Keeping your little ones clean when you’re travelling away from home can be no easy task!
Washing kids on the go can be one of the tricky travel challenges for parents. More than likely when you are travelling you do not have the luxury of a nice accessible bathtub.
Your main choices for washing your baby while travelling are:
- Choose accommodation that includes a bath
- Improvise with washing facilities
- Bring your own portable baby bathtub
Each option has it’s pros and cons which we’ll detail below to help you decide whether you should invest in a portable bathtub, and if so, which design will suit your infant best.
Option 1: Choose accommodation that includes a bath
It goes without saying this is the most obvious and practical option when it comes to travelling with a baby – though we know depending on circumstances not always possible.
Bear in mind, not all hotel bathtubs are created the same when it comes to baby washing! Some (in fact, most in our experience) hotel bathtubs are attached to a shower which can be impossible to kneel down to and access if they have a glass screen. Other have spa tubs which can be impossibly deep.
A few ways around this are devices which you can add to your bath, though these aren’t always practical for travel.
So this brings us to….
Option 2: Improvise with washing facilities
What we mean by this is sometimes you just need to make do with what you have on hand! Be this a basin in the hotel or a kitchenette sink. As long as you feel
- it’s clean
- baby can fit in it (without being obstructed by taps)
- and you have a plug
Go for it! No one is judging you (and these can make for some fun and cherished holiday memories!)
If you are only away for a few days – say on a city break – there is no problem settling on a quick sponge down with a washcloth (but we know what can happen especially in those early days with blowouts!)
And when needs must we have showered with our babies too, though this works best when there are two grown-ups – one ready with a towel for the slippery wet bundle! Or you could try washing with your baby in a waterproof sling.
And of course, you can pop into a larger bathtub with bubs too if kneeling down isn’t really an option.
But getting around to the point of our post today!
A fail-safe way to be sure you can wash bubs on the move is to bring your own portable baby bathtub.
Option 3: Portable Bathtubs for Baby Travel
The Pros and Cons of a portable bathtub
Without a doubt the pro is convenience; the con is it a valuable use of luggage space.
We have found a travel baby baths definitely worked for us best on camping trips, but otherwise, we have been able to make do and improvise. It’s really your call.
If you know you will regularly be visiting a relative, for example, that doesn’t have a bathtub then it’s a wise investment. If it’s a one-off overseas vacation on the other hand and luggage and weight are crucial, it’s an item we’d look to skip.
That said, there are some amazing practical products available on the market, some invented even since our Globetrotters outgrew this stage!!
We’re going to share with you here our 10 favourite portable bathtubs and when and why they might be the best product to use when you travel with your baby.
Types of portable bathtub
The two main types we will look at amazing for their portability are:
Foldable or collapsible Bathtubs – these generally can fold flat in your luggage, albeit their still a bit bulky, but they tend to be made from quite durable plastic.
Inflatable baby bathtubs. Usually pumped up by mouth or with an air pump (idea if you’re camping and have mattresses to blow up anyway!). These can be a real space-saver but aren’t as durable.
10 Best Portable Bath Tubs
|Blooming Bath Lotus
|13.5" x 4.5" x 13.5"
|23.5" x 10.5" x 1.5"
|Stokke Flexi Bath Portable Baby Bathtub
|24.8" x 9.4" x 3.9"
|Baby Joy Collapsible Baby Bathtub
|33.5" x 20.1" x 2"
|Luxx Baby BF1 Folding Bathtub
|32" x 18.5" x 2.4"
|Boon Naked Collapsible Baby Bathtub
|33" x 18.2" x 6.5"
|C-Chain Portable Baby Bathtub
|31.5" x 19.7" x 3.5"
|Summer Infant Foldaway bathtub
|17.6" x 15.4" x 5.6"
|Pawksy Portable Infant Toddler Bathing Tub
|10.5" x 9.2" x 3.1"
|Munchkin White Hot Inflatable Bathtub
|9.2" x 3" x 7.5"
Let’s look at each of these in much more detail.
This adorable solution is available in several cute floral designs. Ideally made for sitting baby inside the sink before 6 months, though can also be adapted with baby’s size to lay flat in the bathtub once baby is sitting extending the life of this product.
Made from plush polyester, the Blooming Bath Lotus keeps baby feeling snug and secure, even in unfamiliar surroundings.
Best for: Infants aged 0 – 6 months
Product Size: 1.5 pounds. Folded dimensions 13.5″ x 4.5″ x 13.5″
Pros: Super cute and comfortable for baby
Cons: The material is not quick drying. If you are looking for true portability it may not be your best option as it needs somewhere to be hung out after use.
This soft foldable tub is another great newborn solution. This flexible BPA-free plastic is designed to fit in sinks between 16-19″ x “11-13″ and a gap of 4″ to 6”.
Best for: Premies through to 16.5lbs
Product Size: 1.23lbs. Folded dimensions 23.5″ x 10.5″ x 1.5″
Pros: This is super light and portable for throwing into your suitcase favourite for quick hotel stays.
Cons: It is really quite small and relies on the right-sized sink being at your destination, it’s not adaptable to a bathtub. Due to size, it’s limited really only suitable for very small babies.
3. Stokke Flexi Bath Portable Baby Bathtub – slimmest and lightest
Super light easy fold and with a decent water capacity. This is our favourite model for kids 6 months+ as baby needs to be sitting upright. You can use it in the bat tub or foot of a shower as well as on its own.
As well as a non-slip base, it has an added feature of a unique heat-sensitive plus that changes colour to indicate perfect bath water temperature. You can use the plug to drain the tub or simply tip out into a drain. The Stokke Flexi Bath Portable Baby Bathtub is available in several different colour trims.
Best for: Infants (they say from newborn but it has no built-in support) up to 35lbs or 4 years
Product size: 2.2 lbs. Folded dimensions 24.8″ x 9.4″ x 3.9″ (26″ x 9.4″ x 13.7″ when constructed)
Pros: Folds up wonderfully flat for travel and pretty light.
Cons: You’d need another solution from newborn as they cannot sit unsupported.
4. TPN Collapsible Baby Bathtub – best all-rounder
A great foldable solution which also includes a soft mesh sling so baby can be reclined from newborn. It should grow with your infants to around 3 years old, and includes a non-slip mat.
It comes in Blue, Gray & Pink trim and has handy little extras such as soap trays and a hanging hook.
Best for: 6 months (from independent sitter) to 3 years
Product size: 4.24lbs. Dimensions 26.5″ x 17″ x 8.5″
Pros: This is a great model to see you from early newborn days through to toddler years with several added features.
Cons: It is a little heavier than some but you expect this in a product designed to last several years.
5. Luxx Baby BF1 Folding Bathtub
This is a little bit bulkier than other “portable” models even if it does claim to be foldable. At 4.8lbs you’re pushing your luck on portability here, but that said, it works exceptionally well.
It comes with handy features such as soap trays and a hanging hook for storage. It can fit larger infants though the exact limit is not specified, its dimensions suggest it will last you through to toddler years.
Best for: A solid tub you want to last
Product Size: 4.85lbs. Dimensions folded 32″ x 18.5″ x 2.4″
Pros: Super sturdy and comes with hanging hook
Cons: A little too big for true portability (but may suit perfectly for keeping in a holiday home or camper van). And the price tag; for only occasional use it may not warrant the investment but it could certainly become your everyday infant bathtub too so still gets a tick from us.
6. Boon Naked Collapsible Baby Bathtub
Yep, it does look ultra-cool and modern, available in blue and green trim. Though it’s one we’ve found again to be at the heavier and bulkier end of the scale, it has plenty of safety features and two positions allowing it to be used on a tilt for newborns then flat for your older infants.
Best for: Those looking for a longer-term bathing solution from infants+
Product Size: 6.17lbs. Folded dimensions 33″x 18.2″x 6.5″
Pros: Safe secure and will last you a long time
Cons: On the heavy side for a portable product. Also, several customers on Amazon have reported issues with the hook breaking, and also some slipping so an additional washcloth or no-slip bathtub pad may be needed.
7. C-Chain Portable Baby Bathtub
Another sturdy plastic but flat-folding model made from either pink or blue BPA-Free plastic. Non-slip legs that easily click into place it is very easy to use with a decent drainage plug.
This is one of the deeper bathtub models suitable through to toddler years. with a non-slip base and lovely smooth edges baby can grip.
Best for: 6 months to 36 months (no newborn insert)
Product size: 3.52lbs. Folded dimensions 30.31″ x 16.93″ x 3.35″
Pros: Good looking sturdy design
Cons: Whilst skinny, it is still large when collapsed so not ideal for suitcase travel. No soap tray or hook and only comes in pink so far.
8. Summer infant foldaway bathtub
This bathtub is a combination of hard plastic and inflatable walls and newborn liner, making it slightly lighter than the fully plastic models, but also a little more work to blow up each time.
This is a great baby camping option which suits from newborn with the inflatable inner liner.
Best for: Newborn to 2 years
Product size: 3.75lbs. Folded size is 17.6″ x 15.4 “x 5.6”. Open tub 34″x 20″ x 7″
Pros: Folds up relatively small and light and can be used from newborn.
Cons: More work than the standard plastic models to get ready. Has no added soap try or hook, designed to be deflated and stored each time.
9. Portable Infant Toddler Bathing Tub – best inflatable
This affordable and durable inflatable baby bath tub is a great option for your larger infants through to toddlers.
Available in both blue and pink, there is a large drain hole for tempting and and a handy hook for after use, as well as a side pocket storage bag.
Best for: They say from newborn but there’s no in-built support, best from sitting to 36 months.
Product size: 2.2 lbs. Folded Dimensions 10.5″ x 9.2″ x 3.1″
Pros: Very light and one of the more portable models we’ve reviewed. Many parents report being able to fit two small children at once.
Cons: Like any inflatable product it can be susceptible to punctures. Careful not to overfill or drag on hard or gravel surfaces.
10. Munchkin White Hot Inflatable Bathtub – most fun
Very cute but is it practical? Well it does need a fair bit of wind power to blow up, but it has a non-slip surface and a drain, as well as the handy safety plug colour change feature to let you know if the water is too hot.
When you are finished, there are suction cups to hang it out to dry. It also comes in a cute white swan design.
Best for: 6 to 24 months
Product size: 1.3 lbs. Folded dimensions 9.2″ x 3″ x 7.5″.
Pros: A fun little addition that can be relatively easily folded for travel and the price is pretty reasonable for what you get. (You can also use it as a mini toy pit when not filled with water)
Cons: Not always the most practical for all types of accommodation due to its inflated size but could be a fun extra for a camping trip perhaps. Not suitable from newborn.
At the end of the day, it really depends on what type of trip you are taking, how old your child is and what luggage space you have if you’ll get bang for your buck out of a portable bathtub.
If you are seeking something to last from newborn all the way through to the toddler years it starts to limit your choices
Do you bring bath toys?
Unless we’re on a beach or pool holiday where toys can double up, we try to be as minimal as possible. One thing we always bring though in our baby travel toy kit is stacking cups! These are superb on both wet and dry land and double as a hair washing cup!
Other baby travel products you may need
We hope you have enjoyed this baby gear round up on portable baby bathtubs. Before you go, you may also enjoy our reviews on:
- The best nursing covers for breastfeeding on the go
- Is it worth investing in a travel high chair?
- The best ultra-compact strollers (that can even fit on the plane!!)
- Double trouble half the weight; Our review of the best compact double strollers
- Sleeping on the go – Best infant bassinets and toddler cots
- Best pop up sunshade tents for a day at the beach
- 10 Baby Travel Essentials for every journey – a round-up of our absolute favourite items that got us through those early baby travel years
We’d love you to pop by and see all our baby travel advice home page – 10 years of family travel and 3 kids growing up abroad, we’ve learnt a lot!
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