Is a toddler bath tub an essential? Under most circumstances, no, but it can still be a very useful piece of toddler equipment. Your toddler is big enough he could, theoretically, use the large bath tub (if you have one), and though he needs to be supervised while using it, he would need to be supervised in any water, big or small.
A toddler bath tub has its perks, however. Some of these:
If you buy a bath tub for your toddler online you have the benefit of being able to compare a wide selection of tubs, and you have reviews from other parents available for you to read. Of course, that takes time; but you also have websites like this one which do the research for you, and create consolidated reviews of the highest-rated products available.
Take a look at Kel-Gar Snug Tub Bath Buddies. This is a roomy inflatable tub that fits perfectly inside a bath tub, measuring 33 inches long, 23 inches wide, and 81/2 inches in height. It’s not hard to inflate by mouth, but you probably won’t want to go through a inflate-deflate routine every time your toddler bathes; just hang it up somewhere in the bathroom when his bath is finished. There is a drainage plug, so it’s not hard to get the water out.
Other nice features of this tub? Although it’s made to fit perfectly in a bath tub, it has enough structure it can be used on its own as well; if you don’t have a bath, for instance. When deflated it is small enough to fit easily into a corner of your suitcase or travel bag, so you can use it when you and your toddler are away from home. There’s a headrest for easy shampooing, and pockets in the sides to keep the soap or shampoo within easy reach.
The inflated sides also mean that this bath tub is nice and cushy, and these sides effectively protect your child from the non-forgiving edges of the big bathtub. If your toddler bangs his head on the edge of this bathtub there’s no chance he’d be the tiniest bit hurt; it’s just like banging your head on a balloon.
What are the negative features of this bath tub? Well, it does need to be inflated, and when inflated is, like all inflated toys and furniture, liable to puncture. The plastic is strong, so it should have a decently long lifetime; if your toddler does puncture it you can fix it with a tire kit. Still, inflatables are just that; inflatables.
The fact that this baby bath tub fits snugly in a standard bath tub, while a positive feature if you have a standard bathtub, may also become a problem if your bath is narrower than the usual. You can still use this bath, but you may have to find another place to put it, and filing and draining may become a headache.
Still, all points considered, this seems to be the best bath tub for kids out there, and the pros outweigh the cons.