When it comes to baby tubs, there are many options to choose from. Some baby tubs are expressly for use with infants, while others are intended for older babies and toddlers. A few transitional models are designed to grow with your child from infancy through toddlerhood. Most experts agree that fancy features aren't necessary for a baby tub, and that safety is the most important consideration. Although features like non-slip surfaces and slings or hammocks can reduce the likelihood of a mishap, accidents can still occur when parents aren't watching. The best way to prevent potential tub injuries is to never leave your baby unattended in any type of baby tub.
ConsumerSearch ranks professional and parent reviews (listed in the Our Sources section) based on methodology and credibility in testing. We found the best reviews of baby tubs at ConsumerReports.org and in the book "Baby Bargains." ConsumerReports.org provides an in-depth discussion of various baby tub styles and recommends three brands. Accompanying this review are several related articles outlining the different types of baby tubs and discussing important safety features to consider when selecting a baby tub.
"Baby Bargains" also discusses several baby tubs and provides recommendations, although their reviews aren't as extensive. The authors, Denise and Alan Fields, recommend four baby tubs based on their experience and reader feedback.
Consumer reviews on sites such as Amazon.com, Viewpoints.com and ToysRUs.com are also important. Parents and caregivers are often the best judges of baby products, reporting on how well different baby tub models hold up to repeated use. We also found reviews on blogs run by moms and at About.com, although these reviews address a single tub rather than comparing several models.
Another safety issue worth mentioning concerns the use of baby bath seats and bath rings. Baby bath seats rely on suction cups to stick to the side of a tub, which are very unreliable, according to ConsumerReports.org. If the suction cups fail, the seat can tip over, and babies can fall or become trapped underwater. ConsumerReports.org editors note that these seats often provide a false sense of security for parents, and in some cases injuries have occurred when parents have left the room briefly, assuming their baby was safe and secure in the bath seat.
Baby bath rings use suction cups to adhere the seat to the bottom of the tub, rather than the side of the tub. The Drowning Prevention Foundation specifically advises against the use of both baby bath seats and baby bath rings, however, noting that a baby could slide between the legs of a bath ring and become trapped underwater. ConsumerReports.org doesn't discourage using bath rings, but they do discuss the safety concerns related to suction cups being unreliable, particularly on nonskid surfaces. Based on safety concerns, we've excluded baby seats and bath rings from our recommendations.