Is there anything like the smell of a new baby? What is it? Baby wash? New skin? Spit up? It's nearly impossible to put a finger on it, but one thing is for sure: You don’t want to use anything on that skin that is going to harm or mask that sweet, soft smell.
When it comes to baby body products, less is more, especially in terms of ingredients. Often a washcloth with warm water and a simple, mild soap is all that is needed. But, of course, as your baby grows, bath time becomes more important. Here’s the rundown on how to choose bath and skin care products that will care for baby's skin.
1. Avoid antibacterial products, as there is a risk they could prevent your baby from developing his or her own natural resistance to illness.
2. Choose fragrance-free products across the board to help avoid skin irritations. Doing so will also help you avoid phthalates, a toxin that has been linked to reproductive side effects.
3. Look for products that are free of parabens, a common preservative that has been linked to hormone disruption. These products may be labeled “paraben-free” or simply won’t have any type of parabens listed in the ingredients.
4. Find triclosan-free soaps and washes. Research has linked this chemical to disrupting the thyroid and immune system.
5. Skip the PEG Compounds in your lotions, moisturizers and other body products. These are a petrochemical that may contain cancer-causing impurities.
The FDA closely regulates ingredients in food, but that isn’t the case in personal care products. It is up to a company to decide whether or not a particular ingredient is acceptable to use. Questionable ingredients like phthalates and parabens are still widely used because they help large companies mass produce inexpensive products.
With a little due diligence and label reading on your part, you can keep these chemicals out of your medicine cabinet and protect your baby’s sweet, soft skin.
Photo credit: Dean Wissing via Flickr