Cons: rusted screws, technically not intended for use with more than 2" water
The Bottom Line: much better than a baby bathtub, even one with an insert
Some products seem to improve with time and some get worse. This is one of those things they have improved to almost perfection. In the last 15 years I have tried foam bear mats, hard plastic tubs, basic mesh inclines, contoured plastic tubs, giant bath pillow looking things and the basic version of this seat. When I tried the basic version of this I thought what an improvement over a baby bathtub, this is so much easier. I thought this version just had more "bells and whistles", boy was I wrong. This large, comfort, deluxe version is even easier to use.
The best way to describe this is like a bouncy seat for the water. It is a plastic base with rubber on the bottom to make it non skid. Attached to that is a metal frame that can be folded to near flat or snapped open and to the base in 2 recline positions. Onto that is a mesh sling type seat. Along the edges of the mesh seat it is stuffed with foam beanbag type beads to make soft, comfortable, supportive edges. An adjustable, detachable head support pillow is made from the same materials with a soft terry middle that goes against the back of babies head.
The most reclined position is even good for a newborn, close to flat but not so flat that baby is curled into a ball like the slings that attach to many baby bathtubs. The next recline is more similiar to a bouncy seat. The slight incline of the feet keeps baby from sliding off.
The manufacturer states that it is to be used with no more than 2" of water. It would still work well for that, a sponge bath, or just pouring water over baby. However we have used this (or the previous version) for the last 3 of our children, from the time their cord fell off, in the big bathtub with enough water to go to about their neck. Baby loves the feeling of being in the water. The mesh is more contouring and supportive than hard plastic.
To dry I just stand the seat up in the bathtub and let it air dry. I have never had issues with mildew at all. However, when I want to clean it more thoroughly the mesh is removable, I just throw it in the washing machine. The only issue I have had is the screws on the bottom got some slight rust from the very first use but it has not effected use for years. This may be preventable with maybe some clear nail polish? before the first use. Adjusting the back is easy, twist a piece if plastic and the head end of the metal frame can be popped out and positioned in the other slot. The folding is very quick too, you just remove as if adjusting but don't put it back in a slot, instead you also pop the feet end up and fold both pieces toward the center. Folding makes it great for storage as well as travel.
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