Product Review: Safety 1st Funtime Froggy Bath Center
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The Funtime Froggy Bath Center by Safety 1st is a multi-stage tub made to accommodate babies from birth to 30 lbs (13.6 kg). It includes a soft newborn sling, made to look like a friendly frog. The sling holds baby until he or she is 17 lbs (7.7 kg), then the sling is removed so baby can bath directly in the tub.
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The tub is made from sturdy plastic with a strip of slip-resistant material down the middle. Each end of the tub is set at a different angle to support baby; one more upright than the other for babies who have better control of their neck muscles and can hold themselves upright.
At one end of the tub, there are two holders for bath paraphernalia and a soap rest for those who use bar soap. The tub has a built-in thermometer and a soft plug to release the bathwater when done.
The frog’s head of the sling is made of foam and terry cloth and acts as baby’s headrest while bathing. The headrest doubles as a comfie cushion when baby is turned onto her tummy. The sling locks securely into specially designed slots at both ends of the tub.
The Safety 1st Froggy Bath Center costs $24.97 CAD at Walmart and is comparable in price to similar units that are on the market.
The baby tub is too large to fit on our counter and doesn't properly sit over our sinks. The bottom of the baby tub seems formed to straddle across an adult tub width-wise with the ends hooked on the tub edges, however our tub-surround causes the tub edges to taper and the baby tub slid off, even at the end that had full edges. I don't know if this is a design flaw with the baby tub or with our bathroom. Either way, we can only use it when placed inside the bathroom tub. This was a big change for baby because she was use to being bathed in the sink. It was also a big change for us, because suddenly we had to kneel on the hard floor and lean over the side of the bathroom tub to bathe her.
We found the holders for bath paraphernalia very handy for holding the pitcher that comes with the tub set, facecloth and bottle of baby wash. We have no use for the soap rest. We generally use it to hold baby's Duckie.
We don't use the built-in thermometer. The ideal temperature for a baby's bath is 36°C for newborns and 38°C (96.8°F - 100.4°F). The built-in thermometer tops out at 38°C (100.4°F), making it impossible to tell if the water is too hot. To avoid having to play a guessing game or constantly tweaking the temperature by adding cold or hot to keep it below the thermometer's max temperature, we go by "feel" as we learned in the hospital when baby was born.
We also don't use the plug. It's too much of a hassle to fiddle with when all we need to do to empty the tub is to carefully dump it into the bathroom tub that it is already sitting in.
The tub doesn't come with a user's guide, so we were forced to figure out the sling part of it for ourselves. The four notches in the underside of the tub was very confusing to us. With a bit of investigation, we concluded that the slots were for securing the sling clips. However, when all four clips of the sling were in all four slots, the sling was so taut that baby hovered high-and-dry over the water. This left baby chilly and precariously perched on the tightly stretched mesh.
After much fiddling, I eventually discovered that by only securing the top clips, I could slide the bottom clips up and down the side of the tub. This made it possible to adjust the sling to a more comfortable hammock-like position with the head and foot of the sling above the water. This allowed baby to be partly submerged in the water where she stayed warm and happy.
We found the sling very handy and easy to clean. The only problem with it is that the green Froggy design is painted onto sliver material for the body. After two months of use, the green started to flake off. That was disappointing.
If you turn your baby on her tummy to bath her back, always keep a hand under baby's upper chest to her head elevated above the water and wet headrest which poses a risk for suffocation and/or drowning.
The Froggy headrest is cute and seems like a good idea. In fact, it is a good idea as long as baby stays on her back. If you place baby too low on the headrest while on her tummy, there is a risk of her face pressing into the headrest where she could suffocate or even drown.
Sling or not?
Do you like to use the sling?
Update: March 2013
When baby outgrew the sling, she enjoyed sitting in the tub to bathe and play. The slanted end helped her feel comfortable leaning back to let us wash and rinse her hair.
Although the tub is supposed to accommodate baby up to 30 lbs, we found that by the time she was 20 lbs, the Froggy tub was becoming too small for her.
→ The sling makes it much easier and more efficient to bathe baby. Baby is secure without worry of slipping when she wiggles and she enjoys being in the water.
→ The sling is adjustable.
→ The tub comes with a pitcher which makes rinsing easier. We also use it to pour water over her body to keep her warm.
→ Some parents appreciate the thermometer and plug.
→ The slip resistance strip helps secure baby better in the tub.
→ The double ends which are customized for supporting a baby at various stages of development makes this product useful much longer than tubs that aren't.
→ The friendly Froggy design creates a warm and fun atmosphere that both the parents and baby respond positively to.
→ Easy to empty and clean.
→ There's no user guide, so parents have to figure out how to use the sling on their own.
→ What is the use of the bottom sling clip slots? Using all four slots means the sling is too high above the water.
→ The size makes it difficult to bathe baby on the counter. It also makes it hard to store the baby tub anywhere other than in the bathroom tub.
→ The sling's Froggy design flakes off of the fabric after only a couple of months of use.
→ The headrest soaks up water, turning it into a suffocation/drowning hazard when baby is on her tummy even when parent is being vigilant.
→ Thermometer only goes up to 38°C (100.4°F), making it impossible to tell if the water is too hot.
→ The holders for bath paraphernalia holds water which can get cold, chilling down the shampoo or getting scooped onto baby by accident. Small holes in the bottom of them would solve this problems.
→ Some parents would like a choice in design besides Froggy.
Rate This Product
Despite the few problems with this product, it has been a boon to Tub Time with our little one. She enjoys her bath much more since we started using it and we feel more confident than we did when bathing her in the sink.
We would recommend this product to other parents with this warning:
Do not turn baby on his/her tummy to scrub the back. It only takes a few moments for your little one to suffocate or drown on the headrest. Instead, gently sit baby up to scrub his/her back and bottom.
If you chose to bathe baby on his/her tummy, always keep your hand firmly under the chin to keep his/her head well above the headrest or water.
What is your preference?
Do you prefer to wash your baby in a sink or use a baby tub?
© 2012 Rosa Marchisella