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How to choose the best baby bath tubs & seats

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A baby bath offers convenience, safety and comfort. Here's how to choose one.

Anyone else slightly terrified when it comes to giving your baby their first bath post hospital? There’s water everywhere, your precious new arrival and your own bathtub is clearly too big (let alone if you even have a bathtub at home!). This is where a tub or something that you can put into your own bathtub that will support them. You’ll likely get a little more use out of an actual baby tub as it can hold babies up until one year old, whereas the bath support is generally better for newborns until six months.

Bathing can be really tricky if you’re trying to hold your baby while washing them. Don't make it harder than it already is - just pop them inside their own bathtub seat, which will give you free hands to play with your baby and wash them. Read on for our curated edit of the 4 best baby bath seats and tubs in Australia.

What is a baby bath seat?

A baby bath seat or bath support is baby gear that makes bathing time a lot easier. They’re basically a sort of reclining seat that allow you to lay a newborn in them and submerge them half in and half out of the water. They feature a comfortable seat for your baby to sit in, and a large basin that can be filled with warm water. We find the best part is that an infant bath offers support to your baby’s head, allowing you to wash them without trying to hold them at the same time (which can get totally complicated!) We’re sure we don’t need to tell you this, but just in case, it’s important to never leave your bub unattended in one and to always keep a hand on them even whilst they’re seated.

Do I need a baby bath tub?

If you don’t have a bath tub at home, then we say a baby bath is an absolute essential. Even if you do have a tub though, having a baby bath seat/ support/ stand sure makes bath time a lot less stressful for everyone. Most baby bath tubs are designed to fit in your sink, making them easy to use. Some baby bath tubs come with a built-in shower head, so you can easily rinse your baby off. For parents who might be bathing their children solo a lot of the time, think of your bath seat like another pair of hands. It allows you to wash them with two hands, introduce some toys and help them to enjoy their experience in the water as you’re not spending time also trying to hold them in a slippery tub! And whilst you can use a kitchen or bathroom sink as a sort of makeshift tub, we still recommend investing in a proper newborn bath as you can be sure of its cleanliness and no slip power!

What to look for in a baby bath in Australia?

  • Head and neck support: Crucial for newborns who can’t sit up by themselves
  • Mesh: This is a great material to opt for in your bath support as it’s mildew-resistant
  • Size: Consider how big your bathroom is and opt for a foldable tub if you’re short on space
  • Plug: This is a great feature in a baby bath to empty the water easily.
  • Hook: Makes it easy to store your bathtub on the back of a door
  • Grip: Always opt for a no-slip option for extra safety

How to pick the best baby bath tub:

  • Support for baby’s head and shoulders Perhaps the most important thing to consider when searching for your baby bath is the amount of support it offers for your newborn. They’re at the age where they can’t sit up by themselves or support their weight, so you need a bath that’s going to do the heavy lifting for them. At the same time, you should also consider choosing a bath that has slip control since a soapy baby is also a slippery one.

  • Drain Plug Save your back from emptying a bucket load of water! Opt for a bath that has its own plug to make draining water out as easy as possible. One reason we love the Shnuggle baby baths is the fact that they come with a plug.

  • Ease of cleaning A reason that many opt for buying an actual baby bath is the fact that it reduces cleaning time. If you’re bathing your baby in the sink, you’ll have to scrub it clean and disinfect it before using. With a baby bath tub, all you need to do is give it a rinse with some warm soapy water. Both the Shnuggle bath and Angelcare bath support are very easy to clean and dry quickly, preventing mildew.

  • Bathtub size Depending on the size of your bathroom, the actual size of your baby bathtub may be a top priority. If you don’t have much storage space, the Angelcare bath support is a great compact option. It also has a hook on the back so you can hang it up on the back of your bathroom door for easy storage. As it’s only designed for children up to 6 months’ of age it’s also naturally smaller than the Shnuggle baby bath.

  • BPA-free Most baby baths are made from plastic, so it’s important to ensure that you opt for a BPA-free plastic bath. The problem with BPA is that it can leak through materials and have potentially adverse health effects especially on babies. Both the Angelcare and Shnuggle baths at the memo are 100% BPA-free.

  • Material The best baby bath tubs are made from soft, durable materials that are gentle on your baby's skin.

  • Portability This one almost goes without saying that you want your baby bath to be ultra portable. The last thing you need is a heavy lump you need to move into the bath or the kitchen sink, so opt for something sturdy but lightweight at the same time. If you’re a frequent traveller, you’d be best to choose a bath that is easy to throw in the car. We’d opt for the Angelcare Bath Support thanks to its smaller size.

What age is suitable for baby bath support?

The best time to use your baby bath chair support is from newborn age until around six months (or when they can sit up by themselves. At this time, we recommend switching to a baby bath tub which they can use until 12 months of age (and then the toddler sized bath after this).

Bathing Tips:

  • Baby Bath Temperature Once you’ve decided what baby bath is best for your family, it’s time to think about the actual bathing itself. Like something out of the Three Little Bears, you want your baby’s bath to be not too warm, not too cold, just right. In plain language, that translates to around 38C. To keep an eye on your baby’s bath temperature, it’s a good idea to invest in a baby bath thermometer. We love the gorgeous Oricom rubber ducky one for being just as cute as it is practical.

  • Use a hooded baby bath towel We love using this hooded baby bath towel from Nature Baby.

  • Use baby soap Whichever brand you choose, the takeaway here is to make sure you’re using a soap specifically designed for baby’s skin. Your little one has very sensitive skin so you want to be sure you’re not stripping it of its natural oils and moisture. We have a great range of baby soaps to choose from here.

4 best baby bath tubs in 2022

Wondering what is the best baby bath tub? At the memo, we will never offer 20+ different bath tubs to choose from but rather a curated, considered edit of a handful of the very best options. We want to make things easier for you, not more overwhelming and complicated! Read on for our line-up of the best infant bath tubs in Australia now.

1. Angelcare Bath Support

This is for you if you’re looking for support during the first few months of bathing your little one. It’s not a full bath tub, but rather the best baby bath seat for newborns. It’s also for you if you have a regular bathtub or want to use a sink. The unique design combines safe, sturdy sides and an angled area made from special soft material, so your baby can stay put.

Features of Angelcare Bath Support:

  • Suitable for newborns until 6 months of age
  • Soft ergonomic design
  • Quick Dry
  • Mildew resistant
  • Easy to store with built in hook
  • Made from soft mesh material
  • Can use within your own bathtub
  • Comes in 3 different shades

2. Shnuggle Bath with Plug

This is the perfect bathing solution for families who don’t have a bath in their home. The Shnuggle is the best baby bath for baby and is practical and portable. Its compact size means the water stays warm for longer and takes no time at all to fill, with a minimum of two litres of water needed. The uniquely designed bum bump helps you to support your baby and prevent them from sliding. The foam back rest is soft and warm against the baby's back and the rubber feet provide additional grip. Better yet it includes a handy plug to empty or refresh water.

Features of Shnuggle Bath:

  • Suitable for newborns to 12 months of age
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Easy to store
  • Rubber feet base for grip
  • Foam back rest
  • Bum bump to prevent sliding
  • Minimum 2L fill
  • Choose from 7 different shades
  • Includes a plug to easily empty water

3. Skip Hop Moby Recline & Rinse Bather

Space at a minimum? This is the best option for you - a collapsible baby bath! We love that it folds flat instantly allowing for ultra easy storage. This portable baby bath rest can be used three ways, on a countertop, in the sink or your bathtub. With two reclined positions for comfort and a contoured flexible rubber centre, your baby can comfortably rest on the bath while you bath them. If you use it on the countertop, you can use it as a little bath, with water sitting under the baby, which can then drain out to the base, controlled by a plug for customized water level and flow.

Features of Moby Bath:

  • Reusable
  • Suitable for newborns until 6 months of age
  • Flexible rubber centre
  • Non-slip treads
  • Easy to store- just fold it flat

4. Shnuggle Toddler Bath

This is for you if your child is over 12 months of age and has outgrown their baby bath! It’s the same as the Shnuggle option we mentioned earlier, but bigger. Designed specifically for toddlers, it offers them confidence and comfort as they grow, and should fit into most shower trays and a wide range of baths. It has a built in back support, which allows you to have free hands and focus on the scrub-a-dub-dub instead. It’s lightweight and compact, so you can easily take it on weekends away or store easily. The size of the tub also ensures you don’t need to waste too much hot water filling it up, while keeping the water warmer for longer.

Features of Shnuggle Toddler Bath:

  • Suitable for 12 months+
  • Made from non-toxic PP
  • Rubber feet base for grip
  • Foam back rest
  • Bum bump to prevent sliding
  • Includes a plug to easily empty water

Feel a little more empowered to choose your new baby bather? Have a look at our complete collection of baby bathtubs and don’t forget to stock up on all your bathing essentials including towels, soap and toys.

And there you have it- our no-nonsense guide to help you choose the best baby bath. If you liked this guide, we’ve got some handy how to choose articles on our blog. Liked this? Take a read of our article on best baby bath products and the baby bath list.

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