Worried about bathing your newborn? Anxiety filled us too! We spent over 60 hours researching more than 40 popular baby bathtubs to determine the top 8 competitors that potentially offer the most benefits. We tested for age use range, dimensions, ease of use, safety, quality, and ease of cleaning. With a keen eye towards safety and functionality, we share our favorites here along with our expert advice on how to make bath time a safe, fun, and bonding experience for you and your baby.
The Best Baby Bathtub Review
The Primo Eurobath is an extra-large, sturdy tub perfect for those who want one solution that will take a baby from infancy through the first two years. With multiple positions for infants, babies, and toddlers, it is perfect for babies to grow into or simply to enjoy extra space for splashing fun. One side has a recline position with support between the legs to keep infants from sliding down. The other side helps older babies sit upright unassisted. Primo states that the EuroBath is lead, phthalate, and BPA-free.
This tub is large and bulky and difficult to stow when not in use; it has a notched area so it can be hung, but that isn't always practical. Also, very small infants may have trouble staying in place despite the contoured shape and the Primo is devoid of any cushioning making it less than cozy for newborns. Hard plastic tubs can be slippery, so it is important to keep one hand on your baby at all times. If your home has space for this larger tub, and you want a durable bath for the long haul, then the Primo fits the bill.
The Shnuggle is a great infant bathtub that is easy to use, will keep your baby nice and warm and provides great support. This tub is the perfect compact addition to your baby gear lineup with a round shape that fits nicely into most kitchen sinks. The compact design also means minimal water use and the foam backrest and bum bump help keep your baby in a comfortable position while they stay warm in the water. Parents and babies both love bathing in this unique user-friendly bathtub.
The Shnuggle does not have a drain, so you need to keep an eye on the max fill line to avoid overfilling and creating a safety hazard. While not an issue for everyone, some parents may find taking little ones out of the tub to refill with clean water frustrating. Also, while it has cozy foam padding on the back of the tub, there is no padding on the seat which can cause some babies to slip around a bit if they are very active. In general, we are super impressed with the ease of use of the tub and think most families will find it solves the baby bath time conundrum.
If you want a budget-friendly tub you can use for years, The First Years Sure Comfort Deluxe is a great choice. This inexpensive tub offers similar features to higher-priced competitors without sacrificing quality. It comes with the infant sling and can transition to a larger tub with an ergonomic reclining seat. This tub is small enough to fit in most kitchen sinks and has a side compartment for storing supplies or water for rinsing. We like how this tub has a separate area where you can fill water to rinse baby to help control water temperature.
Some users complain about mildew forming in the mesh sling or the sling ripping and having trouble staying put. The mildew isn't a real problem if you completely dry the mesh between uses. While some parents also reported stability issues, if the sling is adjusted correctly it shouldn't be a problem. This tub's drain plug can potentially leak, so you'll want to use the tub inside your sink or bath, or use it on a waterproof floor to avoid a significant mess. Despite these issues, we think this is a sound tub if you follow directions and take care of it properly.
The Blooming Baby Bath is a new spin on the traditional baby bath. This colorful plush sunflower design cradles little ones in softness for bathing in your kitchen sink. The petals fold in various positions to custom fit various sinks and babies, and the soft towel material helps keep your baby warm and prevents slipping. This unique design has a hangtag for easy drying and storage, and it is washer and dryer friendly to keep it clean and hygienic.
The Blooming Bath could potentially accrue microbial issues from a contaminated kitchen sink or mildew from an improperly cared for flower. Therefore, it is important to disinfect your sink before every use and adequately wring and dry the tub after each use. The plush material will be soaked and heavy after use. If you live in a humid climate, it may be best to toss it in the dryer to ensure that it completely dries to avoid the build-up of bacteria. This baby bathtub is only suitable for infants up to 6 months (approximately), so you may need to look for another bath if they aren't ready to sit unassisted in your home's tub. But, if you are looking for a super comfortable tub for your infant that is also adorable, it is an excellent choice.
The Fisher-Price Rinse 'n Grow is a great tub for families looking for a one and done product. This tub features an adjustable sling for newborns and slightly older babies who have more head and neck control. When your little one outgrows the sling, it turns into a toy bag opening the main basin as your new tub station. The tub also includes two strainer toys that work well for rinsing and are fun to play with. The sling is machine washable, and the materials feel durable enough to last as your baby grows.
The bottom of the Fisher-Price Rinse 'n Grow does not have a non-slip surfacing to prevent the basin from moving. This means active kiddos could potentially scootch the tub around, so please use caution. If this isn't a big deal for you, then this baby tub can undoubtedly take you from infancy to toddlerhood for a budget-friendly price.
The Puj Tub is a soft foam tub with an innovative design that folds to fit in the bathroom sink. Not only is the durable material comfortable for baby, but it is also BPA and PVC-free and mildew and mold resistant. The unique design and magnets allow it to fold to fit almost any sink and the open to store flat. Puj also sells Puj Nubs (peel and stick hooks) to hang your tub. The compact nature of the tub makes it a perfect space-saver for smaller bathrooms with limited storage. We like that it offers a safe area to bathe baby in a supportive manner, and this tub makes bathing your infant easier.
One of the significant drawbacks is it won't fit every sink. The manufacturer gives sink dimensions of 12-15" for length and width, and 6.5-9" for depth, so measure your sink before purchasing to avoid fit issues or purchase from a retailer like Amazon with a simple return policy. This tub is intended for infants, so it isn't a good long-term solution. With a max-age of 6 months or up to 17 lbs, you'll need an additional plan once your baby reaches this milestone. Last, there are reports that the magnets that hold it folded together can come undone unexpectedly. Overall, despite these hiccups, we like how easy it is to use and how comfortable the baby is during bathtime. It is a great choice for small bathrooms or those will limited storage space.
The Summer Infant Comfort Height is a bathtub combined with a step stool that helps parents prevent back strain. Hunching over your tub is uncomfortable, so the platform helps raise your baby up to a more comfortable level. You can use the support on its own or in a sink or bathtub as support. As your baby grows, this option can transition to a toddler tub for babies who can sit unassisted. The step stool separates and is useable for adults up to 250 lbs, making it the only tub in our review that can be used for years.
Unfortunately, the infant bather portion does not attach to the toddler tub, so the infant bather can shift during bath time. This shifting can be significant if there is standing water in the toddler tub, so following the manufacturer's instructions is critical. Also, Summer Infant has the warning label stickers inside the tub, which seems like a design flaw as the wet labels peel and create sticky adhesive in the bath environment. Parents will likely then remove the stickers, which negate the point of having warnings easily and frequently viewable. These oversights aside, we think parents will like raising the tub to a higher level to prevent back strain and discomfort.
Not Recommended: Counter Safety Concerns
Although we like the BPA-and phthalate-free soft material that cradles little ones in a supported incline position on the Munchkin Clean, there are similar and/or better tubs without a countertop safety concern. According to the Munchkin website, this product is designed for use on the countertop near the kitchen sink, which we strongly believe creates serious safety issues as the tub or baby could fall from counter height. Placing your baby on the counter in or out of a bathtub is dangerous. It is very easy to accidentally knock the tub or your baby off the counter with disastrous results. We would prefer a similar option that is not designed for countertop use. The current version is one we don't recommend because of the safety concerns associated with the preferred and recommended method of use outlined by the manufacturer.
Why You Should Trust Us
Bathtub selection and testing took some serious and thoughtful consideration because of the related safety concerns surrounding babies and water. Luckily, our team is headed by our founder and board-certified pediatrician, Dr. Juliet Spurrier, mother of two. Dr. Spurrier uses her education, background, and experience as a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to select products with safety in mind. The team also includes Senior Review Editor and BabyGearLab review analyst, Wendy Schmitz. Wendy is a mother of two and works closely with testers with all types of baby gear from bottles to strollers and everything in between. Wendy has worked at BabyGearLab since 2014 and has an education in the scientific method and testing processes.
We purchased and tested most of the baths in this roundup for side-by-side comparisons to help determine which option is the best for each situation and lifestyle. We used the baths with real babies in real life, as well as in our in-house lab.
How to Bathe a Baby
There are a variety of ways to bathe your baby including sponge baths for newborns, taking your little one into the tub or shower with your, washing a sitting infant in the kitchen sink, to using an infant-specific tub as outlined above. All styles share the common goal of safely cleaning your bundle of joy, but they vary in their degree of difficulty and safety concerns. Whichever method you try, there are potential safety issues to consider and tips for getting your little one safely squeaky clean and to help make this time an enjoyable, bonding experience.
When it comes to bathing your baby, staying safe is key. The following are tips to keep bath time comfy, enjoyable, and free of incidents.
- One Hand on Baby — Keep one hand on your baby during bath time. This habit helps ensure that you are present and watching their every move. Bathing can be a slippery situation, so keeping a hands-on process helps avoid injury.
- Supervise at All Times — Because little ones can drown in as little as one inch of water, NEVER, EVER leave your baby alone in the water. Resist the temptation to sneak out "for a second" for forgotten supplies or to check your phone as there is no reason important enough to put your child in danger.
- Avoid Falling Hazards — Use only a protected, stable, hard surface where you can safely bathe your child in an infant tub and avoid potential falling hazards. This could be the floor, your home's bathtub, the shower, or even inside a sink. As long as the infant tub is on a flat and stable surface away from high edges then the location is good.
- Safe Water Temperature — Babies have thin, sensitive, delicate skin. A temperature that might feel comfortable to a grown-up, is likely too hot for babies. Experts recommended a water temperature between 98F to 100¡ãF/38C, which is warm but not hot. Using a baby bath thermometer can help you find the right temperature. Always check to ensure that the bathwater is a safe temperature before you place your baby in the water. Make sure to "test" baby's tub of water with the inside of your wrist or elbow instead of your hand as they are more sensitive to temperature. Most importantly, do not place your baby under running water as tap water temperature can fluctuate wildly and unexpectedly increases the risk of a scalding injury.
You should set your water heater temperature below 120 F to avoid accidentally scalding your baby. Refer to your heater's user's manual or contact the manufacturer to learn how to adjust your heater for safety.
- Water Level — Do not overfill the bathtub. The baby is not enjoying a relaxing soak at the spa after a stressful day at work; they are there to get clean safely and quickly. According to the Mayo Clinic, you should start with two inches or less of water. You should fill the bath with enough water to keep the baby warm, but their entire body should not be covered by water. Placing a warm washcloth on the baby's chest and tummy can help them stay warm. Gently pouring water on their body and the cloth can also help. Choosing a warm room is a better way to keep your baby cozy during bathtime than using more water or increasing the water temperature.
- Avoid the Countertop — Although some infant tubs are marketed for countertop use, we strongly recommend that you do NOT bathe your baby in a tub on the counter or table. Countertop bathing has multiple potential safety hazards including the tub falling off the counter or the baby squirming out of the tub and falling. A 3-foot fall for a baby is like a 10-foot fall for an adult. This type of fall has a great risk of traumatic brain injury, skull or limb fracture, internal bleeding, and death. Given the variety of bathing options that offer a safer more secure environment, there is no need to risk this. Because of these safety concerns, we don't recommend the Munchkin Clean (or any other countertop use tub) that advertises countertop use as standard.
- Using Infant Tubs Inside a Bathtub — When you bathe a baby in their infant tub inside your bathtub, the later should be empty with the water turned off and the drain open. These measures help ensure that the infant tub is stable and you avoid scalding potential. If the infant tub doesn't feel stable inside the empty home tub, you should consider using the infant tub on the floor instead.
Baby Bathing Tips
If the idea of bathing your baby makes you anxious, you aren't alone. It isn't as challenging as you think if you come prepared. You can do this! The following tips include suggestions that make bath time a breeze.
- Newborn Bathing — Full-term newborns can have a sponge bath at home in the first few weeks when the umbilical stump is intact. It is important to collect all of the supplies you'll need BEFORE you get your baby undressed. Your supplies should include a basin/tub with warm water, a washcloth, 2 to 3 drying towels, mild soap, unscented lotion (if desired), a fresh diaper, and a clean outfit. Undress your infant and lay them on a plush, soft towel. Use a dry towel on their body to help them stay warm. Take a warm wet washcloth from the basin and wipe their face before moving to the scalp and other places. With a small amount of soap on your washcloth, gently wipe the baby clean small sections at a time removing the cover towel only when you must for cleaning to prevent your little one from getting cold and distressed. Clean their genital/anal area last to avoid any possible contamination. Last, use a soap-free/new warm washcloth to rinse/wipe their body. Pay special attention to skin folds and creases under the neck, ears, and armpits.
Don't panic if the umbilical cord stump gets wet before it falls off. The important thing is to keep the umbilical cord as clean and dry as possible until it falls off. This is called "dry cord care." However, if the umbilical cord gets dirty, it's important to clean it! After you wash it, pat the cord dry with a clean, soft towel. If it needs more extensive drying, you can use a COOL hair drier (no warm or hot setting); better to air dry than to burn your baby.
- Frequency of Bathing — Under normal circumstances, babies only need a bath 2 to 3 times a week. A baby's skin can dry out if they're bathed more frequently. In between baths, you can clean their face, neck, and genitals with a warm washcloth if you need to.
- Use a Buddy System — Until you are used to bathing your infant, it can be very helpful to have another adult nearby. This person can retrieve missing supplies or provide comic relief. They can entertain or distract the baby to increase the fun, and they can decrease your stress too.
- Wash a Fed, Well-Rested Baby — Bath time is best when your baby is well-fed and alert. This will increase your chances of success. However, as your baby gets older, a warm bath before bedtime can create a soothing routine that cues relaxation and sleeping.
- Shampoo and Body Wash — It's best to use a mild, tear-free soap. Most adult products contain harsh fragrances and chemicals that can irritate your baby's sensitive skin, and therefore, shouldn't be used.
- Be Prepared — Have your supplies ready before bath time. Being prepared can reduce any stress. If you forget something and are alone, pick your baby up and take them with you. Never leave a baby unattended in or near water.
- Breathe — Stay calm and bathe on. It takes practice bathing your baby to gain confidence. This awkward experience is new for you and your baby and it might not go smoothly in the beginning. Take a deep breath. It gets better with time as you both get to know each other and the basic drill.
Traveling with an infant is often rough. Figuring out where you're going to bathe them on your travels can add a potential element of frustration. The Blooming Baby Bath is a suitable choice for travel as it folds and fits in nicely in most luggage. It requires drying time before hitting your suitcase, or you can bring a Ziploc bag for traveling wet.
A great baby bathtub helps make bath time less stressful and more fun for you and your baby. Creating a safe enjoyable atmosphere is what makes a tub a valuable piece of baby gear that we encourage parents to seriously consider. Bathing your baby can be a bonding and relaxing experience with practice but not if your tub is subpar. Choosing the right tub for your needs, mastering the basics, and following straightforward and important safety measures means you'll be a bathing pro before you know it.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & Lindsay Selig