Baby Bath Time & Skin-Care

When it comes to caring for your baby’s skin, less is more. All you really need is a very gentle liquid soap, which can double as a shampoo, and perhaps a moisturizing lotion or oil if your baby’s skin is dry. A diaper ointment can also be useful if your baby is prone to diaper rash.

Ingredients to avoid: In addition to the usual suspects (synthetic fragrance and parabens), I prefer to avoid products fragranced with natural essential oils (such as lavender), because these can cause skin irritation for new babies. It is also best to choose products made from natural ingredients whenever possible. Here are my top recommendations:

Best Natural Baby Soap/ Shampoo

Earth Mama Simply Non-Scents Baby Wash

  • Made with organic olive oil, shea butter and calendula
  • No artificial fragrance, Triclosan, phthalates, parabens or any other potentially troubling chemicals.
  • Dermatologist and clinically tested for irritation.
  • Not tear free, but because it is a foamy wash, it is not too difficult to keep out of eyes.
  • EWG Score: 1
  • $30-40 for 32 Oz.

Babo Botanicals Sensitive Baby Fragrance Free Shampoo and Wash

  • Made with coconut oil, shea butter, aloe juice, oat kernel extract and calendula.
  • No artificial fragrance, Triclosan, phthalates, parabens or any other potentially troubling chemicals.
  • Many parents report that this is one of the few soaps tolerated by babies with eczema.
  • EWG Score: 1 (EWG Verified).
  • $32 for 32 Oz.

Beautycounter Baby Gentle All-Over Wash

  • Gentle tear-free baby wash for skin and hair.
  • Lathers and rinses easily and will not dry out sensitive skin.
  • EWG Score: 1
  • $20 for 8 Oz.

Baby Lotions

Baja Baby Unscented Lotion 

  • 100% natural, with certified organic avocado, grapeseed, and sweet almond oils.
  • Relatively light and quickly absorbed, but still effective at moisturizing dry skin.
  • EWG Score: 1 (EWG Verified).
  • $25 for 12 Oz.

Aveeno Baby Daily Moisture Lotion

  • Free of fragrance, phthalates, parabens, PEG, nut oils, and harmful chemical preservatives.
  • Not entirely natural, but the synthetic ingredients are very safe and allow the lotion to form a protective barrier to protect dry or damaged skin for a full day. This can be very helpful for eczema-prone babies.
  • Excellent value at $9 for 18 oz.

Beautycounter Baby Daily Protective Balm

  • A thicker balm to treat very dry and irritated skin. Can also be used as a diaper cream.
  • Made with natural waxes, shea butter, and jojoba oil.
  • EWG Score: 1
  • $22 for 3 Oz.

Natural Oils

Another way to moisturize your baby’s skin without potentially harmful chemicals is to use a natural oil. Good options include coconut oil, light olive oil, jojoba oil, or shea butter. These can leave skin slightly greasy, but an edible oil such as coconut or olive oil is a good idea for treating dry skin or irritation on cheeks and hands, since some will inevitably end up in your baby’s mouth.

I like Viva Naturals Organic Fractionated Coconut Oil 

Diaper Ointment

Baby Bum Diaper Rash Cream – Fragrance Free 

  • The same active ingredient as typical diaper creams (zinc oxide), but with natural emollients (castor oil, coconut oil, beeswax) instead of chemical additives.
  • EWG Score: 1

Mustela Diaper Rash Cream – Fragrance Free

  • Another very effective zinc-oxide based diaper cream without harmful chemicals (no fragrance, phthalates, parabens, phenoxyethanol).
  • EWG Score: 1.

Beautycounter Baby Calming Diaper Rash Cream

  • Made with zinc oxide, beeswax, and shea butter.
  • EWG Score: 1

Baby-Safe Laundry Detergent

Part of caring for your baby’s skin is using a laundry detergent that won’t leave irritating chemicals on baby clothes and crib sheets. Many parents use detergents marketed specifically for babies, such as Dreft, but these often have synthetic fragrance and many other chemicals we would rather avoid. A better option is to use a Free & Clear laundry detergent (and skip fabric softener).

Good options (with an “A” rating by EWG) include:

Instead of fabric softener, I recommend Wool Dryer Balls.

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