Safety and Injury Prevention
Choosing Safe Baby Products: Bathtubs
Baby bathtubs give parents a controlled environment for cleaning a wet, slippery baby. The angle of the tub helps free a parent's hands for washing.
Things to keep in mind when choosing an infant bathtub:
- The bathtub should have slip-resistant backing to keep it from moving.
- A tub made of thick plastic will stay firm in the center, even under the weight of the water.
- Beware of foam cushions; your baby could tear off pieces and swallow them.
- Avoid bath rings, baby flotation devices, and bath seats. If these tip over, the baby could drown.
- Do not choose a tub with rough edges, which can scratch your baby.
- An infant-to-toddler tub will last longer as it can be adjusted when your baby grows.
- Some bathtubs have plastic slots or indentations that can hold soap, shampoo, and other cleaning supplies.
- A plug at the bottom of the tub makes draining the water easy.
- Always keep one hand on your baby while he or she is in water.
- Only adults or experienced babysitters should give babies baths. Baths can be dangerous for babies, because babies can drown in as little as an inch of water.
- Always touch the water to check the temperature before putting your baby in the bathtub. Water that is too hot can burn babies.
- Gather all of your baby's bathing supplies ahead of time, including shampoo, soap, washcloth, towel, clean clothes, and a clean diaper/wipes.
- Always take your baby with you if you have to answer the door or the telephone or if you're needed elsewhere in the house.
- Always empty the bathtub and turn it upside down when it is not being used.
Reviewed by: Susan Kelly, MD, and Kate M. Cronan, MD
Date reviewed: September 2013