Types of baby tubs
There are several types of tools you can use to help bathe an infant. Some
are for infants only, while others can help bathe older children and toddlers.
Here's a rundown of the general types.
- Plastic transitional baby tubs. These
are basically large plastic basins with molded plastic dividers that
help position an infant in the tub. Most have two sides; one end of the
tub is shaped for infants, with a higher seating position that allows baby
to lean back. The other end of the tub is usually deeper, with straighter
sides, better for babies who can sit up on their own. Some baby tubs include
a sling or hammock accessory, which allows parents to sponge-bath their
baby without submerging him or her under water.
- Bath pads. Bath pads are intended
for younger babies only; most resemble a big pillow, with a recessed
area for the baby to recline. You can easily place a bath pad in a kitchen
sink, whereas the plastic baby tubs are a tight fit. Other bath pads look
like a little hammock or reclined fabric seat on a frame. You can use bath
pads too long; most babies will outgrown them in about nine months (or
when their feet grown beyond the pad).
- Inflatable tubs. These are blow-up tubs
designed to sit inside a regular tub, giving baby a smaller area. However,
few experts recommend these, saying it's too easy for the baby to lean
over the side, which can collapse under his or her weight and pose a
- Bath pods. Politely named bath pods actually resemble small fancy
buckets. This type of tub shape is supposed to encourage your baby
to adopt an upright fetal position. While some parents say this position
does seem to soothe their baby, others complain that it's just hard to
bathe them properly in such a tight space.
- Bathtub rings and seats. This type of bathing
aid uses suction cups to attach to your regular bathtub. However,
experts, including those at Consumer Reports, Good Housekeeping and the
Drowning Prevention Foundation caution against these since the suction
cups can easily fail, allowing the baby to fall into bathwater and drown.
Experts urge parents to choose a baby tub with safety in mind and to take
precautions during bath time to prevent any accidents. The following considerations
are worth bearing in mind when choosing a baby tub:
- Models with removable
slings are convenient for newborns and easily adjusted to fit toddlers.
tubs with two seating positions extend the usefulness of your tub.
for rough edges that could scratch your baby's skin.
- A plug makes for easy
draining, particularly if you plan to use your baby tub in the sink.
a size that works with your bathroom or sink.
- Look for a hanging hook to
aid drying and storage.
- Baby tubs with rounded, overhanging rims or handles
make it easy to carry a water-filled tub from one area to another.