Note: There is no one universal “best,” especially when it comes to parenting. These are “The Best Baby Baths” based on Also Mom's strict criteria, detailed here.
Bathing a tiny, slippery newborn is a daunting task. Whether you’re a first time parent or a seasoned veteran, it helps to have the best baby bath for the job.
The tub you choose will depend on your situation. Do you have a bathtub in your home? How does your back feel about the prospect of leaning over said bathtub while bathing a baby? Would you prefer to bathe at counter height? Do you have a large kitchen sink? How much space do you have to store your baby bath tub?
These are our favorite baby baths, in loose order of preference…
- Angelcare Bath Support ($30) – Not technically a bath itself, the Angelcare Bath Support is as it sounds– a bath support– and the perfect solution for slippery, wriggly, uncoordinated newborns. It is grippy, perfectly angled, and looks pretty nice too. Just place your baby on the support in the bath, shower, or large kitchen sink and use both hands to bathe without worrying about your baby slipping and sliding down. Even though it's a bit bulky, it can be hung up on a spare towel hook between baths for storage. [full review]
- Shnuggle Baby Bath ($35) – You wouldn't think this bath would be as awesome as it is, but it's truly great! The reclined backrest and “bum bump” make this tub perfect for bathing slippery, uncoordinated newborns, and the tub is large enough for baby's first year or so (at which point they're more than ready to take a bath in the large tub anyway). We love that this bath allows for full body submersion, can be placed up at counter height for those with back issues, and looks nice for a glorified bucket. [full review]
- Primo Eurobath ($25) – The Primo Eurobath is bulky, large, and therefore takes up a lot of visual space… but it works and is not hideous thanks to its neutral color. With its reclined backrest and anti-slip bump, it works well for newborns, and thank to its large size, it works well for older babies too. Since it's a self-contained bath, you can use it at counter height (or with a stand, sold separately) for tiny ones. [full review]
- Otteroo ($30) – A funky little neck floatie that turns your baby into a tiny human buoy, the Otteroo is beloved (or else entirely hated) by those with baths deep enough to enjoy this small wonder. It allows for full body submersion, gives babies that womb-y weightless feeling they know and love, and makes great videos for the grandparents. You'll still need a separate newborn bath, since the Otteroo is not for newborns (8 weeks and up). [full review]
Which is the Best Baby Bath for Your Family?
The best baby bathtub for newborns… Angelcare, Shnuggle, and Primo Eurobath are all great for newborns, but which one is right for you will depend on your particular circumstances.
The best baby bathtub for houses with no bathtub… it depends on how much/what type of space you have. The Primo Eurobath is great for those with lots of space but no designated bathtub. The Shnuggle tub can be filled up and used in the shower or at counter height, but babies outgrow it quickly. The Angelcare Bath Support can also be used in the shower or a large kitchen sink. For toddlers, a large bucket or plastic storage bin in the shower does the trick.
The baby bathtubs worth trying for babies who hate the bath… Shnuggle, Angelcare, and Otteroo all allow for full body submersion, which means warmer, happier babies.
The best baby bathtubs for small spaces… the Anglecare Bath Support can be hung up and out of the way. Sadly, the “space-saving” baby baths currently on the market (Stokke Flexi, Boon Naked, Puj, etc.) are neither practical nor functional. See “What Didn't Make the Cut.”
The best baby bathtubs for bathing at counter height… Shnuggle and Primo Eurobath can both be used at counter height.
To us, the perfect baby bath…
- Makes bathing baby easier and more enjoyable
- Fits in with your home and lifestyle
- Can be stored away without taking up insane amounts of space
What Didn't Make the Cut
Here are a few popular tubs we just can’t get behind…
- 4 Moms Infant Tub (Discontinued): Most 4 Moms products are over-engineered, and this tub is no exception. It circulates in fresh water while draining out dirty water, which is a cool– but unnecessary– concept. The reality is that the babies who can fit into this tub are not going to be all that dirty in the first place, nor do you need to lather small babies with so much soap that your bathwater becomes overly sudsy and unusable for rinsing. (And if you think that it's going to filter out poop, you're wrong. You'll have to take the baby out and start over regardless of the circulation system.) It does have a built in thermometer, which is kind of cool, and it fits in double kitchen sinks, which is nice, but ultimately it’s bulky, pretty expensive, and the features are not solving problems that are all that dire in the first place.
- Blooming Bath ($40): This lovely flower-shaped cushion fits into sinks to create a cozy, soft bath environment for baby, which is pretty awesome actually. It even comes in whites and grays. The downside? It takes forever to dry and is very difficult to transport from sink to washer without dripping water everywhere, which is a pretty significant design flaw.
- Boon Naked Collapsible Bathtub ($60): Cool in theory, the Boon Naked collapses flat and stores easily, but it is also slippery. If you have your heart set on something collapsible like this, definitely get an inexpensive bath sponge to help prevent baby slippage.
- Boon Soak 3-Stage Bathtub ($30): This tub is designed to fit in double kitchen sinks, which is cool, but it’s also bulky, shallow, not great for newborns, and gets outgrown quickly. It does come in beloved grey/white neutrals though.
- First Years Sure Comfort Deluxe Newborn to Toddler Tub ($20): Sort of the iconic baby bathtub, it is inexpensive and gets the job done, but is also unattractive and bulky.
- Fisher-Price 4-in-1 Sling N Seat Tub ($32): Another popular tub that is both bulky and unattractive, but ultimately fine and effective.
- Munchkin White Hot Inflatable Duck ($12): So many people love this thing, and honestly the concept of an inflatable baby bathtub is not a bad one, especially if you don’t have a bathtub in your home. But this (very inexpensive) inflatable tub just so happens to be a giant duck, which is not a great look for any home. But, you know, to each her own. And you could always opt for the trendy inflatable swan instead.
- Puj Tub ($45): This tub is so popular, but we’re not exactly sure why. The Puj Tub is not very easy to use and can only be used for newborns and small infants in bathroom sinks. It also doesn’t hold much water, which means baby gets cold, unless you're covering him with warm wash cloths. It does take up very minimal space, which is nice, but its use is so limited that it’s not really worth the $45 price tag.
- Skip Hop Moby Bath ($30): A giant, plastic, blue whale of a tub. No thanks.
- Stokke Flexi Bath + Newborn Insert ($65): A great idea in theory, unfortunately this tub does not work in practice. The infant insert does not hold infants well, and the sides of this tub collapse much too easily for older babies.
- Tummy Tub, The Original ($50): This tub cradles baby in the fetal position for bath time, which is soothing for small infants. It is also narrow and makes washing baby very difficult. We prefer the Shnuggle.