Bathtime is full of adorable and precious moments. But babies always seem to turn into a writhing, slippery little eel as soon as water is added to the mix.
A baby bathtub can help prop up your wriggling newborn and make bath time safer and more enjoyable for everyone.
We’ve rounded up the best baby bathtubs and bath seats to help to make bath time a pleasant experience.
- Available in 2 colors
- Won’t hit your pocket hard
- Soft and supportive
- Adjustable recline position
- Machine washable fabric
- Easy to clean
- Non-toxic plastic
- Smaller than other baby bathtubs
- Stable for freestanding
- Warm back cushion
- Cute design
- Drain hole in the base
- Sling can be machine washed
- Supportive and cozy
- Fits many bathroom washbasins
- Won’t take up much storage space
- Soft and comfortable
- Easy to clean and store
- Extra accessories included
- Removable bathtub feet
- Fun design
- Compact for transportation
- Tail doubles as a head cushion
- Comes with a free air pump
- Eco-friendly material
- One year warranty
Types of Baby Bathtubs
There are several different types of bathtub designed to make baby bath time a whole lot easier. These include:
These standard style tubs are generally made from durable hard plastic and are the most basic option. They might have a sloped side, a baby seat, a non-slip bottom, or a cushioned headrest. Some will fit over a kitchen or bathroom sink, while others will be freestanding or fit inside a regular bathtub.
Slings or Hammocks
Bathing a newborn can be a daunting task — you feel like you need about ten extra pairs of hands to wash baby while supporting them and keeping them calm. A sling that fits over a standard style baby bath will help keep your munchkin safely in place. This gives you one free hand while you wash their tiny bodies.
These tubs come with different inserts to use as the baby grows and develops. They will either have a sling or another type of support for newborns, such as cushioning or contouring. When your child can sit up, there might be a supportive seat or backrest — these can then be removed, giving a toddler more space to play with bath toys or splash around.
This option might be less durable than its plastic counterparts, but it’s great for storage and travel. With a bit — well, a lot — of puff, they inflate and provide cushioned sides for baby to bathe in. They often have non-slip bottoms and a drainage plug.
These are another great space saving and travel option. They open out and can be placed in a sink and filled with water. Once you finish bathing your little one, empty and dry it, and then fold it up again to put away.
Luxury Spa Baby Bathtubs
If you feel like splashing out, these baths take clean-up to a whole new level. They could have spa jets, a waterfall feature behind baby’s back, a shower attachment for rinsing, cushioning, and non-slip coatings. These tubs are generally battery operated, heavy, and more expensive.
These are just what they sound like, a plastic bath that resembles the shape of a bucket. They could have a padded inner and non-slip bottom, and usually have a seat and support, to hold the baby upright.
How to Choose the Best Baby Bathtub
Bathtubs vary greatly in size and function. Here are some of the things you need to look out for in the best bathtubs.
We have already mentioned water plus baby equals a slippery situation. Ensure there are non-slip surfaces, both inside and outside of your tub. That way you won’t be chasing the baby around the tub, or the tub around the room.
Rough, sharp edges can damage a baby’s delicate skin. Any contours should be rounded and smooth.
You want a tub that’s not going to collapse and lose its shape when you put water in it. If you opt for an inflatable tub, make sure it’s sturdy when filled with water.
This is provided in several ways in different bathtubs. Some have support for baby’s head, others for their bottom and back; they may offer cushioning, or wing style contours to hold a baby safely in place. Sling style baths will cocoon a small baby above the water.
Your little tyke will grow quickly, a newborn will be a toddler before you know it. Check whether a tub allows room for growth, so it lasts beyond the first few months. Having a tub that will also fit a toddler, will save a lot of water.
Some tubs suitable for use in a sink are soft and squishy. They provide enough support for baby but are gentle on their delicate little bodies. Some models can be machine washed and tumbled as well.
Another consideration when it comes to size is how much room the tub takes up. Some are collapsible — ideal for small spaces, others hang to dry — good for storage, and then there are compact ones that fit small sinks.
If you want to use your tub outside the bathroom, or you regularly travel with your kids, a portable bathtub is a good choice.
Check whether the bathtub has a built-in plug. This is the simplest way to drain the water after a bath. If it doesn’t, make sure it’s not too heavy to lift with water in, so you can easily empty it.
Mold and Mildew Resistant
Damp and water can cause mold and mildew to grow and multiply. A tub that retains any moisture in cushioned pads or crevices leaves your baby at more risk. Some tubs will incorporate foam that is resistant to these fungi and prevents their growth.
A built-in thermometer or temperature-sensitive patch takes the guesswork out of the heat of the water.
Yes, babies can have a spa bath too. Some have battery-powered water jets giving soothing vibrations and massages.
As well as spa baths, some tubs have a built-in mini-shower head for rinsing the soap from wet little bodies and heads.
The Best Baby Bathtubs of 2021
Here are our favorite baby bathtubs and bath seats.
1. The First Years Sure Comfort Baby Bathtub
It’s no surprise this is a popular bathtub. While it is budget-friendly, it still has all the bells and whistles you get with a more expensive tub. It will cover you from baby’s first bath, right up to toddler age, at about 25 pounds.
For a newborn, it has a mesh sling hammock, which suspends above the tub. This is ideal when all you want to do is sponge bathe and not wet the umbilical cord, which might still be attached. This way, baby is held above the water and not fully submerged.
This is a great way to introduce both mom, dad, and baby to bath time. I remember dreading having to bathe a baby who was as slippery as wet soap, and I just didn’t think I would be able to hold on.
After the first few weeks, your little one will be ready to have a splash around. The main tub has grooves and a foot stop, so the baby can’t slide around too much. There is even a contour which prevents tiny bottoms from slipping and sliding everywhere.
I like the tall sides, keeping the baby secure, and the water in the tub. A padded back gives little one some cushioning for comfort, and further helps prevent slippage.
Once babies can sit up and play, the foot stop can be used as a seat, just by turning your little one the other way around. Float the rubber duckies and let them have fun.
Other notable features of this tub are a drainage plug and a small cubbyhole by the foot stop, to hold things like soap, washcloths, and a toy. The tub will also fit into most kitchen sinks, so you can stand during bath time if it’s easier.
- Available in two colors.
- Versatile from birth to toddlerhood.
- Won’t hit your pocket hard.
- Drainage plug can have some seepage.
- Quite large, so storage could be an issue.
2. Summer Infant Deluxe Baby Bather
I remember my mom telling me the sink was by far the best place for bath time when I was young. It saved her bending over and saved me from getting water everywhere. Her only complaint was the sink was cold and hard, and she would have to support me all the time.
This bathtub from Summer Infant sounds like it would have been good for us. With colorful bubble patterned fabric, it is supportive for your baby’s head, and the surface is soft on their skin. This tub looks like a little pillow.
This tub should fit any kitchen or bathroom sink, and I love that it has plenty of padding to cushion baby. What’s more is that you can also use this in an adult size bathtub, how relaxing and comfortable would that be?
Caring for this tub is a breeze, you can pop it in the washing machine and dry in a dryer on the lowest heat. It even has a sturdy hook for hanging to dry.
- Soft and supportive for baby.
- Three recline position available.
- Machine washable fabric.
- Fits babies up to 24 inches only.
3. Boon Soak 3-Stage Bathtub
Not all homes have a traditional bathtub these days. This can pose a problem when you want to bathe a little one but don’t want to use the sink, or they get too big for it.
That’s where this product comes in — it’s a rigid one-piece bathtub, ideal for placing in a shower. Now, I know using the base of your shower for a bathtub might have its challenges. Movement can be restricted, which is why the contours built into this tub are ideal.
There is a seat that will secure a slippery, wriggly newborn in place. The bump that will stop them from slipping under the water can be highly adjusted.
On the downside, since the surface is made of plastic it may not be as comfortable for newborns. However, once your baby gets a bit older, it’s likely that he will love this product.
Once your little one can sit unaided, you can pop them in the other end of the bath where the side provides a backrest. Larger than most, this will easily cater to your toddler until they are a couple of years old or more.
It comes with a drain plug that acts as a temperature indicator at the same time.
- Large enough to last from newborn to toddler.
- Easy to clean, non-toxic plastic.
- Adjustable bump.
- May not be comfortable for smaller babies.
4. Beaba by Shnuggle Baby Bathtub
When space is at a premium, a large tub for your baby may not be an option. The Shnuggle tub is lightweight, compact, and simple.
It’s a bit like giving baby a bath in a bucket, but with a few added extras. There are feet on the bottom which grip the base of a sink or bathtub. This saves you needing octopus arms to hold the baby and keep the tub still.
A hump in the middle of the bath forms a seat for baby’s bottom and gives enough support to keep them upright so they don’t fall forward. The bottom of the bath has a non-slip surface, and a padded grippy back cushion helps hold little ones in place.
Baths can often feel cold against little one’s skin, which could make them wriggle even more than usual. Not something you want when they already feel more slippery than a fish. The cushioned back is warm to the touch, stopping baby from feeling too cold.
Suitable for any sink over 15.15 inches wide, the bath measures 24.25 inches at the highest point. This baby bath doesn’t have a drain plug, but it’s a snap to pour the water down the sink once you’ve finished with it.
- Smaller than many other baby bathtubs.
- Stable for freestanding on the floor or countertop.
- Back cushion available in three different colors.
- Suitable from newborn up to about 12 months.
- Not good for larger babies or toddlers.
- Can be hard to wash important little parts and bottoms as the child is seated.
- Could be difficult to bathe newborns due to the shape.
- Lack of water outlet.
5. Skip Hop Moby Baby Bathtub Smart Sling
Sling style tubs are excellent for newborns. They cradle a slippery baby safely, taking some of the worries out of bathing your precious new arrival.
They are the same as many baby bathtubs, but with a specially designed hammock to pop the baby in. This offering from Moby has a sling that is attachable to four points at the top of the tub. Made from washable polyester, it is cushioned and comfortable, helping soothe your little one during those first baths.
Once the baby gets to about three or four months old, you can detach two of the hooks and the sling becomes more of a seat. This means more fun for baby, but maybe more mess for you, as this tub won’t fit in the sink.
When babies progress to sitting on their own, you can remove the sling altogether. The textured base of the tub will help prevent them from slipping and sliding too much. The bathtub is suitable for babies and toddlers up to 25 pounds.
- Cute design in the shape of a whale tail.
- Drain hole in the base
- Sling can be machine washed and tumble dried on a gentle cycle.
- Sides are only 11 inches high, which could mean water spillage.
- Won’t fit in a sink.
- Little toes can get caught in unused hooks for the sling.
6. Blooming Bath Lotus Baby Bath
Looking for comfort for baby and versatility for sink bathing? The Lotus has them both. It looks really cute and might have you reaching for the camera and producing an Anne Geddes-style shot.
It has four petals that overlap, to form a comfortable, contoured base for baby. This feature also means it’s suitable for almost any sink size, expanding or reducing to fit. I have to be honest, this is another baby bath insert I wish they made in adult sizes.
A flat center perfectly holds baby’s bottom, preventing them from slipping around when they are wet and soapy. Got a baby that hates bath time? Maybe this will help, many users find fussy babies love being cocooned by the moveable petals.
Moms find it easy to use too. The soft outer fabric is filled with foam, making it supportive as well cozy. Once you are done, just wring it out and hang it up to dry or pop it in the tumble dryer.
- Available in three colors — canary yellow, blue, or hot pink.
- Fits many bathroom washbasins or kitchen sinks.
- Won’t take up much storage space.
- Won’t last for older children.
- Petals may lay flat in a very large sink.
- Need to clean and dry thoroughly after every use, to prevent mold and mildew.
7. Puj Tub Foldable Baby Bathtub
The Puj tub has an innovative design to gently cradle your precious newborn. It cleverly folds into shape using magnets, and fits most bathroom or kitchen sinks. This is a great tub for keeping a slippery newborn secure while you gently bathe them.
Not only that, it saves the back-breaking bending over a bath, and can be a godsend after a C-section.
The soft foam construction is BPA and PVC free, and it’s also mildew and mold-resistant. This means no nasty toxins to harm your precious baby.
I love that this tub offers a small, safe area to bathe a little one while giving them support. It makes bath time less stressful when they feel secure and cocooned. Newborns can be wriggly little mites, especially when wet — this tub makes keeping hold of them a little easier.
Although this tub should fit most sinks, it’s best to check the dimensions first. It is recommended for sinks measuring 12 inches to 15 inches, with a depth of 6.5 inches to 9 inches.
Worried about ending up with a wet floor? This tub has overflow drains, letting excess water out into the sink.
Suitable from birth up to about 6 months, or 17 pounds, this is specifically designed for very little ones.
One bonus with this tub is it’s also a space saver. It folds flat when not in use, so it won’t take up valuable bathroom or kitchen space.
- Soft and comfortable to cradle baby.
- Easy to clean and store.
- Larger babies will outgrow it quite quickly.
- Magnets might not always hold strongly.
- Might not fit all sinks.
8. Fisher-Price 4-in-1 Baby Bathtub
After the umbilical cord stub falls off you’re able to get the baby a little wetter. It’s scary, I know, but the padded foam back cushions baby’s head, and the bottom of the seat insert acts as a stopper for a tiny bottom.
After the first few days or so, it’s time to get more adventurous and submerge your little one in some water. It’s scary, I know, but the padded foam back cushions baby’s head, and the bottom of the seat insert acts as a stopper for a tiny bottom.
Time passes quickly and baby will soon be sitting up. That’s when you can progress them to the included supportive baby seat. There is even a water squirter and whale scoop included for them to play with — nice touch!
Finally, the seat can be removed, allowing plenty of room for your toddler to play and splash around.
Suitable for suspending over most kitchen sinks, or placing inside the family bathtub, the water easily drains through the plug in the bottom. A handy hook lets you hang the tub to air dry. However, as it is a little on the larger side, drying and storage will take up space.
- Versatile from birth to 25 pounds.
- Roomy enough to be used as a toddler bath.
- Extra accessories included.
- Removable “feet” secure the tub when using over a kitchen sink
- Drain plug is located under the seat, making it difficult to empty while baby is in it.
- Foam head pad is thin and can be difficult to clean.
- Takes up a lot of storage space.
9. Munchkin White Hot Inflatable Duck Baby Bathtub
If you’re looking for a perfect travel tub for visits to grandma’s or vacations, this inflatable tub from Munchkin will meet your needs. It folds away neatly for packing in your suitcase, and inflates and deflates quickly.
Just make sure you have plenty of puff to blow it up. Or get yourself a pump to avoid the lightheadedness of all that exhaling.
The white swan has a textured, non-slip surface. This will help stop your little one from becoming like a slippery eel and testing your powers of grip.
Another really useful feature is the temperature indicator heart, which shows up “HOT” in white if the water is above 104 degrees Fahrenheit. It stays blue when the temperature is correct. This saves the need for a separate bath thermometer or using guesswork, for the heat of the bathwater.
This tub will last a long time as well, as it is suitable for children up to two years old. But it doesn’t need to end there, you could use it for water play in the backyard when the weather is good. Some clever people have even filled it with ice and used it as a beverage cooler after the kids have outgrown it — how innovative is that?
There’s a drain plug for easy emptying and a suction pad for hanging to dry it out. Although you could leave this tub inflated, storage might then become an issue.
- Fun design that baby will love.
- Compact for transportation.
- Tail doubles as a head cushion.
- Not suitable for babies younger than six months.
- Make sure your lungs are strong — inflating by mouth can take some time and effort.
10. Intime Inflatable Baby Bathtub
We know how kids tend to be clingy with their possession. Sometimes, all they ever wanted was to have the things they’re accustomed to use. With this inflatable tub, you can carry this with you wherever you go.
The spa bath from Intime is made from environment-friendly polyvinyl chloride material. Inflating the tub is easy as it comes with a free air pump. You can fill the tub with water up to the graduation mark. Moreover, draining the water after usage would be a breeze as it has a drainage plug located at the bottom of the bathtub.
Indeed, the manufacturer has designed this tub for portability as it comes with a side-pocket where you can temporarily store bath essentials or even your mobile phone to avoid misplacing it.
- Comes with a free air pump.
- One year warranty.
- Eco-friendly material.
- Difficult to completely dry.
The Final Plunge
Our choice for the best baby bathtub is the First Years Sure Comfort Deluxe. It’s a good bathtub at an affordable price and will cover your needs from newborn to toddler.
It has a sling for the early days, then contours to keep a little one in place, but is large enough for a toddler to have a good old splash and play. The tall sides help make sure the water stays in the tub and not all over the floor — or you.
The cubby keeps everything you need close at hand, and the drainage plug makes emptying a breeze. Suitable for most sinks, it also won’t break your back when you are supporting and washing your mini humans. You even get to choose between blue or pink.
We have detailed some of the things you need to keep your little ones clean and safe. All you have to do is make your choice from our top picks, roll up your sleeves, and have some bathtime fun.