Friday, May 8, 2009

One of my friends introduced me to this bathing concept that has been around Europe for a while, but is just reaching America. According to the Tummy Tub web site:

The Tummy Tub is designed to replicate the comfort of the mother’s womb and once in the Tummy Tub, babies naturally adopt the foetal position and instantly feel reassured and relaxed.

It is supposed to be much more economical with water, keep it warmer longer and to help calm tummy-aches and colicky babies. It is made with an anti-skid base and a low center of gravity. Below is their demo video. I watched a couple other videos of young babies quieting when they got in the water and older babies splashing around.

These bath tubs have many positive and negative reviews, but generally from what I was reading, the negative reviews came from people who were mocking the product as a gimmick. Others, who had actually used these tubs, seemed to like them quite a bit, particularly after their baby was a few weeks old. I love the economy of them, but my biggest problem would be the price tag. I have seen three versions offered in the US:

From my limited research, this seemed to be the priciest option ($50+) and didn't have as good of reviews as TummyTub did.

Tummy Tub - This one also runs around $45 dollars (new), but probably can be found for a bit less with researching. For an additional price, it has a stand that the bucket can fit on to make it higher if desired.

You can get these Tummy Tubs for 20 Euros on the German Amazon. I don't know the cost of shipping, and you would probably need some help putting in your order. I couldn't find an "English" option anywhere on their website.

Wash Pod (Prince Lionheart) - This is definitely the cheapest option ($25ish). The reviews were not bad either. A few mothers mentioned that it was hard to bath their baby's lower regions, but other mothers addressed this issue by saying they just lift their babies up a bit or prop them on the edge to do that part of washing. Some also mentioned that they felt like it was more stable in design.

What do I think? Well, for $5, I would buy one in a heart-beat, but at 5-10x that much - I need to be convinced that it is worth it. I wonder if using a bucket wouldn't work just as well. It might not be as stable or comfortable for the baby since that is not its purpose. Some people mentioned concerns about exposing their children to harmful chemicals in regular buckets (though one woman did say she has been washing her children in a trash can for years). I don't think I would worry about that too much since you only use warm, not hot, water for bathing babies (or does that reveal my ignorance about how chemicals leach into water?)

Okay... I had to do some research to answer my question and educate my ignorance. High-Density Polythylene (HDPE) plastic buckets would probably work and be safe for a baby. HDPE is the grade of plastic used for such things as food storage, milk jugs, water bottles, water pipes as well as numerous other products not related to consumption. They are considered environmentally friendly and are stronger, harder and able to withstand higher heat levels then the Low-Density Polythylenes.

I don't know... I'm going to think about it more. I have German in-laws that I could request one from as a baby gift, but I also have a pretty deep kitchen sink that would work too.

What do you think?

Comments (7)

On May 10, 2009 at 2:51 AM , Anna said...

I just heard about them for the first time a few days ago and loved your review. Rosalind *hated* her normal baby bathtub and screamed the entire time until I finally just started taking her in the shower with me. As long as she felt really secure, she loved it.

I think she would have loved a tub like this because of the security it provides---but I'm with you. A bucket might not be as cute, but would probably work just as well...especially since you are always holding an infant in the tub anyway. :) The trash can seems just a wee bit much!

On May 10, 2009 at 2:52 AM , Anna said...

Oh, by the way, when did you post this? I check your blog everyday and didn't show up 'til today, but the post itself says Wednesday.

On May 10, 2009 at 2:51 PM , Jia Le said...

Oops! I started writing it on Wednesday, but didn't post it until yesterday - I must have not changed the date. I have been trying to write a few posts ahead and just save them as drafts so that I can have some things there for when weeks get busy (or the baby is born). It also helps me to go back later and re-read what I've written to catch mistakes or re-think ideas before I post them. Thanks for checking! =)

I'm going to show the Tummy Tubs to my husband when he gets back and see what he thinks about it. Most of the time he leaves these decisions up to me, but every once in a while he has a definite opinion (or a better idea)... I'll definitely post my findings if I decide to try this concept.

On May 12, 2009 at 10:26 PM , Anna said...

Sorry for even saying anything. I just have been having some issues with my computer and didn't know if it was something on my end.

Writing posts for after the baby's born--what a great idea! Something else to add to my list of summer projects. :)

On May 13, 2009 at 3:59 AM , Adrienne said...

I think they look really neat and would like to try one, but I'm with you in not wanting to pay that much when I can borrow my friend's bath tub for free. I wish I could find a used one, but no one here has them. I posted on craigslist looking for one, but no responses. Sigh. I guess maybe for my next baby. :)

On May 16, 2009 at 12:31 PM , Taliabo said...

I've concluded (after a stressful trip to the tribe) that I need to order one Tummy Tub. Go ahead...slosh some amniotic fluid over me! Size XXX.
I love you guys. Glad you got hubby back, I got wifey back, too. And can't wait to see you guys in 6 weeks or so.
- Ayah-mu

On June 4, 2009 at 2:21 AM , Alison Palmer said...

I just heard about these for the first time, too! Let me know how you like yours when you get to try it out! :)