Every family home is different and every family is different. So there’s no one size fits all when it comes to how to bathe your kids. While there are some general recommendations for how to go about bathing your kids, it’s really something you’ve got to work out for your own family – and that’s all part of the beauty of having kids.
When it comes to choosing the right bath tub for your baby, the best thing to do is just consider some of the criteria for your choice. For new parents, it can be daunting because you don’t know what you don’t know. In other words, you’re not sure what will be important because you’ve never done it before.
So this guide is to help you think through what matters when it comes to choosing a great bath tub to meet your baby and your family’s needs
What size baby bath tub do I need?
Baby’s are only in there own bath tub for a relatively short amount of time. For us, in our small inner city flat with three kids, space is at a premium, so we really wanted something that would maximise our space, while in the knowledge that any bath tub we used would only be with us for a short amount of time. As it happened, our three kids were born relatively close together so we’ve been able to keep the same bath tub for the full cycle of all our kids without feeling like it wasn’t getting used for too long.
There are large bath tubs and smaller tubs, seats that fit in your bath and bath tubs that fold down. There are also bath separators that help turn your standard adult bath into a smaller mini bath. Whatever you want to go for, think through how whether you have space to leave it out all the time (maybe you have another bathroom for the baby to keep it in so it wont be disruptive). Think about whether your bath tub needs to be collapsible to store away easily or for an extended period of time.
Finally, think about how long you’re planning on bathing your baby in it. By the time your baby is about 7 months, they should be sitting up by themselves – check our milestones for baby development – so you might not need a separate baby bath at all by that point. If you have the space and want things to be a little less awkward, you might want a larger tub that will accommodate your baby till they’re a bit older.
What support will my baby need in the bath?
When our first baby was born, bath time was a 2 parent job. It was a time for us to connect as a family. It was special and novel and we enjoyed savouring every moment of their progress. It meant that there was an extra pair of hands to pick up our son or go and grab something we’d forgotten. It meant one of us could make sure the baby was propped up while the other was able to wash him. But even with 2 parents it was tricky. A slippery baby that’s fragile and that can’t keep their neck or body sat upright is a tough customer to handle.
We found that a baby bath with support on the bottom that stopped our babies slipping down – and allowed them to sit independently from just a few weeks old made life a lot easier. If you’re planning to bath your baby alone, give a lot of consideration to baths that will enable you to have hands free for washing, otherwise you risk putting your back out trying to hold up, comfort and wash your baby all at the same time.
What baby bath tub will be more comfortable?
Your own comfort, as well as your baby’s comfort matter. If you want bath time to be enjoyable an easy first step is to make it more comfortable so you can enjoy the time. Being soaking wet from a splashing baby who is too big for the bath they’re in, or having a sore back and knees from being bent over the side of a bath to hold your baby will make bath time pretty miserable. A bath tub on a stand that allows you to wash them while standing could be a consideration for example.
What baby bath tub will be easy to fill and drain?
Nothing takes up more space in our East London flat than a bath tub that can’t be moved out of the way because it’s still drying or because it has to be kept in the bath in order to be able to fill it up easily. A bath tub that can be filled up quicky when you’re trying to get an emergency bath in is important, and equally, knowing it’s a quick clean up job post bath time makes it an easy choice.
The 8 best baby baths to suit every family need
Best foldable baby bath tub:
Stokke Flexi bath is designed for space conscious parents. It comes in transparent or white and folds down into a very compact rectangle. There’s also the bonus of being able to buy it with a stand so you can bath newborns at waist height which could be a lot more comfortable than sitting on the bathroom floor.
Most supportive baby bath tub:
Shnuggle bath tub with plug has been our own bath of choice. We knew we wanted something that would best support our kids when they were first born because we were worried we wouldn’t be able to hold our babies up and wash them at the same time. The Shnuggle bath ‘bottom bump’ makes it really easy to prop your baby up independently from their first bath which is invaluable when you need all the spare hands you can get.
Best affordable baby bath seat:
From Mama’s and Papas, this is compact, non-slip and very discrete bath seat. The only downside is that it wouldn’t be appropriate for a newborn. But it could be the perfect solution as your baby grows and after a few months you want to be putting them directly into your standard bath to wash them.
The best natural, non-slip baby bath mats:
This bath mat made from pure rubber by Hevea is perfect if you want to bath your baby in the bath. Especially as they learn to sit up in the bath, this can be a great way to give you confidence that your baby wont be slipping and sliding under water when you’re not holding them.
The best baby bath tub for growing babies:
This Skip Hop bath tub can be adjusted for your baby as they grow. It means you can keep them in the tub longer without worrying about when they’re going to transition over to a standard bath. It provides plenty of support for newborns, but is a great space for your baby beyond 6 months as well
Most comfortable baby bath set:
This Angelcare bath support seat goes directly in your bath tub. With a soft plastic mesh, it maximises space in your bathroom, keeps your floors from getting soaked and works from newborn. You might want to combine it with some knee pads or a few towels if you’re leaning over the bath to wash your baby using any bath seat.
The best compact bath seat:
This Cheeky Rascals bath seat, does everything you need in terms of in-bath support for your baby, but crucially it keeps the bathroom takeover to a minimum. It’s narrow and fits easily in your standard bath and the angle of the seat ensure your baby’s propped up to be able to keep your hands free enough for washing them.
Best collapsible bath tub:
Karibu foldable bath tub is designed for small space living, or just anyone who’s tired of their home being filled with a never ending pile of baby care clutter. With collapsible legs and a foldable body, this bath can be stored easily when not in use.