Potential hazards of the Tummy Tub Bath Bucket

Consumer Reports News: April 06, 2010 05:08 AM

The cutely-named Tummy Tub is a large plastic bathing pail that supports a baby sitting upright instead of lying down. Created in the Netherlands, it's making a splash stateside at baby-product stores and on Amazon.com where it sells for $50 plus another $45 for a stool to raise it to a convenient height for parents.

The tub has made lists of both the best and worst things to buy baby. Its proponents say it creates a womb-like experience and helps alleviate colic. The tub may be billed as “nearly as nice as mommy’s tummy,” but it doesn’t take a traditionalist to see the problems with this newfangled product.

Aside from making it difficult to wash the business end of a baby, it looks to us like an accident waiting to happen. We haven’t tested the tub or similar products, but have concerns that it could tip over much too easily, especially when placed on the pedestal. More concerning, it’s not covered by U.S. safety standards that apply to baby bath seats and tubs.

Finally, like any household pail, this one can pose a hazard to toddlers if left unattended with even a small amount of water in it. Because they are top heavy, little tykes can topple head first into a bucket and drown, as the Consumer Product Safety Commission often cautions (see their tipsheet, Infants & Toddlers Can Drown in 5-Gallon Buckets.

Baby bath seats can give caregivers a false sense of security, which may be contributing to the nearly 10 deaths per year associated with bath seats. Learn more about baby bathtubs and tips for bathing baby safely.

Read the full Safety blog post.

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