After your baby outgrows his or her baby tub, he or she may be able to sit up or even stand, but may not have the ability to balance him or herself very well, especially on a slippery bathtub surface. Parents who aren't comfortable placing their baby in a regular bathtub at this stage may find that an inflatable baby tub offers a solution. An inflatable tub can be placed inside the regular bathtub, providing a slip-resistant surface and a soft cushion.
Experts don't often comment on inflatable baby tubs, and an article on ConsumerReports.org actually advises against using inflatable baby tubs, saying they can be dangerous; however, editors don't elaborate. Good Housekeeping singles out The Munchkin White Hot Safety Duck Bathtub as a potential safety hazard, because the tub could potentially collapse if a child leans against the side. User reviews at Amazon.com don't mention this potential safety hazard -- the tub earns an average rating of 4.5 stars out of five from more than 70 users -- but many reviewers do complain about the tub's practicality. The front and back ends of this tub are so large that it's difficult to fill it up from the tub faucet, users say, yet the tub itself isn't that large. Parents also say the temperature indicator isn't reliable.
The Leachco Bath 'N Bumper (*Est. $30) is designed to perform the same as an inflatable tub, although it's actually not inflatable. This product is recommended on TheCradle.com, but consumers on Amazon.com and ToysRUs.com provide mixed reviews. Unlike a bathtub, the Leachco Bath 'N Bumper isn't designed to hold water. Rather, it is meant to be placed in a regular bathtub already filled with water. We found several complaints from parents, saying the Leachco Bath 'N Bumper is prone to floating, making it necessary to hold the tub with one hand and bathe the baby with the other. About 20 users commenting at ToysRUs.com give the Leachco Bath 'N Bumper an average of four stars out of five stars, saying it's great for bathing a squiggly baby, but difficult to dry and clean. More than 25 reviewers on Amazon.com give this product an average rating of 3.5 stars out of five.
Because of the mixed reviews for this type of baby tub, and because of the warnings from Good Housekeeping and Consumer Reports, we're not placing any inflatable baby tubs in our Best Reviewed section.