Monday, March 4, 2013

Bath Time! : Review of Fisher Price Bath Center - Rainforest

I have heard many people say that a baby bathtub is one of those items that new parents purchase and then never use. For us, that is not the case at all! The houses we have rented since having our daughter have not had bathtubs, and our baby bathtub has been used extensively! Sure, we could have bathed her in the bucket, or with a sponge or towel in the sink, but my Grammie gave us this tub and it has been awesome!

First Bath Ever!
Our daughter loves baths. We do not bathe her everyday because her skin will dry out too much, but she bathes once or twice a week (and extra for emergencies). She loves every minute of it. It has not always been this way. Her first bath was rough. I was in bed for the entire bath because of my c-section, and the nurse and my husband did a wonderful job, but it wasn't the "Sonia Bath" I had been hoping for (see the video at the bottom of the post for the most amazing first bath I have ever seen!). Her second bath was at home and much better. Then she became a bath champ.

The really cool thing about our tub is that it is designed to adapt to your growing child. As a newborn, the mesh sling with floating foam sides and headrest hold the baby at an angle where breathing is easy and keeping the umbilical area dry is totally possible.
After the cord falls off, or when the baby is bigger, the sling straps can be easily loosened to lower the baby further into the water or resting gently on the bottom.

The next developmental step is to unhitch the two lower straps so that the sling hangs into the water but baby can still use the headrest and extra padding around the edges.

Then the sling can be removed altogether. The bump in the bottom of the tub keeps baby from suddenly slipping forward and the attached foam softens the hard plastic seat.

At 9-months, our baby now prefers to sit up on her own in the lower section and play with her toys in the shallow side. (she climbed right in when I put the tub on the floor to photograph!) She loves the attached monkey toy, and often it is in her mouth while she plays with other toys. The monkey can be attached to either side of the tub. The tub came with two jungle themed scoop toys as well, a blue frog and a red toucan. I am not sure how long she will fit in the tub, but at this point she can sit and maneuver herself well enough that she could use a real bathtub (if we had one) or the sink.

In reading amazon reviews, most of the complaints were about the bump in the bottom of the tub. People claimed that when the baby was in the sling, the baby's back would be hurt by the bump. However, in my experience, if the baby is small enough to use the sling (under 10lbs or just over), the straps can be tightened enough to keep the baby off the bump. If that isn't possible, it is probably time to loosen or remove the two lower straps and use the structure of the tub to hold baby in place rather than the sling. When we brought our baby home she was just over 10lbs, and she still used the sling in its highest position for about three weeks. After her umbilical cord fell off and we could get all of her wet, I would place a warm wet washcloth over her belly so she wouldn't get cold and I would talk happily to her the entire time she was in the tub.

The tub can be used over a sink or on a sideboard or the floor. I suppose you could even use it in an empty tub or shower. We put ours over the sink in the kitchen and when she is done bathing it is so easy to pull out the attached plug in the bottom of the tub and let it drain out right into the sink. If you have a standard double sink, the bottom of the tub has a molded plastic cradle to keep the tub in place. We now have a large single sink, and it fits well on that too. I do find that I have to tip the tub to get the last bit out. The drain plug does sometimes shut itself if their is quite a bit of pressure on it from the water, so sometimes I will stick the plastic cord from the monkey toy over there to keep the plug up and the water flowing out. The other nice thing about using the tub over a sink is that you can spray out/rinse the tub and sling easily. I have washed the sling and attached headrest in the washing machine on a gentle cycle with gentle soap. I threw it over the shower curtain rod to drip dry. You'd never know it wasn't new if I hadn't told you.

I asked my husband what he likes best about our tub and what he doesn't like, and he pointed out that he likes how it is made to stay in place over a sink and the only negative think he could think of is that he wishes that the edges of the tub were narrower so that it could fit on shelves for storage more easily. It is very large to store. I wanted a big baby bathtub because we don't have a regular tub and I wanted it to last as long as possible. I actually considered buying the Puj Flyte to use in a sink for my newborn and then later using the Prince Lionheart Flexibath Foldable Tub hopefully until she is 4-years-old, and I may try that for my other babies, since both of those tubs fold up. If we have a tub by then I may go with something like the PRI Infant Bath Seat so that the baby can go in the bath with my toddler(s).  There are so many baby bathtub options on the market right now. In terms of a single tub that works very well from newborn to toddler, I think we found it.

This is the video I found on youtube of the most peaceful first baby bath I have ever seen. How do you bathe baby?  Do you have a tub that you like?

It is important to note that I did not receive any gifts or compensation in return for this review. I am not in any way associated with Fisher Price and the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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