Monday, December 31, 2012

Baby Gear: Bath time

Bath time always seemed like such a fun time for babies, so I was really excited to buy gear in this category. I expected it would be an easy shopping experience and was pretty surprised by all the options available in this department. Who would have thought that bathing babies would involve so many choices? The bath time gear I own or have considered are:


Bathtub - I have often seen baby bath tubs in the baby aisle at supermarkets or at a friend's house and I always thought they were all basically the same thing in different colors. I had no idea there were so many different types available. The main thing I realized was that newborns have different bath needs from older infants, so some bath tubs, only catered to tiny newborns, whilst others were for older babies or both. And by newborns I mean babies who are at least 2 weeks or older because that's usually the time when their belly button is healed up, and they shouldn't have a full bath before then.

Some of the bath tub options I came across were very unique, interesting or just plain weird. Take for instance the Blooming bath.



As you can see, it is a plush fabric flower that you place inside your kitchen sink and it cradles the baby while you bathe them. It sounds like a great idea in theory and is definitely visually appealing, but in reality it's a little ridiculous if you think about it properly.  The petals are too soft to properly support a newborn baby, especially when wet and they soak up all the water so you constantly have to keep the water running otherwise the baby will feel cold. The plush fabric takes forever to dry after a bath, unless you follow the instructions on their site and put it in the dryer,  but that's not very eco-friendly to turn your dryer on every day just to dry your baby's  "bath".  I am also not a big fan of bathing babies in the kitchen sink. No matter how well you clean your kitchen sink, I worry about cross contamination. The whole thing seems more of a gimmick than a practical product and considering that it retails for about $40, it didn't seem worth it to me and I decided to pass on this.


Another popular infant tub is the Puj. It is a soft infant tub made out of flexible, non slip material that fits into the bathroom sink.



I did like the idea of this bath, especially the fact that is can be wiped dry and stored flat on a hook.  Bathing a newborn can be intimidating to say the least so I found this Puj tub to be quite appealing, it seemed like it would make the whole process really easy. They claim the recommended age is 0-6 months but I think most babies will outgrow this long before 6 months, not to mention that you need to have a relatively large and deep bathroom sink for this to work. Ultimately I decided not to get it, because  I didn't like the fact that it doesn't hold much water so the baby will be cold unless you keep the water running constantly. I also didn't think it was worth $45 and didn't want a bath that I could only use for a few months.

I considered several other tubs but finally decided on the Whale of a tub by Fisher-Price.






Although it's nothing fancy, I chose this tub because it combines all the features I was looking for in a baby bath tub.
  • It transitions from newborn to toddler with the help of the green seat. As a newborn, the baby can sit on the seat and recline comfortably. Once they are older the seat can be removed and they can sit up by themselves.
  • It has the green soft grip foam surface in the back so the baby can be comfortable leaning back in the tub and won't slip down into the water
  • It has legs on the back of the tub to support it , and it can be used inside a regular bath tub or over the kitchen sink
  • It has a plug so the water can easily be drained out of the tub, while the baby is still sitting in it.
  • It comes with one orange baby whale bath toy.
Overall I have no complaints about this tub except that at that time I bought it, the green seat didn't have the tunnel in the center for water to flow easily, so moisture could build up under the seat and lead to mildew or mould build up. I found this out from an amazon reviewer and for this reason I regularly removed the seat and cleaned underneath it.   Aside from that, we love this tub and are still using it now that my little one is over 8 months old. We permanently removed the seat about a month ago since she can sit up with  no assistance now and doesn't need the seat. It retails for about $20 which is half the price of the puj or blooming bath.


Towels


There is nothing sweeter or cuter than hooded baby towels, I wanted to buy tons of different styles, but decided to just start out with one set in a neutral color. I bought this yellow duck hooded set from Target, it is made by the Carter's brand Just One You and I was very excited to use it.

 All I can tell you is that this towel set is 100% useless. I don't know why I didn't notice it before but it isn't really a towel in the strict sense of the word. It isn't made out of the thick terry fabric you would expect from a towel. Instead it is thin and not very absorbent and it just keeps the baby wet and cold. I went out to a few stores to look at other brands of hooded towels and realized that they are all the same; none of them are real towels. They are just a cutesy slightly plush thin fabric that looks great in pictures but isn't functional. After each bath my baby would be shivering like a leaf and I would frantically rush her to the room to get her dressed as fast as possible. It occurred to us after day 2 that there something was wrong with these towels. My husband suggested that we try using a regular towel instead and as soon as we switched to using normal towels, the problem was solved. I would wrap her in a full size adult towel which was big enough to cover her body and her head, and she would dry up very fast and stay warm in the towel.

Baby bath robes are much the same as the hooded towels. Many of them aren't really practical considering how long it takes to get their arms into the sleeves. Not to mention the fact that a lot of them aren't as absorbent as regular bath robes. These are cute for a photo, but that's about all they are good for.


Wash cloths   I started out with a set of Circo wash cloths from Target. The set included a toy terry duck. I then realized that I needed more than three washcloths so I added a few more washcloths from Babies R us brand and Luvable friends. They are all okay except the Luvable friends brand, which are extremely thin and quite rough on one side. I use the Luvable friends wash cloths as cloth wipes, and they are okay for that purpose, but they are not good for bathing.
Circo

Babies R Us
Luvable friends washcloths


  Bath toys    In the beginning, we didn't really use any bath toys, my little one was too young to be interested in playing with toys during her bath. But as she got older and mastered her grip on things, she would splash around in the bath and try to grab everything in reach. At first I tried to avoid giving her any toys because most of them didn't seem very hygienic to me and she always wanted to put them in her mouth. I kept worrying about her ingesting the bath water or mildew building up inside of them. In short I don't really like bath toys for babies, but now that she is 8 months old I've tried to lighten up on that a bit and let her have some fun as long as the toys are easy to clean and can't build up mould inside. Currently she only has a few toys for the bath;

  • The terry duck that came with the wash cloth set that I mentioned earlier. This is her favorite toy and my least favorite. It soaks up all the water and then she tries to suck up all the water from it. I now only let her play with this in her crib where the duck can stay dry, rather than in the bath.


  • The orange baby whale toy that came with the bath tub
This toy is basically a little cup and has holes on the bottom so water sprays out of it like a mini shower. She doesn't really know what to do with it yet so it goes straight to her mouth. I'm not a big fan of this toy.

  • Garanimals bath ball
She really likes this toy because it does a lot of things to keep her occupied, It is basically a small ball inside of a bigger ball. It has easy to grip soft handles on the top and it floats in the bath. It also has holes on the bottom so the water sprays out. It rattles when shaken. This is one of my favorites it is easy to clean, it keeps her occupied and she doesn't put it in her mouth as much as her other toys.

  • Quack quack bath book

My daughter received this set of books as a Christmas present and it includes a quack quack  bath book that she loves already. The front page squeaks which gets her squealing in delight. This is my favorite bath toy so far. Water runs right off the pages, so even when she puts it in her mouth she isn't ingesting a lot of the bath water. It is super easy to clean and doesn't have any holes that can build up mildew.


  • Little Tikes Squirt bath toys

We just received  these as a Christmas present too, but as of right now I'm not letting her play with them because they are quite small and the recommended age for these is 2 years and up. I'm not a huge fan of squirt toys because it's hard to clean the insides of them thoroughly. I've seen that other blogging moms use hot glue guns to seal up the holes so that water can't get inside. I feel kinda mean doing this because it takes all the fun out of the squirt toy but I guess it's gotta be done. I still have a few months to think about it though.


Shampoo Rinser cup

For me this is an absolute essential, not only do I use this for rinsing the sinful amount of hair my baby has but also for her whole body. I basically bathe her by filling up a bucket with water and then pouring that water on her with a rinse cup.  Its so much easier that way and also safer because I can be sure of the water temperature before it touches her. 

I started out with a rinse cup by Munchkin and I really liked it in the beginning.


The entire cup is really flexible and soft so you can press it against the babies head or skin without it hurting her. It was such an easy to use rinse cup and I was pretty happy with it for the first few months, until I realized there was mildew building up inside the handle! The handle is integrated into the cup and its hollow, so every time you use the cup the inside of the handle gets wet. The bad thing about it, is that due to the shape of the handle, you can never get the inside of the handle completely dry. Even if you turn the cup upside down, a few droplets of water are still trapped inside the handle. The handle is quite narrow so you can't get your finger all the way in there. Its pretty much a nightmare to clean. I tried everything I could think of to clean the handle, but ultimately I decided it was too much effort and threw the cup out.

I then went on the lookout for a rinse cup that didn't have a hollow integrated handle. While I was at walmart I came across the Garanimals rinse cup


This cup is bigger than the munchkin cup, and has two inner compartments for even distribution of water all over the baby's head or body. This cup isn't flexible all over; the main body of the cup is hard plastic and only the contrasting front "edge" of the cup is soft and supposedly forms a watertight bond with the forehead to prevent water from going into the eyes.  So far this feature hasn't really worked for me but I do still like this cup and my daughter is obsessed with it! She thinks this is her bath toy and always tries to grab it and drink out of it.



I am also interested in the Lil Rinser Splashguard


I recently ordered this from Amazon and I'm waiting to receive it and I really hope it works. My baby has lots of hair and its pretty tricky to wash her hair thoroughly without getting water in her eyes or ears. When she was smaller, she would sit on the reclining infant seat in her tub and it was easier to just wash her hair backwards as she was kind of leaning back. Now that she sits up and plays, its a real challenge to keep the water out of her eyes and ears, so I can't wait to see if this contraption will help.




Bath Seat
Bath seats are notoriously unsafe


I did consider getting a bath seat once my daughter was able to sit up on her own. I liked the look of them when I saw them online but there are so many safety concerns that I decided they are not worth the risk. These bath seats are usually secured to the bath tub by form of suction pads and they run the risk of coming loose, tipping over, and thereby seriously injuring or even drowning the child. Several hundred injuries and deaths have been reported relating to bath seats, so I've decided to keep her in her infant tub until she out grows it.



5 comments:

  1. The blooming bath looks pretty but is definitely not practical even from the look of the photos! It does not look too safe.
    Who knew there were so many baths on offer for babies! And so much to consider even bath toy wise? Definitely a post to return to one day when I have a child and I'm considering a bath and bath toys. Thanks for this!

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  2. Thanks so much! Stumbled upon your blog trying to evaluate if the Blooming bath would be worth a purchase for baby 2, due in March. As for now the whale tub from the older sibling looks like the best bet.
    I'll happily spend the $40 on something that'll be of real use and not just look pretty!

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad to hear this post was useful! :)

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  3. A good bath tub for my two year old baby is the product what I was looking from many days. These tubs are looking awesome and I'm thinking this would be a great product for the babies. Usually babies love to see these kind of colorful and well-lighted things. They will not show any reluctance while going to bath in this tube. Yes, this is so tempting. Thanks for your valuable suggestions. It's really a nice written up.
    Baby Bath

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