Shopping as a new parent comes with a steep learning curve. The world of car seats, bassinets, sound machines, cribs, baby carriers, high chairs, strollers, bottles, diaper pails and food processors is vast and intimidating. It’s likely most of us didn’t know there were so many ways to clear our infant’s nasal passages until we became parents. Also, gross, but necessary. Choosing a tub for your little one is also a big decision, but at least we understand what a tub is and how to use it. Installing a car seat? Now that requires a Ph.D. and the patience of a Buddhist monk.
Bath time for babies can be a relaxing way to end the day and let your little one wiggle out their final bursts of energy. A warm and soothing bath can help transition newborns and toddlers to sleep mode and provides bonding time for parents and their little ones. But bath time is also serious business. Parents need to be within arms reach at all times, and we mean all times. Distractions on a phone or running to another room can result in tragedy, which is why it’s crucial that parents remain alert whenever their little one is in water.
Finding the right bathtub depends on your baby’s age and the setup of your home. If you have a bathtub, a style that fits inside your tub provides added protection and support for your little one and keeps them comfortable before they’re able to sit unassisted. A small tub also means using less water. Plus, it’s less tub to clean when, not if, an accident happens. It will happen. Baby bathtubs also make it easy for parents to bathe their child on a counter, reducing the need to bend over. Some tubs are suited for homes that don’t have a tub, which is great, because what’s not great is trying to shower with a wet, squirming baby. Buy the tub.
There are a lot of decisions to stress about with parenthood, but picking the right baby bathtub shouldn’t be one. We’ve narrowed down the best options for every situation below. Splish splash, enjoy the bath.
1. Fisher-Price 4-in-1 Sling ‘n Seat Tub
For a tub that can grow with your little one from their first bath at home to toddler soak time, we like the Fisher-Price 4-in-1 Sling ‘n Seat Tub. Parents can insert the soft mesh sling for newborns, helping to keep their little ones supported in their first weeks. In stage two, parents can utilize the ‘baby stopper’ to prevent any slipping. Once your newborn begins sitting, the seated support aid will help stabilize them inside the tub. Finally, toddlers can splash and play safely inside the tub with all the inserts removed. The plastic tub is lightweight and easy to rinse out after accidents. Fisher-Price includes several useful accessories, including a hanging hook to keep the tub out of the way when not in use, a whale-shaped scoop and a squeeze bottle that helps to take the tears out of hair washing. The hard body of the tub makes this a great option for using in a shower stall, next to a sink or even outside for warm weather water play.
2. Munchkin Sit and Soak Baby Bathtub
BEST FOR FIRST YEAR
The Munchkin Sit and Soak Baby Bathtub is a compact baby tub that is ideal for parents who are short on space. The deep soaker style tub makes it easy to keep little ones soaking without much exposure to air, thereby ensuring they’re warm throughout their bath time. A padded foam back and small hump on the bottom of the tub help to keep even newborns in one spot. The tub doesn’t offer much room for playing and babies may outgrow it before 12 months, but for those who are short on storage space and need a compact option, the Munchkin is a great way to get babies clean and keep them warm.
3. Mommy’s Helper Inflatable Bathtub Froggie Collection
Once your little one is comfortable sitting assisted, they are ready for the Mommy’s Helper Inflatable Bathtub Froggie Collection. The affordable inflatable tub has a fun gender-neutral Froggie design little ones will love. Made from plastic that is 100 percent free from Phthalates, the tub has raised sides to help keep little bathers upright. A saddle horn keeps babies from slipping and is placed closer to one end of the tub, providing an option for smaller babies and a second option for when little ones start to grow and need more room. The inflatable tub is a great option for using in a shower stall or a full-sized tub and provides a safer, padded tub that doesn’t require parents to fill up the entire tub with water for bath time.
4. Munchkin White Hot Inflatable Duck Tub
BEST TRAVEL OPTION
If you need a tub that won’t break the bank and provides a fun and safe bathing option for your little one, we like the Munchkin White Hot Inflatable Duck Tub. I’ve purchased three of these tubs, one for my home and two for both grandparent’s homes and I’ve traveled with the tub in a suitcase. The affordable price and large tub size make it a great option for sitting babies and small toddlers. The bath is easy to inflate and includes a heart-shaped temperature indicator that will let parents know if the water is too warm. Unlike the Froggie tube, the Duck does not include a saddle horn, which means babies must be comfortable sitting to use the tub or parents may need to keep a hand on them to stop any slipping. The textured bottom does help to keep little ones in place and a padded bottom and sides provide a comfortable open tub design for splashing and playing.
5. Baby Patent AquaScale 3-in-1 Scale, Water Thermometer and Bathtub
BEST DIGITAL READOUT
New parents are obsessed with their baby’s weight. It’s not their fault. Every doctor’s visit and concerned family member/friend usually begin conversations by asking how much the baby weighs. Getting an accurate weigh-in for your little one isn’t always easy, but with the Baby Patent AquaScale 3-in-1 Scale, Water Thermometer and Bathtub, parents can easily monitor their child’s weight during each bath session. The digital scale provides an exact measurement down to the ounce and includes a memory function that makes it easy to see how much their little one has grown and whether it’s time to change up their formula and eating habits to put on more weight. Designed for babies up to 44 pounds, which will be easy to check with the tub, the Baby Patent also includes a digital thermometer and has an anti-slip pad and removable infant insert.
6. Summer Infant My Bath Seat
BEST FOR EARLY SITTERS
If you have a squirmer who is a little too big for baby bathtubs but not quite ready to roam free in your regular tub, the Summer Infant My Bath Seat offers a great option for the in-between phase. Using three adjustable arms with suction cups, the seat has a high backrest and spacious design for babies aged five to 10 months. Able to hold up to 25 pounds, the seat keeps the baby in place while they still have enough mobility to play. The bath seat is also a great option for little ones who bathe with older siblings since it stops them from being accidentally knocked over by their big brother or sister. At least, we’re hoping it was an accident.
7. Splash & Store Bathtub by OXO Tot
Many of the tubs on our list can be deflated when not in use or include hooks for convenient hanging, but the Splash & Store Bathtub by OXO Tot offers the best out-of-the-way, easy-to-set-up storage option on our list. The tub’s folding legs and pop-out base make it easy to store flat and set up takes seconds. Designed for little ones up to 18 months, the tub is designed with a wider end for infants and high walls to keep water in the tub. A built-in support post keeps babies in place as they grow. The plastic tub is easy to wipe down and the inside has a dual-sided drain that parents can access even when their little one is still seated in the tub.
8. Flexi Bath Foldable Baby Bathtub with Temperature Plug by Stokke
BEST FOR TODDLERS
Most babies begin to transition out of their small tubs around the toddler stage, but what if your home doesn’t have a tub? Have no fear, the Flexi Bath Foldable Baby Bathtub with Temperature Plug by Stokke and its very long name are here. The tub has a simple and efficient design, measuring 26″ L x 13.8″ W x 9.4″ H. The space-saving tub folds flat, making it easy to store or use when traveling. The large tub has a nonslip base that helps to keep little ones in place and can be used by toddlers up to 4-years-old, making this a great option for tub-free homes. There’s ample room for little ones to splash and play and Stokke also sells an infant insert for newborns.
9.Blooming Baby Blooming Bath Lotus
BEST FOR NEWBORNS
Whether your baby arrived by C-section or you’re simply exhausted from being a new parent, bending down to put your little one in a baby tub can be difficult. The Blooming Baby Blooming Bath Lotus easily turns a bathroom or kitchen sink into a baby’s first tub, providing ample padding and support for your tiny tot. The contoured petals act as padding and are filled with a polyurethane foam interior. The petals bend to fit any sink and once bath time is over, the flower can be hung to dry using the included hanging tag. The flower can be machine washed and is safe for the dryer.