Baby Bath vs Bath Support

Not long after your baby arrives you will need to give them a bath. With the right set up you can be sure that bath time is fun and without fuss. Babies need help to support their bodies for around the first six months before they can sit up by themselves. Let’s discuss whether a baby bath or a baby bath support is best suited for you.

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What is a baby bath?

A baby bath is a self-contained small tub that is portable. It can be used on its own outside of the bath or inside your regular bathtub.

Do you need one?

Not necessarily. There are other options to buy and other ways to bathe your baby safely instead. However, a baby bath is preferred by many parents for its versatility and long life span.

Some parents choose to bathe with their baby and hold them while they wash them instead of using a baby bath or bath support. Most parents do however prefer to buy one though for peace of mind when it comes to safety around the water. It’s also helpful to be able to have the use of both hands when bathing your baby.

When can you start using one?

You can use a baby bath right away but you will probably want to choose one with a sling or support to keep them safe. It is possible to use a baby bath without a support and you can hold them throughout. It’s doable but not easy.

It’s much better to pick a baby bath that is designed to be used from birth with detachable bath supports or a sling that can be clipped on. If you choose one of these then you can use it right away and have your hands free to wash and play with your baby.

When should you stop using it? When can they sit in the big bath?

This is really up to you. Since a baby bath can be used anywhere or placed inside your regular bathtub there are lots of options available to you. There may be obvious signs that your baby is outgrowing their baby bath. Perhaps when they are splashing too much water outside the tub or they physically grow too big to sit and play inside the bath comfortably.

Some parents use the baby bath for as long as possible, it feels safe and it can help to contain your baby. Others move over to using the big bath soon after their baby has mastered sitting by themselves, this is usually around 6 months of age. If you have other older children you might find it is easiest for your whole household routine to bathe your baby in the big bath as soon as it is safe to do so. This saves you bathing everyone separately and shared bath time makes for some great sibling bonding time!

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Pros and cons of a baby bath

A baby bath is a good way to keep your baby clean and make sure bath time is safe and fun.


The benefits of a baby bath are:

  • Portable – you can use a baby bath on the floor, in the big tub, on the kitchen table or anywhere else you like. This is especially helpful with a newborn to avoid bending over in uncomfortable positions.
  • No big bath, no problem – not all homes have a big bathtub and may have a shower instead. A baby bath tub solves that problem.
  • Long shelf life – a baby bath can be used for up to 18 months for most babies. They can still use it long after they can sit up by themselves. Baby baths with detachable supports or slings are great for newborns and beyond.
  • Safe – a baby bath is designed to keep your baby safe. It’s much smaller than a big tub which means there is a lesser chance of your baby drowning, falling or being nervous in the bath.


The downsides of a bathtub are:

  • Storage – you will need to store a baby bath somewhere and these things are bulky.
  • Sibling logistics – it can be tough to bathe siblings in different baths and might be easier to use a bath support instead.

What is a bath support?

A bath support looks like a deckchair of sorts that sits in your regular, big bath for your baby to lie on.

How does it work?

A bath support makes your regular bath work for your baby. It stops them from sliding down into the water while making sure they stay warm and covered by the water. Fill the bath no more than half the depth of the bath support and it will sit on the bottom of the bath without floating or moving to keep your baby safe. Play around with how much water to use before you put your baby on the support for the first time.

Do you need one for your baby?

You do need some kind of support for your baby while they take a bath. It could be you, a sling/support in a baby bath or a separate bath support. Consider what will work best for you and your home set up.

When can you stop using it?

When your baby is able to sit up by themselves, which is usually around 6 months of age. It’s a good idea to use an anti-slip bath mat when you start bathing your baby in the big bath. This helps to avoid slips and falls for your baby in the bath.

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What are the pros and cons of a bath support?

A bath support is designed to keep your baby safe in the big bathtub before they can sit up independently.


The benefits of a bath support are:

  • Easy storage – a bath support is small and easy to store.
  • Useful for bathing with siblings – it’s possible to bathe siblings together with their newborn brother or sister when you use a bath support in the big bath.
  • Safe – a baby support is designed to keep your baby safe. It means there is a lesser chance of your baby feeling uncomfortable, drowning, or falling in the bath.
  • Portable – a bath support is easy to throw in the car for travel and doesn’t take up as much room as a baby bath.


The downsides to a bath support are:

  • Logistics – it is harder to support and reach your newborn baby in a big bath than in an independent baby bath. Think about how deep your bath is and how you will position yourself when you bathe your baby.
  • Short shelf life – once your baby has graduated to sitting up by themselves they will no longer need a bath support and it’s useless to you!

The main purpose of a baby bath or bath support is to keep your baby safe. It’s also worth thinking about the logistics of how and where you want to bathe your baby to decide what to buy. Whichever option you choose, take the time to enjoy bath time with your baby and prepare to get wet, older babies love to splash!

baby bath vs bath support

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