A couple of months ago, I was wandering through Target with my girls when I stumbled upon an item that I have had my eye on for a long time: the Stokke Flexi Bath (Amazon link). It was on clearance.I was so excited.
As you may remember, it's long been a dilemma for us how to go about bathing our kids without an actual bathtub in our tiny house. A few months ago, I started putting a large plastic storage container in the shower on bath nights, and it worked really well except for one issue: we were constantly having to move it out of the way when it wasn't being used. This quickly got annoying, as you can imagine.
Even before Sunshine was born, I thought the Stokke tub might be a worthwhile purchase, but I could never bring myself to pay that much for a plastic bathtub. I just wasn't sure how well it would work. After weeks of tripping over our makeshift tub, which otherwise was working quite well for us, I did go online and look at the Flexi Bath again. I even measured the tub we were using just to compare the dimensions of the plastic bin to the Flexi Bath. The container was a smidge bigger than the Flexi Bath, but not excessively so. I still couldn't bring myself to pull the trigger, though.
Until I saw it that evening on clearance.
After a moment’s hesitation wondering how long Sunshine would actually fit in it before she grew too big, I snatched it up and brought it home to try out.
Here are the things that I love about it:
- It stores compactly. The Flexi-bath folds up pretty flat, and it has a latch to keep it folded. When it is flattened, it will stand on its folded bottom or on end, so it's easy to store without it tipping over. It has silicone corners, which offer grip to keep it from sliding around. We can actually just stand it on end next to the shower, and it stays pretty well out of our way.
- It has a removable plug in the bottom to make it easier to drain the water when bath time is over.
- It is made of smooth plastic and silicone, so it is easy to wipe out, and it dries quickly. There are no places for water to get trapped and mildew to grow as long as you let it dry completely before latching and storing away.
- It fits great in our shower.
- If you buy the Stokke Flexi-bath when your child is an infant, you can get years of use out of it. You can even purchase a separate newborn insert to make bathing a newborn in it even easier. As a big 4-year-old, Sunshine does fit in it, though she probably will outgrow it before long. Sweetheart should be able to use it for several more years. It is rated for birth to four years, but if your child is small, you should be able to use it for even longer. (This assumes that your child will be sitting in the tub, not reenacting the movements of a breaching whale.)
- Because of the way it folds up, the bottom of the Flexi Bath will only lie flat when it is being weighed down by water or a child. Overall, this is really not a big deal.
- The plug is a little too flexible. I often feel like I am going to poke through it with my fingers when I am putting it in place.
- The plug is completely separate from the tub, which bothers me because I can see myself misplacing it.
- The plug is in the middle, which means that water will collect around the corners of the tub since the bottom does not lie flat after enough water has drained out of it. I find that I have to come back after most of the water has drained to tip the tub and get the last of the water out. If I could just leave the plug in and flip the bath over while full, I would, but I have found it hard to do this due to the Flexi Bath’s flexible nature. Removing the plug and then flipping it later after most of the water has drained out has been the best solution for us.
- The Flexi Bath is slick when wet. I wish the bottom wasn’t quite so smooth so it would be easier for my girls to stand up in without slipping.