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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

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $25
  • $$ = $26–$40
  • $$$ = $41–$59
  • $$$$ = over $60

Note: Prices were gathered at the time of publishing. They do not reflect potential fluctuations due to sales or other promotions.

Best baby bathtub for newborns and babies up to 6 months

Best baby bathtub for small sink baths

Puj Tub

Price: $$$

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 mildew- and allergy-free baby bathtub

Best adjustable baby bathtub

Best ergonomic baby bathtub

Summer Comfort Height Bath Center with Step Stool

Price: $$

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 large basin baby bathtub

Best baby bathtub for sitting support

Best slip-free baby bathtub

Best baby bathtub for comfort

Best foldable baby bathtub

Best luxury baby bathtub

Best baby bathtub for travel

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.

Ask yourself:

  • 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.

Related: How often should you bathe your baby?

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.

Other tips:

  • 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.

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.