Information on Baby Bath Tubs
Baby bath tubs are on many expecting parents' registries and are a common baby shower gift. While you can still bathe your baby in other ways, using a tub designed just for him can make bath time easier and more enjoyable for you both.
Photo courtesy of NCBrian: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ncbrian/32505617/
What To Look For
While a baby bathtub is not required parenting equipment--many of us were bathed in a towel-lined sink, after all--using one can make bath time safer and more enjoyable for you and your little one.
Like most baby-oriented products, baby bathtubs come in a variety of shapes, colors and with options, so the choice of just one can be daunting. The first choice you'll need to make is the type of tub. There are several options:
In-sink tubs fit inside kitchen or bathroom sinks. They allow you to bathe your baby without stooping over. Many come with hammocks or other cushioning features that keep your baby comfortable and secure during the bath.
In-bath tubs are placed inside your bathroom tub or directly on the floor. Some have rigid sides; others fold for easy storage. Many in-bath tubs have stabilizing features or cushions. Some are convertible, so you can use the tub as your baby grows. Infants recline in one position, and older babies and toddlers sit up, with their legs encircling a contoured projection at the center of the tub that protects them from slipping.
Bath seats and inflatable tubs also are available. However, ConsumerReports.org does not recommend them, as these products may pose a safety risk to the child.
Regardless of the style you choose, look for the following when making your selection:
Durability: Choose a model with firm, thick plastic that retains its shape when it's holding water or your baby.
Easy Drainage: A plug at the bottom to make draining the tub easier, particularly when your arms are full.
Slip-Resistance: Wet babies are slippery! Tubs with contours or nonslip pads make it easier to ensure that your baby stays secure while bathing.
Bathtub manufacturers continually add bells and whistles to differentiate their products. This can escalate the price unnecessarily. Identify the criteria most important to you to streamline your choices. If your space is limited, pick a model that folds or can be suspended on a hook when not in use. If bending over is problematic, consider an in-sink model for those months when your infant is smallest. But remember that babies outgrow tubs quickly. If you select one designed solely for an infant, you may end up needing to purchase a second, larger tub as the baby grows. Your baby won't be ready to bathe in a regular bathtub until he or she can sit up unassisted.
Where To Buy
Baby bathtubs are available at retailers such as Babies R Us, Target or Wal-Mart. Many can be found online, as well; however, given a tub's size, the shipping costs for online purchases may rival the cost of the tub. Secondhand baby bathtubs can frequently be found at garage sales or consignment shops. Be sure to check for cracks or mildew before purchasing secondhand.
Baby bathtubs range in price from $10 to $40 depending on their features.