Best Baby Bath Tub Review in 2018
The purchase of a baby bath tub is often overlooked when new parents start buying baby supplies. However, bathing an infant in an adult-sized tub or in the sink is not only difficult but can be dangerous as well. A well-designed baby tub will not only make bath time safer, it will make it more fun for your child as well.
What is a Baby Bath Tub?
A wiggly, wet baby is difficult to hold and becomes even more slippery when covered in soap. When bathing a child in a full-sized tub or in the sink, you need to keep your infant supported at all times which can make it awkward to lather and rinse them. A baby bath tub solves this issue. While most are simply contoured vessels that hold a few inches of water, they make bathing a baby much easier.
Simple hard plastic and inflatable tubs can be quite reasonable, and you should be able to find one for less than $40 dollars. This kind of inexpensive baby bath tub should be adequate for your family. Tubs with additional features can be much more expensive, and there are even baby spas available which have lots of impressive features but will also come with an impressive price tag.
The Benefits of Using a Baby Bath Tub
Baby tubs make bath time easier for parents since most tubs made for infants and toddlers keep your child in a supported, upright position in a limited quantity of water. Most baby tubs have a slanted or contoured back rest which allows your baby to sit in a reclined position with their head safely above the maximum water height.
You also need to use a much smaller volume of water when using a purpose-made baby tub. This means bath time can be much quicker since you won't have to fill an entire adult bathtub. Since babies need frequent baths, this will be one less demand on your time.
Bath Time Safety Concerns
Babies can drown in only two inches of water if unattended for even a short period of time. Most baby bath tubs not only limit the volume of water needed for a bath, but they also are designed in such a way that a baby can not slide beneath the water. Even attentive parents can be momentarily distracted, and a well-designed tub will keep your baby properly supported when this happens.
A second bath concern is temperature. Because they are smaller than adults, babies are more prone to overheat or become too cold if the water's temperature is not properly maintained. Some of the higher end baby tubs come with integrated temperature monitors and will alert you if the water temperature is too high. You can also purchase floating temperature monitors separately from your baby's bath tub. The ideal bath water temperature for babies is around 100 degrees.
How To Choose The Best Baby Bath Tub
Inflatable and Collapsible Tubs vs. Solid Sided Tubs
The first decision you will make when shopping for a baby bath tub is whether you should buy a tub with solid sides or a tub that can collapse in some way. There are advantages to both. Solid tubs are often easier to clean and tend to be more supportive of an infant's neck and head. They are most commonly made out of hard plastic but are contoured in such a way that they are comfortable to lay in. When shopping for a hard-sided tub, find one that is made from non-toxic, BPA-free plastic.
Collapsable tubs include foldable and inflatable tubs which are easier to store when not in use. Additionally, collapsable tubs have soft sides which make them more comfortable in some situations. Both styles of tubs can be portable and can often be used inside of the sink or tub or can be placed on the floor.
Size of Tub
You'll be able to choose from several sizes of tubs. Many parents opt for a grow-with-me style tub that can accommodate infants as well as toddlers so that they can use a single tub for their child's entire babyhood until they are ready to use a full sized tub. These tend to be the most popular option, and come in several configurations and styles. However, these grow-with-me style tubs may be uncomfortable for babies during certain stages. For instance, babies who have outgrown infant supports but are still too small for the setup meant for toddlers may be uncomfortable.
Other families find that a tub specifically made for their baby's life stage. Infants may be more comfortable in a reclining tub if they are too young to lift their head. Older babies and toddlers may enjoy a bath ring which allows for more movement but still gives them some support.
Most baby tubs are quite simple plastic contraptions and are little more than a container for water. But there are plenty of baby tubs which have added features to make bath time more comfortable, safe, and fun. Many of these features are for your baby's comfort such as padded back rests, mesh hammock seats for smaller babies and newborns and ergonomic designs which conform to your baby's back and neck.
Others have more high-tech features. Some have built-in color-coded temperature displays, while other tubs have built-in vibration for a spa-like bath experience.
If you've just spent time washing your baby, the last thing you'll want to do is spend more time washing their tub. A difficult to clean bath will mean more time scrubbing and less time snuggling with your child. Solid-sided tubs are usually easier to keep clean than soft-sided tubs and often have drain holes at the bottom. But no matter what tub you choose, you should consider the type of material it is made out of and how quickly it will dry once it is used.
Not only is a quick and easy cleanup easier on parents, it also prevents bacteria and mold from growing on the moist surface of the baby tub. Some tubs have a soft layer of foam or non-slip coating on their bottom surface. This should be non-absorbant and must be able to fully dry between uses to prevent mold and bacterial growth.
Five Best Baby Bath Tubs
The First Years Sure Comfort Deluxe Newborn To Toddler Tub
The flexible design of this tub ensures that you'll have a comfortable place to bathe your baby until they're ready to use an adult tub. The ergonomic hard plastic sides are supportive and easy to clean. The Sure Comfort Deluxe tub comes with an adjustable sling made from soft fabric mesh to use with smaller babies to keep them safe and secure until they are large enough to sit in the tub unaided. It also has mildew-resistant pads along the back and bottom to ensure your baby's health and comfort. Unfortunately, some parents find that the shape of the molded back can dig into their child's body. The plastic is also not BPA or phthalate free.
Fisher-Price Precious Planet Whale of a Tub
The appropriately named Whale of a Tub is both cute and practical. It fits over double sinks or inside of a traditional bath tub. The bath has a removable supportive insert for small babies, so your baby will be able to enjoy their tub from their infancy to toddlerhood. However, small babies and newborns may need extra support during bath time, and some parents feel that babies who are too large for the newborn insert but are still too small to sit in the full tub can slide down into the water too easily. Some parents also note that the legs on the bottom of the tub are difficult to attach and can be unstable.
Fisher-Price Calming Waters Vibration Bathing Tub
The big selling point of the Calming Waters Tub is its vibration option. When on, it adds a soothing vibration to the water. This spa-like element helps fussy babies relax and comforts them during bath time. This tub can accommodate your child as they grow, and has a sling insert that safely contains smaller babies within the water, supporting their bodies comfortably. It will fit inside most kitchen sinks and comes with a hook to hang and dry the tub after each use making cleaning easier. Some feel that the vibration feature is too loud, and some parents note that mildew or mold can build up on the padding if the tub does not dry properly.
The EuroBath baby bath tub may look plain, but is a real workhorse in the bathroom. There are two different positions for your baby within the tub, one for infants and one for older babies. As one of the largest baby baths available, it will accommodate babies from 0 to 24 months. Because it is so large, your toddler will be able to use it far longer than other tubs, but it can not fit in every sink. The bathing positions will give your baby plenty of water to splash and play in. Eco-minded families will like the fact that the plastic used in its construction is BPA-free, lead-free, PVC Free, and phthalate free. It's also recyclable.
Munchkin White Hot Inflatable Duck Tub
This tub is so cute you'll love it just as much as your baby will! Inspired by the classic bath time toy, this rubber duck tub is inflatable, making it great for travel and easy to store when not in use. It is also one of the most affordable tubs available. Although it is not appropriate for babies under six months old, toddlers up to two years can use it comfortably. The soft, puffy sides make bathing comfortable and safe, and the bottom is also textured to prevent slips. To ensure proper water temperature, this tub has a safety disc which turns white when the water is too hot.
Bathing is important not just so that your baby can remain clean and healthy, but it is also a time for play and bonding. The right tub can offer years of enjoyment and will provide a safe alternative to using a sink or an adult tub which can be uncomfortable and difficult for parents.
Of the five baby bath tubs reviewed here, the clear winner is the Munchkin White Hot Inflatable Duck Tub. Although you will not be able to use it for young infants, once your baby has reached six months of age, they can enjoy this tub into toddlerhood. The adorable duck design makes this one of the most attractive bath tubs for babies, and the soft inflatable sides will be comfortable for your little one. Additionally, safety features like the no-slip bottom and the integrated heat sensor makes this a sensible and safe choice for families.
No matter which tub you choose, make sure it is both safe and enjoyable for your baby to use.