With so many choices in the market from hard, plastic tubs to foldable and inflatable tubs, choosing a safe and comfortable one for your baby can be confusing. Here are some simple tips for choosing the right baby bathtub.
Safety Tips for Bathing Babies
For newborns, fill the bathtub with just 13 cm of water, or just enough water to reach the baby’s shoulder.
Bathing a small, squirming baby in a tub can be a nerve-wracking experience to say the least. While some babies do love the feel of water, there are others who would start wailing just at the sight of the bathtub. This is why, as a parent, you need to get a bathtub that is not only safe for the baby, but also makes bath time a fun and enjoyable experience for the baby and you.
There are some parents who bathe their babies in regular tubs. However, having a special free-standing baby bathtub allows you to wash the baby with ease without having to worry about the baby slipping or banging his head on the hard surface. There are many types of baby tubs available in the market. Most of them have special features like contoured design and anti-skid bath surface that makes bath times safer and more fun.
How to Choose a Bathtub for Your Baby
Different Types of Baby Bathtubs
From simple contoured designs to complex battery-operated bathtubs with features like in-built digital thermometer, motorized water jets, and removable shower units, baby bathtubs are available in a range of shapes and sizes to suit your baby needs. If you have a young child, then you can opt for a simple contoured bathtub with mesh sling or hammock. There are also the bucket-style bathtubs and inflatable ones.
Collapsible bathtubs that can be folded after use are great for traveling. However, it is important to check the sturdiness of these tubs before buying. There are bathtubs that are especially made for bathing the baby in the sink.
Material and Design
A strong and durable, non-toxic polypropylene plastic tub is what you should look for. Ensure that the tub is BPA-, phthalate-, and lead-free. The tub should be sturdy enough so that the baby does not topple over while you are giving a bath. Look for a contoured bathtub that keeps the baby upright and prevents him/her from slipping.
Mesh Sling, Baby Seats, and Soft Inserts
There are many tubs that feature mesh slings that keep the baby higher in the water and closer to you. You can also consider buying these bath slings or baby seats, and attaching them to the bathtub. Once your baby is able to sit independently, you can remove the sling. This provides more room for an older baby to sit up.
If there is no sling or hammock available, or if you are concerned about the safety hazards, then it is best to opt for a tub that has a natural incline to keep the baby in an upright position.
A plug at the base of the tub allows you to drain off the water. This feature is extremely handy when you need to change the water without having to lift and hold the baby. Rather than holding the tub and tipping off the water, pull the plug and let the water drain off. While buying, check if the plug can be attached and removed easily.
Foldability and Storage
Some plastic tubs are foldable and lightweight. This makes storage quite easy. However, if you are concerned about leakage issues with such tubs, look for models with hooks or suction cups that can be used for hanging the tub after use.
Nonskid Bathtub Surface
A nonskid surface on the bottom of the tub ensures that the child does not slip while bathing. If your tub does not have a nonskid surface, then place a rubber mat or a bath towel on the bottom of the tub.
Most models are available in the range of $15 to $40. Some fancy battery-operated models with jacuzzi and water jets can cost a whooping $65 to $90. It is best to choose an infant-to-toddler tub that lasts longer, rather than buying a new one every time your baby outgrows it.
What to Watch Out For
▣ Avoid infant bath seats. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warns against such seats as they have reportedly caused 174 deaths and 300 nonfatal bath-seat incidents from 1983 to November 2009.
▣ Inflatable bathtubs are not considered safe for babies as they can collapse and cause the child to drown.
▣ Do not leave your children unattended in bath buckets especially on pedestals.
▣ Do not leave the baby unattended during bath time. If you need something, take the baby with you.
▣ Empty the bathtub after use.
Even a few inches of water in a bathtub can prove hazardous for babies. Hence, you need to remember these safety tips while bathing the baby.