I remember when my son was a baby. He would straighten his back into a rod and howl when I ran the water for his bath. He did not want to get his head wet—ever! Eventually, I developed a well-choreographed plan and he actually came to love the water.
To give a baby a bath, it’s critical to have the right baby bath accessories. These include gentle shampoo, soap and moisturizer; a soft washcloth and after-bath hooded towel; a rinsing cup; multi-sensory toys; a water thermometer and a safe tub. Each accessory should be ultra-safe and be able to grow with your baby.
I eventually learned to place each baby bath accessories within reach before I turned on the water for my son’s bath. If I could get him into the water and immediately distract him with some truly engaging toys, I could get him washed up before he even considered wailing.
Here’s what I cover in this post:
What to Look for in Baby Bath Accessories
All baby bath accessories are not created equal. Let’s take something simple like a rinse cup. If you use a regular plastic cup, the rim can knock against your baby’s head accidentally. It will also send a torrent of water into your baby’s eyes. There are some clever rinse cups that can prevent both of these problems.
No matter what bath accessories you buy for your baby’s bathtime, most important is that they are safe and made with non-toxic materials. After that, look for products that have soft, soothing textures, provide multi-sensory play opportunities, and can grow with your child.
When buying baby bath accessories, safety is the first, second and third most important factor. For that reason, go with a well-reviewed product from a well-known company.
Since babies love to suck on everything, be sure your bath accessories are free of BPH and other potentially harmful chemicals. When looking for topical products to apply to a baby’s skin, like shampoos and moisturizers, you’ll want to be sure they’re all-natural and hypoallergenic.
Also, baby skin is much more sensitive than adult skin. That’s why you need to be sure the bathwater is a comfortable temperature for your little one. You can test the water on the inside of your wrist, but I know our bath water temperature can change, if someone else in the house decides to run the dishwasher or flush the toilet.
Plus, it’s important to make sure the bathwater stays a consistent temperature throughout bathtime—you don’t want it getting chilly.
To remedy this problem, consider using a baby bath thermometer.
Finally, you always want to stay present with your baby when giving a bath. You don’t want to leave the bathroom to get something critical that you’ve forgotten–not even for a minute. So take the time to double-check that you’ve got all your bath accessories in advance before putting a child into the tub.
Once babies are calm and happy in the bath, the last thing we want is to set off their little sensory systems by using harsh fabrics on their tender skin. That’s why it’s best to look for the softest, most gentle washcloths and towels that you can find for bath time. Certain textiles are known to be hypoallergenic, ultra-soft, and anti-microbial. Look for these.
Bath time provides such a great opportunity to awaken your child’s 5 senses. How can bath toys add to the fun and educational opportunity by providing multisensory play?
Look for toys that are brightly colored and make interesting sounds. A squeak. A honk. A swish. These noises are bound to fascinate babies — and distract from our urgent efforts to wash off shampoo without getting it in their eyes.
Ability to Grow With Baby
The best baby bath accessories will stay interesting for more than a few weeks. You might be able to change them in some way, so that they evolve with your growing child.
Some baby bathtubs, for example, can adjust size so that you’re never needing to put an infant or toddler in a tub that has too much room, and therefore, wouldn’t be safe.
Also, some sensory toys have enough features for babies to continuously discover new things as they develop. These toys grow with baby as she learns to grasp and blow and glance at her reflections in the mirror. When bath toys have multiple components, your baby will stay fascinated by them for months and even years.
10 Best Baby Bath Accessories
The bath accessories on this list cover everything you need to make bathtime paradise for baby. Read on to discover the very best tubs, toys, towels and more!
When I used to bathe my son, I would cradle him in one arm and then only have one arm left to do everything else. If I could recruit my husband, my mother or any other visitor to help out, the extra set of hands always was a relief.
But now there’s a baby bathtub that can help you be more comfortable and relaxed bathing baby by yourself. The Rinse ‘n Grow Tub by Fisher-Price lets your baby sit comfortably in the water without full immersion. While, of course, you always want to watch baby in the bath, this invention frees up your arm from needing to cradle your baby the whole time.
No more wiggling around in a basin or tub that is much too big.
This tub literally grows with your baby. Newborns and infants can recline in a sling that fits across the surface of the tub. You can set it so their little bodies are immersed in the sudsy warm water, while their heads are out of the water.
The sling is adjustable to a more upright position for older infants who can hold up their heads and sit. And once your little one reaches the toddler phase, you can remove the sling so that your toddler can play in a tub that’s the right size.
Unlike many other baby bathtubs, this bathtub is flat on the bottom; there’s no rounded mound that will stick into your little one when they’re lying in the sling or playing in the basin.
There’s also a drain on the bottom of the tub to let the water out when bathtime is done.
The Rinse ‘n Grow Tub won’t fit inside your kitchen sink; it’s made to put on the floor or in your regular bathtub.
Have you ever noticed how children seem to “catch a mood” just like they’ll catch a cold? Babies are no different. And that’s why I consider the Bath Kneeler with Elbow Rest Set a critical product.
If you’re stressed while giving your baby a bath, it’s almost a sure thing that your little one will pick up on your energy. They may even start to scream and cry (just like you probably want to do!).
Of course, it helps you and your child to feel calm and happy while giving your baby a bath, and this bath accessory can help out tremendously.
You get a 1.5-inch thick pad that is 22 inches wide to kneel on while bathing your child. And you get a second pad that rests on the edge of your tub that absorbs the pressure of your elbows. It’s also 22 inches wide. Each pad has six suction cups along the bottom to hold it in place, so you don’t have to worry about slippage.
Hugely helpful, the elbow pad has mesh pockets to hold plenty of bath toys, as well as bath shampoo and soap.
Made of neoprene polyester and foam, the set dries quickly after bathtime. And better yet, the bath kneeler and elbow rest are both machine washable.
The set comes packed in a clear carrying case with handle. It makes a perfect gift for a new parent in desperate need of some tender loving care.
Put this digital bath thermometer in the bathwater. It will read the temperature every two minutes, alerting you if the water gets too hot or too cold. It will beep quickly for “too hot” and slowly for “too cold”.
Many new parents are only concerned with making sure bathwater isn’t too hot. However, if the water cools off too much, this can make baby equally miserable.
Also, the Floating Safety Bath Thermometer allows parents with several little ones can make a note of each child’s preferred bath temperature to be sure each one loves bath time as much as possible.
What I really like is that you don’t need to fidget with any buttons–not even an on/off switch!– because the adorable turtle thermometer instantly activates when you put it your baby’s bathtub and deactivates when you take it out. It’s also made of non-toxic, BPA free ingredients and battery-powered.
One important thing: Each time you take it out of the tub, be sure to shake off excess water and let it dry out. This will ensure that the thermometer continues to read the temperature accurately and doesn’t grow mildew or mold.
And yes, while you can test the water temperature on the inside of your wrist, you’re an adult. Sometimes your body temperature runs hot and sometimes cold. In other words, unless you use a thermometer, you’ll just be guessing what’s right for your child. The Floating Safety Bath Thermometer takes out the guesswork and makes sure the bath is ideal for your little one every single time.
You know how infant skin is so wonderfully soft? Well, it’s incredibly sensitive, too. Rashes. Baby Acne. Irritation. These are all too common findings on our babies when we use the wrong products.
That’s why I trust Tubby Todd, a company founded expressly by a mom whose children struggled with sensitivity and eczema. Tubby Todd bath products are all-natural and hypoallergenic.
This set includes:
- Lavender and Rosemary Hair and Body Wash
- Sweet Quince and Huckleberry Bubble Bath
- Lavender and Rosemary Everyday Lotion
- All-Over Ointment for Irritation
Little ones who are sensitive to tags and textures will gurgle and smile with delight when you use Tubby Todd products at bath time. Some parents have gone so far as to call this gift set “a miracle”!
This inexpensive baby accessory is really priceless. As any new parent recalls, pouring the water onto your baby’s head to wash off shampoo can usher in a full-blown tantrum.
But with the Moby Bath Rinse Cup, you’ve got much better odds of getting through the climactic bath moment without any tears. Why?
First of all, this rinse cup looks like a toy.
Second of all, the plastic inside the whale’s mouth is molded in channels, so that the water pours down gently on baby’s head. When you use a plastic cup to rinse out shampoo, you’re at risk of clunking the cup against your infant’s head. But no more!
Third of all, the whale’s bottom lip is soft and wide. It’s designed to prevent a torrent of water from falling into your child’s eyes.
The Moby Bath Rinse Cup is PVC-free, phthalate-free. As with any bath accessory, you’ll want to hang it up to dry after use, in order to prevent mildew. The tail folds over onto the whale, serving as a hook, allowing you to hang the rinse cup on a faucet handle or doorknob.
So simple yet so clever!
Blended bamboo is the greatest towel material for sensitive skin. Not only is it hypoallergenic and naturally mildew-resistant, but it’s plush and oh-so-soft. Plus it repels odors. (For much more about why I’m so crazy about blended bamboo towels, read 7 Amazing Bamboo Towel Benefits.)
In any case, these 100% hypoallergenic washcloths are made of incredibly soft bamboo fiber. To keep the amazing texture, wash them in the little laundry bag that comes with the set.
These towels make a great gift because they feel decadent and luxurious. Each one is individually wrapped in a ribbon and the set is packaged adorably.
You can choose from a variety of color combinations or get all towels in pure white. The Pupiki Premium Baby Washcloths are available in a set of 6 or 10.
Oh boy are these cute! Each little container looks like a bubble. Inside each bubble, you’ll find a different creature like a butterfly, a penguin, a turtle or a worm. These brightly-colored bubbles float on the surface of baby’s bath.
They’re sure to delight and distract your infant while you wash their hair.
This toy is engaging, multi-sensory and will lure babies to reach out, grasp and poke.
Older babies can pick up a bubble and shake it. Listen to the rattle sound! They can twirl the colored ring around the bubble and make the bubble spin.
This delightful toy is mold-resistant and BPA free. It’s recommended for age 4 months and up.
This brightly-colored bathtub toy will keep your baby busy all the way through toddlerhood. It features a monkey and a starfish sitting aloft a caterpillar.
Babies can use the teddy bear cup to pour water into the flower on the monkey’s head. Then watch the flower spin and the monkey’s eyes rotate. When they pour water into the red cup, the starfish will turn and the water will fall beneath the starfish and cause a gear to spin.
Hold your baby’s hand under the belly of the caterpillar and listen to the delightful giggles as baby feels the water trickle out.
Toddlers will start to understand the concept of cause and effect, as one (fun!) action always causes another (cool!) reaction.
This toy is built to drain water easily and circulate air through it to allow it to dry quickly after bathtime. It’s certified BPA and lead-free with smooth edges.
Recommended for 12 months and up
These little bath books take learning numbers and the alphabet to a whole new level of fun!
While the styrofoam letters many parents get are great for play in the tub, your baby will get drawn in by these engaging, beautiful cloth books with vivid pictures on each page. (And of course, babies will be eager to flip the pages on dry land, too— not just when they’re in the tub.)
These books float. With just a few numbers or letters on each page, they’re sure to spark your little one’s curiosity. Plus, babies love the crinkly sound that the pages make as they’re turned.
Each book has a different educational theme, such as:
- The Ocean
- The English Alphabet
- Musical Instruments
- Digital Knowledge
The books are made from a non-toxic, durable cloth that is machine washable and dries quickly. A perfect birthday or baby shower gift, the set of 8 books come in a pretty packing box.
10. Bamboo Hooded Baby Towel by HipHop Panda
Bamboo towels are the way to go to cuddle your little ones and keep them snuggly and warm after a bath. This luxury bamboo towel by HipHop Panda is double-layered and 30” by 30”.
Plush and adorable, this towel is naturally anti-microbial and more absorbent than other towel textiles.
As an added plus, bamboo towels are eco-friendly. As you probably know, every panda bear loves bamboo. They eat it up and it grows right back—up to four feet in a single day! And except for rainwater, bamboo doesn’t need to be watered like cotton.
But what will really make your little cub happiest is how ultra-soft these towels are. (Get my recommendation for best bamboo towel for grownups with sensitive skin here.)
This hooded towel is available in other animal designs, too. The elephant, lion and penguin are also too cute for words.
Fun Baby Bath Ideas
On rainy days—or during a pandemic—you and your kids may be spending more time at home than usual. With these bath accessories, you’ll be all set to make bathtime a happy highlight of the day instead of a stressor!
We scoured the web and talked to a preschool teacher to find the most creative, original and educational ideas for turning bath time into one-of-a-kind fun time! You can read about these wonderful bath activity ideas for babies and toddlers in our post 10 Amazing Bath Activities for Preschoolers.
More Great Gift Ideas for Babies
Still looking for the perfect gift for that adorable baby in your life? Shop the Amazon Baby Gift Guide!