Updated June 2018
For something you can use longer than a newborn tub, I recommend the quintessential “blue tub.” There is absolutely no reason to spend any more money than this on an infant bathtub, I promise.
This tub can be used throughout all stages of infancy: newborns go in the newborn sling, which little Lucie is pictured in, (above, left; yes, I recommend the incredibly sharp knives overhead as well) (kidding).
Three to six month olds can use it in the reclined position (with newborn sling removed), and “sitters” (6+ months) can use the tub sitting upright (with “hump” removed). You may also be able to cram this into a larger kitchen sink if the geometry is right, but no guarantees.
Boon Soak ~ $29
If blue plastic isn’t what you have in mind [snort], check out the stylish Boon Soak, which is a better looking three-stage tub. Bonus: this tub should fit in most double sinks.
For the end of the first year and for travel… I enjoyed this tub so much on our trips that I started using it as my main infant bathtub because it’s larger, way more fun and hey, it quacks like a duck (endlessss entertainment)! This is for a baby 6+ months who can sit unassisted. Best 11 bucks you’ll ever spend, y’all 😉 [More baby travel gear]
Once your baby is old enough to go right into the regular tub, you’ll probably want to invest in a non-slip bathtub mat. Here are some options that actually work:
Boon RIPPLE Bathtub Mat ~ $15
Secured in place by suction cups, this mat has drain holes and hangs to dry over the showerhead. Some reviewers noted that it didn’t work well on textured tubs.
Measurement: 15.75″ x 36.5″
Puj Grippy Bathtub or Shower Treads ~ $14/6-pack
An alternative to a full mat and a product that works on lightly textured tubs, these treads stick by a waterproof adhesive and stay so well that you can clean right over them. The treads can be removed cleanly without damaging your tub, just know they are designed for one-time use.
Measurement: 6″ diameter
OTHWAY Bathtub Mat ~ $11
A Lucie’s List reader recommendation, this mat is also highly-rated! You guys, you can clean this mat in the dishwasher (mind blown!). It’s heavier and thicker than other mats and has many suction cups.
Measurement: 31.5″ x 15.75″
Moving right along…
Next up: Baby Linens