Laundry Basket Baby Bath: Correcting Facebook Misinformation

We bathe our babies in all sorts of things. From kitchen sinks to “luxury” baby spas, there seems to be something for everyone.  A photo/update is being shared on social networks regarding a “new” way to bathe our kids; putting infants in laundry baskets and then placing them in adult bathtubs. 

When I saw this share, it was not the laundry basket itself that disturbed me. In fact, bathing toddlers this way is decades old - Just ask Heloise. 

It was the insanely inaccurate Facebook update that got my blood boiling. It read:


Original credit to photo unknown.

This is one of the best ideas I've ever seen. The baby has something to lean up against, the toys can't get away, and it could save countless children from drowning because they have something, besides the slick tub walls, to pull themselves up on in case they fall under the water.


Look at this photo! Do you think this baby could pull up and out of the water should that unsecured laundry basket tip?


Let’s break this update down and re-share the facts.

[This is one of the best ideas I’ve ever seen.]

Drowning is one of the leading causes of death in infants and toddlers. Leading cause. Most of the drowning deaths in the youngest children occur in buckets and bathtubs. A bathtub is NO PLACE to mess around and try any new “ideas.” 

[The baby has something to lean up against.]

If babies need to “lean up against” anything, they are not developmentally ready to be in a big tub. Big tubs are for children who can sit well independently. Babies who lean need a supported, reclined seat position while in the tub. There is NO “no-hands” option for caregivers bathing babies in this developmental stage. 

[This could save countless children from drowning.]

Bathtub devices do NOT save countless children from drowning. Why? Because of the false reassurance they provide. A happily splashing baby can make any of us think that we can step away “just for a minute” to grab a warm towel or a new diaper. Many research studies have shown that using bathtub seats can lull us into complacency. We cannot take that risk. 

No device - NO DEVICE - should provide any reassurance of safety when an infant is in water. Period. 

I understand that some families need to repurpose for small spaces. I understand some families don’t want the added expense of a baby tub that will be used for such a small period of time. But when it comes to babies and water, there is little room for experimentation. 

I'd let this ‘best idea” go right down the drain.