Travel Bathtub - Everything you Need to Know

Travelling with Bubs Series: Travel Bathtubs 

Babies are cute, but they’re not very big.  And this makes new parents nervous when they need a bath.
You may be all set up at home with the necessary equipment to keep your bubs safe, but what do you do when you are travelling away from home? How do you bathe your baby at the hotel or when you are on the road?

We are glad to say there is an easy solution: a travel bathtub is one of the easiest ways to bathe your baby on the go. These bathtubs are made for use in your kitchen sink and include various safety features, such as built-in safety straps to secure the baby as well as other attractions such as hang on toys to keep baby entertained.

To help you make a decision, we have put together a checklist of features to look for when you go out to buy the perfect travel baby bathtub for you and your little one. Let's get into it.

How to Choose the Best Portable Bathtub 

Travel Bathtub

If you are new to the world of parenting, the realization of how much your baby's safety and comfort governs your day-to-day. 

It no longer just encompasses feeding and sleeping - it also includes bathing on the go and making the process as safe as possible. Choosing the right travel bathtub for you and your bubs can alleviate a lot of the anxiety that comes with bath time on the go.  However, with so many options available on the go, it can be hard to navigate what is best. 

Here is our buyers guide to choosing the right bathtub for you. 

Bath Seat or Travel Bathtub - which one is better?

One of the first things you will need to consider is the type of bath you'll be giving your baby and what is your preference when you bathe them.

Before we get into the difference, let us say that this will largely be dictated with the way you bathe your bubs at home.  What we do like to encourage, at the Best Baby Care Tips, is to be open to exposing your baby to new experiences.  If you generally use a bathtub at home, maybe try using a bath seat, and vice versa.  Who knows, you may discover bubs prefers one over the other? 

baby travel bathtub

Before reading this article, you probably didn't even know there was a difference.  However, there are some distinct differences between the two. 

The main difference between a baby bath seat and a baby bathtub, is the design and construction.  Travel Bath Seats generally position the baby in an upright position while bathing.  While the bathtub is a container that allows you to submerse your baby's body fully.  

We have an in-depth article that goes into everything you need to know about Travel Baby Bath Seats.  For that reason, this article will only discuss the pros and cons of a baby travel bathtub.  If you think a travel bath seat is your best option, jump on over to see our recommendations in our other article. 

Bathtub Pros

  • space and comfort - if you are a parent like us and like to make bath time a fun interactive occasion, a travel bathtub has the space to accommodate your routine.  Unlike travel bath seats, which can be restrictive, a bathtub allows your bubs to still experience some water play while you travel.  This means you can still bring their favorite bath time toys or books to keep them entertained
  • warmth and comfort - bathtubs give you the luxury of keeping your baby's body submerged and warm in the water.  When compared to a travel bath seat that requires you to constantly pouring warm water over the exposed parts of your baby, this is a definite positive, and it leaves you and bubs to bathe at your own leisure. 
  • safety - having your own dedicated travel bathtub means you don't have to rely on the accommodation's facilities.  When you compare this with a bath seat, where you are committed to using the accommodation's kitchen sink or shower, the benefits are quite obvious.  Using a travel bathtub provides you with the luxury of eliminating the unknown and any inconvenient surprises on the other end. 

Bathtub Cons

  • large and cumbersome - the obvious drawback of using a bathtub is that they are bulky.  Depending on your luggage capacity, this may be a deciding factor on the choice you make.  If you are flying to your destination, carrying and checking in a bathtub into a flight is not practical. Whereas, if you are heading out on a road trip, a bathtub maybe an option.  However, it will still take up a considerable amount of room. 
  • filling the bathtub - practicality wise, a bathtub may be more work than you anticipated.  At home, you have the luxury of having other containers or flexible hoses to fill your bathtubs.  However, these useful items may not be available at your accommodation.  The last thing you want to be doing is filling a travel bathtub using a coffee cup.  Not only will it take forever to complete, by the time you finish, the water will be colder than you would like and you will have to start the dance of topping up with hot water.  This is both an inconvenient and unsafe practice - as it can result in burns and discomfort for your little one. 

Types of Portable Bathtubs

When you picture a travel bathtub, you are probably seeing the traditional hardened plastic tub that most shops stock. However, we are happy to report we have seen some innovation and creative ideas spring up in this space.  This is great for parents, because it adds options to what was a once very restricted space. 

Plastic Travel Bathtubs

Like we mentioned earlier, this is the more commonly known travel bathtub.  It is a good old reliable option for travelling parents because it has no moveable parts that can break or pop.  It also eliminates any surprises since it provides the complete bathing package. The main drawback is that it is large and cumbersome to transport. 

Foldable

The next travel bathtub we are going to look at is the foldable options.  These are great because they offer the convenience of washing your little one in a safe environment, whilst also being small enough to travel with.  Foldable bathtubs generally have a mixture of plastic and fabric components to allow for a sturdy structure, plus lightweight and compact features. 

One draw back is that they may be susceptible to breaking while in transit, therefore leaving you with no options at your destination. 

We do like this option as foldable travel baths offer a compromise between reliability and convenience. 

Inflatable

Inflatable travel baby bathtubs are clearly one of the most convenient options for travel.  They are light weight and compact, which means no additional check ins for oversized pieces of luggage. 

You can literally carry these bathtubs anywhere you want.  And the best thing is they will fit snuggly inside almost any piece of luggage - even your baby bag (but lets be honest, that's already jam packed with everything else you are bringing for the bubs).  

How to Bathe your Baby While Travelling

Check list for Bathing your Baby While Travelling 

For your convenience, we thought it would be useful to include the checklist of travel items we collated in our travel baby bath seat post (below):

When you set off on a trip there is always so much to think about and pack.  To help you round up the things you will need to bathe your bubs, we've put together a short and quick list of items to include in your travel accessories. 

  • baby soap (preferably no tears)
  • two towels (sometimes you won't have the space or time to dry your towels after a bath, and the last thing you want is to wrap your baby in a cold wet towel)
  • bath toys (to keep them from grabbing other things around the unfamiliar bath)
  • cotton balls
  • small hand towel to use in the bath and place on the baby's chest to keep it warm 
  • water thermometer
  • travel baby bath seat

Final Thoughts on Travel Bathtub Options for Your Baby

Travelling with a baby may feel intimidating, however if you give some thought to planning and preparing yourself for the road ahead, it isn't that different from bathing your bubs at home. 

With our How-to guide for choosing the best travel bathtub and checklist to help with your packing, bath time on your time away from home may actually become a fun occasion. 

Let us know your tips for travelling with your baby in the comments below.  

Article written by Best Baby Care Tips

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