Giving your baby a bath can be one of the best—but most intimidating—tasks of new parenthood. Your baby is probably squirmy, and your heart might jump a bit each time their small face gets close to the water’s surface. That’s why a sturdy, safe, and supportive baby bathtub is an important purchase for any new parent.
There are hundreds of tub and bath seat options available; some tuck easily into a sink, while others are nearly the size of an adult tub. Some allow your baby to sit up and splash, while others are built for reclining. Some are portable, while others are meant to stay in a child’s bathroom for months.
We researched and tested the most popular baby bathtubs of 2020 to find the number one option for most parents of babies, from newborns to 6-month-olds. We looked for baths that were stable, kept our kid in one spot, fit easily in a sink or tub, and felt safe and comfortable for our baby. In the end, we landed on the Skip Hop Moby 3-Stage Smart Sling Tub(available at Skip Hop) as the best overall. It’s easy to store, non-slip, comfortable for babies ranging from newborns up to 6+ months, and it’s stable.
The Skip Hop Moby 3-Stage Smart Sling Tub was one of the most comfortable baby baths we tested, largely because of a mesh sling that can be set up to accommodate a newborn in a full-recline position as well as a just-learning-to-sit baby in a partial recline position. You can also remove the sling entirely for a baby who can sit upright.
Appropriate for babies from newborn to 6+ months (up to 25 pounds), this tub is a little over two feet long and about 1.5 feet wide and a foot tall, which means it takes up about half the length of a standard adult bathtub. It has a hook that allows for easy storage on a shower curtain rod or towel bar, and a drain that empties the water easily post-bath. You can also wipe down the plastic sides of the bath with no problem and the mesh sling dries quickly, reducing the likelihood of developing mold or mildew.
The Skip Hop Moby is also stable, meaning that it doesn’t slide around in the bath while your baby is being cleaned. And because of the mesh swing’s flexibility, you can easily reach baby’s nooks and crannies for cleaning. Our tester baby cried every time bath time ended because he wanted to stay in the Moby for longer.
The Puj Infant Tub was a sleeper hit; at first glance, it just looks like an expensive piece of foam. But it easily fashions into a reclining sling or an upright seat using magnetic clips, and it fits perfectly into sinks of most shapes. The material is cushioned enough that our baby was able to sit comfortably in it, and it was grippy enough to keep him upright even while he was being cleaned.
The Puj Tub is especially useful for vacations or washing your baby at someone else’s house; it packs down small and hangs to dry with a notch at the top of the circular foam. It also dries quickly (unlike the similarly-purposed Blooming Bath Lotus), which prevents mildew.
I’m Jenni Gritters, a journalist with a decade of experience writing about all things health and science. I previously edited long-form product reviews about the outdoors, parenting and travel at Wirecutter, and you can find my bylines in all sorts of publications, like the New York Times, the Guardian, Wirecutter, the REI Co-op Journal, Gear Patrol, and beyond. I had my first baby—a boy, named Liam—in December 2019, and since then I’ve been reviewing baby gear and writing about the psychology of parenting. In the past, I’ve covered baby vitals monitors for Wirecutter and baby swings for Reviewed.
My then-4-month-old son, Liam, took baths in each of these tubs or seats at least twice. We filled the tub (or sink) with warm water, then set him in the bath for approximately 20 minutes of splash time. We washed his nooks and crannies, made notes about how much he was able to squirm around, and also paid attention to his general comfort levels. After each bath, we washed the tub and set it out to dry. If the tub was storable, we hung it or tucked it away for a few days, until the next time. As he got older (he was 6 month old by the time this guide published), he tested tubs, seats, and positions meant for older babies with head control and the ability to sit on their own. If the tubs were meant to be portable, we carted them to his grandparents’ house for evening bath time, too.
What to Consider When Selecting a Baby Bathtub
A good baby bath should be:
Effective for washing your child: The main requirement of a baby bath is that it should make cleaning your baby easier! You should be able to use both hands to reach all of their parts for cleaning, and your baby should stay still and supported in the bath while you’re washing them, versus sliding down close to the water’s surface.
Easy to clean post-bath: You must be able to easily remove soapy residue and remnants of solid foods from the bath; we awarded extra points to the baths that had good drainage systems.
Quick drying: For baths made of non-plastic materials, we think quick drying is important to prevent mold and mildew.
Stable on the counter or sink, or in the tub: The tub should not slide around or float in water. It should not dip from side to side, or wobble under any circumstances.
Supportive: One of the more annoying things about giving your baby is a bath is trying to hold them up with one hand while cleaning them with the other. Thus, we looked for baths that had built in supports, to keep your baby’s head above water and support their head and neck if needed.
Comfortable: This is, of course, a subjective measurement. But we looked for baby baths that had a reputation for being comfortable, based on customer reviews. We also watched our water-loving baby and made notes about his comfort.
Portable and/or easy to store: If you live in a small apartment, participate in a nanny share, or often take your baby to another person’s house, a portable bath is ideal. We looked for options that could be hung up, folded up, or otherwise tucked away to make space for the parents when bath time ends.
Other Baby Bathtubs We Tested
Summer My Bath Seat
If your baby can sit up on their own but still needs some support, you might consider Summer Infant’s My Bath Seat. This bath seat was the sturdiest option we tried; suctioned arms brace the seat against the walls of any traditional bathtub (the brand recommends using tubs that are 21 to 24” wide), meaning that it won’t move or flip as water levels rise. (Setting the suction arms up for the first time is a bit of a process, but once you’ve done it once, you’re all set for the future.) The seat allows room for your baby to kick and splash, and it provides ample back support.
The downside to the My Bath Seat is its size; it’s tough to store because of the long arms, and it’s made of hard plastic so it’s a bit tough to reach inside and wash all of your baby’s nooks. We think it makes sense to install this seat in a tub where it can live for months, versus having to set it up and remove it again before and after each bath.
The Fisher Price 4-in-1 Sling ‘n Seat Tub scored nearly as well as the Skip Hop Moby in our testing. It also has multiple settings: a soft mesh swing for newborns, a seat insert to prevent slipping and help babies who are learning how to sit independently, and (if you remove all the inserts), a simple tub for babies who can sit up.
Because the seat insert is plastic, our baby found this bath to be slightly less comfortable then the Moby. The mesh swing was also made of less-durable material than the Moby. We liked that the Sling ‘n Seat was easy to store, as it comes with a hook for hanging on a shower rod, although we found the nearly 2.5-foot length and 1.5-foot width to be a bit large. It also has a drainage plug, and the plastic is quick to clean.
If you could have asked our baby which bath he loved most, I’m certain he would have waxed poetic about the Primo Eurobath. The Eurobath has two set ups, which depend upon the direction your baby is facing. One option allows your baby to fully recline with nicely shaped cradles for their head, neck and arms. The other allows your baby to sit up and kick or splash. Both have a supportive mid-point to hold your baby’s bottom in place, which keeps them from sliding underwater. There’s also a drain plug, and sections on the sides that can hold toys.
The only downside: This tub is huge, and thus not easily storable. (Although it’s so big that it works for children up to 2 years old.) At 3 feet long and 21 inches wide, it’s bigger than any other tub we tested, and nearly the size of a regulation bathtub. If you have a bathroom dedicated only to your child, you should consider buying this tub; we jokingly called it the Rolls Royce of baby baths, and pulled it out a number of times for our baby after testing was over. But if you have a smaller home or share your bathroom with your baby, you’ll want to look for something smaller.
The instagrammable, flower-shaped Blooming Bath Lotus tucks into any sink to make a cozy nest for a newborn. The material is soft (there’s foam inside) and our baby found it to be comfortable.
Like the Puj Tub, it’s portable and easy to fold up, if you’re traveling or headed to someone else’s house. But it’s thick enough that it takes a while to dry, which made us worried about mildew over the long haul. (The brand recommends putting it in the dryer for 10 minutes after each use on the delicate cycle, or hanging it dry using the tag on the back.)
It’s also only useful for newborns, and our 4-month-old was nearly too big for it; he was large enough that the materials slipped around and didn’t hold him upright well.
The First Years Sure Comfort Deluxe Newborn to Toddler Tub
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly version of the Skip Hop Moby or Fisher Price 4-in-1bathtub, the three-stage Sure Comfort is a good choice. We thought the materials were less sturdy and durable, compared to the aforementioned options, but it was similar in size and contouring.
Our baby found the plastic to be less comfortable than other options he tried, and the insertable sling (meant for small babies) tended to slide around, which made us worried about stability for a newborn. The insert also felt a bit flimsy, and like it would break down quickly.
There’s also no way to hang the Sure Comfort, for storage, and there’s no drain (which means you must flip it over to dump the water out). But considering its low price, it’s a solid affordable choice.
The AngleCare Baby Bath Support was the least stable option we tested. It slid around in the sink, and on the counter, and in the bath, making us worried about our baby’s safety. If you fill the sink or bath enough to cover your baby with water (so he or she doesn’t get cold), the Bath Support starts to float, which risks tipping the baby off the side of the reclined seat.
It was also tough to clean around our baby’s body because of the Bath Support’s position. And our baby found the position—which is between sitting and reclining—to be uncomfortable. The materials also felt cheap, compared to the other baths we tested, although it’s nearly half the cost of most of the other baths we used.
However, some parents have commented in reviews that the Bath Support is a nice alternative for babies who dislike traditional baths, or those who hate to be submerged. Other parents have noted that the bath is useful for non-bath time, to give their baby a place to sit in the house.
Jenni Gritters is a Seattle-based freelance journalist who covers health, psychology, business, and travel. You can find her bylines in The Guardian, Wirecutter, Outside magazine, 538, Mindbodygreen, and beyond. When Jenni isn't working with words, she's teaching yoga and mindfulness; hiking, camping, and snowshoeing in the Pacific Northwest mountains; and running with her husband and puppy.
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