Bathing a baby is really a quality moment between parent and child. It takes preparation and caution, but afterwards, there is one-to-one interaction, and it should not be underestimated in the daily ritual. As we are all spending more time at home, we are seeing an increase in sales of bath and toilet training articles. This is why this product group definitely deserves more attention on shop shelves!

Alternatives for the traditional babybath

Apart from the traditional long bath with an insert or reducer on a stand, there are several other products on the market for bathing a child. Think of bathing the baby in the bathtub, in the shower or in the sink. There have also been adjustments in the use of materials and design. Yet this product group is not overflowing with innovations. This is not so strange because it mainly concerns functional and hygienic products. Irene Mols, Sales Manager Benelux of BabyBjörn, says: ‘Our products have a minimalist design and are timeless, maybe that’s why so little changes. The products function as they should, and they fit into any interior, so why change form and function? We only adjust the colours regularly to keep in line with the colours of modern bathrooms.’

Attention to ergonomics of babybath products

Bath products are about direct contact with the skin, so materials, design and user-friendliness are important. The baths and bath buckets have been given rounder shapes, and some parts have been replaced by softer silicone parts. The colour palette has become softer. Therefore, this product group does not need to be hidden away in the shop but definitely deserves an attractive place.

Sustainability in the bathroom

The discussion on the sustainability of products for the baby’s room is relatively new; is plastic still allowed? Irene Mols says: ‘We follow this discussion but have to conclude that hygiene in bathroom products is so important that plastic lends itself very well as a material for this. Plastic is washable and has a long life. It is not a disposable product. We also use materials that have been checked and approved according to strict European standards.’ Other brands are cautiously taking their first steps in sustainability and water-saving solutions. Like the Softtub bath (nominated for the Baby Innovation Award), which saves 75 per cent more water than other baby baths. The bath is small and foldable and can be completely recycled.

Where to look when buying bath products

‘Parents pay attention to good and solid quality, that products are easy to clean, and that body parts are not pinched off. They also look at the life cycle of a product. You don’t want to buy a new step stool or potty for every child, but it must remain hygienic, without unsightly yellow edges,’ says Irene Mols.

Now that we are home more, is there an increase in sales of bath products and toilet training articles?

Sietze Klaver from shop Babyplanet confirms this trend and talks about an increase in sales of bath and personal care products of about 10 per cent. Irene Mols adds: ‘People are more at home and there is more time and attention for toilet training. For example, we noticed a sharp increase in pot sales during the first lockdown. Many people wait with toilet training until the holidays because then they have time to pay attention to it. Because of the lockdown, they suddenly had unsolicited time for their child. Many parents have seized the opportunity to teach their little ones how to use the potty!’ Jippie’s Europe also recorded a sales increase. ‘We have definitely seen an increase in the sale of pee-pots. People are at home a lot and start potty training sooner. Through our social media, we have been giving people tips on how best to go about toilet training.’

The ratio of physical to online purchases

Caroline Dommerholt of Diaper Champ/Garland Company reports: ‘Unfortunately, we don’t notice that toiletries sales have increased. Our diaper pails are not impulse buys. We do see that due to the lockdown, products are purchased via other online channels. Pot sales continue. Sales overall are not less for us, but we hear from shops that they do have a drop in sales of products. So you can draw the conclusion that consumers bought their products through other channels.’ ‘When shops are closed, like during the corona periods, online is, of course, a godsend,’ says Irene Mols from BabyBjorn. However, smaller products, such as bathroom products, are generally more likely to be ‘taken’ on a shopping spree in a physical shop if larger items are to be purchased anyway.’

Do the baby bath and potty stay on the shopping list?

Irene Mols on that: The potties are definitely still a must on the to-do list. And as long as parents don’t want loud croaking or talking potties, they’ll come to BabyBjörn for timeless, properly functioning potties, steps and toilet seats.’ Valérie Hendrickx from Babymatters reports: ‘In our opinion, a bath is very important to have in the house from birth. With our AquaScale bathtub, young parents also have a scale at home with which they can monitor their baby’s weight from birth.’