A wash pod is another option for bathing your baby. These bucket-like tubs have been popular in Europe for some time, although they're just beginning to gain a toehold in the U.S. market. The Tummy Tub (*Est. $50) is one such option. Featured on NBC's "Today" show, this tub allows a baby to sit cross-legged while submerged in chest-deep water. According to the importer, a mother of four, the design simulates the experience of being in the womb, making bath time a warm and soothing experience for a baby. A stand (*Est. $55) is also available for use with the Tummy Tub that contains a storage compartment and can also be used as a child's step stool. The stand allows a parent to bathe a baby while seated.
In a Charm City Moms blog entry, Baltimore Sun editor Kate Shatzkin cites the "Today" show segment and asks readers to weigh in on the Tummy Tub. Of the dozen or so responses, opinions are mixed. Some parents think the concept is ridiculous, with one asking how a parent is supposed to bathe a baby while he is totally submerged in water. Others say the concept is great, although they do note that the price is too high for what's essentially a bucket. Opinion is similarly mixed at British parenting website BabyWorld.co.uk, where more than 20 parents weigh in. In general, users say the Tummy Tub is easy to use, although many give it a low rating when asked to judge the value for the money. Several parents note that the Tummy Tub helped soothe their colicky babies.
Professional and user opinions of the Prince Lionheart WashPod (*Est. $25) are similarly mixed. Robin Elise Weiss, About.com's guide to pregnancy and birth, isn't impressed. She gives it just 2.5 stars out of five, noting that while the concept is great, the tub doesn't fit in a sink. She also says a tub filled with water is a potential drowning hazard for older children who might try to climb in, so it's important to remember to empty it out immediately after use. On the plus side, the WashPod does offer cushioned handles for easy transport and a padded bottom. It's made of clear plastic, so parents can see inside the tub during bathing. Reviewers on Amazon.com are more positive about the WashPod, giving it an average rating of four stars out of five, based on more 20 consumer reviews. Most reviewers say their babies love the WashPod, although a few point out that essentially, this product is simply a bucket. A few reviewers say it is difficult to bathe their baby in the Prince Lionheart WashPod.