Searching for an answer to my baby's dislike of our current bathtub,
I came across a product called the Tummy Tub.
My first thought was, it's a bucket.
Turns out, it isn't just a bucket. It is wonderful.
We have had 3 babies before this, and each time I wished for a better solution to the hard plastic, giant & difficult to store, un-ergonomically (not a real word!) designed, "typical" baby bathtub we had, and never found it. I didn't like the bathtub we had, and the babies didn't either. It wasn't very padded, they flopped and slid all over the place (including up over the hard plastic piece that stuck up between the "infant" and "toddler" halves of the tub, which can't be nice especially for little boys), and only their back and legs really sat in the water, which made the babies cold. Plus, my latest little one had a particular dislike to the bathtub, and cried and was very easily startled every time he inevitably felt insecure in the one we own despite me having my hand on him at all times. While I do take him into the bath with me (which we both love), I also bathe him by himself often and really wanted a better solution.
After reading review after review where the "slings" keep the babies cold, and the plastic tubs aren't comfortable or secure, or have the same problems mine has, or crack and pose safety hazards, or they mold or mildew, and the soft inflatable ones are designed for older babies, I figured I was out of luck. Then I came across The Tummy Tub.
I was instantly intrigued. It looks like a simple bucket, and a pricey one at that. In fact, when I first read about it, I decided against it, but looked it up again a week later when I couldn't stop thinking about it. I really wanted to give it a try. I really wanted to love it. So, I ordered it.
When I pulled it out of the shipping box, my husband said
"It's a bucket. Why did we order a bucket?"
But it isn't. Here's why....
It is designed to mimic the security and position of the baby in the womb. You fill the bottom of the tub up with a little soap and warm water to the fill line, then lower baby into the tub bottom first. The baby naturally rests his back against one side of the tub, and the baby's body curls up into a fetal position just like in your tummy. Because they aren't laying stretched out, the startle reflex isn't stimulated. The baby feels comfortable and secure. The design of the Tummy Tub is like a rounded bucket, but has a non-slip grip on the bottom so even in wet conditions, it isn't going to be sliding around in your sink, on your counter, floors, etc. The tub itself is made out of food grade Polypropylene. It has a low center of gravity to prevent the tub from tipping over. This plastic is nearly unbreakable and does not contain any phthalates, BPA, lead, or other toxic elements. It will not mold or mildew. It uses approx. 2 1/2 gallons less than conventional baby baths. Because the baby sits in the water, he does not get cold like with other baby baths. When used correctly and filled only to the fill line, the water will come up to the baby's chest or shoulders, allowing for a warm bath the entire time.
According to the website,
Babies calm down easily when put in the Tummy Tubdue to:
•the resemblance to the mother’s womb in size and warmth
•the sheltered/filtered environment
•the support from the walls and bottom
•the familiar fetal position
•the smaller water surface also causes the water to stay warmer for longer
You can also see through the tub, which not only allows me to easily monitor his body position, but it gives you a glimpse of what it might look like to peek into a womb, and see little fingers and toes like this:♥
I also like that the tub is very portable and easier to store. The shape is convenient to keep in a closet or under a sink in a cupboard. It isn't like my last baby bath that is huge and won't stand upright for storage (I tried, but with its rounded ends, you would end up hearing it slide down in the middle of the night and crash, and think you had a burglar!). Because you only fill the water to the fill line in the bottom of the tub, you could easily carry the tub elsewhere and bathe your child in their bedroom, in the garden, or on your kitchen table. It is important to note that keeping a hand under the baby's chin is necessary until the baby has head control, and the bathing child should always be monitored in the bathtub and not left alone or in the care of another child.
You can use the tub from birth through age 2 or 35 pounds. I can't say how it works with older children, though there are many pictures around of older children using the tub, it is probably up to the individual child's temperment at that point. The manufacturer points out that unlike other baby tubs, this tub can have other uses once the child has outgrown it as a tub. It can be used as toy storage, an ice bucket, a planter, for washing the car, a toy, etc. There is also a Tummy Tub Stoolavailable to allow you to sit in a chair to bath your baby, but we didn't purchase this. We just bathe him in our kitchen sink or on our countertops. The stool becomes a step-stool and seat for older children after you are finished with the tub.
The tub may seem a little expensive at first glance, but to me it is worth it if my baby enjoys it, and so do I. Making bath time a safe, pleasant and calming experience is important to me. The thought and research that went into the design of the Tummy Tubhas paid off, and when I read about less expensive "knock offs" people most often regretted that they hadn't just bought the original Tummy Tub instead.
In summary, we love it. I wish I had this tub for all of my babies.
An instructional video on how to use the Tummy Tub:
(Just FYI, no, I wasn't paid for this review. We ordered & purchased the Tummy Tub ourselves.)