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My wife and I are on our third infant/toddler tub, and haven't liked any of them.

We started with the safety first tub that slides open with the frog sponge. It leaked. Next up was the Summer infant deluxe baby bather. That worked until our daughter got too big for it. We just tried the summer infant fold away bath and plan to return it tomorrow (she kept sliding down).

What features / styles have you found to work well when bathing infants and toddlers?

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This seems to be a shopping question, which is not favored on the site. You shouldn't ask for a specific brand, but rather, ask for key features that are important. –  Javid Jamae Apr 18 '11 at 12:10
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You're right. Brett asks for specific products, which is against the site idea. Brett: can you rephrase your question so that it's more a question of what aspects to consider, rather than specific products? –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Apr 18 '11 at 17:55
    
In addition, I would comment that the subject is very general - I had to open the question up to understand what the topic really was. Just for future reference for someone willing to contribute, so thanks for that! –  MicheleV Apr 21 '11 at 18:47
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Javid and torbengb are correct - shopping guides are off-topic pretty much everywhere on SE (product reviews are best left for the systems designed for such things...) I've tried to re-write this as a more general "what should I look for" question, retaining the all-important descriptions of what you've found lacking in those you've tried. –  Shog9 Apr 22 '11 at 17:26
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9 Answers

I've always just bathed baby in the tub with me, at least since he was 14 days old and we were allowed in the water (after 2 weeks for C-section incision to heal and for his belly button). He's 13 months now, and it's been easy and fun. It's a great bonding time since my attention is completely on him. Another plus is that he loves the water and has never been afraid of it. I do have to take a second bath if I want to wash my hair or shave.

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This is an interesting choice Rachel, but it does not actually answer the question of features to look for in a baby tub. Perhaps the asker doesn't have a bathtub, or some other reason to prefer a baby bath tub. Please edit your answer to address this, otherwise your answer is invalid. –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Mar 28 '12 at 8:31
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We got a little kiddie pool and partially inflated it to provide some padding in the bath.

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We used towels in the bottom of the bathtub. I laid down 2 towels in the bottom of the tub and poured just enough water in to cover the towels and about 1/2 to 1 inch above it. I put down big soup cans on the corner of the towels so they wouldn't float away. I continued to do this until my boys were sitting up and moving around enough that the towels wouldn't stay put. After the bath was done I put the towels directly in the washing machine and did a load of laundry right away so that they didn't sit around for very long.

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We got one with a little seat, my mother-in-law brought back from Taiwan; so I disagree with Lennart on the seat question but every kid is different. The molded one works great and 5 years later our second son is getting some use out of it. We just try to keep them amused during bath time and have never had a problem

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Just get in the tub with them. Much easier.

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I say you don't need special baby products for this. We bathed our infant in the sink, and once he outgrew that we moved to the tub with a hand's width of water. Still works well at 18 months!

We are ALWAYS next to the tub; our child is never unsupervised near water. It's also a lot of fun to watch, and after playing for a while, it's soap time and then done.

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It seems to be you are overcomplicating. A plastic tub with rubber on the bottom is all you need. One that comes with a stand is good so you don't have to bend your backs. We've used the same tub from day 3 when we came home up until now, a year later, and it still fine. I expect she will outgrow it soon.

Simple plastic tub

Yes, you will have to hold the baby on one arm until he/she can sit up. It's generally not a big problem, in our experience. YMMV.

There are some tubs that have a little "seat" molded into them, ostensibly to make the kids not slip. We heard kids in general do not like these, and after using one at my grandmas place this was confirmed. So avoid things like this:

This is not the one we actually used

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And what was that minus one for? –  Lennart Regebro Apr 19 '11 at 13:55
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How old is your child? Is she able to sit up herself yet?

When we started immersing our young infant for a bath, we used the First Years Infant to Toddler Tub with sling (first photo, on the left). In the end, we didn't use the sling much since though it provided some support, I thought it got in the way of us cleaning the baby. The seat provided me some peace of mind in handling a slippery wet baby.

Once he outgrew this tub (around 6-7 months old), we opted for a basic tub and found exactly what we were looking for in the $7 IKEA Lattsam (second photo, on the right). It has rubber grips under the tub and in the tub to prevent slippage. We originally used it on our bathroom counter (and rigged up a tube to siphon away the water because the tub with water was too heavy to carry), and then just put it in the bathtub when our son started splashing too much. It's better than using the whole tub in my opinion even though we could do that now since it requires less water to fill it up to a comfortable depth, and I think it's cleaner and easier to keep clean. Since it is pretty large, I think he'll be able to use it until he is 2.5-3 years old.

First Years IKEA Lattsam

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I know we shouldn't do shopping recommendations, but my experience is that IKEA's baby things are really good and dirt cheap. –  Lennart Regebro Apr 18 '11 at 12:54
    
These are exactly what my sister used for my niece, including the bit about not having much use for the sling. However, as nice as the IKEA tub was, she outgrew it by the time she turned 2, so 2.5-3 is overly optimistic, I think. The tub is still around, waiting for her to become interested in bathing her dolls. :) –  Martha Apr 1 '13 at 23:52
    
Wow, yeah: scrolling down, the pictures caught my eye, and I thought "wait, what, did I post an answer in my sleep?" These are what we had, in exactly these colors; we used both on the floor of our (large, two-swinging-doors) shower until it became impossible to make her stay in the IKEA one (a bit before her 2nd birthday), when we moved to the regular bathtub in the other bathroom. –  JPmiaou Apr 2 '13 at 4:28
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Maybe you are expecting too much. Babies will kick and wriggle and are prone to sliding around. Try and find something that they are happy with more than finding something that you are happy with.

We bathed our son in the tub next to our washing machine (you know the ones) and he was content. We purchased a bath seat which was good at stopping him from slipping and he could still kick and wriggle. Baby seats are a lot cheaper than baby baths and we were able to use it when we move him to the bath tub until he was able to safely support himself.

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Note: Regardless of your choice, be sure to supervise your child in the bath at all times.

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There are some geographic limitations to this suggestion: around here, bath seats are almost as impossible to find as drop-side cribs. –  JPmiaou Apr 2 '13 at 4:22
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