What Type of Baby Care Products Are Really Needed?

Part of the fun of getting ready for your baby’s arrival is shopping for the little things they will need. Besides the clothes, burping cloths, diapers, and bottles – being prepared for the baby means stocking up on baby care products as well. You can’t share your hygiene and personal care products with a baby because their skin is still delicate and sensitive. So, what should you buy?

Thankfully, you don’t have to buy that much. When it comes to your baby’s grooming needs, the fewer ingredients, the better. Once you get a whiff of the natural scent of your baby, you will realize there’s no need to mask it or add to it. And you don’t have to buy every baby-related product for your little one. Here’s a starter pack for what you need:

Baby bath liquid or soap

Cleansers must be mild and safe for newborn skin. Look for the labels – those with a shorter ingredient list will be better. Also, look for products that are free from parabens and phthalates, as these chemicals are harmful to the baby. Pick also those that are without too many fragrances and additives.

Where to Buy
Cetaphil Baby Soothing Wash
Aveeno Baby Gentle Wash & Shampoo with Natural Oat Extract
Eucerin Baby Wash & Shampoo - 2 in 1 Tear-Free Formula

Baby shampoo

It’s best to get a tear-free baby shampoo since infants don’t always keep their eyes closed while they’re being bathed. Many baby bath liquid soaps can also double as shampoo since they’re mild, and babies don’t have much hair yet.

Where to Buy
Baby Dove Rich Moisture Shampoo
Babyganics Baby Shampoo + Body Wash Pump Bottle
Chicco Natural Sensation Shampoo Without Tears

Petroleum jelly

Petroleum jelly can be used to prevent diaper rash, as it provides the baby’s skin with a protective barrier against moist diapers. However, it cannot be used as a treatment for diaper rash.

Where to Buy
Vaseline Gentle Protective Petroleum Jelly Baby
Vaseline Petroleum Jelly Baby
Baby Magic Soothing Petroleum Jelly

Diaper rash ointment

When it comes to ointment for a newborn baby, it’s best to get the pediatrician’s recommendation. Then, you can find a cream that works best for your baby. An ointment can also offer a moisture barrier to protect a newborn baby’s skin so diapers won’t irritate.

Where to Buy
Burt's Bees Baby 100% Natural Diaper Rash Ointment
GroVia All Natural Magic Stick Baby Diaper Balm
The Honest Company Diaper Rash Cream

Baby oil

Doctors might suggest baby oil as a way of getting rid of the crusty scalp, and putting baby oil on a cotton ball is a gentle method to wipe away sticky poop from the baby’s skin. There’s no need to use it routinely or to cover up your baby. It can also be used as a massage oil for newborn skin.

Where to Buy
Johnson's Baby Creamy Oil
Motherlove Birth & Baby Oil
Earth Mama Calendula Baby Oil

Baby wipes

Once your baby is a newborn, you need to wipe down their bottom with plain water dipped in cotton balls. But after a few weeks, your baby can graduate to diaper wipes. Look for wipes that are hypoallergenic and free from alcohol and fragrance.

Where to Buy
Babyganics Baby Wipes
Pampers Baby Wipes Sensitive Perfume Free
Huggies Simply Clean Unscented Baby Wipes

Baby laundry detergent

Look for detergents that are free from perfumes. Regular detergents commonly sold on the market can be too harsh for a baby’s newborn screen. The same applies when picking out dryer sheets.

Where to Buy
Dreft Stage 2: Active Hypoallergenic Liquid Baby Laundry Detergent
Tide Free and Gentle High-Efficiency Liquid Laundry Detergent
All Free Clear for Sensitive Skin Liquid Laundry Detergent

Things to Remember When Caring for Baby’s Skin

Do you think all newborns’ skin is soft, smooth, delicate, and smells amazing? That doesn’t apply to every newborn ever. Some can be dry, flaky, and sensitive. That’s why for babies, it’s recommended to use natural products like Goat Soap for smooth, moisturized, and healthy skin. Some even have weird discolorations. Here’s how to care for your baby’s skin since it’s not as perfect as you may have expected.

Don’t give your baby baths every day.

You may take a shower every day, but babies don’t need a daily bath. Two to three times a week is enough. Of course, you need to clean the diaper area and baby spit on the face as often as necessary, but you don’t need to bathe the baby so often. Frequent bathing can dry out the skin and remove oils and other substances that protect the baby’s skin against irritants and other infections.

Go easy on the sun exposure.

Putting on sunscreen for babies under six months old is not recommended. Sunscreens are not yet approved for babies that young because they haven’t been tested. But in rare situations where sun exposure is needed for an infant, using baby sunscreen is safer than not using it. Just try not to let the sun directly hit your baby’s skin whenever you go out together. Dress your baby in hats, or open the sun cover on the stroller and cover their body. When looking for sunscreens for a baby, look for those with inorganic filters like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide – for these won’t irritate the baby’s eyes and skin.

Know the difference between diaper rashes.

It is common for babies to get a diaper rash, so you’ll probably have to deal with it even if you don’t want your baby to have it. Diaper rashes aren’t serious and are likely to disappear within a few days with the help of some diaper rash cream or gentle moisturizing lotions.

You have to know the difference between a plain old diaper rash and a yeast diaper rash. The first kind clears up with over-the-counter creams, while the yeast kind needs a prescription cream. Most mothers try having the baby go diaperless for a while to air out the baby’s bum to help diaper rashes heal.

Keep an eye on birthmarks.

Birthmarks are pretty standard for babies, and they are usually harmless. As your baby grows into a toddler or a young kid, they will most likely outgrow the birthmark. However, it would help if you kept an eye on them for any changes. Consult the pediatrician if the birthmark develops knots, gets bumpy, looks twisted, or growing quickly. Point out any pink or red birthmarks, especially if they are raised, so the doctor can check if it’s okay.

Products to Avoid Using for a Baby

There are many baby products out there in the market, and you probably wonder what’s best for your baby’s super delicate skin. Here are some baby products that you must avoid to keep your baby’s skin safe:

Chemical sunscreens

Parents want to minimize the chemicals the baby absorbs, and this is why they must stick to zinc oxide-based sunscreens. Before turning six months, the baby can be protected from the sun through clothing and minimal sun exposure. After six months, topical sunscreen can be applied whenever you and the baby go out. Avoid spray sunscreens because it poses a risk of inhalation, which can irritate the child’s delicate lungs and respiratory tissues.

Scented body washes

Babies are naturally pleasing to the scent (except when their diaper is full, of course), so parents do not need scented body washes. Use gentle cleansers that are free from parabens, fragrances, and irritating sulfates. Avoid ingredients listed as coloring and perfumes. It’s best to choose body washes containing ingredients like soothing coconut butter or oatmeal.

Baby powder

This might seem surprising to you, but it’s better if you avoid using baby powder for your little one. The particles on a powder can be quite irritating to the baby’s lungs and have the potential to cause respiratory problems. If you have to use it, shake the baby powder into your hands away from the baby, and apply a thin layer to your baby’s skin. To keep the baby bum dry, simply pat it with a clean towel – no need to avoid putting the powder in the baby’s diaper regions.

Adult skincare products

The additives like perfumes and scents on adult skincare products are not recommended for babies, as it can trigger allergies and eczema.

Bubble baths

Bubble baths can be so fun, but it’s is a quick way to strip away natural hydrators. It can easily dry out the baby’s skin can leave him or her itchy. Also, bubble baths are not recommended for infants because there’s no need for a large amount of soap for cleansing the baby’s body.

Essential oils

Though this product is made of natural ingredients, essential oils can be heavily perfumed and can be irritating to a baby’s skin. Remember, natural is not always equal to being safe for the baby.

Fragrant detergents

Many retail brands produce laundry detergent for sensitive skin, which is free from perfumes and dyes. When washing baby’s clothes, using fragrance-free and gentle detergents are best and safe to use for babies.

You may even opt for homemade natural baby care products if you have a hard time trusting products that are labeled “natural.”