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Water plus soap plus a newborn may sound like a slippery, potentially scary experience. But once you get the hang of bath time with your baby, you’ll probably look forward to sudsing up.
Throughout the first year, you’ll likely want to use a sink, a bathtub insert, or some other type of baby-specific bathtub versus putting your little one in the larger family tub.
When choosing a baby tub, it’s important to take into consideration the size and age of your little one. Some tubs have a reclining hammock or other positioner to help hold smaller babies in place. Others are simply smaller water basins that let older babies sit up. And some offer the flexibility to grow with your child.
What’s best? Well, what you ultimately choose is up to your needs, personal preferences, and budget. The following tubs and tub inserts earn high marks from reviewers for quality, fun features, safety, and overall value.
Related: How to give your newborn baby a bath
- $ = $10–$25
- $$ = $26–$40
- $$$ = $41–$59
- $$$$ = $60+
Note: Prices were gathered at the time of publishing. They do not reflect potential fluctuations due to sales or other promotions.
Best for: Newborns and babies up to 6 months
Key features: If you’re planning to start with sink baths, the Blooming Bath Lotus insert is a plush, flower-shaped cushion that gives your baby a comfortable cradle. Parents rave about its super-soft surface and some say it’s the only way their babies will take a bath tear-free.
To prevent mold and mildew buildup between uses, simply wring out the flower in the sink and run through your clothes dryer for 10 to 15 minutes. You can also wash it on your washer’s delicate cycle.
Considerations: Some reviewers note that while this flower is cute, it’s actually a little impractical. It’s too big to fit into most bathroom sinks. Others report that it takes much longer to dry than the manufacturer leads on, up to two dryer cycles. And a few more say that the cushion ends up smelling not-so flower-like after a few uses.
Best for: Small sink baths
Key features: A more streamlined sink bath insert option is the Puj Tub. Made from soft mold- and mildew-resistant foam, its thin design fits into most standard bathroom sinks.
Cleaning is easy — just scrub gently with soap and water and hang to dry. Parents love this insert’s small footprint and say it’s great for folding into a suitcase while traveling.
Considerations: Some reviewers feel the foam material is too fragile for the high price tag. Others say to be careful when measuring your “standard” sink because it’s best suited for sinks that are 15 inches by 12 inches and around 6 inches deep.
Best for: Keeping things mildew- and allergy-free
Key features: Don’t have space for a separate baby tub? The Angelcare bath support seat is a great option that sits in your regular tub. It can also fit in sinks that are larger than 23 inches by 14 inches. The support is made from a mildew-resistant mesh material that drains and dries quickly. Overall, parents like this option for babies under 6 months old, when it may be much easier to use this seat than a dedicated baby bathtub.
Considerations: Some reviewers say that the mesh material on the seat is harsh for newborns but doesn’t grip them. Others say it’s too small or that their babies started slipping out easily after a couple months. And a few people report that the mesh material breaks easily.
Best for: Newborn comfort that grows until toddlerhood
Key features: The First Years Comfort Tub transitions with your child from newborn to older baby to toddler — giving you a pretty good bang for your buck. Its ergonomic design includes a machine-washable sling for the youngest infants. Then babies transition to reclining and eventually sitting. Parents give this tub high marks for being economical and long lasting.
Considerations: While over 70 percent of people give this tub 5-star reviews on Amazon, a few note that there is room for improvement. Several say that the drain plug is placed in an inconvenient location. Others wish the included sling were adjustable because they’d prefer to use it longer (the tub can be big for smaller infants). And a few note that the tub ends up leaking over time.
Best for: Ergonomic comfort for caregiver
Key features: Whether you have a bad back or just want to be more comfortable while bathing your baby, the Summer Comfort Height tub is a good option. It comes raised on a removable platform that later converts to a step stool for toddlers. And speaking of toddlers, this tub is made for use with newborns, older babies, and toddlers up to 2 years old. Moms of kids close in age say this tub makes bathing little ones while pregnant much more comfortable.
Considerations: A few parents mention that the infant insert has a protruding bump in a not-so comfortable spot for baby boys. Others say this tub is better suited for older babies and toddlers. And several people mention that while it’s neat to have a future step stool option, it’s not worth spending $30 for that feature alone.
Best for: Parents who want a large basin that works through toddlerhood
Key features: The EuroBath baby tub is the largest basin available and measures a whopping 36 inches by 21 inches by 10 inches. It has two positions — reclining and sitting — to suit babies ages newborn to 24 months. The tub features a conveniently placed drain and is made from BPA-free plastic that’s easy to scrub and keep clean.
This tub also has handy compartments to hold things like shampoo and bath toys. Safety supports for the forearms and legs help little ones from slipping underwater.
Considerations: While many parents like the large size of this tub, others find it hard to store away and explain that it “barely fits” into a standard sized bathtub. Others feel that the shiny plastic material actually makes for lots of slipping and that the drain hole is small, making the tub slow to empty.
Best for: Bath time flexibility and sitting support
Key features: Want a bunch of different options for your child? The Fisher Price Sling ‘n Seat tub has four different settings. Not only does it feature a sling for newborns and a “baby stopper” for reclining infants, but it also offers a “sit-me-up support” for unstable sitters. This insert can then be removed for older babies and toddlers who sit on their own and need more leg room. The tub has a hook for hanging and can fit into a double kitchen sink.
Considerations: Some parents don’t like that the tub’s plug is positioned underneath where the support seat goes, meaning you have to remove the seat to drain. Others share that the sling rests too high above the water for newborns and younger infants. And a few reviewers say that the toy fish and squirt bottle that are included as a bonus don’t work well.
Best for: Slip-free bath time
Key features: This three-stage bathtub includes the newborn sling, reclining option for babies under 6 months old, and the sitting option for babies up to 25 pounds. The whale shape adds some fun to the bath time experience — if your baby is old enough to appreciate this — and the interior of the tub is coated in a non-slip texture for extra safety. Parents like the mesh sling because they say it’s made from quality materials and feels comfortable for cradling even tiny babies.
Considerations: While some reviewers like the space-saving design, many others say it’s too small for babies older than 6 months. A few people say that the slope of the netting is too steep, making it uncomfortable. Other reviewers share that the plug may break after several uses.
Best for: Keeping babies warm and cozy
Key features: This nifty tub is compact, yet offers “optimal water levels” (25 inches by 16.25 inches by 15 inches) to keep baby warm throughout bath time. What’s most unique about this tub is that it allows even newborns to sit in an upright position. It also has a non-slip, padded back rest for added safety from slippage. This tub functions similarly to, but is a more economical version of the Shnuggle ($$$$).
Considerations: Nearly 90 percent of reviewers give this tub five stars. Those who don’t say that they’re frustrated with its small size and that it doesn’t fit longer infants very well. Other reviewers report that the tub itself is hard to clean and that scum and dirt show too easily.
Best for: Folding flat for storage
Key features: The OXO Tot Splash and Store tub has a clever silicone design that allows it to be folded flat after use. It works best for babies ages newborn to 18 months old and offers two different sides. The first side is smaller to cradle younger infants. The second is wider for babies ages 9 months and up who sit upright. Parents like the quick action double drain that can be emptied even while baby is in the tub.
Considerations: In general, people like the higher quality materials used to make this product. Some parents note that this tub doesn’t offer much in the way of comfort for smaller babies. Otherwise, the main sticking point with reviewers is the high price, which is nearly double that of most similar baby bathtubs.
Best for: Making bath time a little, well, extra
Key features: You’ve probably heard you can buy a mini jacuzzi for you baby — well, the Summer Lil Luxuries Spa tub is that tub. If it sounds excessive, consider that the circulating water jets and vibrations may calm fussy babies. This tub includes a special newborn sling with a bolster that can be used inside the tub itself or in a sink. Outgrown the baby tub? Older babies can continue using the spa and shower unit in an adult tub.
Considerations: Reviews on this product are pretty split. While 64 percent of customers give it five stars, a solid 18 percent give this product only one star. Their main gripe? It’s difficult to clean and has many nooks, crannies, and tubes to contend with. Mostly, people say that all the added features aren’t worth the risk of mold and mildew buildup, especially considering the high price point.
Best for: Small space or travel
Key features: If you need a tub while visiting the in-laws or on vacation, consider packing this inflatable one by Mommy’s Helper. It includes a large drain hole for quick cleanup and a saddle horn that fits between baby’s legs for added stability. Not only is this bestselling tub inexpensive, but it also gets good reviews for being a great transition tool for kids who may be close to moving to the family tub.
Considerations: This tub is not for young babies — instead, your little one should be able to sit on his own and being quite stable doing so. A few reviewers say it’s difficult to inflate and they would have liked some type of pump to be included. And as you might imagine, several people note that this tub isn’t one for the long term. It may get small holes after several uses.
There are many baby bathtubs and related products, like bath seats, on the market. As you’ve seen, some are classic bucket-style basins intended to sit inside a larger tub. Others inflate or fold for easy storage. Some have spa-like features, like whirlpool settings.
All of these features can be handy or even fun. But when assessing a bathtub on your own, you want to foremost think about how you’ll use and maintain it.
- How old is my baby? And how long do I plan to use this particular tub?
- Despite age, how much does my baby weight/how tall are they?
- Do I want a standalone tub or a seat/nest that fits into a sink or regular bathtub?
- Can my baby sit upright or do they need additional support?
- Do I have enough space to easily store a standalone tub? Or does inflating or folding make more sense?
- Do I want added features like jets or vibration?
- Do I plan to use this tub with more than one child? If so, are replacement parts available (like slings, etc.)?
- How easy is the tub to clean? Do I want to deal with additional parts, like mesh hammocks?
As well, be sure to consider the main safety concerns:
- sharp edges or other protrusions
- failure of product from defects (or with used tubs, potential recalls)
- potential for entrapment (baby getting caught on parts)
- slippery surfaces
- potential for mold buildup
- battery-related issues
And then there’s price. Most tubs range in price from $10 to around $60, with many options falling between $20 and $40. When looking at price, consider the amount of time you plan to use the tub. Those that grow with your child may be more cost effective in the long run. And a sturdy tub that has a classic design may last you for several children.
Be sure to read all the instructions and manufacturer notes that come with whatever bathtub or bathing product you choose to purchase. There may be certain safety or use guidelines that will help make the most of your baby’s bath experience.
Tips for bath time with baby:
- Consider lining your bathroom sink or small tub with a clean towel for added protection against slipping. Still, keep one hand on your baby at all times.
- Fill your sink or tub up with only about 2 inches of water. If you’re concerned baby will get cold, you can pour water over their body during the bath.
- Aim for warm water — not hot. Around 100°F (37.8°C) is the goal. A good way to prevent scalding is to lower your home’s water temperature from the source, your water heater. Set its thermostat to below 120°F (48.9°C).
- To protect baby from chills, make sure that the bathroom or wherever you’re bathing them is warm. And keep a nice, dry towel nearby for when it’s time to get out.
- Don’t bathe your baby every single day. Just three times a week is enough for babies who aren’t mobile. And even after that, you shouldn’t bathe too often, as it may dry out delicate skin.
Never leave your child unattended in a tub or tub insert. Same goes for when you’re filling up the tub — drowning is a possibility anytime your little one has the potential to slip into water unattended.
- Keep your tub within your reach at all times. If you do need to leave the room to grab something like a towel, take your child with you.
- Don’t relegate babysitting duties to other young children in your household. While it’s tempting, kids just don’t have the same attention span or reasoning skills that adults do.
- Consider taking a course in CPR. If you ever find yourself in a scary scenario, you’ll be thankful for the ability to act fast.
Related: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
Try not to be too swayed by all the bells and whistles — you’ll really only be using a dedicated baby tub or positioner for a short period of time. That said, you may potentially use whatever you choose with multiple children. Look for a simple tub that is built for lasting comfort. Otherwise, consider your budget and other personal preferences.
Perhaps most important of all, practice safe habits around bath time and never leave your infant unattended around water.