Depending on what kind of kid you have, bathtime can either be a thing of total joy or it can be a terrifying nightmare you avoid at all costs. Many kids love hanging out and splashing in the tub, but for others, it’s a pain worse than death, making it very hard for you as parents to make sure they get clean safely. But there’s no two ways around it: babies need to be bathed and there are definitely ways to make bathtime fun for everyone – you included. 

We’ve rounded up fifteen great options – from stand alone baths to bath supports to seats – that will make bathtime a total breeze. 

Best baby bathtubs

Skip Hop Moby 3 in 1 Baby And Toddler Bath Tub, $84.96 at Amazon
Fome Collapsible Bathing Tub, $89.99 at Amazon
Infa Easi Drain Bath, $29.95 at Baby Bunting
The First Years Newborn to Toddler 4-in-1 Warming Comfort Tub, $59.99 at Catch
Roger Armstrong Oasis Baby Bath Tub, $29 at Amazon

Best bath inserts

Angelcare Baby Child Bath Support, $59 at Myer
4Baby Bath Support, $20 at Baby Bunting
Angelcare bath support mini seat, $54 at Myer
Blooming Baby Bath Lotus Grey, $69.95 at Catch
Infa Bath Aid Seat Nellie, $29.95 at Baby Bunting

Best bath chairs

Dreambaby Premium Bath Seat Blue, $29.95 at Baby Bunting
Infa Bath Buddy Support, $45 at Baby Bunting
CharliChair 2-in-1 Baby Bath Chair, $189 at Baby Bunting
Angelcare soft touch bath seat, $76 at Myer
Shnuggle Baby Bath with Plug, $74.50 at Catch

Want to learn more about how these tubs will make bath time fun? Ready your rubber ducky: the water is nice and warm and we’re diving in.

Best standalone tubs

Stand alone tubs are great if you have a larger bathroom where there is space for babies to splash about. You can use them inside a bigger bath too (if you have room) but for the most part, these are designed for people who don’t have baths of their own. Many are collapsible, meaning you can store them when not needed, and some will last for at least the first few years of your child’s life. 

Image: Amazon

This clever tub wasn’t around when I was bathing my newborn, but if I had another, I guarantee this is what I’d be getting. The advantage to this one is that unlike most bath seats, this one can either be used on its’ own, or placed in the bath to catch any splashes. It will also grow with you and can be used up to toddler age. It has three different stages – newborn (0-3 months), infant (3-6 months) and sitters (6 months plus, up to about 12kg)

Its’ mesh sling will support even the tiniest of babies and the lowest position will help bubs who are still learning to sit up. Once they’re up and about, it’s a fun mini splash pond! It has a drain plug to keep the water in and let it out and a swivel hook for handy storage and quick drying. “It’s a amazing product,” writes one mum. “The design is perfect. My newborn looks very comfortable when bathing.”

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Image: Amazon

This super small and portable tub is easily collapsed and put away when not in use and has clever features like lockable, non-slip feet and a temperature sensing plug which changes colour if the water is too hot. Great for travel, it’s also great to grow with the family as it’ll take kids up to around the age of five. 

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Image: Baby Bunting

This no-frills baby bath is super affordable and no-frills and features a tube for easy draining, plus it’s big enough you can add extra supports/cushioning for bub if you want. It even has it’s own little shelf for holding soap. “It’s a nice easy bath to use and the shape allows our baby to really enjoy the water as there is plenty of room to allow him to float,” says one mum. 

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Image: Catch

Another bath that has clever attachments making it useable from newborn to toddler, this is a great option if you have a bit more room in which to store it. There is a newborn water catch tray which lets a steady stream of water gently wash your bub, which can then be removed as they grow, so they can play in the tub. The insert can also be used alone or even just in the kitchen sink, if you’re concerned about space. 

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Image: Amazon

You can buy this tub alone or with the additional bath stand, ($59), to bring it to a more comfortable height. This is a large tub that will fully support your growing baby, with a flat, secure base, a stain and mould resistant casing and even an in-built soap dispenser and shelf, along with a drain plug. “Good quality, sturdy, great size, light-weight,” writes one reviewer. “The drain-plug is a definite plus!” 

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Best bath inserts

Bath inserts are mini recliners that rest inside your bathtub (or even your sink), turning it into a mini baby bath. The upside is they’re extremely portable, can be taken anywhere and are great for travel and usually can be hung over the shower or on the back door when not in use. The downside is they’re quick to be outgrown, most only lasting about six months, when many bubs are still not quite sitting up. 

Image: Myer

This was what we used at bath time until my son was about six months old and it worked a treat. It was super light, easy to clean and comfortable. We have a pretty small bath (and a small bathroom) and I liked this one because I was able to easily get in the bath with him so we could wash together. It dried really quickly and hung easily over a sticky hook on the back of the door when not in use. 

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Image: Baby Bunting

Another great, affordable bath insert option, this is lightweight and super portable. “I love this product so much, hands down best purchase I have made,” writes one mum. “It makes both time so easy and my little girl loves how secure she sits in it.”

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Image: Myer 

A slightly more upright option for babies up to six months old, this ergonomically-designed chair allows them to be fully supported while in the water. With suction caps to ensure it won’t slip and a slimline design, this will fit into most baths. 

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Image: Catch

If you’re really short on space or you plan to be travelling with a very small baby and you’re not sure of the bath situation where you’re headed, this is a fantastic option, designed for tiny baths or kitchen/laundry sinks. With four wide, cushioned petals, your bub is cocooned in total comfort while they bath. Suitable up to six months, it’s quick drying and both machine and dryer washable. 

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Image: Baby Bunting

This baby bath insert doubles as a recliner for smaller babies and a seat for older ones more capable of sitting upright, with an adjustable crotch allowing it to grow with your baby. “I don’t know how you bath a baby without this product,” one mum said. “Loved it, used it with my 3 children and cannot recommend more highly.”

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Best bath chairs

If you’re really pushed for space, or you have older, wriggly children who can’t be trusted to sit still in the bath or you want them to be safe and secure under a shower, a bath chair is a great option. You just pop it under the running water, or in a large sink or in the bath and let them happily splash around upright, safe and sound. 

Image: Baby Bunting

Suitable for babies who are sitting up (so, approximately 6 months) this seat allows them to safely splash and play independently without risk of falling into the water. One mum said, “This bath seat has lasted for both my children suction is great on the bath and it is so easy to get them in and out unlike some other seats… My little one is 17 months now and I still use it or I would never get her bathed or hair washed as she just wriggles too much.” 

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Image: Baby Bunting

This bath chair comes with almost everything, including a rotating suction-cupped base which makes it super easy to wash your bub without worrying about holding them and it has a bar to get them in and out quickly and easily (and keep them there!) along with an interactive dolphin game they can play while they have a shampoo. “Our 7 month old had become a nightmare to bath as he wanted to stand up,” one mum writes. “I gave this bath seat a go and it completely changed bathtime from being really stressful and very likely to cause an injury to being a funtime.”

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Image: Baby Bunting 

There are definitely babies who hate baths and there are definitely parents who hardly have time to shower and that is where the Charlie Chair is a lifesaver. I personally wish I’d known about it when my kid was little, simply because even though he didn’t hate bath time, as a single parent I definitely didn’t always get time to shower. This would have helped a lot. 

One of the only bath seats suitable for newborns, it has a five-point safety harness and is height adjustable, meaning it’s fantastic for mums with mobility issues or those recovering from a c-section. “This is a great product. My 3 month old loves it. I found plastic baby baths quite daunting, with this I had both hands free and Bub gets washed properly and I also get my shower.”

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Image: Myer

Another great bath seat for babies six months and up, this is super streamlined and compact, made with soft mould-resistant mesh so it’s soft and comfortable on little bubs’ bodies. It supports bub to sit upright while still allowing them plenty of range of movement and it’s quick drying which means you don’t have to worry about nasties growing overnight, with a handy hook loop to hang it up when you’re done. 

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Image: Catch

Part tiny bath, part bath seat, the shnuggle is an award-winning bathtime companion which allows even the tiniest babies to sit up unassisted at bathtime. Super compact, it’s great for travel, the bath, the sink and has both a Bum Bump to help stop your baby sliding in the water and a foam backrest for comfort. There’s a plug to keep the water in or let it out, so it really can be used as a chair or as a mini bath. 

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Do I need a bath in my bathroom with a baby or is a shower OK?

Everyone thinks you need a bath if you’re having kids, but you really don’t. There’s no doubt baths can be fun for many kids, but for others, they’re no big deal. If you don’t already have a bath, we’d recommend buying a portable, collapsible baby bath for at least the first few months, to make it easier to support your bub while you learn how best to do it. A baby bath can also be moved around the home, meaning your bub can bath in the living room or the kitchen or even the garden if you like! But you know what: plenty of kids from my generation got washed in the kitchen sink, and we truly turned out fine. 

What should I consider when buying a bath?

The main thing to consider is space. You’re going to have enough extra stuff once bub arrives, you don’t want more than you need. If you have a small bathroom (and you have a bath) there’s no point buying a standalone one. A small bath support is a better option. Similarly if you have a shower, there’s no point worrying about putting in a bath – you can easily wash your baby using a bath chair, or by buying a collapsible tub. 

Want more essential baby supplies? Here are the best teething toys for sore gums and here are the best cots to give bubs sweet dreams.