Our baby expert's top pick, this simple, classic toy will last for years with tons of open-ended play options.
These stacking cups are updated with bright colors and lots of sizes. Don't underestimate the basic design, since these stacking cups have unlimited potential for play from the baby days into older childhood. Parents love the easy nesting, stacking, pouring, sinking, floating, and building possibilities. With 10 pieces that stack up to 25" tall, babies will love the oversized design. Holes let water drain out to avoid mold or mildew growth.
Young babies can't stack, but parents still love them for all their other uses.
Soft, plastic animal friends squirt water for interactive fun.
Classic squirting toys for bathtime shenanigans. Parents enjoy the many pieces that come with the set, which is nice for siblings to share. The animals are designed to be cute, with friendly faces. The size is perfect for little baby hands. The animals also float and sink depending on how much water they have in them, and their various shapes are great for sensory exploration.
You must make sure they are empty of water to avoid mold and mildew build inside these toys.
Floating, stacking, nesting boats for lots of imaginative play in the tub and for teaching early math skills, according to our baby expert.
Parents love the simplicity of these boats since the design will easily adapt to kids' play as they grow. Babies can scoop, stack, and float the boats, learning about buoyancy as they play. Holes let water "rain" through to entertain babies. Parents especially appreciate that the boats are easy to keep clean since there are no hidden places for mold to grow. They are sturdy and great for babies of all ages.
The boats have to be stacked in a certain order by size, so small babies won't be able to do it by themselves at first.
Stimulates babies' senses while working on hand-eye coordination.
Uniquely made just for younger babies, these clear plastic balls each hold either an animal friend or a moving toy. The penguin and turtle are weighted to always remain upright, which will surprise and delight babies. Made with textured rings for little hands to grip, babies will love to throw, roll, float, and balance the balls. Parents love the mold-proof design with no holes, meaning they dry quickly and stay clean.
Some parents have noted that moisture has gotten inside after multiple uses.
Sinking submarine made from recycled materials.
Parents who are concerned about the wastefulness of plastic toys love that this submarine is made completely out of recycled materials like plastic milk jugs. The cabin opens for cleaning and is even dishwasher safe. Water can spin the propeller in the back. The submarine can float when empty and sink when filled with water. Parents love using it as a rinsing tool, since it has a wide opening at the front for scooping and pouring.
A larger toy, so it is recommended for older babies 6 months and older.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Splish and splash — what baby doesn’t love a bath? The soothing warmth of the water and the sound of little hands slapping makes it a fun time for both parents and babies.
Today, there are some truly amazing toys that not only entertain, they also stimulate your baby’s developing brain.
We’ve put together a shopping guide to help you determine which toys are right for you and your family. Our favorites are toys that are fun and help your baby develop skills they’ll need as they grow and mature.
All toys, including bath toys, come with age recommendations. These recommendations aren’t arbitrary. In some cases, they have to do with the understanding or dexterity needed to use the toy, while other age recommendations are a safety precaution. For example, toys with small parts aren’t usually appropriate for children under the age of 3. For the safety of your baby, we always advise adhering to the age recommendations listed by the manufacturer.
Bath toys can quickly take over your bathroom, so take a good look at the size and number of pieces that come with the toy. Check the dimensions before buying, as pictures can be deceiving — before you know it, your baby’s bathwater may be covered in boats, ducks, or letters. Storage may also be an issue. Stackable and collapsible toys are the easiest to store since they often act as their own storage container.
Bathroom toys face a unique challenge in cleanliness, namely mildew and mold. Toys that trap water or have cracks and crevices are more prone to trapping water and harboring bacteria, which can make your baby ill if swallowed. Watertight and dishwasher-safe toys are by far the easiest to keep clean. Others, like squeeze toys, will need to be emptied of all water and thoroughly air-dried after each use to prevent mildew.
For babies, everything is a learning opportunity, including bathtime. Toys covered in letters, numbers, shapes, and animals give you a chance to teach while your baby plays. Bathtime can be used to learn about early science, technology, engineering, and math skills about measurements, volume, size, and cause and effect. For example, what happens if I fill this cup with water? It’s also a chance to problem solve. Stacking cups, for example, can take some work for a baby to successfully achieve. Anything that will interest your baby, including colors, shapes, patterns, and the usage of the toy can stimulate brain development.
Toys that can be used for open-ended, imaginative play have greater longevity. Toys that can be a tower one day, a caterpillar the next, and boats the day after allow a child to use their imagination and may be liked more than a toy with a single use.
Baby bath toys are usually made of foam, latex, rubber, and plastics. You can also find eco-friendly options made of recycled materials. All materials should be durable enough that your baby can’t tear or bite pieces off.
The public is now more aware of the danger certain materials present, giving you an opportunity to avoid those most likely to cause your baby harm. Look for toys that are free of PVC, phthalates, and BPA, as all of these substances have been known to cause health issues. Today, most baby toys don’t contain these materials, but you should always check — some manufacturers may make toys in countries with different safety guidelines.
Newborns and infants can best see black, white, and red. Other colors come into focus over the course of the first year. Black and white toys are always a good option, but any high-contrast color combination will keep babies entertained. As your baby grows and the rods and cones in their eyes develop, bright colors tend to hold their attention better. They also gives your baby a chance to learn the colors as you point them out during bathtime.
Though battery-operated bath toys need airtight seals, light-up bath toys can be fun. Some have changing light patterns, while others glow under the water. You may also find glow-in-the-dark toys that don’t require batteries.
Young minds love music, and toys that play music during bathtime can be enjoyable. While this certainly isn’t a necessary feature, it may be one that engages or soothes your baby until bathtime is over.
Suction cups let your baby stick toys on almost anything. Basketball hoops, animals, and boats are only a few options that may have suction cups. Make sure to dry these toys after each use, as water can collect around the base of the suction cup.
When it comes to baby bath toys, you can get a lot in the $5 to $15 price range, including stacking cups, boats, rubber animals, and foam letters. Most of these toys are free of PVC, phthalates, and BPA.
As prices start to rise over $15 into the $20 to $40 range, you’re looking at more complex toys that may have lights and music, which also means batteries. Basketball hoops, which are likely too complex for a baby, water runs (like a marble run except with water), and other water system toys are also in this range. Some of these toys are fairly large, so you’ll have to take a good look at how much play and storage space you have available.
What kind of activities or items does your baby like? Bath toys come in all shapes and sizes including trains, planes, submarines, mermaids, and animals. Cater the toys to your child’s play preferences.
Watch out for toys that could damage or discolor your bathtub. Toys don’t need to have sharp edges to gouge your bathtub. Your little one may end up throwing them, and if they’re made of heavy plastic they could do some damage.
A: Usually, fizzes and crayons designed for use in the bathtub will not stain your tub or child. However, you should make sure all the fizz and crayon coloring is off the walls of the tub and shower after your child is done. Dried-on coloring has a higher probability of leaving a stain.
A: Some are 100% dishwasher safe, though most have to be washed in the upper rack. However, if the manufacturer’s label does not indicate that the toy is dishwasher safe, do not put it in the dishwasher. The intense heat can damage some materials and cause them to break down.
A: While every child is different, there are several options that could help. There are animal-shaped spout covers that turn bathtime into a mini play park as they can splash water or blow bubbles. Any toy that caters to their interests like a favorite movie, trains, dinosaurs, or farm animals can help. You may also want to consider a pitcher that’s specially designed to keep water out of your child’s face. These pitchers have a rubber piece that goes against the child’s forehead so that when water is dumped over his head, it doesn’t get in his face. Try letting him play with the pitcher during bathtime so it’s all part of the fun.