’s website.
Best Baby Bath Tubs of 2016
Welcome to our baby bath tub review section. Here are the three main categories of baby bath tubs:
- Best Newborn Bath Tubs (0-6 months)
- Best Infant Bath Tubs (0-12 months)
- Best Toddler Bath Tubs
Summer Infant Newborn to Toddler Bath Tub
- Age Range: Birth to Toddler
- Type: Foldable
This is arguable the best all-around baby bath tub available. It folds into a compact unit that is easy to store. The Summer Infant tub is great for babies of all ages. The inclined position module can be removed as your child grows and is able to sit up. With that removed, the bath becomes a spacious bathing area for a toddler. The rounded lip is baby safe and the air filled liner provides a nice cushion for babies and infants.
Puj Tub Compact Infant Bath
- Age Range: Birth to About 6 Months
- Type: Sink Insert
This is a great sink insert baby bath tub that is designed to fit most sinks well. Most people really fall in love with the soft foam material that essentially conforms to almost any sink. Bath room sink, kitchen sink, you name it. It is very comfortable and also effectively cradles and protects your baby. This allows you to wash your baby with both hands.
Angelcare Baby Bath Support
- Age Range: Birth to About 6 Months
- Type: Bath Support
This tub is designed to be placed in a regular bath tub, however you can use it on a counter to give wipe down baths too. It has a very clean aesthetic and comes in light blue or pink color styles. The ergonomic design and anti slip base provides a stable surface to wash your baby. The maximum capacity is 30 pounds so it works to about 6 months of age for most babies. The unit itself drains and dries quickly helping it stay clean and mildew free.
The Original Tummy Tub Baby Bath from TummyTub
- Age Range: Birth to 3 years (35 pound maximum)
- Type: Bucket Bath Tub
This design is used by many physicians and nursery professionals, a common sight in birthing centers around the world. They are especially prominent in Europe. Some babies enjoy and feel safe in the enclosed soft boundary of the bucket. Advocates say it mimics the natural feeling of the fetal position. The Tummy Tub is completely toxin and BPA free and can actually be recycled after your baby has graduated to the standard bath tub.
Sure Comfort Deluxe Newborn to Toddler Tub from The First Years
- Age Range: Birth to Toddler (25 pound maximum)
- Type: Hammock Tub
This is an alternative to Summer Infant’s tub that works for all phases of baby’s development. The nice thing is this baby tub is the hammock is extra secure for newborns. It is removable so when the baby gets older they can sit up in a spacious tub. The wash basin is actually big enough to put a bunch of bath toys in too. For newborns, there is the hammock to hold them securely; for infants, there is a contour so the infant can lay in a reclining position; for toddlers there is a straight back so the toddler can lean up against it while they play with their toys.
Here are some other great baby tub options.
Munchkin White Hot Inflatable Duck Tub
Fisher-Price 4-in-1 Sling ‘n Seat Tub
4Moms Infant Tub
Summer Infant Lil’ Luxuries Whirlpool Bubbling Spa
Boon Naked Collapsible Baby Bathtub