Babies have been getting baths in the kitchen sink for generations. It's often easier on a parent's back than hunching over a bath tub, and the clean-up is easy, too. However, some experts say that the kitchen sink is one of the most germ-ridden places in the home, which leads some people to say a baby should never be bathed there due to a risk of illness.
Some research shows there are generally more than 500,000 bacteria per square inch in the kitchen sink drain area.
Another article from Bio Medicine shares a Lysol-sponsored study that shows close to half of all kitchen sinks harbor high levels of illness-causing bacteria.
Of course, you can simply opt to clean your sink well before you bathe your baby in it. Sure, lots of germs can grow if there's food left in the sink, or you've had raw meat in there, or it just hasn't been scrubbed in a while. Sink dirt is not an insurmountable obstacle for most families, though. A good scrubbing with hot water and soap ought to make it at least as clean as a bathtub.
You should also repeat the scrubbing after baby's bath, if you decide to go for bathing directly in the sink. Babies often mistake their relaxing bath water as a toilet, and you wouldn't want those sort of germs comingling in your food prep area.
If you like the idea of bathing your baby in the kitchen sink, but don't want to plop baby right down where your turkey defrosted last night, there are some excellent options.
The first is one of the nifty sink-top tubs available today.
My favorite sink tub is the Puj tub. It's made of foam and folds flat so it's incredibly easy to store. You can hang it on the back of the door, stash it under the sink, or prop it against a wall. When it's bath time, fold it into the tub shape, put it in the sink, and allow warm water to run into it.
Baby sits cradled in the Puj tub, and the drain holes in the bottom let water flow through continuously. The water never gets cold that way, and the soap and dirt also drain out so baby rinses clean easily.
Puj also makes a more compact version called the Flyte (Buy on Amazon.com). The Flyte also folds flat, and fits easily inside a suitcase for travel. That way you don't have to bathe baby directly in grandma's kitchen sink, either!
Another in-the-sink tub is the Blooming Bath (Buy on Amazon.com). This stylish tub can be used as a bath cushion in the regular bath or inside a sink. The petals are made of soft to the touch material and have foam inside. When you put the flower tub in the sink, it creates a cushy, supportive spot for baby to relax for the bath.
If a sink tub isn't your style, a bath sling may do the trick. These are inexpensive and generally small, so they're just right for newborns and infants and most fit nicely in a sink. You can also use them in a full bath tub. I like the Summer Infant Fold n Store Bath Sling (Buy on Amazon.com) because it's compact and dries fast.