When you’re a new parent, the millions of products in the baby aisle can make you feel like you’re not truly prepared unless you buy every single product. However, there are actually many baby products you can survive without, especially in those first few months. A baby bathtub is one of the products that many parents realized they didn’t need right away, and there are still many parents today who end up bathing their baby in the sink instead. This may seem a little old-fashioned, and you may be wondering, can you really bathe your baby in the sink? And if so, why would you want to?
It is perfectly fine to bathe a baby in the kitchen or bathroom sink provided that the sink is clean and your baby can be positioned safely. Special inserts can be purchased to keep a baby secured in the sink and easier to clean. This method is excellent for parents that find it difficult to bend and pick their baby up from a standard bathtub.
If you’re wondering if you really can bathe your baby in the sink, the short answer is yes. Keep reading to find out what you need to do before you bathe your baby in the sink and what products out there may make bathing your baby a lot easier.
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Why do people wash babies in the sink?
Bathing babies in the sink is something parents have been doing for many years, and there are lots of good reasons to do it even with all of the products we have available today. Some parents choose this option to avoid having to buy a baby bathtub that their baby will quickly grow out of. Having one less baby product around the house saves you some space and helps avoid clutter in the bathroom.
Using the sink instead of the tub can also save water since you won’t have to fill up an entire bathtub, and it’s also a lot easier on the parent bathing the baby since they won’t have to bend over the tub. Especially for the mom who just gave birth, the last thing she wants to do is bend over the tub or sit in an uncomfortable position for an extended period of time.
Once a baby is old enough to sit up, many parents still like to use the sink because it just gives them a smaller space to wash their baby, which continues to help them save water and keep baby from sliding around and potentially falling over like they might in a bathtub.
Bathing your baby in sink vs tub
Bathing your baby in the tub and the sink are both viable options but you have to find what works best for you and your little one. Some of the benefits of bathing your baby in the sink are you save water, space, and you don’t necessarily have to have any special products assuming your sink is the right size. The downside to washing your baby in the sink is you have to take certain precautions to make sure your sink is extremely clean and free of any food residue, and you also have to make sure the cleaning you use won’t irritate baby’s skin.
The success of bathing your baby in the sink also depends heavily on the size of your sink. If your sink is too small or too big, it may be more trouble for you to bathe your baby there. Most of the time when a baby is bathed in a sink, it’s because they just fit there really well! If you don’t have the type of sink that would fit your baby, you may need to stick to the bathtub or find a baby product that makes bathing your baby in the sink possible. There are pros and cons to both locations, but the most important thing is finding a place to bathe your baby that is safe for your baby and comfortable for both of you.
What is the best bath for a newborn?
When your baby is a newborn, there are a lot more concerns about the location of their bath. Although the sink might be a great place to bathe your newborn under the right conditions, you also have several things to take into consideration. Since your newborn can’t support their own head and neck yet, you have to make sure they are properly supported during their bath. Newborns aren’t exactly playing in the dirt outside, so they don’t need very much space or water to get clean, but you want to make sure they are safe and comfortable.
If your sink is the right size, you can support your baby’s head and neck with one hand while washing them with the other hand. In the first few weeks of a baby’s life, you may not even be able to give them a proper bath until their umbilical cord stump completely falls off. If you’re able to support your baby with one hand, you can use a washcloth to simply rinse baby off with the other. This may work best in a bathroom sink instead of the kitchen sink since most bathroom sinks are more shallow.
If you don’t feel totally comfortable putting your newborn in the sink for their first few baths, then check out the inserts we’ve recommended below. These will help support your baby’s neck so that you won’t have to worry about them moving around and they will allow you to use both hands for bathing!
How to bathe a baby in the kitchen sink
The kitchen sink is the one parents use most often because kitchen sinks are usually the most spacious without being too deep. To bathe your baby in the kitchen sink, you can buy a bath sink insert to make your baby more comfortable, or if you have enough room, you can bathe your baby directly in the sink. Once your baby is able to sit up on their own, this process becomes a lot easier since you don’t have to worry as much about supporting them while in the sink.
Once they are sitting up, babies will have a BLAST in the sink because it will feel like the right size for them and they will be able to play with all of their toys easily.
There are so many great products out there to help make this process comfortable, safe, and sanitary for your baby. A baby bath sink insert is a great product to buy (or add to your baby registry!) if you are planning on using the sink for bathing your baby.
Don’t forget that water temperature is EXTREMELY important! I’ve written an entire resource on this subject that you can find here if you want to find the best ways to keep your baby safe in the bath!
The best baby bath sink insert
A newborn baby especially will need a little bit of support, and you’ll also want to make sure they’re comfortable. Some newborns really enjoy bath time, while others are a little timid and unsure about the water. Having the right product can help your little one enjoy bath time, and thankfully there are many products out there for this specific purpose.
For bathroom sinks:
Foldable bathtub inserts like this one are great for little ones because they are flexible but also comfortable. They give the right amount of cushion while still allowing your baby to be supported and safe in the sink. This particular one is BPA and PVC-free, mold and mildew resistant, highly rated, and fits most bathroom sinks easily.
For kitchen sinks:
Larger, foldable inserts like this one are perfect for deeper kitchen sinks. The design is super cute and functional at the same time because the petals can be moved around for extra support and many parents report that their baby absolutely loved it because it provided them a safe and warm place that helped them feel secure.
In fact, some said that their babies refused to take a bath without crying until they used the lotus insert!
Without an insert:
If you don’t use an insert, things will get a little tricky and you’ll need to use one hand to support the baby or enlist your partner for an extra set of hands. Here’s a short video from the Mayo Clinic explaining how to do this the old-fashioned way!
How to clean the kitchen sink for a baby bath
If you are going to bathe your baby in the kitchen sink, you want to make sure the sink is clean, but you also don’t want to use any harsh chemicals to clean the sink that might irritate your baby’s skin. If you do typically use a harsh cleaner such as Lysol or bleach, make sure to thoroughly rinse out the sink before putting baby in it.
If you’re looking for a more natural way to clean your kitchen sink, a mixture of white vinegar and baking soda makes a mild cleanser that can help rid your sink of any residue. Alternatively, you can use a more natural cleaner found in your local store.
You will also want to make sure you clean your sink after your baby’s bath as well. If your baby has an accident during their bath, be sure to thoroughly sanitize the kitchen sink before putting any dishes in it.
How to bathe a baby in the bathroom sink
Bathroom sinks are generally a lot smaller than kitchen sinks, but they can be great for bathing smaller babies. If you have a newborn, you may prefer to use the bathroom sink since they don’t need very much water. The lotus baby bath mentioned earlier works great in a bathroom sink since the cushion is so flexible.
Just like the kitchen sink, you will need to make sure your bathroom sink is clean and sanitized before giving your baby a bath there.
How to bathe a baby in the laundry sink
The sink in your laundry room is probably the deepest sink in your house. It is possible to bathe your baby there, depending on the setup you have. The laundry room sink would work best with a baby who can already sit up on their own if you’re not planning on using an insert.
If you want to bathe your younger baby in the sink but the laundry room sink is the only option you have, a product like the Sit and Soak Baby Bath Tub might work for you. This tub would fit nicely in the laundry room sink and would also give your baby the support they need.