Which baby bath seats are best?
Bathing your baby can often be a challenge. It seems that you never have enough hands to get the job done. That’s where a baby bath seat comes in handy. Meant to aid in supporting your baby’s head and back so you can freely wash them, a baby bath seat is a helpful tool to make bathing your baby a breeze.
For a great all-around seat for active babies, opt for the Summer Infant My Bath Seat, which securely holds your baby in place without restricting their movements.
What to know before you buy a baby bath seat
Before you buy your baby bath seat, it’s crucial to understand the importance of its design and function. At its core, a baby bath seat is a chair that you put in the bath that holds your baby so you have the chance to thoroughly wash them, even when doing so on your own. A baby bath seat ideally gives your baby the support they need, while still keeping them safe.
Any time your baby is in water, safety is a concern. Because drowning is a real risk during bath time, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has certain requirements specifically for baby bath seats.
First, the CPSC requires a baby bath seat to be stable so it won’t tip over. They must also have leg holes small enough that your baby won’t slip through. Additionally, the CPSC requires baby bath seats to have large warning labels to advise parents on the proper use of the seat. When choosing your baby bath seat, look for these CPSC requirements to ensure you buy the safest seat possible.
Age of your baby
Just as the nutritional needs and activity needs of your baby change with their age, they will have different bath-time needs, too. The age of your baby should determine which style of bath seat you choose.
Younger babies need more head and neck support, but typically aren’t as active. During the younger months, you’ll benefit from a bath seat made of hard plastic and contoured to fit your baby’s body. There are also sling-style seats and suspended cloth seats that can be more comfortable.
For older babies, look for a more traditional style of bath seat. These should look similar to a high chair with a bar in front and leg holes that allow your baby to sit upright. The important thing with these traditional styles is finding one that fits securely in your bathtub.
Bath time should be a bonding moment for you and your baby, not a battle. One of the easiest ways to make bath time more enjoyable is to make sure your baby is comfortable. From the temperature of the water to the shampoo you use, comfort should factor into your decisions, including the bath seat you choose.
While the hard plastic bath seats are preferred because they are designed to perfectly fit your baby, they may not be comfortable for extended periods of time. Some bath seat models have cushions or are made of cloth. Although these can be more challenging to clean, they create more comfortable support for your baby.
Bathing your baby can be a fun experience and it’s essential to maintaining the health and hygiene of your baby. Here are some safety tips to make bath time a safe and positive experience.
Test the temperature
The recommended temperature for bathing your baby is 98-100 degrees. Start with cool water and slowly add warm water until you reach the correct temperature. Test it before you place your baby in the bath to be sure it’s comfortable.
Don’t fill the tub too high
Generally speaking, all you need is about 2 inches of water. Your bath seat will sit in the water, but should keep the baby’s head and face away from the water. Instead, use a cup or your hand to wash your baby.
Keep baby away from the faucet
Your baby’s bath seat should always face away from the faucet. If it doesn’t, they have an opportunity to turn on the hot water accidentally or bump their head. When installing your bath seat, make sure you are mindful about which direction your baby will face.
Give your full attention
Yes, a baby bath seat will provide additional safety measures and convenience during bath time, but it should never replace your attention. Put away the phone and stay alert. That will ensure your baby has a great time in their bath seat while also staying safe.
What to look for in a quality baby bath seat
A quality bath seat will have ways to secure it to your bathtub. The best features to look for are suction cups, which can firmly attach the seat anywhere in your bathtub. These will keep the chair in place, but will also reduce any chance of it tipping.
The CPSC requires baby bath seats to have large warning labels. You should be able to see the warning label clearly. This is a good indication that the manufacturer is following the CPSC requirements, meaning you’re buying a safe seat.
Strap or safety bar
One of the most essential parts of your baby bath seat is the strap or safety bar. This will keep your baby in place and prevent them from slipping out. Make sure to look for one that’s adjustable, if possible.
If you’re able to, test the latches on a bath seat before buying it. You should be able to easily latch and unlatch them. If the latches are at all difficult to work, it could cost you precious moments in the event of an emergency.
How much you can expect to spend on a baby bath seat
In general, you can expect to spend between $10-$40 on a baby bath seat. In the $10-$20 range, you’ll find the foldable and travel bath seats. These aren’t intended to be the regular bath seat, but could be useful, especially if your baby has a night away. In the $15-$30 range, you have plenty of options for your everyday use. There are some that go up to $40 or more. These are typically tub/shower combos and have additional features.
Baby bath seat FAQ
At what age can a baby use a bath seat?
A. Most babies will benefit from a bath seat between 5-10 months, though some models are appropriate for newborns. When your baby is between 5-10 months, they will likely have outgrown their baby bath but still won’t be able to pull themselves up to stand. Once your baby can pull themselves up to stand, stop using your bath seat.
Are bath seats safe for babies?
A. If used appropriately and with supervision, bath seats can be a safe and convenient way to bathe your baby. A 2012 report from the CPSC found there were 434 drowning deaths associated with bath seats, buckets, bathtubs and toilets. Of those, 51% were due to a “lapse of supervision.” Nothing replaces the attention of a caregiver. Always give your full attention when your baby is bathing, even with a bath seat.
Do I really need a bath seat?
A. While it’s possible to bathe your baby without a bath seat, using one makes bath time far easier and less stressful. It will free up your hands to more thoroughly bathe your baby and as they grow, it will provide a way to keep your baby secure while they enjoy their bath.
What’s the best baby bath seat to buy?
Top baby bath seat
What you need to know: Providing comfort and luxury, plus the safety you want, the KMV Baby Bath Seat is a great option for any baby that can sit up on their own.
What you’ll love: It has a steering wheel for added fun, plus is so comfy, your baby will stay comfortable throughout their bath.
What you should consider: This isn’t appropriate for a baby who can’t sit up on their own.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top baby bath seat for the money
What you need to know: For younger infants who can’t support their head or need additional neck support, the Angel Care Baby Bath Support is the perfect baby bath seat.
What you’ll love: The molded plastic is one single piece, making this bath seat easy to clean and simple to use, making it a staple for new caregivers.
What you should consider: This bath seat doesn’t suction to your bathtub and shouldn’t be used once your baby can roll over on their own.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: If your baby is ready to splash, this sturdy, secure bath seat from Summer Infant is the best option.
What you’ll love: The extendable arm and suction cups will ensure safety, while giving your baby their freedom to move and splash in the bath.
What you should consider: This isn’t a good option if your baby is under 5 months, because it doesn’t provide any support for the head or neck.
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Kasey Van Dyke writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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