A baby in a bathtub.
Luxury bathtubs have calming vibrations and shower nozzles.

All You Need to Know About a Baby Bathtub

So, the baby is almost here! You may have started thinking of the things you need to prepare as you get ready for your baby's birth. Baby bath essentials are sure to be part of your shopping list or your baby registry. There are so many items available in the market and it can be hard to determine which bathing products your baby will need, such as a baby bathtub.

For new parents, or even seasoned parents, giving your newborn baby their first real bath can be a nerve-racking experience. It can be scary in the beginning, but you will quickly get the hang of it with the right gear and a bit of practice. To make sure that bath moments are comfortable and enjoyable for you and your little one, investing in the right baby bathtub is highly recommended.

Do You Need a Baby Bathtub?

A newborn will only require a sponge bath in the first few weeks of their life. That is why a baby bathtub may not be immediately necessary.

Some may find a bathtub unnecessary at all. If you are working on a budget, or you have a little space at home, you can choose not to buy one, and just use any bowl that is big enough to safely and conveniently hold an infant. You can also wash your baby in the kitchen sink, at least until they get too big. When your baby is slightly bigger, you can simply sit in your tub with your baby on your lap. Just be extra careful to avoid letting them slip or hit their head. You may wear bath gloves so the baby will not slip from your hands. It might also be a good idea to ask your partner to help you out in bathing your baby.

Although you can bathe your baby without a bathtub, getting one and using it as early as the newborn stage is a good investment for your baby's safety and your peace of mind. It will also help you avoid the hassle of bending or squatting.

In case you do not use a bathtub for your newborn, you can still consider getting one once your baby gets bigger and heavier. There are bathtubs available for children of different age groups. A baby bathtub is a perfect vessel to bathe your baby, especially when they start moving around more or when they can sit up on their own.

How to Choose a Bathtub

In choosing a baby bathtub, product safety should always be the priority. The material should be non-toxic and BPA-free, so it will not be harmful to your baby's delicate skin. The edges should be smooth and rounded. Also, look for crotch post or side supports that will keep the baby from sliding in the soapy water.

Get the one that has a textured or non-skid surface on the bottom to prevent slipping and sliding. It should be sturdy and robust enough to avoid any accidents. It is okay if it has suction cups on the base that add to its sturdiness.

Consider the size of the baby bathtub that you will get. If the tub is too small, your child may be uncomfortable, and bathing them will be a bit difficult. On the other hand, if the tub is too large, your baby has more room to slide that may cause accidents such as drowning.

For convenience, choose a baby bathtub that is portable and easy to clean. Get one that has a plug at the base so you can quickly drain out the water, and one that has a hook so you can hang it on the bathroom wall when it is not in use.

Some extra features of bathtub that are nice to have are water jets, temperature indicators and mini shower head nozzles. Some also have strain cups that double up as toys and a soap compartment.

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What Are the Different Types of Baby Bathtubs?

Now that you know about why baby bathtubs are good to use and the different features to look for, it is also good to learn about the different types. Some models may suit your needs more than others. Let’s take a look.

Standard Baby Tub

These are the no frills, inexpensive, hard plastic, but reliable bathtubs. Some standard tubs come with a removable baby bath sling that are made wit a fabric or mesh that keeps your baby in one place.

Convertible Baby Tub

It is a baby tub designed to grow with your child from the newborn stage to toddler years. It has adjustable positions. It usually has a mesh sling or a mildew resistant foam pad to support newborns, which can be removed as your baby outgrows it.

Foldable Baby Tub

This is a more convenient type of tub as it is collapsible for easy storage and carriage. It is perfect to use when traveling with your baby and if you have limited space at home. However, this type may not be as solid and sturdy as non-foldable ones.

Inflatable Baby Tub

For safety reasons, this baby tub is recommended for babies who can already sit up independently. Some types of inflatable tubs can easily tip over, putting your baby at risk of drowning. This one is great for travel because it is easy to set up, and you can just deflate and fold it after use.

Luxury Baby Tub

It is an expensive type of tub that has many accessories like bells and whistles, and features such as motorized water jets, a shower nozzle, calming vibrations, and more. It gives the baby a spa experience with every use. It is usually battery operated and heavier than a regular baby tub.

Useful Features for Baby Tubs

While some added features are unnecessary, they can give you and your baby added comfort and enjoyment while bathing.

A temperature gauge will help you ensure that the water will never get dangerously hot. Some tubs have a color changing drain plug or a sticker strip to let you know if the water is too hot. With or without this feature, you should always double check the water temperature with your elbow or wrist. If your tub does not have this feature, you can purchase one separately.

A non-skid surface will keep a soaped baby in place. Just take extra caution when using foam cushions, as your baby can tear off a piece and swallow it. A raised or printed water fill line around the inside of the tub, usually with the word "MAX" serves as a guide to avoid overfilling. A drain plug makes removing water quick and easy. It saves you from lifting a heavy tub and draining it after use.

How to Bathe Your Baby Using a Bathtub

Now that you have chosen the right tub for your baby, you are ready to give them their first bath. The first couple of times can be stressful, but with little preparation and practice, you can make your baby's bathing experience enjoyable and fun.

Make sure to take appropriate safety measures. Set everything you need within arm's reach so you will not need to step away or turn your back on your child. You should never leave a baby alone in the bath, even for a second. You need to have these at your side: a diaper, clothing, a towel, baby shampoo or soap, and a washcloth.

Pick a place where you would like to bathe your baby. Choose a spot that is fairly warm and comfortable for you and your baby. Fill the tub with 2 to 3 inches of water to keep your baby safe. Always check the water temperature manually or using a temperature gauge. Make sure to support your baby's head at all times while you gently lower him into the water.

Start cleaning your baby's face and wash them with mild soap using a washcloth. Once they are clean, pat them dry using a soft washcloth. After your baby's bath time, do not forget to clean the tub and store it in a proper place. Taking care of a baby is a meticulous task. As a new parent, we want to get the best experience in caring for our little one. Getting the bathtub that suits you and your baby's need will surely make a difference.