There's nothing like the smell of a fresh-from-the-bath baby…but trying to get the job done isn't easy. Getting a handle on a squirmy, slippery infant while soaping up a washcloth will make any parent wish for an extra pair of hands! That's where bath seats come in. By providing a stationary spot that supports your little one, these devices will help you master tub-bathing like a pro.
But before you decide to invest in a baby bath seat, it's important to understand what they do, what age they are geared for, what product features to look for, and how to use them safely. Here's what to know, plus our recommendations for the best baby seats on the market so you can shop wisely.
Do I Need a Baby Bath Seat?
If your baby has outgrown an infant tub or kitchen sink and is not yet able to sit unassisted in a standard tub, a bath seat can help your little one stay in place as you soap and wash them.
Are Bath Seats Safe?
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), these products are not intended to be a substitute for parental supervision. If you decide to use a bath seat, never walk away from your child while they're seated in the tub.
Thanks to the latest requirements from the CPSC, bath seats have been redesigned with more stringent safety measures. These include stricter stability (to prevent tipping over), smaller leg openings (to minimize a child slipping through) and larger warning labels (reaffirming that these products should not be used as safety devices). Because of these newer requirements, purchasing a new baby bath seat—and not a gently used or hand-me-down model—is the safest choice.
What to Look For When Buying a Bath Seat
Whether you'll be shopping in person or online for a bath seat, keep an eye out for key product features and any warning labels about restrictions. Look for suction cups on the bottom of the chair (they will affix to the tub for a stable fit) and a strap or safety bar in the middle (this prevents your baby from slipping). If you have the ability to test a seat before buying, make sure you can open and close these latches with ease, since you'll most likely be using only one hand.
Finally, make note of any labels indicating weight or age limitations. Developmental milestones, like pulling to stand, may also be a sign that your baby has outgrown a bath seat's usefulness.
Here are some of the latest and greatest bath seats on the market:
Angelcare Bath Support
Munchkin Clean Bath Seat
Summer My Bath Seat Soft Support
Baby Delight Cushy Nest Cloud Premium Infant Bather
Delta Children Disney Mickey Mouse Baby Bather
Jolly Jumper Bathe Eze