Aside from bath wash, nothing on this list is technically essential. You can bathe your newborn in the sink, or while sitting on your lap in the bathtub. You can use the bath towels you already have instead of buying baby ones. And, you can wait and get bath toys later when your baby will actually care about them. But having an infant tub is very convenient. And those hooded baby towels are just too darn adorable!
Infant Bath Tub
You don’t need to buy a separate infant bathtub. You can just use the sink alone or a big bucket during the first few months, and then move on to the regular bathtub. But wet babies are very slippery and bathtubs are very hard. It’s definitely safer to use an infant tub (if you use it appropriately). If you want the convenience of an infant tub, ask yourself: Do I want a tub that works in the sink only, or that grows with my baby? There are many types of infant tubs out there: •Standard Plastic •Hammock/Sling •Convertible/Grows with Baby •Collapsible •Cushion •Bucket •Inflatable
You don’t need to spend a lot of money to get something you like using, but I’ll include a range of prices in ones that are recommended.
Puj Tub • Fisher-Price Whale of a Tub • First Years Infant To Toddler Tub with Sling
Skip Hop Moby 3-Stage Baby Tub • Blooming Bath • 4moms Infant Tub
Boon Soak 3-Stage Tub • Fisher-Price 4-in-1 Sling ‘n Seat Tub • Tummy Tub
Puj Tub: (~$45; 0-6 months) This was great for us when living in a small space because you can easily store it or hang it on the wall. This is only for use in the sink. Make sure you measure your sink first. Now that I have a house with more storage, I would get something different.
Fisher-Price Whale of a Tub: (~$25; 0-12 months) This can be used on the sink or in the big tub.
First Years Infant To Toddler Tub with Sling: (~$18; 0-12 months) This is very popular and highly rated. And it won’t break the bank! The padded headrest and mesh sling can be removed when the newborn days are over to allow room for a growing baby.
Skip Hop Moby 3-Stage Baby Tub: (~$28; 0-12 months) I don’t know anyone who has used this, but I like the looks of it. It’s one I will consider when I have another baby. It has a mesh sling with three different positions to grow with your baby.
Blooming Bath: (~$40) We have this as well. I like using it in the sink a lot (it is warm, comfortable and non-slippery). My husband is not a fan of it since it’s a pain to wash and dry after each use.
4moms Infant Tub: (~$60; 0-6 months; sink only) This one is pretty high-tech. It filters out dirty water and it has a temperature gauge. I love the fact that clean water is constantly flowing in. However, personally, I don’t know if the thermometer is worth the money since you can use your arm to see if the water feels right. You will need batteries to make the thermometer work. I’d rather not have to worry about batteries when it comes to an infant bathtub, but that’s a personal choice.
Boon Soak 3-Stage Tub: (~$30; 0-18 months) This works in the sink for newborns, infants, and toddlers. It can fit most double sinks. The backrest is non-slip and the drain plug changes color based on the water temperature.
Fisher-Price 4-in-1 Sling ‘n Seat Tub: (~$25; 0-12 months) This one grows with your child: from birth until your child is climbing out of the tub. It comes highly recommended.
Tummy Tub: (~$48; 0-24 months) I don’t know anyone who has used this, but I’ve always been curious. I love how it mimics being inside the womb.
Once you are ready to move your baby out of the sink and into the tub for baths, check out the BabyDam® bathtub divider. It helps save water and space by sectioning off a smaller area of your bathtub.
Towels & Washcloths
Any towels and washcloths will do. But the hooded baby towels make it easy to wrap babies, and they are so darn cute! They are a common baby shower and post-baby-arrival gift, so you probably don’t need to register for too many.
Soap & Shampoo
For baby’s delicate skin, it’s best to use gentle products that are free from harmful chemicals. It’s important to me that the products are natural and free from synthetic fragrances, GMOs and other harsh ingredients. Here are my favorite shampoo/body wash combos for babies.
Bathtub Spout Cover
This bath spout cover is very nice to have, but not essential right away. You won’t need it until your baby is sitting up taking a bath in the tub. It looks cute, and it helps protect their head from hitting the metal spout.
Bath Toy Holder
We have the Boon Frog Bath Toy Scoop and love it! It is a scoop, drain and toy holder in one. The adorable frog is fun for the kids. This bath toy holder conveniently mounts to the wall and easily scoops the toys out of the tub for quick cleanup. The holes allow the water to just drain out for toys to dry, which reduces the potential for mold and mildew.
The Boon Whale Pod is also a scoop, drain and toy holder. The advantage that this one has over the frog, is the whale has a ledge on top that can hold your baby shampoo and body wash!
The Boon Ledge Water Table would be a great looking, and practical addition to a bathtub. It’s on my wishlist! It is made to help prevent water from spilling out of the tub (with all the splashing that goes on in our tub, I don’t think preventing water outside the tub is possible!). The cloud folds open to provide additional play space during bath time while allowing water to drain back into the bath and prevent mildew growth.
There are so many fun ones out there! A few of our favorites, that will likely be enjoyed by all kids, are:
The foam letters and numbers have been a huge hit with our kids. They helped encourage their love of learning the alphabet, reading, and math.
We also love stacking cups in the bath, especially for infants and young toddlers. The kids love to pour water back and forth between them. They can serve double duty and be used to rinse shampoo out of baby’s hair.
If your kids like to draw, I recommend getting bath crayons, as long as you are okay with your bathroom looking like this:
For more on bath toy ideas, check out this baby bathtime gift guide.
You Do Not Need…
Bath Thermometer: For what it’s worth, I got one of these when I was pregnant with #1, and 3+ years later I’ve never once used it. It’s not rocket science. You can feel the water (with your hand/elbow/foot) and know if the temperature is right. If you really want a bath thermometer, get one that doubles as a bath toy, like this: