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Baby Bathtubs: The Yay to the Nay

Jan29

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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….

1. Summer Infant Newborn to Toddler Fold Away Baby Bath Review ($21.99)

summer infant tub review

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.

VERDICT on the Summer Infant Newborn bathtub: NAY

2. Puj Flyte Compact Infant Bath Review ($35)

puj flyte baby bath review

The Puj Compact Infant Bath 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.

VERDICT on the Puj Compact Infant Bath: OKAY

3. The Original Tummy Tub Bath Review ($42)

tummy tub baby bath review

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 Tummy 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 on the Original Tummy Tub Bath: NAY (for now, and definitely not for newborns)

4. Boon Naked Collapsible Baby Bathtub Review ($60)

boon baby bathtub review

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?

VERDICT on the Boon Naked Collapsible Baby Bathtub: YAY

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.

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About the author


http://www.mommyshorts.com
Ilana Wiles writes Mommy Shorts, a popular NYC humor blog geared towards new parents. In addition to blogging, Ilana has worked as a creative in advertising for the past 15 years. She lives in the East Village of NYC with her husband, her two-year-old daughter and a rapidly growing pile of stuffed animals.


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27 Responses to “Baby Bathtubs: The Yay to the Nay”

  1. Sonja Jan 29 at 9:34 am Reply Reply

    I like the concept of the Puj, but my bathroom sink is way too small for it.
    For both of my babies, I ended up starting to use the regular tub as soon as they were big enough (4 months maybe?). I put in very little water – so little that when they’re laying in it, their ears don’t get wet. It’s not ideal, but it works.

  2. Amie Jan 29 at 12:00 pm Reply Reply

    Whale tub. Seriously. We used it in the kitchen sink from birth until about 6 months when she got too splashy.

    http://www.amazon.com/Fisher-Price-Precious-Planet-Whale-Tub/dp/B0018Z8CN8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1359477467&sr=8-1&keywords=whale+tub

    • Isabel Kallman
      Isabel Jan 29 at 12:17 pm Reply Reply

      Amie, thanks for the recommendation.

      I had a similar one for my son and then by the time my son could sit up unsupported, we moved to the regular bathtub with shallow water. For this post, we wanted baby bathtubs that could store away easily for Ilana’s apartment life. The Tummy Tub was the only one that veered from that, but I liked it because it could do double-duty in the bathroom to store bath toys without taking up too much floor space.

  3. Bethany Jan 29 at 1:01 pm Reply Reply

    We got the Safer Bather bath pad, and it works GREAT in our kitchen sink. Our little guy loves it.

    http://www.amazon.com/Leachco-Safer-Bather-Infant-Bath/dp/B00005JIVI/ref=sr_1_1?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1359481110&sr=1-1&keywords=safer+bather

    Haven’t tried it in the bathtub yet, though.

  4. Radiem Jan 29 at 1:06 pm Reply Reply

    What about a simple (and cheap) sponge bath cushion? We just put one of these in the kitchen sink or bathtub, wet it down, and get to bathing. You can wring it out and throw it in the dryer before tossing it in a cabinet or closet for storage. We travel with ours as well. Here’s an example:

    http://www.amazon.com/Safety-1st-Comfy-Cushion-Green/dp/B0018ZVT4M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1359481131&sr=8-1&keywords=bath+cushion

  5. Isabel Kallman
    Isabel Jan 29 at 1:49 pm Reply Reply

    I love that everyone is chiming in with additional suggestions. THANK YOU! It makes for a better resource for other parents.

  6. Hillary Jan 29 at 2:29 pm Reply Reply

    This thing has been a godsend for our family – stores easily (we just hang it up from a hook in the shower) and we can bathe the baby with his 3yo sister at the same time.

    http://www.amazon.com/PRI-Infant-Bath-Seat-White/dp/B000BXJZDY/ref=sr_1_10?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1359486330&sr=1-10

  7. Ally Jan 29 at 2:31 pm Reply Reply

    I love the blooming bath baby bath. It works so well in the sink. I had C-sections and it was awful to bend down. This held my baby so well in any sink and it kept the water in so I didn’t have to keep re-filling it. 

  8. Sarah Jan 29 at 2:33 pm Reply Reply

    We LOVED the fold-up bathtub (I think it was even the same brand) for our babies from about 6 months to just under a year. They could sit up but couldn’t fall too far, and instead of having to put a few inches of water in the entire bathtub we only had to fill the little tub. We also felt it was sturdy and the cushy, air-filled bottom was nice. However, we had the luxury of just leaving it in the tub all of the time and didn’t actually fold it up every night.

  9. Christin Jan 29 at 3:28 pm Reply Reply

    I had great luck with the puj tub from newborn to almost a year because I used it in the kitchen sink and have a faucet that comes out. It was like giving her a shower.

  10. Autumn Jan 29 at 5:12 pm Reply Reply

    Agree with the Fisher price whale of a tub.  Until she was about 9 months old, I just put it on our kitchen table and did her bath standing up (much eaiser for me. . . filled it with an empty ice cream bucket from the tap and dumped it in the kitchen sink after)

    Still using it for her at 17 months now in the big tub because it needs so much less water to fill.  She’s a little peanut of a thing (still in 12 month footie pjs) so I guess that lets me get a way with it.

    And it’s great for doing the strip soak for my cloth diaper inserts. . . multitasker! 

  11. Marlen Jan 29 at 5:33 pm Reply Reply

    We don’t have a bath tub in our house, so we needed a creative solution once little one outgrew her infant tub. We ended up with this: http://www.amazon.com/Prince-Lionheart-Flexibath-Foldable-Bathtub/dp/B004NRNSNC and LOVE it. 

    She was about 5 months when we started using it and she’ll be able to use it until she’s about 3 or so and we can just let her shower. Folds up super-slim, is light and we travel with it, because she doesn’t like the big hotel tub.

  12. Martine Jan 29 at 5:53 pm Reply Reply

    We never bought a baby bath tub for our son.  Instead, I would get in the tub with him until he was old enough to sit in the bath on his own.  It was wonderful and relaxing for everyone.  :)

  13. IrishCream Jan 29 at 10:13 pm Reply Reply

    I like the lazy parents’ method: don’t bathe your baby that much. Seriously, until they can sit up on their own, they are probably not getting very dirty. We did sponge baths most of the time until our girls could sit up well enough to go in the big tub (with mom or dad having a hand on them at all times until they were really stable). We dunked them in a baby bucket tub every couple of weeks for the first few months, but that was kind of a pain, and they never liked it. You can justify it by telling yourself that it’s better for their delicate newborn skin (true!).

  14. Myriam Jan 30 at 9:22 am Reply Reply

    I used a cheaper version of the whale tub for te first few bath that we put on the dinner table. Around 3 months, I switched to a bath sling. You can hang it to dry and store, and it’s quite confortable when used with a non-slip mat.http://www.amazon.com/Summer-Infant-Fold-Store-Sling/dp/B000JVVXMO/ref=sr_1_89?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1359554248&sr=1-89&keywords=baby+bath

    • Myriam Jan 30 at 9:24 am Reply Reply

      typos… whale tub for the first few months that we put…

  15. Laura Jan 30 at 4:50 pm Reply Reply

    We bathed our newborn in her foam changer which we still use for changing diapers 2 years later: http://www.babysmartusa.com/changer.asp. Multitasker!! We’be probably gotten more use out of that thing than any other piece of baby gear. Sadly currently unavailable on Amazon but you can read lots of reviews there.

  16. allison Jan 31 at 12:59 pm Reply Reply

    We got two tubs handed down to us, one was the mesh-and-wire style (so not really a tub but a support) and a Safety First plastic collapsible one, both of which we’d just stick in the bottom of the bathtub (so we had to bend over). I guess the Safety First could have gone on a counter top to avoid bending over. Both worked pretty well. I used the Safety First one mostly when I was bathing her myself. But what we did more often than not was have one of us get in the tub with her and hold her while the other did the bathing. It seemed to be the easiest.

  17. Natalie Feb 01 at 9:38 pm Reply Reply

    Sigh. Or? Jump in the shower with baby. Both my kids started showering at about 1 week – no gimmicks, gadgets needed. 

    • Holly Feb 06 at 4:29 pm Reply Reply

      We’ve been giving our baby showers since he was just a week or two old, too, BUT, he LOVES bath time so we want him to have that experience occasionally, too.

  18. Tara Feb 04 at 12:31 pm Reply Reply

    We’ve found it hard to find a tub for our preemies too. In the end I’ve just cradeled them in my arms in a real bath tub with me and bathed them one at a time. They really seem to like it. They even get a look of zen. Plus, this way mommy gets bath time too ;)

  19. shayne Feb 04 at 1:13 pm Reply Reply

    We have the summer infant tub, and while we had the same issues with it when we first started using it, everything seemed to break in after awhile and it was no longer difficult to click the legs into place and I guess once the rubber softened up, we no longer had issues with the plug either. I will say that after a month or two we stopped inflating the tub. There’s really no real need to. 

    My son is eight months and we just moved him to the big tub a couple weeks ago. Considering the short amount of time we used it and the convenience of the folding feature, and the price, I’m glad we chose it.

  20. Megan Feb 06 at 5:14 pm Reply Reply

    A well-cleaned kitchen sink (with a sprayer) once they can sit up, with a towel in the bottom for traction. Before then, I just sponged her because really, how dirty is an immobile baby going to get whose tushie gets washed multiple times a day anyway? ;)

  21. Heather Feb 13 at 5:54 pm Reply Reply

    The Primo EuroBath is awesome.  It is inexpensive ($20-$25) and has two sides: one for infants and one for toddlers.  The infant side keeps little babies perfectly cradled, which was a godsend for me because I could not hold onto that slippery little newborn body for anything and I was paranoid I was going to drop her when we tried the sink.  The only downside is it is kind of large, if space is at a premium.  But on the plus side, we used it until my daughter was 2!  We really got our money’s worth and I’m glad we didn’t bother with something that only would have lasted 5-6 months (like most other baby gear).

  22. Ile Feb 27 at 8:47 am Reply Reply

    Hello,
    Thank you for taking the time to test and review baby items, which as a new mom it truly comes in handy. Have you tried the baby bath from bloomingbath.com? I am just curious to know if it works since I have a 4 months old baby who’s 15 pounds and it would be nice to have other options. Congrats on your baby and I wish you a good day.
    Sincerely,
    Ile

    • Isabel Kallman
      Isabel Feb 27 at 9:30 am Reply Reply

      Hi Ile, we didn’t for this review. But as you can see above in the comments, someone else did. We don’t have the resources (yet!) to try out every product so we try our best and hope our really smart readers share with us their personal experiences. :)

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