Three best baby bathtubs
Keeping hold of a slippery baby, especially in a full-size bathtub, is no easy task. Baby bathtubs are not only smaller but contoured and often padded to keep your baby comfortable and secure during bathtime.
Today, there are many sizes, shapes, and designs available. As you're weighing your options, consider your storage space, where you'd like to bathe your baby (bathroom, counter, sink), and how long you'd like to keep your baby in a smaller tub. Our guide has everything you need to know before you buy a baby bathtub, including our top three product picks. We chose our favorite tub because it can grow with your child, all the way from infancy to toddlerhood.
Considerations when choosing baby bathtubs
There are three main types of baby bathtubs to choose from.
Standard baby bathtubs
Standard baby bathtubs are made of plastic with an angled, contoured seat. They often have foam padding that holds the baby in place and makes the seat more comfortable.
Compact/foldable baby bathtubs
These smaller models fold down for easy storage. Sometimes compact and foldable baby bathtubs limit the amount of water the tub can hold due to seams and hinges.
Convertible baby bathtubs
Convertible baby bathtubs stay with your baby from infancy through toddlerhood. These bathtubs can be placed inside a full-size bathtub and may have a removable sling or baby hammock for supporting newborns and infants.
A contoured seat keeps babies who cannot sit on their own yet in an upright position. It also helps stabilize those who can sit independently. Contoured seats also allow parents to focus on washing rather than holding the baby upright in the water. However, not all contoured seats are the same. The seat angle, crotch and feet barriers, and depth of the tub vary by model. For warmth, the seat angle should keep as much of your baby underwater as possible.
Never quite sure if you've got the water temperature right? A baby bathtub with a thermal sticker or built-in thermometer can take the guesswork out of testing the water temperature.
Drains are either located on the bottom or side of a baby bathtub. Side drains often leave some water behind, which makes bottom drains the more efficient option.
Storage hook or handle
A few models have a storage hook, hole, or handle for hanging the bathtub. These are a great choice if you have limited storage space because the tub can hang on the wall or in a linen closet without taking up square footage on the floor or under the counter.
A standard plastic baby bathtub starts at around $20. These models may come with a baby sling or hammock but don't typically have any foam padding on the headrest or seat. In the $20 to $50 range are compact and/or foldable models and larger standard models. For over $50, you'll find bathtubs large enough to stay with your child into toddlerhood.
Q. How much water does a baby bathtub hold?
A. The water capacity varies with the make and model of the bathtub. Only two inches of water are needed to effectively bathe a baby, but the location and distribution of that water in the bathtub can affect how comfortable and easy it is to bathe your baby. For example, some compact or foldable models are limited in how much water they can hold due to their hinge location or size. When too much of the body is outside of the water, the baby can get cold and uncomfortable.
Q. I have a double sink. Are there baby bathtubs designed for that?
A. There are baby bathtubs designed for double sinks. They either fit into the sink or can be mounted to the sink.
Baby bathtubs we recommend
Best of the best: Fisher-Price 4-in-1 Sling 'n Seat Tub
Our take: Baby products that stay with your growing child always get top marks, and this tub fits that description. It works from infancy until your little one is ready for the big tub.
What we like: You get far more than just a tub. A newborn sling, squeeze bottle for rinsing, and storage hook puts all the necessary gear at hand. It can either hook to the sink or be used inside a full-size tub.
What we dislike: As far as baby bathtubs go, it's on the pricier end.
Best bang for your buck: The First Years Sure Comfort Deluxe Newborn to Toddler Tub
Our take: An excellent baby bathtub that costs far less than other models. Though it's simple in design, it's got the contouring and extras that make bathtime easier.
What we like: The infant hammock means it's usable from the day you bring your newborn home from the hospital. We also love the padding and contouring that helps keep your baby comfortable and in place while getting clean.
What we dislike: The seat design doesn't hold active babies in place very well.
Choice 3: Primo EuroBath
Our take: If you're looking for a tub that can stay with your baby up to two years, this is the baby bathtub for you.
What we like: Both the design and the materials are simple and basic but often that makes bathtime easier. It's BPA-, phthalate-, and lead-free, so there's no exposure to harmful substances. The size works for older babies and young toddlers.
What we dislike: It's not easy to move or store, and it doesn't fit in small sinks.
Stacey L. Nash is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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