When baby is ready for the big tub, you may be worried about keeping them safe. How can you stop them from slipping over when it’s bath time?
Bathing your baby is a wondeful time to bond. But it’s also a time when you need to have your wits about you. Mixing water, soap, and children could be a recipe for disaster.
Keeping your little one out of harm’s way is your number one priority and, as many moms will tell you, baby bath mats act as a third hand — making for safer tub time.
Whether you need one or not isn’t the issue — you do. The question is which is the best bath mat for your baby? To help you make the choice, we’ve reviewed all the top products and given suggestions on what to look for.
Why are Bath Mats Important?
Moms will be aware that, except for sleeping, babies don’t sit still very often. They fidget, squirm, or wriggle, whether they feel excited or frustrated, and they don’t care where or when they do it — this includes bath time.
While it’s ok to bathe babies of any age in a full-size tub, you should take the necessary precautions to make sure it’s a safe environment for them. Children can drown in even an inch of water (2).
This is where bath mats come in. They offer grip to the tub, helping you keep your baby steady and safe while you’re washing them down.
Other safety tips to keep in mind when bathing your baby are (3):
- Supervision: Don’t leave your baby unattended, even for a few seconds. Wait to answer that text and ignore the doorbell until bath time is over. If you absolutely have to leave the bathroom, take your baby out of the water (4).
- Temperature: Babies have delicate skin. Even if the water doesn’t feel too hot for you, it can still burn them. The water should be kept around 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Baby proofing: Anything that can hurt your baby should be removed from the vicinity before bath time. Curious fingers may try to grab things resting on the side of your tub.
- Soaps and shampoos: Not all soaps and shampoos are appropriate for babies. Make sure the ones you use won’t irritate your baby’s sensitive skin — for example, some perfumes can cause urinary tract infections (5).
- Hygiene: Keeping your bath and bath accessories clean is essential! Rinse toys, bath thermometers, and bath mats after use.
- Keep it fun: Bath time should be an enjoyable experience for baby and mom! Include toys and games to make baths something you both look forward to.
Choosing the Best Bath Mat
As your baby gets older, he or she will be moving onto bigger things in all aspects of life. Eventually, this means a move from the baby bath to the family tub.
This also means you have countless choices when it comes to a new bath mat!
Here are a few factors to consider before choosing one:
- Materials: To help you cut through the materials jargon, here are a few words you might come across:
BPA-free — it doesn’t contain bisphenol-A, a dangerous chemical used for making plastics.
Phthalates — another notorious plastic ingredient you might want to avoid.
Allergen-free — made without using materials renowned for causing skin reactions, like latex (6).
- Non-slip: Bath mats for children should provide a slip-free experience. Remember, safety first, aesthetics can follow.
- Bath surface: Some bath mats are designed to grip smooth surfaces only. If you have a textured tub, make sure the mat you choose is suitable.
- Suction strength: The suction cups are what should keep the bath mat firmly in place — the more of them, the better the grip. Look for a bath mat with cups placed across the entire area for better suction and grip.
- Design: Many bath mats are designed with a young audience in mind. Mats which are brightly colored or decorated can make bath time more appealing.
- Shape: Bath mats come in all different shapes and sizes. An animal-shaped bath mat may be attractive for your baby, but may not cover the entire bath. Others offer a more traditional shape and full coverage of your bath’s surface.
- Comfort: Bath time should be about comfort as well as fun. A thick bath mat should feel more comfortable and is a more pleasing texture for your baby.
- Maintenance: If you neglect your bath mat, it can turn moldy fast — soap scum or standing water can shorten its life. If you want one that can be cleaned easily and thoroughly, look for one that’s machine washable.
- Antibacterial: Moist environments like your bathtub can be a hotspot for germs. If you want to combat this, some mats are specially treated to resist bacteria (7).
- Mildew resistant: Mildew spots are likely in damp conditions like bathrooms. If it builds up, it can be both unpleasant to look at and tough to clean. As with antibacterial bath mats, some are also made to be resistant to mildew.
- Drainage: A bath mat with holes in should allow the water to drain through easier, which also helps it to dry out quicker — another way to deter mildew.
- How many children?: Are you bathing one child or more? The number of little ones in the tub might dictate your chosen bath mat. Make sure the size can accommodate all of your bathing babies.
The Best Baby Bath Mats of 2020
No two babies are identical, and we understand that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for everyone. With this in mind, we’ve scoured what’s out there and chosen the 10 best bath mats which should cover any baby bathing situation.
1. Hermosa Allergen-Free Bath Mat
If you’re looking for a bath mat that covers all angles, this is a good place to start. It’s safe for your little one, antibacterial, anti-slip, and should fit even the biggest of tubs.
Life is easier for mom too, as it’s simple to clean — just pop it in the washing machine. If you want something kind to the skin, this one is latex free and doesn’t contain any phthalates.
Is your little one hyperactive at bath time? Thanks to the powerful suction cups, this mat should stay put. Also, if comfort is important, the mat offers ample cushioning for baby.
2. Infantino Bath Mat and Storage Basket
Us moms are the ultimate multi-taskers, and this turtle-shaped mat follows the trend. It doubles as a storage basket for bath toys, as well as a bath mat.
Made with super strong suction cups, it aims for a safer, slip-free bath time experience. As for design, it’s brightly colored and appealing to a child’s eye, which might encourage the fussiest of bathers to jump in the tub.
When bath time is over, hang up the turtle and pack away your baby’s toys! Take note, though; this little guy can only support lightweight toys. If you decide not to use it for storage, the hook allows for quick hanging after use.
3. Salinka Ocean Baby Bath Mat
Is your baby naturally nosy and always engaged with his surrounding environment? The colorful, ocean-themed design of this mat could make bath times feel like an adventure!
The design of the Salinka includes a number of fun sea creatures in bright colors. Point out the little fish, seahorse, and turtle to your baby under the water!
Although it keeps bath time light-hearted, it does have a serious side too. The strong suction feet keep the bath mat firmly in place, helping to keep your baby stable. It’s also mold and mildew resistant — great for moms who hate the hassle of cleaning.
4. Munchkin Quack Duck Bath Mat
Does your baby have a classic rubber ducky for bath times? This bath mat is the ideal complement! The vibrant yellow duck brings color and fun to bath time.
This mat is much more than just cute looking. It’s also functional, with a textured surface to prevent babies from slipping when moving around.
If you’re a mom looking for full coverage, due to the shape, it may not be suitable. But the underside is completely covered in suction cups — even the duck’s beak! Therefore, this is great for grip.
5. Munchkin Dotted Bath Mat
When it comes to discovering new things, babies soak it all up like a sponge. If your child has a thirst for knowledge, use bath time to teach them about colors with this multi-colored dotted bath mat!
The Munchkin has a funky, colorful design, which might just be an ideal strategy for distracting stubborn bathers. Engage your baby by naming the colors while you wash them down.
It’s also a generous length, which could appeal to moms who are bathing more than one child at bath time. The big dots are raised, to help prevent baby from sliding around — and it looks good too!
6. Ikea Crocodile Bath Mat
The Ikea crocodile bath mat has been designed with the au naturel approach in mind.
Made of rubber, this vibrant green crocodile is free from any synthetic treatments.
It’s hard wearing and also easy to maintain — to avoid mold, all that’s required of you is to hang it up to dry after each bath. It even has strategically placed hook holes.
Due to the shape, it doesn’t cover the entire bath, but the size is sufficient enough for babies to sit or stand on, and it doesn’t slip around the tub.
7. Kikkerland Natural Rubber Bath Mat
If your baby is a total wriggler, do you find your bath mat starts in one place but by the end of bath time it’s shifted down towards the drain hole?
The Kikkerland bath mat has a cute whale design and definitely stays put. It comes with a pod of extra-powerful little suckers. This should help keep your bath mat where you left it — no matter how active your baby is.
The actual size might not take up the whole tub, but it does cover enough area to allow baby to walk or sit safely, without slip-sliding around. The Kikkerland mat is also made with all-natural rubber — handy for the eco-warrior moms out there.
8. Warrah Non-Slip Bath Mat
Are you uber stressed over your baby always bouncing around in the tub? Are baths taken standing up rather than sitting down?
The Warrah bath mat won’t feel like stepping on a banana skin. For extra non-slip support, it features a bumpy surface — ensuring safety for excitable little ones.
This mat also has suction cups galore, which is important for a dependable hold. However, check your tub, this bath mat is only suitable for smooth surfaces.
In terms of style, all eyes will be on your little one, oversized ones to be precise — the cartoon-style aquatic animal prints are a hit for kids’ entertainment value.
9. Epica Anti-Slip Bath Mat
Not a fan of cartoon characters, or too many colors in the bathroom? Want a mat that’s good for parents as well as for baby? This simple design might be the best choice for you.
This neutral color will not look out of place, whatever your bathroom color scheme. This could appeal to moms who are looking for something practical, tasteful and discrete.
With a latex-free, textured upper, and suction pads that stick to any surface below, there’s no more slipping and sliding.
I love the fact that the anti-bacterial finish prevents mildew and mold accumulating. If it does get grubby, you can just run it through the washing machine — no scrubbing or effort necessary.
10. Boon Bathtub Mat
One of the downsides to bath mats is keeping them clean. As a mom, you don’t have the time to do a scrub-down after every wash.
The Boon mat could make your life a little easier. Firstly, it comes with a hook for hanging — rubber needs to dry thoroughly to prevent mold growth.
Secondly, the whole design is aimed to discourage mildew. The ripples in the mat have small gaps between, to allow water to drain away easier.
However, one drawback is that it may be lacking in the comfort department. Younger babies may not find the surface soft enough for their tender bottoms.
It’s a Wrap!
My pick for the best baby bath mat has to be the Hermosa Allergen-Free Bath Mat. Easy to clean, a good length for the bathtub, and safe and comfortable for baby.
The only criticism some moms may have is that this mat doesn’t have a cute design. But that’s what bath toys and decals are for! Safety and functionality have to come first. If a fun design is a priority, the Salinka Ocean Baby Bath Mat is my second favorite.
Of course, this is just my opinion — every baby (and mom) has different needs! Which is your favorite?