We spent 25 hours researching and testing over 20 baby bathtub toys and found that number of activities, durability, and cost were the most important factors for consumer who were shopping for baby bathtub toys. Munchkin Float and Play Bubbles Bath Toy scored high marks in all categories and is our overall top pick. These adorable plastic bubbles will entertain your baby while they are in the bath; floating, rattling, rolling, and spinning. These bubbles help develop hand-eye coordination and stimulate their senses while they play.
Bathtub Toy Buying Guide
Advantages of Bath Tub Toys
There are many advantages to using bath tub toys. We have listed these benefits below so you can decide if purchasing bath tub toys will be a good purchase for you and your baby.
Distract an unwilling child – Some little ones are very resistant when it comes to taking a bath. Whether they are afraid of the water or just don’t want to stop what they’re doing to get in the tub, it helps when you have something on hand that can make taking a bath a fun experience for your child. The perfect things to have on hand are some colorful, fun bath tub toys. Bath tub toys can keep your little ones occupied and distracted while you are shampooing their hair and washing them. They’ll be having so much fun with these colorful toys they don’t usually play with that they won’t pay attention to what you’re doing at all.
Make bath time a fun time – As parents, taking a bath seems like it should be a fun time but to a child that is having to have their hair washed and water poured over their hair, sometimes getting in their eyes, it can be less than ideal. Having bath tub toys that are only brought out during bath time can make taking a bath a lot of fun. Some children love the tub toys so much they will actually ASK to take a bath. Well-chosen bath tub toys create a relaxing, enjoyable environment where your baby or toddler can get clean, relax, and have some one on one time with their parent. Sometimes the toys are so fun the child will resist getting OUT of the tub!
Aides Development – Choosing the right bath tub toys can assist in certain developmental milestones such as fine motor skills, reasoning skills, creativity, imagination, and problem solving skills. There are so many different types of bath tub toys to choose from that finding some that are educational and that will help with different developmental things is very easy. At first, just let your children play with the toys on their own without you interacting. Just make sure you are in the bathroom with them. Children should never be left unattended in the tub. Watching their imaginations running wild can be really amazing and fun to watch.
Promotes bonding and one-on-one time – If a child doesn’t like to play by themselves you can use bath time to spend quality time with them, teaching them to play and create. Bath time is a great time for bonding and fun toys make it even better. When bath time becomes a time where they get to have mom or dad’s full attention and spend it laughing and playing, it will become one of their favorite times of the day and fondest memories as they get older.
Choosing the Right Bath Tub Toys
With tons of bath tub toys on the market how do you choose the right one or ones for your baby? We have provided some valuable information and tips that will help you find the best quality tub toys for your baby or toddler’s tub time.
Free of harmful chemicals – Safety is paramount when it comes to anything your baby plays with in the bath tub or anywhere else. When looking for the right tub toys look for manufacturers that are well-known for making tub toys that are BPA, lead, phthalate, and PVC free. Check the labels carefully and make sure that it does not contain paint or dyes and that it is toxic-free. Plastic tub toys should not contain any PVC and look for small parts that can become choking hazards for young ones.
Age Appropriate – Age is a very important factor to consider when you are choosing tub toys. Every toy on the market is required to have a recommended age range. It is in your baby’s best interest for you to adhere to those recommendations and not get a toy designed for 18 month olds for a 3 month old. Look for toys that improve hand-eye coordination. Young babies have difficulty at first grasping and holding onto things so any “practice” they can get learning to hold onto things the better their coordination and fine motor skills will get. The best toys for babies 5 months and younger will be toys that are brightly colored and have sounds or a variety of textures. Older babies and toddlers will enjoy and benefit from toys that improve logic, creativity, imagination, and motor skills. Tub puzzles, bath tub crayons that wash off, and foam letters and numbers that stick to the tile walls of the tub are usually very popular with little ones as are toys that encourage pouring and measuring.
Preferences of your child – If you have a quiet child they will more than likely enjoy toys they can play with by themselves or that don’t require a lot of moving around. Bath books, tub crayons, and other quieter activities are usually very popular with a quieter child. If your child has a lot of energy, tub basketball can be a great hit. One of the best ways for you to choose a toy that your child will love is to let them browse online with you and point to toys that catch their eye. (assuming they are old enough to do this)
Stickers and Floaters – If your child is 6 months or older they will enjoy toys that stick to the walls of the tub or those that float on top of the water. If your bathroom has texture on the walls it can be difficult for toys to stick properly to the walls the way they can on smooth tile. If this describes your bathroom, opt for floating toys or toys that can be mounted into the rub. If you have smooth-sided walls or a tub insert that is smooth, sticking toys are great. You can also stick suction cup toys to the walls if they are smooth-sided.
Temperature Indicators – Some tub toys have additional features that include special functions. These functions can be music, sounds, and temperature sensors. A toy that has temperature gauges are great for avoiding placing your baby in a tub of water that is too hold or cold for their delicate skin. Judging the temperature of the bath water can be tricky so having the aid of a temperature gauge on your tub toys is very helpful in keeping your baby safe. Even though it should be already, make sure the tub toys that have temperature gauges are water tight so the toy stays safe from mildew, mold, and bacteria even after you have used the toy for months.
Avoid toys with openings and holes – Bath squirters and rubber ducks are popular with kids however one big problem with toys that have holes and openings is they are commonly filled with bacteria, mold, and mildew. Babies are notorious for putting things in their mouths so if a toy is filled with moldy water and the child chews on the toy they can get extremely sick. Experts warn against these toys so it is better to find water and air tight toys despite the “fun” of squirting water everywhere. Toys that do not allow water to get in will not have the problems that toys that have open holes and spaces can have.
Dishwasher safe – Cleaning your child’s tub toys on a regular basis is very important to their health so you want to choose toys that can be washed in the dishwasher. Make it a regular practice to scrub these toys especially along the corners, crevices, and any other surfaces of the toy that are not flat. Choosing dishwasher-safe toys is also great for parents that don’t have a lot of time to scrub the toys individually.
Easy storage – It may surprise new parents to see how quickly one child can accumulate a ton of toys. If you share a bathroom with your child or they have the bathroom that doubles as the guest bath you don’t want it to be overrun with bath tub toys everywhere. Choose tub toys that are easy to store in a toy organizer or hanging shower wall net that suctions onto the tile. (remember the smooth tile tips above when looking at these) Make sure the organizers have holes or netting so the water that is on the toys can drain out easily without getting all over the floors. This will also prevent mildew and mold. Having a specific place for all the tub toys can teach children to pick up after themselves and not leave the bathroom a complete disaster.
The cost of high quality – Keep in mind that an expensive toy doesn’t automatically mean a quality toy. Before purchasing tub toys for your baby make sure you know the options that are available. There are some very high quality toys on the market that are affordably priced in the low to mid-range price level. Companies run specials and discounts all the time online so when you are looking, watch for those sales and specials to save a few dollars. Never buy cheap tub toys simply because they are cheap. Buying cheap can result in cheaply made toys that are a disappointment rather than something safe and enjoyable for your little one.
The best baby toys you can purchase are the ones that meet your needs and appeal to your baby. Depending on what those needs are and your baby’s age, there are definitely going to be bath tub toys that are superior and better suited to you and your baby than others will. The first step is knowing what you are looking for in terms of baby’s age. Making sure you purchase tub toys that are age appropriate will ensure peace of mind when he or she is playing.
The three top-rated bath tub toys we have reviewed above are all examples of high quality tub toys that are safe, designed for babies and toddlers to safely play with, and that will turn tub time into something they will love and look forward to.
The information we have provided in the buying guide will help you understand the features to look for, how to sort through all the choices, and what to watch out for as well. This information will take the guesswork and stress out of choosing bath tub toys for your child or children and make the whole process enjoyable and exciting for your child when they are waiting for the toys to arrive.