A baby’s skin is so soft and sensitive. It’s also their largest organ which is why it is so important to be careful of what we put on it. I am going to share some of my favorite natural products for baby skin care. My focus on bath time is to make it a fun experience, gently clean their skin and hair without exposing them to harmful unnecessary chemical agents. Less is more! Your baby doesn’t need much to get clean.
Skin is an external reflection of the internal environment. If you child has skin concerns such as eczema, dryness, rash or hives it requires further investigation and you should have them assessed by a Naturopathic Doctor. The following recommendations can be helpful in soothing skin, but it doesn’t address root cause, and if you know anything about naturopathic medicine then you know that identifying the root cause is essential in positively impacting health status.
- Baby Bucket: After I found out I was pregnant this was one of the first things that I happened to read about in my very first pregnancy magazine. It was a European magazine and the bucket style baby bath tubs were all the rage. The research was promising saying that the bucket style places them in a fetal position similar to how they spent their nine months on the inside. This position put them in a calmer state making bath time a positive experience for them. I knew from this point on that I wanted two things: the baby bucket and any product out there that boasted its primary focus was about creating a positive experience for my baby. What I also liked about the bucket was that it completely immerses your baby in water keeping them warm and comfortable. The lie back baby tubs exposes their abdomen to the cold air. Bath time has always been a positive experience for my son and I and I think it largely has to do with his bucket tub. We have progressed onto the bath tub, but for me it was a must have for when he was smaller.
Bath & Body Products:
- Body wash: This is an area that requires that you do a little research and looking around, there are a lot of products out there that boast they are natural or baby friendly, but they simply are not. You are looking for a product that is free of sodium-laurel sulphates (SLS), parabens, hydrogenated oils (we wouldn’t eat them so why are we putting them on our skin), dioxane, butylene glycol and fragrance. You would be amazed at how many baby products contain these ingredients, be an avid label reader. If companies are not going to make our baby’s health the highest priority then its our job to be knowledgable consumers. Be aware that when you remove SLS from soaps or body wash they may not lather as well as the other products, but hey I would trade in the lack of foam for a safer product any day. Some of my favorite natural products are Earth Mama, Angel Baby and Dr. Bonners Baby Mild Liquid Soap.
- Lotions: Remember that your skin is your biggest organ so you want to ensure what you use to hydrate the skin is safe. A good rule of thumb is if you can eat it then its safe enough for your baby’s skin. So make it easy on yourself apply a liberal amount of extra virgin olive oil or extra virgin coconut oil. Say NO to mineral oil! It prevents the skin from breathing and inhibits proper cell development and turnover. Some natural products I like are Earth mama, Angel baby, Weleda and Green Beaver Baby.
- Avena sativa aka oats: You can use oats on healthy skin but is great for soothing irritated skin. Oats are also a nervine so they can be helpful in soothing your colicky or fussy baby. Some products to try are Aveeno oatmeal bath or pick up an organic oat bath from baby stores. You can also make your own by grinding up oats in a coffee grinder or blender, just make sure you grind it into a nice powder.
- Lavender: If sleep is something that you and your wee one struggle with then bath time is a great addition to the evening routine. To further encourage sleepiness you can add lavender essential oil or steep lavender flowers and add to the bath.
- Calendula oil: Calendula oil is a great to topically apply after bath time if your baby has dry or irritated skin. Weleda makes a great calendula oil.
Keep it simple! This is what I hope you got from this is blog post. You do not need much to keep your wee one clean. Be an avid label reader and learn what chemical agents you must avoid…I guess you know what my next blog will be about.
Remember that their skin is sensitive and they don’t need to have a daily bath. If you like having it as a part of your nightly routine then maybe do a light wipe down some nights as to not overly dry their skin. Enjoy bath time and make sure what you are using in the bath and putting onto their skin is preserving and perhaps even enhancing their health, what a fabulous thought!
Disclaimer: Naturopathic doctors believe in providing individualized care. The items that have been discussed are things that are good basic skin products, but this article shouldn’t take place of seeing an ND for specific prescription and appropriate dosage for your baby. Please see a Naturopathic Doctor for a personalized protocol that considers your baby’s individual needs.
In great health & happiness,
Dr. Michelle Peris is a Naturopathic Doctor whose goal is to inspire health through educating, motivating and empowering people. She has a family based practice out of a clinic in Oakville, Ontario.
Contact Dr. Michelle today to book your 15 minute complimentary consult.