Best Baby Bath Toys

Updated September 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

30 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
597 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best baby bath toys

Last Updated September 2019

Splish and splash — what baby doesn’t love a bath? The soothing warmth of the water and sound of little hands slapping makes it a fun time for both parents and babies.

Today, there are some truly amazing toys that are not only entertaining, but 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 picks are toys that are fun and help your baby develop skills they’ll need as they grow and mature.

Shake, connect, and roll — baby bath toys can teach problem-solving skills. Look for toys with interesting shapes, textures, and color patterns to capture your baby’s imagination.

Key considerations

Age recommendation

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 others 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.

Size and number of pieces

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 bath water 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.

Ease of cleaning

Bathroom toys face a unique challenge when it comes to 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.

Developmental stimulation

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 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.

Versatility of use

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.

DID YOU KNOW?

Wind-up toys bring the bath to life. Babies love how they move and float. As your baby gets older, the task of winding the toy will develop small motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

Features

Materials

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.

Color combinations

Newborns and infants can’t see color; however, they can discern contrasting patterns. Black and white toys are always a good option, but any high-contrast color combination will keep them entertained. As your baby grows, bright colors tend to hold their attention better. It also gives your baby a chance to learn the colors as you point them out during bathtime.

Lights

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.

Music

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

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.

EXPERT TIP

Not every baby loves bathtime. Reluctant bathers may benefit from playing with their bath toys before getting in the bath. The toys can serve as a distraction as you prepare your baby to get into the water.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Storage can be an issue in the bathroom. There are bathroom storage baskets, organizers, and tubs designed to hang from the bathroom wall or curtain rod. They’re typically designed for maximum airflow so that toys can dry out.


Staff  | BestReviews

Baby bath toy prices

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.

Tips

  • 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.

  • Wash your baby’s bath toys regularly. We’ve already talked about mildew and mold, but bath toys also have the potential to pick up harmful bacteria simply from being stored in the same room as the toilet.

Other products we considered

Here are a few more bath toys worth considering. The Munchkin White Hot Safety Bath Ducky looks like a traditional rubber ducky, but it has a disk that reads HOT if the bath temperature is unsafe for your baby. Essentially, it doubles as a toy and a safety measure. Simple, colorful, and cute, the Munchkin Squirtin Bath Toy Barnyard Friends are hours worth of imaginative fun. They’re soft enough that teething babies will like them, too. The Caseometry Light-Up Floating Toy might be a little advanced for babies, but it’s so much fun that we had to include it here. Each toy has its own battery and lights up the bath water.

Some of the best bath toys are the most basic. Cups covered in numbers and letters or a string of boats may be all your baby needs to enjoy bathtime.

FAQ

Q: Can colored bath fizz or bath crayons stain my child or tub?

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.

Q: Can bath toys be cleaned in the dishwasher?

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.

Q: My child is afraid of water in their face. Are there toys that might help?

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 pitcher’s 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.

The team that worked on this review
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    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Elaine
    Elaine
    Writer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Enid
    Enid
    Editor
  • Jacob
    Jacob
    Editorial Manager
  • Katherine
    Katherine
    Editor
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Stacey
    Stacey
    Writer

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