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If you’ve ever done bath time with a baby, you know it’s not the relaxing, spa-like experience the adorable photo shoots suggest. Like most parenting experiences, it makes you wonder why having a baby doesn’t also sprout you a second set of arms. After all, trying to keep a slippery, soapy babe safe, warm and happy while also managing the occasional (and inevitable) poop situation with only two of them seems darn near impossible.
Enter: the baby bath tub. Of course, it doesn’t help that there are so many different choices in the baby bathtub aisle, each with a different size, shape and function. HELLO? Isn’t a bath, a bath? Not when you’re still figuring out how to hold your head up, apparently. With so many to choose from, it’s important to first understand what to look for and then consider your own needs as you choose the best baby bath tub for your household.
The two types of baby bath tub
In-sink baby bathtubs
Ideal for newborns and mamas recovering from a c-section, this style is often made of foam, cloth or mesh and nests directly into a bathroom or kitchen sink. They not only keep the tiniest babies safe and secure, they’re also much easier on you since you don’t have to kill your back to get the job done. Babies generally outgrow this style by around six months, so you’ll have to upgrade at least once before they’re ready for the regular bathtub. These styles are also easy to store which makes them a great option for small spaces.
Stand-alone baby bathtubs
These baby-sized basins give you plenty of options. Whether you set it on the countertop or directly into the regular tub, these are often made from easy-to-clean plastic with features like molded bottoms to keep baby upright or removable slings that prevent them from slipping. Their roomier size can accommodate from the newborn phase through the first couple years but can also take up a significant amount of space.
Below, our breakdown of the best baby bath tubs, so you can find the right one to suit your lifestyle. (And don’t forget the bath toys!)
Best Baby Bath Tubs
A version of this article was published July 28, 2021. It has been updated.