What to look for when choosing a baby bath

Gotta get those little piggies squeaky clean somehow!

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Bathing your baby can be a joyous, special time for both you and your little one. Warm water can help promote relaxation, and splashing around can be fun for babies! Many parents incorporate bath time into their night-time routine, and there’s something very cute about little yellow rubber duckies floating on the water.

But with so many bathtub products out there, which one do you choose? Your mum bathed you in the laundry sink, is that safe? What if you don’t have a bathtub at home?

We’ve compiled the ultimate guide to help you choose the right bathtub for you and your baby. Still got questions about how to bathe your baby safely? Check out our article on the ultimate guide to bathing your baby safely.

Different kinds of baby baths

When it comes to choosing a baby bath, there are a few options. We’ll run through some pros and cons of each type.

Baby bathtub

Probably the most common baby bath type, baby bathtubs come in a bunch of sizes and are usually quite portable. You can pop them into an existing bathtub and simply let the water drain down the bath once you’re done, or bathe your baby in a different room on a table. Keep in mind though, if you’re not bathing your child in the bathroom, you’ll need to carry the bathtub full of water to drain down a sink, and this can be heavy, and depending on the baby bath’s volume, unmanageable.

  • Designed for bathing newborns
  • You can use on the floor, in a bath, or on a table depending on the design
  • Can take up a lot of room
  • Difficult to travel with as they are bulky
SafeWise recommends
Skip Hop baby bath tub

Price is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The Skip Hop Moby 3-in-1 Baby Bath is designed to bathe your child across three stages, from newborn to infant and toddler, thanks to the included adjustable sling. Once your baby is sitting, you can remove the sling and have them sitting upright in the whale-shaped tub.

Baby bucket

A baby bucket is designed to bathe babies until they’re around 6 months old and can sit on their own. With a bucket-like shape, they’re designed to support newborns, leaving parents both hands to wash those little toes and fingers squeaky clean.

  • Easier shape to store
  • Easier to carry when field with water
  • Suitable only for first six months
SafeWise recommends
Aqua scale new gen baby bath

Price is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The Aqua Scale Bath New Gen is the whole shebang! It’s got a built-in thermometer as well as the ability to record your baby’s weight. The tub is ergonomically designed for comfort and it’s got an anti-slip feature too. It’s suitable for newborns, and once bub can sit up, it converts to a toddler tub and is suitable until two years of age.

Regular bath

Some parents don’t buy a baby bath, and just use the family bath instead, hopping in with their baby. This can be a lovely bonding experience for baby and parent, and saves you from having to buy yet another baby product.

  • Cheaper, as you don’t need to buy a bath
  • Lovely bonding time with your baby
  • Promotes skin-on-skin time
  • You can securely hold your baby
  • Uses up much more water
  • Not everyone has a bath in their home

Baby bath seats

This is another option for those parents wanting to use the family bathtub, without getting wet themselves. The baby bath seat is exactly that - a little supported seat that sits in a family tub (or even a baby bathtub if it’s big enough) that your baby sits in to be bathed. It’s a better option for older babies who can sit in it, rather than newborns, so around six months onwards.

  • Great for travel, more portable than a baby bath
  • Usually cheaper than a baby bath
  • Uses up much more water if using the family bath
  • Not suitable for newborns who cannot support themselves

Other factors when considering a baby bath

Emptying the bath

You should always empty your baby’s bath as soon as you’re done. When buying a baby bath and considering where you’ll bathe your baby, it’s important to think about how you will drain the bath. If you’re bathing in the family bathtub, then draining the baby bath is easy. If you’re using the kitchen or bathroom table, consider a bath that has a draining pipe that easily drains water into a nearby sink. Otherwise, you’ll be trying to carry a heavy bath full of water into the nearest sink, which is difficult at the best of times.

Non-slip mats

If your baby bathtub doesn’t have a non-slip mat, it’s worth getting on to place at the bottom of the tub—that goes for the family bath, too.

Baby bath products

While nice-smelling soaps and luscious, foamy bubble bath sounds tempting, it’s best to simply bathe your newborn in warm water. Soaps can strip babies of their essential oils, and can also make babies extra slippery in the bath.

Baby bath FAQ

There’s many options on the market, and ultimately it’s up to you to decide which one will suit you best. Avoid baby baths that are inflatable or have hard edges or foam cushioning, and use a slip mat for extra grip.

Some of the things to avoid doing while bathing your baby is to leave them unsupervised at any time, having water that’s too hot, taking phone calls or anything else that might distract you. Babies should always be bathed by a caregiver or other responsible adult.

Yes! Many parents choose to bathe their newborns in the shower with them. Some babies may fuss with the water splashing on their face, and others enjoy it. Ensure the water is at a suitable temperature, and avoid soaps and bath oils that might make your baby slippery to hold.

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time of publish and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the retailer’s website at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. SafeWise Australia utilises paid affiliate links.
Kate Reynolds
Written by
Kate Reynolds is a writer who's at her happiest when there's haloumi on the brunch menu and a dog to give pats to. She's worked as a travel writer, journalist, theatre reviewer, broadcaster and radio creative, and spends her weekends with as much of the aforementioned haloumi and dogs as possible. She writes on Cammeraygal and Wangal land.

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