By the time my daughter was about six months old and could sit up, she was too big for her Fisher Price baby bathtub. Yet she wasn’t really big – or sturdy – enough to sit solo in our regular bath and safety experts generally don’t recommend bath seats. Enter these two great ideas for the in-between toddler tub.
1.) A laundry basket. For decades, Heloise has been suggesting that parents use a laundry basket during this in-between stage. “Setting a clean plastic clothes basket in the tub will help you hold onto a small child during bath time,” she writes, adding “put the basket in the tub, add water, and put the child into the basket.”
Lots of parents swear by this laundry-basket trick, including my clever friend who pasted tiny pictures of her toddler onto her blank iPhone case. She recommends opting for a rectangular laundry basket. The benefit of this in-between tub approach is that the laundry basket can also serve as a laundry basket so you’re not wasting money on an extra baby tub.
Some parents, however, have run into issues with this trick. For instance, the bottom of the basket can be slippery (use a towel or tub mat there, suggest moms on BabyCenter.com).
2.) Munchkin’s inflatable duck tub. I never tried out the laundry basket trick myself because we registered for a $15 cute inflatable rubber duckie bathtub from Munchkin (one of many similar inflatable styles featured recently on Babble.com) and received it as a baby gift.
The bathtub served us great and was worth every penny (and judging by the overwhelming positive Amazon.com reviews, other parents agree). As Babble.com points out, the inflatable category features the most “economical and compact choices, perfect for travel.” It fit into our shower as well, making it a good option for households without bathtubs (find other ideas for such households here and here). Since it was inflatable, we also brought it on trips. It’s worth noting, however, that Consumer Reports recommends against inflatable tubs, saying they can be dangerous, but we never had a problem with ours (I always made sure not to put my daughter in it until after it was filled and good to go).
And by the time our daughter started to outgrow it last week, she was ready to sit solo in our regular tub. Now, we’re going to make the duckie her backyard pool; a small pool, to be sure, but good enough for the job.