Baby bathtubs are more than just a cute decoration for bathing your little one. They can make the whole process a lot more comfortable for you, and your baby. A good bathtub also provides a lot more support and protection than a plain kitchen sink.
But, baby products are a huge market, and so there are an awful lot of tubs out there that are less effective than they seem.
This article cuts through the chaff to the best of the tubs in several different styles. If you’re looking for a softer tub with less support, it’s on this list. A rigid tub with other tools and features to help care for your little one? That’s here too.
We’ll go over the pros and cons of each type of bathtub, and give them all a rating. That way you can make an informed decision, and be a lot more comfortable doing it.
|Angelcare Baby Bath Support|
|Fisher-Price 4-in-1 Sling ‘n Seat Tub|
|Aquascale Digital Scale & Thermometer 3-in-1 Infant Tub|
|The Bathtubs||Tub Style||Materials||Check the Price|
|Aquascale Digital Scale & Thermometer 3-in-1 Infant Tub||Hardshell, freestanding bathtub||Plastic, internal electronics. Requires batteries||Check the Price|
|Blooming Bath Lotus||Soft body in-sink support||Soft fabric and passing||Check the Price|
|Puj Tub – The Soft, Foldable Baby Bathtub||Folding tub||Foam with fold creases||Check the Price|
|Fisher-Price 4-in-1 Sling ‘n Seat Tub||Sink tub with sling||Plastic frame and a fabric hammock||Check the Price|
|Boon Naked Collapsible Baby Bathtub||Collapsible free-standing tub||Plastic frame and tub||Check the Price|
|Angelcare Baby Bath Support||In sink baby support||Soft elastic-plastic mesh, solid plastic frame||Check the Price|
|The First Years Sure Comfort Deluxe Newborn to Toddler Tub||Check the Price|
Why a Baby Bathtub?
Before we get to the details, let’s talk about one thing first. Why does your baby need a baby bathtub anyway?
Generations of babies have been bathed in their parents’ kitchen sink. Before that, a bucket or washtub did the job, if mom and dad didn’t just wash their little one with a wet washcloth.
The truth of the matter is, your kitchen sink, or any of those other methods, is still fine for your little one. You can still control the temperature of the water, and you can use one arm to support your baby and keep their head securely above the water.
Baby bathtubs makes the job easier, and they can make it a little safer, but they aren’t critical equipment.
That said, if you can afford a baby bathtub, you should probably get one. Like a lot of other option baby equipment, bathtubs make your life easier. Having a newborn is already a stressful and difficult time, in addition to a time of joy and celebration.
Having a tub makes it easier and faster to wash your little one. It can save your shoulders and back by lifting your baby so you don’t have to bend as far, supporting them so you don’t have to.
Baby bathtubs can also make the whole process easier on your child. If they tend to fight bath time, a tub will at least make it more comfortable, and also gives them space to play with toys and other distractions more safely.
As your little one gets older, a more solid tub can also keep them safer as they start to look around and kick their arms and legs.
However, the decision whether or not you want a baby tub is still a deeply personal one. And, it’s okay if you change your mind!
How Long Will You Use Your Tub?
One more thing, baby bathtubs are one of the shortest-lived pieces of furniture in terms of how long it will be useful. Almost all baby bathtubs will still be in good enough condition to pass down to a younger sibling, or a new niece or nephew after your first baby is done with it.
Babies typically only need a baby tub for the first 6 months or so. After that, once they can sit up on their own, you won’t need the extra support and safety of the baby tub. You can safely move your little one to your main bathtub at that point, with a shallow bath and careful supervision.
In fact, even if you choose to use your bathtub for longer than 6 months, your baby will quickly outgrow it. Once your little one is big enough to start trying to climb out of their bathtub, it’s time to put the baby tub away.
The Best Baby Bathtubs:
Editor’s Rating: 4.9
If you’re looking for a tub that does it all, this is probably a good option. In addition to being a hard-shelled tub, it also works as a scale and has a thermometer built in to make sure your bath water is the right temperature.
That extra functionality does come with a higher price tag, however, so you should make sure a couple of extra features are worth the cost.
That said, the scale makes this an especially good choice for parents with babies who need to be closely monitored. Premature babies, multiples (twins, triplets, etc), and babies with underlying conditions all need their weight and other milestones more closely monitored. This bathtub will make that process easier.
It’s got a supported bath area, perfect for letting your baby lay down with plenty of head and body support.
We did notice that the thermometer on the side tends to read a touch high for the water temperature. That’s okay, it gives you a larger margin of error while keeping your baby safe, but you may notice that the water is a little cooler than you expect if you follow the temperature reading exactly.
We recommend using a different thermometer about once a month to monitor the difference between the tub’s thermometer and a baseline.
The tub is also large enough that a lot of children will be able to continue using it after the 6-month mark. Maybe not for very long, since they might start trying to climb the edges, but it’s big enough to give them a good relaxing bath for a good while.
However, this more rigid bath also means that your little one might find it a little uncomfortable as they grow, making squirming and climbing attempts a little more likely.
This tub makes our top pick because of it’s additional utility, good design principles, and durable design. If you’re planning on having another little one, its easy to put this tub in a closet and bring it back out for use with your new baby.
|Contains a good amount of water|
|Lots of support for your baby’s head|
|Freestanding tub (doesn’t need to be in a sink)|
|Large frame babies might outgrow this tub faster|
|Has a couple of inserts that float and don’t appear to serve a specific purpose|
|2.2 pounds total weight|
|Side read thermometer included|
|Basic scale included (same side-read LED)|
|Resting area for head and body is specifically shaped|
Editor’s Rating: 4.6
This bathtub is a little different from the molded washbasin design that’s common to a lot of baby bathtubs. Instead of a formed tub, or a plastic support structure that fits inside the sink, this is just a soft, well-padded, flower for your baby to rest on.
It’s a good option for parents who like to let their little one move a little more. The padding provides plenty of support for your baby’s growing body, but it doesn’t have as much head support or any kind of restraint system.
That means it’s more comfortable for your little one since there aren’t any hard edges or bumps. However, it also means that this tub is a little more work for parents.
You need to watch for your little one’s head to drift, and once they reach the squirming phase, they’re more likely to need support and help to keep them out of the water.
However, that also means that your little one will have more space to move and explore as they hit the physical learning phase.
It’s easy to wash this ‘tub’ and it can be used as a soft decoration outside of bath time.
The tub comes in several different colors and a couple of different designs. You’ll be able to pick one or two different designs if you want some variety.
This tub might be able to pass down to your future children, or it might not. It depends on how well you maintain the tub, and how squirmy your little one becomes.
|Easy to use|
|Fits most kitchen or washroom sinks|
|Soft and comforting for your little one|
|Good for babies that resist bath time|
|Comes in multiple designs and colors|
|Doesn’t provide a lot of structure|
|No specialized head support|
|33 inches petal tip to tip|
Editor’s Rating: 4.7
This ‘tub’ is somewhere halfway between the two tubs we’ve already discussed. It is a firmer option but made of foam instead of plastic. It’s designed to provide a little more structure than the lotus tub, but less structure than a free-standing bathtub.
This tub lifts your little one a little further out of the sink, making them easier to reach. It provides a lot of support to keep your little one safe and their head stable, but it doesn’t provide a lot of walls and molding for your little one to fight with.
It also completely removes climbing, since there are no raised sides on this tub. That means it’s safe for little ones that don’t want to move and squirm and explore. But your little one will definitely let you know when they are ready for the big tub.
Once your little one is ready to start sitting up, this isn’t the tub for them. Since it doesn’t have walls, and it’s a softer foam base, it’s not as safe when your baby is starting to sit up as some alternatives.
However, while you might be using this tub a little shorter time, it’s still one of the best options when it comes to storing the tub. Since it unfolds completely flat, you can store it in the bottom of a drawer, handing on the back of a door, or any other number of places.
That storage makes this a good bathtub if you’re looking to have several children, but want to put a couple of years between them.
|Easy to store|
|Easy to clean|
|Comfortable for your little one|
|Makes your baby easier to reach|
|Lets you use both hands to wash them|
|Doesn’t have a lot of structure|
|Doesn’t hold any water|
|Not suitable for babies that are ready to start sitting up on their own|
|Unfolds completely flat|
|Fits most large sinks|
Editor’s Rating: 4.6
This tub is slightly more affordable than a lot of the options we’ve looked at, but without giving up any of the quality and functionality of your tub. Fisher-Price is also one of the most well-known and well-trusted brands out there.
The bright colors are beautiful and feel youthful and exciting. While your little one might not realize that and benefit directly from it, but the colors might make you feel better and more excited for bath time.
The tub also comes with a squeeze bottle and a scoop that will let your little one ‘help’ while they’re playing with water and learning in the bath.
This is also one of the few baby bathtubs that you can use well past the age when your baby is starting to sit up on their own. It has an adaptor that will make it safer for your little one, giving them the back support they need. It will also help keep them contained as they start trying to sit, and then climb or crawl out of the tub.
This tub gets our best value designation for a couple of reasons.
It’s reasonably priced, for one. But more importantly, you’ll get more use out of this tub than almost any others that are available right now. It’s got its own seat, meaning your little one will still be safe sitting up in the tub, and you’ll be able to concentrate on getting them clean instead of keeping them contained.
|Comfortable fabric hammock for smaller babies|
|Suitable for babies starting to sit up on their own|
|Easy to clean and maintain|
|Designed with the needs of an infant in mind|
|Plug for easy filling, easy draining|
|Your little one may outgrow the hammock relatively quickly|
|Your baby might hurt their feet kicking around inside the hard shell of the tub|
|Comes with 2 toys|
|Comes with 1 washable hammock|
|The plastic tub is easy to wipe clean|
|Fits in most kitchen and washroom sinks|
Editor’s Rating: 4.4
If you liked the Boon tub that was our top pick in this article but don’t need the additional features of the thermometer and the scale, this might be a good option.
This is a more slimmed down (and similarly more affordable) version of that tub. The shape is a little different, but that’s to make it more of a free-standing option that doesn’t need to be in the sink when you use it.
The drain plug in this tub is easy to use. It’s also very watertight, so you won’t have to deal with a lot of leaks and drainage while you’re washing your little one.
There are also a couple of different positions your little one can use, though the recline is usually the most comfortable option. Since the tub is all one piece, it’s easier to transition between the different phases for your little one.
Additional support stages, from moving the tub a little further down the frame, also make this tub a longer-lasting option, though we doubt that it will see you through much more than the 6-month age.
|Easy-clean plastic construction|
|Hook for easier storage|
|Not great for babies that squirm and wiggle a lot|
|Support bar and frame|
|Hook for easy storage|
Editor’s Rating: 4.5
This is a good option if you have a nice large sink but want something to help support your little one. This support system will let you wash your baby hands-free and brings them a little closer to you so that you can wash them more comfortably.
This is a good choice for babies that have resisted harder tub designs and hard edges and corners. It’s also a good choice for children who need a little more support and security. It’s also a little larger than many of the tubs on this list.
If you have a larger than average child, and you’ll know if you do, this may be a better option than a full tub since it’s a little more adaptable.
This tub may also be a better design for little ones that start to kick and wiggle a lot before they learn to sit up since there is less they can hurt little fingers and toes on.
The drain holes in the supportive mesh make maintaining this tub a lot easier. Soapy water will wash straight through. Even if your little one has an accident while you’re washing up, it’s easy to clean up them and the tub at the same time.
|Easy to clean and maintain|
|Plastic is soft enough to be safe for your little one|
|Good for babies with a larger frame|
|Easy to store built-in hook|
|Can’t be used out of a sink|
|Suitable up to 20 lbs|
|Multiple types of plastic|
Editor’s Rating: 4.4
This tub is very similar to the Fisher-Price tub we’ve already discussed, but with a design that lets your little one reclines a little further into the hammock as they’re bathed.
The tub itself comes in two different colors, a bright pink and a pale blue, but the functional features matter a whole lot more than the aesthetic.
This tub is a little shallower, with a longer washable hammock. Overall, the design works, but it does have some edges and hollows that could be a kicking hazard as your little one grows.
However, this tub does have some assembly required and comes with a set of assembly instructions before you can use it. The instructions are easy to follow, but it’s still one more thing to worry about.
This is another tub that’s more suitable for toddlers than most. As your little one starts to grow up, you can take out the hammock and replace it with the seat inside. Its good for babies that can sit on their own, and still provides some support so that they can safely relax in the warm water.
However, the tub itself is still fairly small, so you’ll only get another month or two out of it before your little one starts to need something a bit bigger.
|Higher weight capacity than many (25 lbs)|
|Converts into a toddler tub|
|Drain plug included|
|Fits both in a wide sink, or your main bathtub|
|Mesh hammock perfect for newborns|
|The hammock won’t support your little one for very long|
|Some assembly required|
|Suitable up to 25 lbs|
|Adjusts between several different growth stages|
|2.35 lbs tub weight|
Hopefully having read this article you have a better sense of the kinds of options out there for your tub. While a baby tub isn’t a requirement of having a safe and healthy little one, it can still be a great help when you need it.
We’ve gone over some of the better options, from a range of different materials and styles. We’ve also discussed the pros and cons of the different tubs and different styles. Hopefully, even if you decide that you don’t want one of the tubs on our list, you have a better sense of what kind of tub you do want.