Baby Bathtubs: The Yay to the Nay
Bathing your newborn is not an easy proposition. They’ve got more rolls than an Olive Garden and they’re squirmier than a garden snake. And while they may not bite, they can certainly scream their head off if they’re not pleased— which may, for the record, be a lot worse.
In order to make washing your newborn as painless as possible, I put four different infant baby baths to the test. Here’s what I found out….
First of all, the Summer Infant Newborn bathtub looks pretty cheap. It’s made of blue and white plastic with a duck-patterned vinyl lining that inflates much like a pool toy. The vinyl is supposed to create a cushioned surface for your newborn. Plus once you let the air out, you can fold up the tub for storage.
I wouldn’t care about the look of the tub if it worked. But, it did not. It was a nightmare. There are four feet on the tub that need to lock into place for the inflatable portion to balance correctly. It was really hard to get the feet to lock. Once I put it down in the tub, one foot kept unlocking so the tub would collapse on one side. The other major problem is the plug to keep the air in. Once you blew it up, it was almost impossible to get the plug to stay in so you would quickly start losing all the air. I worked a good half hour until finally I thought the plug would stay, but then as soon as I filled the tub with water, it came right out.
Not that it matters, but the tub doesn’t create the best position for a newborn who cannot sit up. The inflation means the baby’s head does not rest evenly in the middle and begins quickly drifting to one side.
I hated this tub with a passion and wanted it out of my bathroom immediately. And just so you don’t think it was just me, I had my husband try it out as well and he experienced all the same issues.
2. Puj Flyte Compact Infant Bath ($35)
The Puj is an interesting option because it’s essentially a long foam bowl that you sit over your sink. The good thing about this is it allows you to wash your baby standing up, which is much more comfortable than kneeling on the floor and leaning over the bath, right after you’ve given birth to a baby. The other nice thing is that the Puj is ridiculously compact so you can even hang it on the back of a door or or off a hanging shower caddy without it getting in your way. The bendable foam material makes it easy to pack in a suitcase for travel as well.
Other advantages are that it’s free of all the chemicals (PVC and BPA) you don’t want around your child, it’s mildew resistant and easy to clean.
The big disadvantage for me is that if you put the Puj in your sink, the water runs right through it, so you will have to keep the faucet on during your baby’s bath. This means that the faucet is running directly on your baby at all times. I don’t know how much you trust your faucet, but having it quickly turn to hot or cold could be very upsetting for your baby. Personally, that’s not a chance I want to take.
Also, the Puj, as compared to other baths which can accommodate a toddler (though I’m not sure toddlers will need a portable bathtub), can only be used from 0-6 months of age. I would put it at even less. It would seem that you’d want your baby’s body to be a little more submerged after the first couple of months.
3. The Original Tummy Tub Bath ($42)
The Tummy Tub is touted by doctors and midwives as being the preferred way to bathe your baby. Your baby sits upright as opposed to lying down which is supposed to make them feel warm, safe and relaxed. They even say that it can act to soothe an infant that has indigestion or colic.
I wish I could say that I found this to be true, because my baby has a bad case of acid reflux. I don’t know if it’s because my baby is too small (she was born at about 7 lbs and is now only a little over 9 lbs) but I found it impossible to hold her upright in the tub while being able to wash her body. Every picture I looked at seemed like the baby was already in a stage where s/he could sit up or at least support her/his head. When I used it, mine couldn’t do either, so call into question the idea that it can be used for tiny babies.
It’s possible that in a few months, the tub becomes the best thing ever. But I was looking for something to bathe my newborn. Perhaps I will revisit this tub in the future.
VERDICT: NAY (for now, and definitely for newborns)
4. Boon Naked Collapsible Baby Bathtub ($60)
Originally, I was only going to review the three bath tubs above, but I didn’t feel like I had anything in my possession that I was comfortable washing the baby in and recommending. So, Alpha Mom also invested in the Boon Naked Collapsible Baby Bathtub to review.
This was the tub I needed. It has an expandable bottom that can be adjusted to fit a newborn, baby or even a toddler. It has two legs that lock securely in place (although they are slightly tough to unlock) and it folds to practically flat for hanging or easy storage. Just please remember to engage the metal support rod for the newborn position. If you don’t fold it in place, the tub’s newborn incline (as seen in the picture above) can fall to toddler position, startling your baby.
All-in-all, the Boon Bathtub is a simple, well-designed tub in which I felt safe washing my baby. Who knew that would be so hard to find?
Usually I do a wrap-up, but this time my answer is clear. The Boon bathtub might be the most expensive, of the group above, but since it is the only baby bathtub I tried that can truly take your baby from newborn to toddler, I think it is well worth it.