For newborns, baths aren’t a daily necessity like they are for adults. Still, a nice warm bath can be relaxing and fun for babies. Bathing a baby doesn’t have to be a chore—baby baths can make the process easier on parents.
Baby baths are not necessary, but very convenient for bathing your newborn. They are designed to support your child, simple to clean, and are easier on your back than bending over an adult-sized tub. Depending on the design, you can use them for a while and can fold them away when they’re not needed.
In this article, I’ll go into what a baby bath is, when you can use it, the average cost of buying one, and where you can purchase them. I’ll also go into a few alternatives to baby baths and whether you need one or not.
What Is a Baby Bath?
A baby bath is a bathtub that is made specifically for babies. They come in an array of designs but, for the most part, are made of hard plastic with anti-skid elements on the inside and outside.
They are sized to fit your child, but some of them, like the convertible tubs, can last you well beyond the newborn stage. These baths are usually light enough to move around easily and can be fitted into a sink, an adult-sized tub, or used on their own.
Baby baths may have inbuilt support to ensure your baby’s safety because they are designed for children. Most of them are also designed to be easily placed, moved around, and packed away when they’re not needed.
What Age Can You Use Baby Baths?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, you should stick to sponge baths till the remains of the umbilical cord fall off. This might take a week or two after you bring your baby home.
After that, you can start bathing your baby twice or three times a week. Any more than that is unnecessary because babies don’t do anything that needs regular bathing. In fact, bathing them too often can cause dryness of the skin.
You can start using your baby baths as soon as the umbilical cord stump falls off. How long you can use it depends on the type of tub you have purchased. A baby bath that fits into the tub will likely be usable till your baby is about six months old.
On the other hand, if you get a convertible tub, you will be able to use it for a good while – even up until the age of two years. These tubs are large enough that you can even bathe your infant with a toddler if you have an older child, making it a sound investment overall.
While it’s no surprise that your baby will eventually outgrow a baby bath, it doesn’t take away from the convenience of having one for the first months of your baby’s life.
How Much Are Baby Baths?
Baby baths can cost between £10 – £100, depending on the brand and the available features. You can buy them anywhere, including stores like Asda and Argos.
Here are three baby baths within the same range but with different features that you might consider for your needs:
|Baby Bath Name
|Nuby Baby Bath
|It is safe to use for newborns.
It comes with easy-grip handles and a headrest to prevent slipping and sliding.
It has a soft plug for easy draining and cleaning.
|£10.00 – £20.00
|Harmony Flat Fold Infant Bathtub
|It comes with a heat-sensitive plug that indicates if the water is too hot.
It is ideal for babies up to approximately 15 kg.
It folds up for easy storage.
|£20.00 – £30.00
|Shnuggle Baby Bath
|It comes with a bum bump to help baby sit and feel safe
Suitable for ages of Newborn up to 12 months+
Handy plug to empty or refresh water
Non slip base
|Moby Smart Sling 3-Stage Tub
|It has a stylish, ergonomic design.
It grows with the baby from newborn to 6 months.
It has a smart sling that offers complete support or partial support to babies learning to sit.
|£40.00 – £50.00
What Are The Benefits Of Using A Baby Bath?
The primary advantages of using a baby bath are convenience and safety. Baby baths help keep the baby warm, provide easier access for the parent, and come equipped with safety features, including anti-skid mats.
As mentioned previously, pediatricians recommend sponge baths until the umbilical cord falls off. Unfortunately, sponge baths may cause the baby to get cold more quickly. Once the stump falls off, it may be more comfortable for your baby to use a warm baby bath.
Bending over an adult-sized bathtub might be difficult, especially if you’ve had a difficult birth.
Kneeling on cold tiles trying to support your baby and washing them with the other hand might also prove to be quite complicated.
In contrast, a baby bath comes equipped with safety features, is protected against mold and mildew, and can be used wherever is most convenient for you. Some baths offer a sling feature that lets you strap your infant down for additional stability.
This might mean that your baby can’t splash around as much as they would like, but it offers you a great deal of control.
What Are the Drawbacks of Using a Baby Bath?
The main drawbacks to using a baby bath include storage difficulties, durability, and lack of use. Foldable baby baths are less sturdy compared to solid designs, but the latter is hard to store. In addition, baby baths are used for a short time, up to two years, so it may be an unnecessary expense.
The shape of the baby bath makes it a problem when it comes to storage. While foldable baby baths do exist, they are less sturdy when compared to designs that cannot be folded away. Unfortunately, non-foldable baby baths can be cumbersome to store away due to the hard, plastic material.
Baby baths can also feel like an unnecessary expense for something you’re only going to use between six months to the first two years of your baby’s life. For fussy babies, some parents find that the only way to enjoy bath time is to bathe with their child. Of course, in these situations, a baby bath becomes unnecessary.
Babies only need to be bathed every other day at most, and their bath should be quick to make sure their skin doesn’t dry out. This schedule means that your baby bath will only see limited usage in its already limited lifespan, which is a fairly significant drawback.
Are There Any Baby Bath Alternatives?
Baby baths are convenient but not strictly necessary to bathe your child. You can stick to sponge baths for a while or use some of the alternatives I talk about here.
The convenience of baby baths cannot be overlooked, but there are alternatives to them. The most convenient is using a large plastic basin or a bowl. Another handy alternative is your kitchen sink. You can also consider bath supports and seats for a more portable alternative to baby baths.
A Large Basin or Bowl
Most infants are so tiny that you can bathe them conveniently in a large plastic basin or bowl. Just make sure that whatever you’re using is clean, has a stable base, and lets you hold your baby one-handed.
The basin or bowl should fit your baby and allow you to wash them comfortably.
The Kitchen Sink
Kitchen sinks are large enough for babies and offer convenient access to running water and a countertop where you can keep everything you need on hand. They’re also raised so that you can bathe your baby at a comfortable height.
All you need to do to use your sink is to clean it and lay down a clean towel or mat so that your baby doesn’t catch and chill. Then you’re all set to bathe your baby as you normally would.
Bath Supports and Seats
Bath supports are for newborns, while seats are only recommended once your baby can sit up on their own. They’re anti-slip fabric or foam that you can lay your baby down in a reclining position while keeping their head above water.
These are easy to store and transport and definitely comfortable but need a more thorough cleaning as compared to a baby bath. They also require you to be extra attentive if your baby is particularly active when bathing.
Do I Need a Baby Bath?
Deciding if you need a baby bath is dependent on whether you have the storage space or not.
If you have adequate space to store one, a baby bath is a convenient and safe way to bathe your child. It makes life easier, reducing the need to bend over the bathtub or hold the child with one arm. Because of their durability, baby baths can last as long as you need them.
However, if you’re short on storage space, then a baby bath might be unnecessary. Depending on your needs, you might want to settle for using your kitchen sink or a bath support, or mat. Both of these are perfectly fine alternatives.