Which baby bath toy is best?
Bath time should be fun and inviting, which is why parents decide to incorporate baby bath toys into their routines. These fun toys keep your babies engaged while you wash them, which is a welcome distraction to make bath time easier and more enjoyable for everyone.
Baby bath toys can be as simple as foam letters or floating character figures or feature a high level of interactivity with flashing lights or press-button mechanisms. Above all else, they aim to engage little hands and developing minds by stimulating them with bright colors and simple challenges in a watery environment.
If your child is ready to splash into a good time, take a look at our buying guide for baby bath toys. We’re including our favorite one, the Kidsthrill Rainbow Stacking, and Nesting Cups, which feature bright colors and double as rinsing tools.
What to know before you buy a baby bath toy
There are two things to consider when it comes to finding age-appropriate baby bath toys. For one, the strict age recommendations on packaging are there for safety reasons. It’s important to follow them to avoid injury or potential choking hazards. The second thing is whether the toy is too young or too advanced for your baby. If it falls into either category, your baby may be disinterested, which could result in a less-than-pleasant bath.
Ease of cleaning
For the most part, baby bath toys are designed for easy cleaning. Many feature plenty of large holes to drain water. Whereas others are dishwasher-safe for deep cleaning. Certain toys are more difficult to clean than others, like squirt toys, which could harbor mold and mildew if they’re not properly drained after each use.
While a bathtub isn’t a classroom, you’ll want a baby bath toy with some educational value. The toy should stimulate your child and inspire inquiry and exploration. Consider cause-and-effect style toys, where different actions cause the toy to perform in different ways, like stacking cups with plenty of applications. Action-reaction toys require interaction to elicit a response, which fascinates babies as they strive to invoke the response they want, like a light show.
These simple toys lend themselves to imagination, and they encourage babies to manipulate the toys however they like. These include foam letters, stacking cups, and basic character figure sets. Stationary toys are fun for babies to experience touch, both of water and the shape of the toy.
Floating toys are designed to bob around a baby, so the baby doesn’t have to dive in water to grab them. Babies often enjoy pressing down on them to see if they stay under water, and are surprised and excited when they return to the surface. It also makes bath time clean up much easier for parents because floating toys can be picked up in one fell swoop.
Interactive toys light up, have moving parts, or are musical. These toys require a high level of engagement, especially if your baby wants to operate the buttons or commands. Because these toys are often battery-operated or have motors, they could be somewhat heavier than other toys. Be careful not to let your babies bump their heads on these.
How much you can expect to spend on baby bath toys
Baby bath toys cost between $5 and $40, and they can be broken down into two categories. For simple toys that include stacking cups or small character figures, you’ll find a decent set for less than $20. If you’d like multi-function toys with lights, battery-operated functions, or a high level of interactive features, expect to spend much closer to the $40 mark.
Baby bath toys FAQ
My child is engaged and interested in her baby bath toys, so can I use certain ones outside the tub?
A. Of course, provided they’re dry and clean for use in other rooms. If your child is fascinated and challenged by a baby bath toy, feel free to let her play with it more often. Repetitive play fosters imagination and helps develop hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
My child doesn’t like bath time, so how do I know which baby bath toys are inviting and welcoming?
A. Bath time is a challenge for all parents, so try to find bath toys with fun familiar characters to make it more pleasant. Characters with big eyes and smiles are encouraging, and they could maintain your child’s focus during the bath. Another option is to use toys that require concentration, like foam letters or stacking cups, to serve as a fun distraction while you wash them.
What are the best baby bath toys to buy?
Top baby bath toy
Our take: Plenty of ways to get creative with these nesting cups. Ideal for play or for pouring water over soapy areas during washing.
What we like: Vivid colors and smooth edges make these cups ultra-inviting for babies and toddlers to play with and hold. Stacks for easy clean up and storage.
What we dislike: Babies can’t really stack them in the bathtub. So if anything, they’re more of a toy to practice gripping and holding.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top baby bath toy for money
Our take: Friendly set of sea creatures that squirt water. Ideal for teaching babies about different animals and their environments.
What we like: Sea creatures are small enough for baby hands to grab. Big eyes and friendly expressions.
What we dislike: If you don’t empty water after each use, the toys become breeding grounds for mold and mildew.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
Our take: Brightly colored submarine with easy-to-hold handle. Eco-friendly toy made from recycled materials.
What we like: Holes throughout submarine let water drain. There’s an engaging working propeller. Well-loved by parents and children as a rinsing tool.
What we dislike: Only geared toward children ages six months and older. Some parts are difficult to pry open for cleaning.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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