The First Years Bath Tub/Bath Seat Combo

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First Years Bath tub -- Slip slidin' away!

Apr 6, 2006
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Can convert to a bath seat, its plastic...

Cons:Unstable, pain to assemble, very slippery tub, hard to use in a sink

The Bottom Line: The bottom line would recommend only if you were going to use it for storage (ie: throw crap in it), it would not recommend using it as an actual bathtub.


You know what I love best about having a new baby? TONS of new stuff to review! No, just kidding... but it is a perk.

While registering at Target for baby crud, I realized I needed a bath tub. I had done a little research online but figured, all-in-all, that a tub is a tub is a tub. So as I am scanning things that I wanted people to buy me, I quickly looked through Target's stash and picked The First Years Tub to Seat Bath Complete bathtub. As fortune had it, someone bought it for me and I assembled it before Aidan came into this world. The assembly didn't go well, however, and it wouldn't be the last of my issues with this bathtub.

Product and Company Information

Website: http://www.thefirstyears.com
Product Name: Tub-to-Seat Bath Complete
Price: $24.99

From The First Year's Website: The First Years Tub-To-SeatBath Complete is one product that can take you from baby’s first sponge bath all the way through to a secure and fun family bathtub experience. Use the bathtub in the sink or on a countertop for your newborn and young infant, and store all of your baby’s bathing supplies in the drawer. Then, when your baby can sit up, the tub easily converts to a tub seat by using the storage drawer as a safety clamp that fits over the side of the family tub. This tub really grows with your baby!

Product Features:

*"No-Skid" surface
*Tray under tub
*Converts to a bath seat when baby is old enough

My Opinion

Ok, this thing gave me anxiety from the second I took it out of the box. The instructions weren't the best and it took a little working to get the tub put together correctly (the storage tray was a pain in the rear). However, I was undaunted... The first few weeks of Aidan's life he received spongebaths -- usually given in my arms, or on his mattress, so I didn't have a lot of time to test this out. After the doctor gave the ok for real water baths, I pulled this bathtub out and put it on our kitchen sink.

The first thing I noticed was that it was kinda rickety. It didn't have any way to grab onto the middle section of the sink, thus it rocked back and forth. This kinda made me nervous, seeing that a 2 week old newborn is extremely fragile. I tried a bunch of different positions, but nothing worked. I was also a bit concerned with how tall the sides of the tub were. It was moderately difficult for me to find a comfortable position while reaching into the tub. This also made me a bit nervous because I'd have to be holding my baby during the bath, and I didn't seem to have good leverage. Keep in mind that I didn't just try this out on the kitchen sink, I also tried it in every sink in the house. The tub rocked and was generally unstable on every one.

Nevertheless, I chalked these feelings of nervousness up to the fact that before giving birth to my son I'd spent about 2 minutes alone with a baby my entire life... I'd never even changed a diaper, nevermind given one a bath. I filled the tub with an appropriate amount of warm water and gently put Aidan in. He immediately begins to squirm and I begin to have a tough time holding him in place. You see, that "no-skid" matt is great when dry but when you add in soap and water, it becomes as slick as a slip-and-slide. Bathtime was stressful and tearfilled (on both ends). I tried this bathtub EVERYWHERE, I tried different water temperatures, I tried different room temperatures, I tried everything... bathtime was a squirming, screaming, sliding affair that left both of us tired. I eventually stopped giving Aidan a bath every other day (hey, he just lays there most of the time, how can he get dirty?) and stretched it to once a week. Now looking back on it, I think Aidan was uncomfortable (and scared) in this tub. The inside of this tub is SLICK when it gets wet, that (in my opinion) creates a dangerous environment for your newborn (especially one with no neck control). Even with me holding him in it, he still screamed and slid.

How about drainage? Whoever designed this tub is an idiot. The drainage spout is on the side of the tub (which is nice), but the stopper isn't flat... it's rather large. Wanna know what happens when you combine a kicking, squirming child and a large stopper? That's right, Aidan kicked the drainage stopper out approximately 3 times every bath. That is royally irritating.

Who designed that tray? Why put it there? Is it that hard to tote your babies bath stuff into the kitchen, or whereever? Euch, water would get into the tray and stay there because I'd just rinse the tub after use. Then, after say a few weeks, I'd think to look in the tray and there sits gross, wet plastic. Then I'd have to scrub the tray.

It can convert to a bath seat, though I didn't have it long enough to test this option. Looking at it, though, it doesn't look that stable OR comfortable.

Final Thoughts

This tub stinks. I hated it, Aidan hated it, my husband hated it (mostly because he'd have to listen to both of us crying at bathtime). Eventually I grew tired of battling both my Aidan and the bathtub and just chucked it in the trash. The First Years Tub-to-Bathseat Complete is a complete waste of money -- $24.99 for this thing? No way. Do me a favor, if you're searching for a good bathtub for your little one pass this by. Go out and pick up Fisher-Price's Aquarium Bath Center. So why do I believe all his screaming was oriented towards this bathtub? Once I switched to the Fisher-Price model, he hasn't cried at all.

Pros
*It's plastic, so it will last a long time (I guess)
*Can convert to bath seat (if you have it that long)

Cons
*Very deep tub, can be hard for shorter people to use on a sink or countertop
*Its "no-skid" surface is more slippery than a politician
*Tray on bottom collects water, making the thing tougher to clean than one would expect
*Drainage plug sticks out, enabling squirmy little ones to "pull the plug" on the bath before bathtime is over
*Very wobbly when placed on sink
*Assembly is a pain

Would I recommend?

Nope


Recommend this product? No


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