Make bathtime safer and more fun for your little ones with our pick of the best baby baths and bath seats
Bathtime is a fantastic sensory experience for babies. Choosing the best baby bath for your little one means helping them to enjoy these precious moments, while keeping them comfortable and safe.
Admittedly, babies soon outgrow the need for a dedicated baby bath or bath seat. As soon as they can sit up unaided at around six months, you won’t want to contain them in a small bath. But it’s something that’s definitely worth purchasing to help get you through the first few months.
Read on and we’ll run you through everything you need to know when choosing a baby bath or best bath seat, followed by our pick of the very best currently on the market.
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How to choose the best baby bath for you
What types of baby baths are there?
There are a few types of baby baths to choose from. The first thing to think about is whether you want to buy a mini bathtub or opt for a baby bath seat that can support your baby in your existing bath while you wash and play with them.
Baby bath seats are smaller and easier to store, and come in both hard and soft options. The downside is that you’ll need to half fill your bath with water each time, which is time-consuming and uses a lot of water.
Mini bathtubs, on the other hand, save on hot water and are much more versatile. You can use them in your kitchen or lounge, take them outside to have bathtime in the garden, or just let them have the bath as a little paddling pool to cool down in hot weather. You can also take them on camping trips.
What safety considerations should I always keep in mind?
There are three primary things to remember when choosing the best baby bath, and the first of these is that you should always check the temperature of the water before putting your baby in. A dedicated baby bath thermometer is a worthwhile investment, as it allows you to be absolutely sure that the water isn’t too hot – testing it with your hand isn’t a reliable way of gauging temperature. They only cost a few quid and help ensure that the water is at the recommended zone of 36 to 37°C.
The second rule when choosing a baby bath is that you should never put the bath seats near the taps as it’s far too easy for your child to bang their head or yank the hot water tap and potentially scald themselves.
And thirdly, and this is the most important rule of all – never leave your babies unattended in their baby bath or bath seat, even if they are seemingly safe and secure in a bath seat or similar. It only requires a few centimetres of water for a baby to be at risk of drowning.
The best baby baths and bath seats to buy
1. Shnuggle Bath: The best baby bath
Price: £25 | Buy now from Amazon
This lightweight, portable baby bath takes all the stress out of bathing a newborn. The baby sits back in it against a soft foam cushion and is propped upright by way of a clever little hump that sits underneath their bottom – this allows babies to sit up independently until they outgrow it.
Due to its clever design, you can use both hands to wash the remnants of your child’s breakfast, lunch and dinner out of their hair, ears, nose and that gorgeous podge under their chin. Another bonus is that this baby bath is designed to cover your baby using no more than two litres of water, so it takes virtually no time to fill, empty and clean.
Key specs – Type: Self-contained; Material: Hard plastic with foam padding; Weight: 1.2kg; Dimensions: 39 x 36 x 62cm; Volume: 2 litres; Suitable for age: 0-12 months
2. Skip Hop Moby 3 Stage Bath Tub: The best bath for newborns and toddlers
Price: £45 | Buy now from John Lewis
This fun tub with its colourful whale design is made to grow with your child as you transition from delicate newborn baby bathing to splashy toddler dunks. A soft mesh sling can be positioned to sit close to the base of the tub and rolled up as your baby grows. It can then be removed completely when your baby can support themselves in a seated position. The sling is machine-washable to prevent it from getting mouldy and there’s a handy swivel hook to make it easy to store (and drip dry) when not in use.
It fits within standard bathtubs and there’s a plug to drain water away when you’re done or it can be used as a standalone tub anywhere in the house (or outside if the weather’s nice). It’s worth hanging on to this good-looking tub long after your baby switches to bathing in a standard tub: add water (or sand) and some bath toys and you’ve got yourself a ready-made water/sand table for the summer months.
Key specs – Type: Sits in water/self contained; Material: Hard plastic with a soft mesh seat; Weight: 1.36kg; Dimensions: 69.8 x 48.3 x 29.5cm; Suitable for age: 0-6+ months (birth to 11.3kg)
3. Angelcare Soft Touch Bath Support: The best bath seat for younger babies
Price: £28 | Buy now from Amazon
The Soft Touch Bath Support sits in your bath and is kept relatively still by means of rubber pads on the sturdy base. Made of a soft rubber-plastic mesh that quickly warms up to the temperature of the bathwater, this baby bath seat holds your baby like a hammock. As well as being super-comfortable, the suspension also means that when they kick their legs, they don’t bump their head and back against anything.
It’s easy to clean, is mildew-resistant and has a handy hook for hanging up in the bathroom when you’ve finished with it. It comes in fuschia pink, sky blue, and for those still clinging onto adult colour schemes, slate grey.
Key specs – Type: Sits in water (sticks onto bathtub); Material: Hard plastic with soft thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) mesh seat; Weight: 746g; Dimensions: 22.5 x 58.5 x 33.5cm; Suitable for age: 0-6 months
4. Ikea Lättsam: The best baby bath under £10
Price: £7 | Buy now from Ikea
If money’s tight and you need furniture, chances are you’ll end up at Ikea at some point in early parenthood. Make the most of your next visit by snapping up this extremely cheap yet brilliant infant baby bath. It’s great once your baby can sit up by themselves, it has rubber pads on the underside to stop movement, and rubber strips inside it to stop baby from sliding around in the water. Once they’ve outgrown it, you can always fill it with sand and stick it in the garden, or even fill it with ice and use it as a beer cooler during summer barbecues.
Key specs – Type: Self-contained; Material: Plastic; Weight: 1.19kg; Volume: 94.5 litres; Dimensions: 75 x 45 x 28cm; Suitable for age: 0 months – 2 years
5. Tega Baby Bath Pad Towelling Safety Support Seat: The best option for a quick wash
Price: £12 | Buy now from Amazon
You won’t always want bathtimes to be long, multi-sensory developmental-play experiences – sometimes you just want to wash your baby and get them to bed. Tega has the perfect tool for the job: this simple support made from terry towelling fabric is a brilliant, low-budget solution, especially when placed inside a baby bath. Combining it with a dedicated baby bath means you can get the water level right in a matter of seconds, and the flat design of the towelling means you can easily get your hands in at the side to wash your baby’s back and bottom before rinsing off the soap with a jug.
It’s simple, cheap, portable, lightweight and won’t clutter up your bathroom. And it’s also great for older children to lean back on in the bath so you can wash their hair more easily.
Key specs – Type: Sits in water (hooks onto baby bath and big bath); Material: Terry towelling (removable and machine-washable); Weight: 798g; Suitable for age: Newborn to around six months