See whether you’ve got all of the baby bath essentials covered.
Bath tubs & accessories
The number one baby bath essential? Baby tubs, which range from small, ultra-shallow styles that are contoured and angled to compensate for a newborn’s limited head control, to larger, deeper basins made for older babies and toddlers and designed to fit in an adult tub. Clever features like slings and convertible backrests help accommodate your growing baby, and follow-up devices such as tub dividers further adapt your adult tub for big kids while guarding them against a dangerous impact with the faucet.
Our pick: The First Years Sure Comfort Deluxe Newborn-to-Toddler Tub with Sling. The mesh sling, padded headrest, and roomy design ensure you can use it from newborn to toddlerhood, while mildew-resistant pads make cleanup a snap. What’s really cool? The temperature-sensing drain plug will change colors if the water is too hot, letting you know to wait before putting your putting your little one in the tub.
And while we’re talking about tubs, don’t forget the most important tub companion: A bath organizer holds hair and body wash at the ready, while a hanging mesh bag keeps bath toys handy, allowing them to dry between uses. We love Boon’s Frog Pod, which has a drainer and scoop that lets you gather and rinse toys, minimizing mildew and scum. The built-in shelf and hooks (adorably disguised as frog fingers and toes) ensure there’s a place to hold everything.
Shampoo & bodywash
Soaps and shampoos made for adults are usually too harsh for babies’ sensitive bodies. Instead, keep your child clean and comfortable with shampoos and skin cleansers made especially for the small set, another baby bath essential. To simplify your little one’s hygiene routine, many manufacturers now offer one simple tear-free product that cleans both your baby’s hair and her body. Lately, we’re big fans of Fisher-Price’s Sensitive Skin Body Lotion, Cleanser and Shampoo, and Soothing Ointment, all of which are free of harsh parabens, dyes, sulfates, and fragrances.
Lotions, moisturizers, & oils
Designed to keep new, dimpled skin supple and healthy, non-irritating lotions, moisturizers and oils are formulated just for babies, making them another baby bath essential. We like Mustela’s Hydra Bebe Body lotion (it’s silky, not greasy) and Massage Oil.
Sunscreens & repellants
The outdoors is brimming with rewarding and educational opportunities for your little one. But, while you’re introducing him to the wonders of the world, you’ll need to protect him from nature’s insidious threats: sun exposure and insect bites. (They might not be a baby bath essential, but you’ll want to keep them stocked in the bathroom!)
Some wise practices can help including use of sun-protective accessories and clothing and careful application of a kid-friendly sunscreen and bug repellent (for children older than 2 months). Items we like to keep on hand: Badger Baby Sunscreen Cream SPF 30, made with soothing chamomile and calendula; and BabyGanics Shoo Fly Bye Deet Free Bug Spray, which uses natural essential oils to keep critters at bay.
All-natural baby products
Little ones’ skin is delicate, so mildness in baby lotions, oils, creams, washes and shampoos is a must. Organic and all-natural products limit your child’s exposure to fragrances and chemicals that might irritate sensitive skin, and are one last baby bath essential you may want to consider. Try the bubble baths, shampoos, lotions, and soaps from My True Nature, which get their sudsy bubbles from coconut and other vegetable-based ingredients rather than harsh chemicals. They’re also made with organic ingredients, are free of chemical preservatives, and (bonus!) come in 100% recyclable packaging.
Tubs, shampoo, lotions, and more.
By Katherine M. Tomlinson and Marygrace Taylor
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