The 6 Best Baby Bathtubs, According To Pediatricians
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When it’s time to get your baby clean, the best baby bathtubs are a safe tool for accomplishing the task. Any tub should have rounded corners and edges and should support your baby comfortably and securely. It may be tempting to save money on a hand-me-down tub, but both pediatrician and author Dr. Harvey Karp, MD, and Dr. Florencia Segura, MD, FAAP, a pediatrician based in Vienna, Virginia, recommend using a tub made after October 2017 to ensure it meets the most recent safety guidelines provided by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The current standards “have improved warning labels and locking mechanisms,” according to Dr. Segura.
Baby bathtubs come in many different varieties, but both doctors warn that you should skip inflatable tubs or any type of bath seat, as these are flimsy and can easily tip your child into the water. For most parents, a standalone bathtub that’s convertible or has multiple bathing positions is the best option, since it’ll work for your child even as they grow. But before you buy, make sure your baby’s age and weight match the manufacturer’s specifications for your tub of choice. Dr. Segura advises that the CPSC “recommends a hard plastic baby bathtub with a sloped, textured surface that helps keep your baby from sliding,” and Dr. Karp suggests that a sling can also help keep your child in place. He adds that you can also “lay down a clean towel to make a surface less slippery.”
Most convertible baby bathtubs are “basin tubs,” aka they stand alone for use in your bathroom, kitchen, or regular bathtub, but some can even be utilized in the sink depending on their size. With some exceptions, baby bathtubs can be pretty bulky, making storage a bit of a challenge. If you have limited storage space, or if you simply prefer to bathe your babe in the sink, you might prefer a sink insert over a tub. Sink inserts are, as Dr. Karp puts it, “slip resistant liners you can put into the sink” during bath time, though he also recommends lining the bottom with a towel to further minimize slipping. These inserts tend to be easier to store than tubs, since they’re often smaller in size and frequently made from flexible foam. Foam tends to take longer to dry though, and your baby will likely quickly outgrow these products — usually by about six months or so.
Whether you use a bathtub or a sink insert, it’s important to ensure the water isn’t too hot for your baby’s sensitive skin. “You should be able to comfortably keep your hand under the running water,” advises Dr. Karp, adding that you can also “use a thermometer to make sure that the temperature doesn’t exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit.” Some tubs even have a special feature that helps you gauge water temperature, which can be nice, though not strictly necessary.
While safety is of the highest importance when choosing a bathtub, even the most secure tubs can be a hazard when filled with even an inch of water. According to Dr. Karp, “the primo, most important thing is to never, ever leave your baby unattended in the tub…not even for 3 seconds!” as a few seconds is “all the time it takes for your baby to slide or fall into an unsafe position.” Dr. Segura stresses this same point, advising that you should “always make sure to have all your baby’s bath supplies and a towel within reach so that you can keep a hand on your baby at all times.”
Finally, when bath time is over, both doctors warn that it’s vital to immediately empty the tub once you’re done so it doesn’t pose a risk to any children in your household. “Water represents a real and constant threat to children because water is shiny, refreshing, and fun, coupled with the fact that young children are by nature, curious, impulsive, and fast,” Dr. Segura explained to Romper. But with careful supervision and one of these highly rated baby bathtubs, you and your child are sure to enjoy bath time.
1. A Fan-Favorite Convertible Bathtub
With more than 19,000 reviews on Amazon and a solid 4.7-star rating overall, reviewers on the site adore this bathtub from The First Years. For some, it's the amazing price point — only $20! — and for others, it's the tub's ability to be utilized for years to come. The standalone bathtub features three different bathing positions so newborns, babies, and toddlers can be safe and secure in it (for newborns, you'll need to convert the tub using the included mesh sling). Made from sturdy plastic, the bathtub should dry quickly, and it has mildew-resistant pads to prevent your wiggly babe from slipping and sliding.
This pick is available in two colors — aqua and pink. The bathtub doesn’t collapse or fold down, so just be sure that you have enough room to store it.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "This has been an ideal place to bathe our baby since she was born. The sling contraption worked really well to keep her out of the water when the umbilical cord was still on, and it was great for new parents to have the tiny new born stay comfy in one place while we bathed her, since it would have been hard to hold onto her! Once the sling comes off the bathtub is very well built to provide support under the little one's bum and avoid them slipping forward and down into the water, so again you don't need to be holding onto the baby the entire time (though you should NEVER leave a baby unattended in the tub nonetheless!!). There is a handy, separate compartment for holding some rinsing water. Overall, we love this tub and will likely continue to use it for a long time!"
- Suitable for: Babies weighing 5 - 25 pounds
- Dimensions: 29.75 x 15 x 9.25 inches (length x width x height)
2. A Bathtub That Warns You When The Water Is Too Hot
It can be difficult to know whether your baby’s bath water is at the ideal temperature, but luckily, this standalone bathtub from Boon takes a lot of the guesswork out of the situation; the tub's drain plug automatically changes from gray to white when the water is too hot, so you’ll immediately know that adjustments need to be made. Beyond this temperature-gauging capability, this pick also has some other helpful features. For one, the tub can be used in three different bathing positions (simply by adjusting the bump at the bottom), so it’s suitable for newborns, infants, and toddlers. The contoured back wall features nonslip foam to keep your baby securely in place even when wet — and because the foam used isn't absorbent, it should relatively dry quickly. The rest of the tub is made from a solid piece of white plastic, though you can choose between options with gray or turquoise-colored foam.
This pick can be used in a bathtub, on its own, or in most double sinks, too. It can’t be folded down though, so just be sure you have room to store it.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "Definitely the best baby tub I’ve tried. It has a detachable seat insert that keeps your baby from sliding down and the holes in it allow for water flow under baby’s bottom. The plug changes color if the water’s too hot which is a nifty built in feature."
- Suitable for: Ages 0 - 18 months
- Dimensions: 25.38 x 15.72 x 8.84 inches (length x width x height)
3. A Super Comfortable Foam Bather To Use In Your Sink
This in-sink bather from Blooming Bath will keep your little one perfectly cradled during bath time. Made from cushiony foam, this pick is in the shape of an adorable flower with four flexible petals that’ll fit well in most sinks. Amazon reviewers indicate they’d pick this flower time and time again and give the in-sink bather a knockout 4.7-star rating overall, after more than 8,000 reviews.
While foam can take a while to dry on its own, this pick can be tossed directly in the dryer after use, which the manufacturer indicates will dry the bather in just 10 to 15 minutes. This pick is also machine washable.
This in-sink bather is super lightweight — weighing in at just 1 pound — and it’s available in a range of color options. The only downside to this pick is that it’s not convertible, so your little one will eventually outgrow it entirely. It’s flexible for easy storage.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "I bought this to bathe my newborn in after my 4th c-section. I wish I had this for all my children! It would have made life so much easier during bath time. Because of the material my new baby stayed put and didn’t slip and slide all over the place. Also she was very calm and comfortable and seemed to enjoy the bathing experience, as the material is thick and soft, almost like a little sofa for her. It was perfect. I can’t say enough great things about it. After the bath you just press out the water and either hang the flower to dry or throw it in the dryer. I truly feel sad that I did not have this for my other kids."
- Suitable for: Ages 0 - 6 months
- Dimensions: 13.25 x 4.5 x 13.25 inches (length x width x height)
4. An Extra-Roomy Baby Bathtub
This extra-roomy standalone bathtub from Primo has plenty of space for your little one to splish and splash during their bath. The standalone bathtub is made from BPA-free polypropylene plastic, which means it should dry quickly and can be easily cleaned with just mild soap and water. It features multiple bathing positions, including an infant position (for 0- to 6-month-old babies) to support your baby’s head and back before they are able to sit up unassisted. When bath time is over, this pick has a drain plug, so you can easily get rid of the water.
Since this bathtub is so large (measuring a whopping 36 inches long, 21 inches wide, and 10 inches tall) it’ll work for your child well into their toddler years. Just be sure that you have enough room for it in your home, since the tub doesn’t collapse or fold down for easier storage.
Choose from a few different colors.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "Nice, BIG bathtub. Our smaller bathtub that we were using since our son's birth was starting to feel a bit crowded. We wanted him to start playing with bigger bath toys, but there wasn't enough space. We upgraded and we're glad we did! This is just big enough that he has space to play with his toys, but it requires much less water than to fill up a bathtub!"
- Suitable for: Ages 0 - 24+ months
- Dimensions: 36 x 21 x 10 inches (length x width x height)
5. A Lightweight In-Sink Insert That Doesn’t Absorb Water
If you’re leaning towards an in-sink bather but don’t want to deal with drying out traditional foam, this pick from Puj is the perfect solution. The in-sink bather is made from a mold- and mildew-resistant closed cell foam that doesn't absorb any water, which means it should dry that much faster. The only trade off is that this pick isn’t quite as cushiony as the Blooming Bath in-sink bather, though it does cradle your baby for plenty of comfort.
This pick is designed to fit most standard-sized bathroom sinks; it folds and uses magnets to hold its shape for bath time. Once your baby is squeaky clean, this bather hangs flat for easy storage, and it's incredibly lightweight at just 6 ounces.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "Great tub for little ones that have no control over their body. I was able to put this in our sink and my baby finally had a bath without crying and I spared my back. It dries and cleans easily. There's a hole at the bottom to allow the water to run out so baby is always in clean water. Love this product!"
- Suitable for: Babies weighing 4 - 16.5 pounds
- Dimensions: 25.2 x 26.38 x 0.79 inches (length x width x height)
6. A Baby Bathtub Spa
If you want to give your child a spa-like experience in the comfort of your home, this baby bathtub from Summer Infant truly delivers. The standalone bathtub features motorized water jets that create bubbles and vibrations to calm your little one. A small built-in shower head allows you to easily rinse your baby and keep them warm throughout bath time — and the tub's insulated double walls help keep the water warm for longer.
This pick is made from plastic and it is convertible to grow with your little one, thanks to a mesh newborn sling that’ll support young babies. This bathtub runs on four D batteries (they're not included), and it has a solid 10-hour battery life.
The only downsides to this pick? It’s a bit heavy at 9 pounds, and it can’t be folded or broken down for storage. So make sure you have a place to keep it when it's not in use!
Choose from a few different colors.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "[My] granddaughter doesn't like baths yet so she pretty much cries during bath time. But when I put the bubbles on she just stops. So I now i know her favorite part of bath time. Very easy to put together as well as use. I appreciate the newborn chair for the tub. It makes bathing the baby easy as well."
- Suitable for: Ages 0 - 24 months
- Dimensions: 29.25 x 18.25 x 9.75 inches (length x width x height)
Dr. Harvey Karp, MD, board-certified pediatrician and author of the best-selling parent guides The Happiest Baby on the Block and The Happiest Toddler on the Block
Dr. Florencia Segura, MD, FAAP, board-certified pediatrician at Einstein Pediatrics