Bath time for toddlers is a great way to get little ones clean, help them expend some energy and relax before bedtime. But parents and caregivers know that bath time can also be a war zone that is fraught with overtired toddlers, water splashed on the floor and parents sitting in uncomfortable positions. There’s not much that can be done about cranky toddlers or a wide variety of messes that can come from bath time, but one thing adults can control is giving their little one a toddler tub that is a safe and comfortable place to bathe and play.
Toddler tubs are useful for several reasons. The can be used in a shower stall in homes or hotel rooms that don’t have tubs, providing a safe place for little ones to bathe. When placed inside full-sized tubs, toddler tubs means less water has to be used and they make it easier to contain and clean messes when they happen. Their size also means toddler tubs create a safer bathing experience than full-sized bathtubs because toddlers are inside a tub with padding and have less room to slip when standing and walking.
Toddler tubs are either inflatable or solid-bodied. Inflatable tubs, which are great for daily use or travel, should be easy for adults to quickly blow up and will stay inflated for weeks on end. Solid-body toddler tubs should be easy to clean and drain so that there is no mildew build-up.
Regardless of whether you need a tub that can be transported back and forth between grandma’s house or one that will remain in your home, all tubs need to be comfortable and safe for the toddler. The toddler tubs we picked for our list will help make bath time the best time of the day.
1. Munchkin White Hot Inflatable Duck Tub
Stop guessing whether the water in your toddler’s tub is too hot and start using the Munchkin White Hot Inflatable Duck Tub. The inflatable duck tub, which kids will love for its bright colors and animal design, includes a heat disc on the bottom of the tub that will turn from a blue heart to the word ‘HOT’ written in red if the water is too warm for little ones. The bottom also has a textured nonslip surface that makes it safe for little ones even when they’re splashing around. We also like that the back of the duck is slightly raised to act as a headrest for smaller toddlers. The Munchkin is one of the bigger options for inflatable tubs and can comfortably fit most toddlers up to 24 months. It’s also easy to empty the tub without lifting it when it is heavy with water thanks to the plastic plug on the bottom of the tub.
Pros: Built-in temperature indicator, large enough for older toddlers, textured nonslip bottom.
Cons: The Munchkin is considered a travel tub but it is not the smallest option available and takes up the equivalent of a folded adult hooded sweatshirt in a suitcase.
2. The First Years Sure Comfort Deluxe Newborn to Toddler Tub
For a solid body tub that grows with babies into toddlerhood, we recommend The First Years Sure Comfort Deluxe Newborn to Toddler Tub. Babies can be bathed using the removable sling that attaches over the top of the tub for gentle sponge baths before graduating to the full-sized tub. There are two ends for babies and toddlers that work depending on your child’s height and size. Both ends have an ergonomic design that is comfortable for babies and the lightweight but sturdy tub is easy for adults to lift. A special drain on the bottom of the tub makes it simple to empty and indicates when the water is too hot. We also like that the solid body tub has no sharp angles or small crevices, making it easy to rinse clean.
Pros: Grows with babies and toddlers, easy to clean, durable and long-lasting.
Cons: Even with the small hump in the middle of the tub, babies and toddlers can easily slide down and adults need to be alert at all times to keep their little ones safe.
3. Disney Nemo Inflatable Safety Bathtub
For a tub with ample padding and storage, we recommend the Disney Nemo Inflatable Safety Bathtub. The tub features a textured surface to help keep little ones in place and an air cushion backing to help create a comfortable seated position. Like the Munchkin, the Disney tub also has a temperature indicator and includes a green, blue and red section to alert adults to the heat level of the water. To storage pockets on the front of the tub provide a spot for adults to keep shampoo and soap or to store bath toys. We also like that the tub includes a hook for air drying. The Disney tub is available in the Nemo style shown here, as well as a Minnie Mouse theme and Princess pattern.
Pros: Storage for bath items or toys, temperature indicator for water, hook for air drying.
Cons: Even with the nonslip bottom, the tub can still be slippery for toddlers when seated or standing.
4. Mommy’s Helper Inflatable Bath Tub
For a compact option, we recommend the Mommy’s Helper Inflatable Bath Tub. The tub includes a tall ‘saddle horn’ near the back that can be inflated to help keep seated toddlers in place. We like that this horn has a separate valve and can remain flat for bigger kids who don’t like it or older male toddlers (the horn can be uncomfortable for boys because of its positioning). The tub has a drain on the bottom for easy emptying and is made with a plastic material that is Phthalate free. The Mommy’s Helper is the smallest tub on our list, making it the most compact for travel use.
Pros: Saddle horn to help toddlers stay seated, Phthalate-free material, compact for travel use.
Cons: The Mommy’s Helper may not hold air as long as the other two inflatable tubs on our list and is more prone to tears.