baby bath chair for bath tub

The Ultimate Infant Bath Seat Bathing Guide

Just purchased your first infant bath seat?

We have all the bathing tips you need in our ultimate bathing guide for parents. Let’s go!

Bathing your baby is a special time for parents, but for first-time parents, the process can sometimes be intimidating. So it’s no wonder why so many new moms and dads seek help by using an infant bath seat.

And with a few helpful guidelines and tips, you can make bath time a positive bonding experience for you and your baby.

Interested in hearing how to get the most out of your bath seat? Below, our helpful guide explores the best ways to bathe your baby using an infant bath seat.

What Is An Infant Bath Seat?

Before we get started, let’s define what exactly an infant bath seat is.

As most parents know, babies tend to squirm around during bath time. But once babies are able to sit up on their own, bath seats can help keep babies stay in place during the bath, and make them feel more secure.

Infant bath seats come in different forms, but they’re typically circular plastic seats that the baby sits in while in the bath tub. They’re also referred to as “bath rings.”

They usually feature a simple armrest, backrest, and strap between the legs. This helps secure your baby in the seat so they don’t wriggle around too much.

With proper supervision, an infant bath seat is a great way to lend parents an extra hand during the bathing process.

What to Consider When Buying An Infant Bath Seat

No Used Bath Seats

You might be tempted to pick up that infant bath seat you saw at a garage sale last weekend, but it’s best to buy new.

In 2010, there were strict safety standards passed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission that went into effect regarding infant bath seats. These standards include the size of leg openings and making sure that the seat doesn’t tip over when in use.

If you buy a used product, it’s difficult to determine when exactly it was manufactured. So when it comes to infant bath seats, stick to new products only.

Fabric-Based Support

For maximum comfort, you should opt for an infant bath seat that has fabric lining on the back. Your baby’s skin is very sensitive, and the fabric will make bath time a more positive experience, especially if your little one is fussy during baths.

Just be sure to properly clean the fabric if it’s removable so that mold doesn’t develop over time.

Leg Support

When you’re shopping for an infant bath seat, be sure to look for ones that have a strap or bar between the legs.

Also, make sure that the leg openings aren’t too large. Without these protective measures, your baby could slip through the opening.

Easy Clean-Up

Infant bath seats come in endless varieties and options, but whatever you choose, make sure that it has mostly smooth surfaces that can be cleaned easily.

Ragged edges not only pose a hazard, but soap can build up in these areas, making it difficult to clean.

Likewise, sometimes babies have bathroom accidents in their bath seats, so you want to make sure your infant bath seat allows for easy cleanup in case of emergencies.

Keep It Simple

Some infant bath seats have various adjustments and features. While they’re not necessarily a bad thing, keep in mind that you’ll likely be operating your infant bath seat one-handed, while the other tends to your baby.

That being said, you want to make sure the bath seat is sturdy and as simple as possible to operate the key features.

Proper Size

Not all babies are the same size, and there’s nothing worse than an uncomfortable baby when it’s bath time.

Be sure to get an infant bath seat that your child will fit in comfortably so that bathing becomes a fun, positive experience.


A tippy bath seat is not only unsafe, it will also lead to a less than enjoyable bathing experience with your baby…lol.  The base needs to be wide enough to support your baby.  Many bath seats come with suction cups to provide you with additional stability.

Tips for Infant Bath Seat Bathing

Proper Age

In order to use your infant bath seat safely, make sure your child is the correct age to use one.

Infant bath seats are recommended when your baby can sit up unaided, which is usually around four-to-six months old.

Get Prepared

Whether you’re using an infant bath seat or a baby bathtub, the key to a successful bathing experience is being prepared beforehand.

Some first-time parents find bathing their child brings on anxiety, so being prepared will help you feel more confident.

First, make sure you have all of the supplies you’ll need, because you should never leave your baby unattended in the bathtub. Lay out all of your supplies neatly, like your washcloths, soap, and a towel.

Proper Bath Products

Babies have sensitive skin that must be cleansed accordingly. When it comes to washing your baby’s skin, opt for a mild wash that is specifically formulated for babies.

The same goes for shampoo. And it’s inevitable that your baby is going to get soap in their eyes at some point, so make sure you’re using a product that won’t cause any stinging or burning.

Safety First

To avoid burning your baby’s sensitive skin, you might want to use a thermometer to check the water temperature. Some infant bath seats even have temperature gauges built into them.

The ideal bathwater temperature is around 98°F. If you don’t have a thermometer or a temperature gauge on your infant bath seat, use your elbow to check the water temperature.

The skin on your elbow is sensitive to heat, so when you check the water, it should feel comfortably warm.

Speaking of safety you need to be aware of the hazards of baby bathtub seats and rings.  My post, Baby Bath Chair For Tub, has some information you need to read in the safety section.  Please read it!

Place Infant Bath Seat in Tub

Once you’ve filled the bathtub adequately and tested the water, then you can place your baby and the infant bath seat into the tub.

For added safety, keep your baby in the middle of the tub or on the end of the tub away from the faucet.

Soon enough, your child will be able to turn on the faucet, and this will prevent your baby from potentially burning himself or herself with scalding water.

Lather Up!

Using a mild baby wash, lather up your gentle washcloth and begin bathing your baby.

If your baby has a scalp condition like cradle cap, you can gently brush their head with a soft bristle baby brush.

How Often Does a Baby Need to Be Bathed?

Since their skin is sensitive, babies don’t need to be bathed every day. In fact, bathing them too often can dry out their skin and cause irritation. The Mayo Clinic advises giving your baby a full bath two-to-three times per week.

In the meantime, be sure to clean your child’s face, hands, neck, and diaper area every day.

Keep in mind that some babies are excited by bath time, while others find them relaxing, so you’ll want to incorporate them into your child’s routine appropriately.

If your baby is stimulated by baths, then bathe them in the morning to get the day started. If your baby finds them relaxing, then nighttime baths are a great way to prepare them for bedtime.

Accidents Happen

If your baby happens to have a bathroom accident while using an infant bath seat, don’t panic.

This is completely normal, and sometimes, accidents just happen.

If your baby urinates, feel free to continue with the rest of the bath. If your baby defecates, simply drain the bathtub and clean up your baby as usual, and be sure to thoroughly clean the infant bath seat and bathtub.

Toys and Accessories

Make bath time fun! Some infant bath seats feature toys and accessories for your child to play with while bathing.

These are excellent options if your baby is still having trouble getting used to baths. By mixing it with playtime, it will be more enjoyable for both you and your child. If your infant bath seat lacks toys, feel free to add some of your own into the tub.

Speaking of toys don’t forget to clean them properly.  A busy mom can easily overlook cleaning the bath toys…who likes to take the time to clean all the cups, bowls, plastic toys and everything else that ends up being played with by baby.  A mixture of water and vinegar will do a great job and is not toxic.

Bathing Fussy Babies

Sometimes, babies find the process of bathing a bit overwhelming. If your child is finding it difficult to tolerate bath time, then don’t force it. You can warm up your baby to bath time gradually.

First, place your baby on a comfortable towel, and clean him or her with a warm, damp washcloth. During the next time, ease your baby into the bath slowly, allowing them to get used to the sensation.

You can also consider incorporating toys into the process so they know it’s nothing to be afraid of.

Some babies aren’t actually afraid of water, but rather the loud noise from the faucet. In that case, simply fill up the bathtub when your baby is out of the room.

When to Stop Using an Infant Bath Seat

You should stop using an infant bath seat when your child can stand completely upright, or when your child’s weight or age exceeds the manufacturer’s limits.

At this point, many parents begin using a baby bathtub for their child. If your baby is ready to transition to bigger tubs, it’s helpful to review some essentials for using a baby bathtub.

Whether you’re a first-time parent or you have several little ones, using an infant bath seat is a great way to get your baby to enjoy bath time. Do you have any favorite bath seats that you’ve used?

Comment below and share your experiences, and feel free to check out more of our baby bathtub advice.

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