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Bathing Your After-Newborn-Stage Baby

by Amanda on January 23, 2008
category: 0 – 1 year (baby)

One of our family goals for 2008 is to bathe our baby at least twice a week. She doesn’t crawl yet, so she doesn’t get that dirty. I know I am not the only one! My baby is too big for her newborn bathtub. I am not sure what to use next, because they don’t go over this stage when you make your baby registry. So I compiled this resource list of bathtubs and techniques you can use to bath your baby after they have grown out of their newborn tub.

Inflatable Tubs

There are many moms who love their inflatable tubs, because they travel well and work well inside their bathtubs. Consumer Reports has a different take, “There are also inflatable tubs that fit inside a regular bathtub to give your baby a padded space to bathe but we don’t recommend those either because they can be dangerous.” Consumer Reports never says how they are dangerous. With every baby tub we must use common sense and never leave a child unattended for second.

  • Especially For Baby Noah’s Ark Inflatable Tub, $12.99


This tub has a 4.5 star rating out of 5 on babiesrus.com. Most of the user reviews rave about the tub. 2 of 36 reviewers said it leaked and another mom said that it didn’t fit her twins. Overall, it looks like a good buy if you want an inflatable tub.

  • Muchkin Duck Bathtub, $9.99


I have a friend whose daughter absolutely loves her duck bath, but one user review said that their baby was scared of the duck! Another review mentioned that you couldn’t see the cute head when the baby is sitting in it. The main draw back is that you cannot fill it directly from the faucet, because the sides are too big. Also, the tub does not drain fast enough.

Bath Seats

One option is to transition into a bath seat. Be careful not to buy a bath seat that uses suction cups to hold the seat in place. Consumer Reports issued a warning in April of 2007 explicitly stating that suction cup bath seats should not be bought, because babies have fallen over and got stuck under the seat. With other consumer organizations, Consumer Reports have actively pursued the Consumer Product Safety Commission to ban the seats.

  • Safety 1st Tubside Bathseat, $24.99


This seat is for babies from 5 to 10 months. My friend passed this seat down to me and I have only tried it once. Ace screamed the whole time she was in it and we couldn’t figure out how to wash her bottom. While a lot of moms like the seat, some of the complaints are that their baby got stuck, it is hard to clean and store outside of the tub.

  • Dream Baby Fold-Away Bath Seat, $19.99


This seat uses suction cups, so it can only be used on smooth tub surfaces. The front bar opens to make it easier to take your baby out. Most of the user reviews find that this product isn’t great, but okay. If used properly it can get the job done.

Transitional Tubs

An infant-to-toddler tub may be good buy, because it will grow with your baby. Some of these tubs use a padded clip on sling to hold a newborn and then can be taken off when your baby can sit up. Other transitional tubs use an inclined seat for newborns that adjusts as your baby grows into a toddler.

  • Fisher Price Aquarium Bath Center, $28.49


This seat is really popular and comes with a pouring cup, a toy, and another toy that doubles as a thermometer. There seems to be a bump in the tub that either hits your baby’s bottom in the hammock position or hits their back while sitting up. I probably would not buy this for the after-newborn stage, because so many reviewers complained about this bump in the tub.

  • The First Years Sure Comfort Deluxe Newborn-to-Toddler Tub by Learning Curve, $16.99


Both Babiesrus.com and Amazon.com users rate this 4.5 stars out of five. It fits in the kitchen sink and the tub. Also, the plug changes color if it gets too hot, but sometimes it doesn’t work. There are a few complaints that it is too short for long babies, but other moms disagree. You would probably have to test it out for yourself to see. I have a similar newborn tub to this one and really liked it. With so many great reviews for this tub, I may be spending my money on this one.

Bathing in the Sink

There is nothing wrong with using the old-fashioned sink to bath your baby. I used the sink in our hotel room while we were traveling in the Philippines to bathe our baby. Be careful of the faucet, because it can be hot and they may bonk their head. You can also line the bottom of the sink with a towel to keep them from slipping. The kitchen sink is also great, because it saves your back from bending over.

Jumping In the Tub With Your Baby

According to Dr. Sears you can calm a baby who screams every time they bathe by jumping into the tub with them. He suggests getting everything ready and then hold your baby close while slowly bringing them into the water. He also suggests while you are getting the hang of bathing with your baby you may want to hand your baby to someone else when you are getting out the tub. I spoke with one mom who does this with her kids and she loves the special bonding time she gets with her babies during bathing time.

Extra Resources:

How To Bathe Your Baby
Baby Bathtubs: Safety Tips
Dr. Greene on Bathing Your Baby
What To Look For When Buying Bath Seats
Features to Consider When Buying a Baby Bathtub

Where do you bathe your baby? Have you used any of these tubs or techniques?

11 Responses to Bathing Your After-Newborn-Stage Baby

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Natalie
    January 23, 2008 @ 8:32 am

    I used the “first years” tub. It was fantastic. When Jackson got a little bigger, I sometimes put him in the kitchen sink. It was so much easier for me. I just wanted to make sure that it was always really clean. Jackson seemed to love the sink more than anything. Bath time for him is his favorite thing.

  • Comment by Sharon M
    January 23, 2008 @ 10:46 am

    I use a sink with one of those little $3.99 “bath sponges” that you can pick up just about anywhere. It helps my daughter to keep situated in the sink (no slipping or sliding around), but it can also be used in the tub. I used it for Julian until he was about a year old — when he was about 6 months old, I would just sit him on it instead of laying him down.
    We move so much that a tub just wouldn’t be a good investment. I can pack the sponge easily, and if I don’t, it doesn’t feel like I’ve wasted money.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Dawn
    January 23, 2008 @ 10:47 am

    We use the blue sink tub w/ the net for Eli (actually, he outgrew the net after about 2 months) – it was Lucy’s first. She’s still in her inflatable tub (which is similar to the first pic in your post), and she LOVES it, so do we. But we’re thinking it’s time for her to graduate to the real thing after her second birthday. She’s getting pretty tall.

    Bath time has always been a breeze for me because it falls under my hubby’s “umbrella”! I have never even bathed our son once… and when I tried bathing Lucy (after a vomitous naptime fiasco), I was so clumsy. She could tell. She wasn’t happy with me at all. Bathtime is Daddy’s job.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Jenny
    January 23, 2008 @ 2:04 pm

    we used the first years tub with frida and really liked it. she grew out of the sling at about 2 months and finally was too big for the tub at about 9 months. then we just put her in the big tub with her brother. she really loves the bath and has had fun with the freedom of moving around the big tub.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Trina
    January 23, 2008 @ 3:43 pm

    We use the Munkin’s Duck inflatable tub. We love it! Brielle loves her tub. It has been great for us. It is dangerous if you leave your child. And who would do that? Good luck.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Heidi
    January 23, 2008 @ 6:57 pm

    I have the First Years Newborn-to-Toddler tub. I used it with Caleb, and am currently using it with Ava. I’d LOVE to be able to bathe Ava in the sink, but she makes such a mess with all the splashing.

  • Comment by McKenna
    January 23, 2008 @ 7:08 pm

    Bath time has for the most part been my husband’s time with the kids. With Darah, I used to take baths with her on occasion and really liked that time. The only drawback is the water couldn’t be too warm, but it was special. If we’re in a hurry, the kids usually join me for a shower now that they’re bigger and they both love it and it’s fast! The in between stage where they are too big for the newborn tub and too small to sit unsupported in the tub goes by fast…so while it’s a hard stage to get through, it’ll be done before you know it! I love that you made a goal to bathe her two times a week…you’re not alone. Now that Darah’s in school, they both get baths every night because Darah gets so messy at school and it’s such a germy place, but before she started preschool they were bathed about 2-3 times a week!

    I have a question…how long is it appropriate for my kids who are opposite sex to bathe with each other?

  • Comment by McKenna
    January 23, 2008 @ 7:09 pm

    Wow! I wrote a book!

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Sara
    January 23, 2008 @ 9:25 pm

    After Jayden grew out of his bathtub I always just bathed him in the tub. Mckenna is right that in between stage goes by quick, so don’t stress to much about it. By the time you do the research and buy the darn thing she’s already out of it. Jayden and Xavier take a bath together and love it. I just give Jayden two small cups to play with and that usually keeps his attention long enough to get the job done.

    Mckenna, not sure about the length of time for the opposite sex to bathe with each other. Of course each family is different, seeing as we are all boys here (well except for me) we don’t have that problem. But my first thought was when the oldest becomes around 4 or 5.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Amelia
    January 26, 2008 @ 10:17 am

    We use a foldable bathtub for the babies and then the inflatable tub until they are about 1 year old. The boys loved the inflatable tub and Ewan used it longer than Isaac did because once he was sturdy enough in the tub to not fall over we put the boys in the tub together. Like others, husband is the main bath giver. Now that we have 3, I bathe the baby and he is still responsible for bathing the older two. I don’t know if we will bathe all three together when Graham is old enough but I imagine we will use the inflatable tub for a while after he grows out of his folding infant one.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Mommy Zabs
    January 31, 2008 @ 1:08 pm

    my favorite of these was the duck. It made for adorable pictures too!
    I tried the seat and really didn’t like it.

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