Bath time can be a lot of fun for you and your baby, but if you are using the wrong soap and shampoo, it might end up causing irritation and discomfort for your little one. That’s why there are products that are specifically formulated for cleansing your baby from head to toe.
Below is some helpful information on baby shampoos, along with our top five picks. Most every shampoo product for baby will double as shampoos and body wash and that’s great because they do the job with one-stop-lathering. Gentle enough for your baby’s hair, skin and face, only having one bottle makes life a good bit easier.
Why Use a Baby Shampoo?
Why can’t you just use a regular shampoo on your baby’s hair? Well, products that can be fine for adults might cause your baby’s delicate and sensitive skin to become dry and irritated. Also, babies may be more sensitive to certain ingredients, as their skin and immune systems are still developing and growing.
Put simply, products that are formulated for babies take their unique needs into consideration. They can thoroughly clean your little one, while helping to ensure that your baby’s hair and skin remain smooth, soft, and protected.
How to Choose the Right Baby Shampoo
As we always recommend, as you shop for the right shampoo for your baby, take a close look at the label to see what the product contains. Having a baby means you need to be a label reader, and the more you know about the ingredients in a product and the company that makes it, the better you’re choosing for your family and the earth.
The bottom line when it comes to finding the best baby shampoo is to remember that there is a ton of greenwashing that happens in the world of natural products, and particularly in the world of natural products for children, sadly. For instance, one popular baby brand that would lead you to believe that it’s an organic product for children based on wording and packaging of its product actually greenwashes the heck out of ingredient labeling. Our mama forums are full of mamas who spend good amounts of money on a product they believe to be safe for their baby, only to find out it burned their babies’ eyes or gave them horrible rashes. They wonder how that could be, and then they take the time to read the ingredients and realize that there are a lot of issues with what is included.
Moral of the story? ALWAYS read labels, and always check ingredients on the EWG to see where they rank. The ThinkDirty App is another great option to use, but they sometimes don’t have as many baby products–though that’s growing.
When you’re looking for the best baby shampoo and wash, keep these things in mind:
- Is this product for babies? It’s not a deal-breaker, but some products made specifically for babies have different or limited ingredients.
- Is the formula is for babies with sensitive skin? For those with eczema or sensitive skin issues, that may be a must.
- Is the product is appropriate for newborns? Just be careful and read ingredients.
- Are there ingredients listed that you can’t find on EWG or that rank lower than a 1? The truth is there are plenty of products that rank 1 on the EWG these days. If you’re looking for the best baby shampoo, you’ll have no problem finding a selection of affordable products that are EWG Verified or score a 1. Don’t settle for less, despite how your mother-in-law tells you that product she used forever is the best. It may be…but read the labels nonetheless.
Side note: You may have your baby’s pediatrician or dermatologist recommend products. We are NOT telling you to go against medical advice, but…when it comes to product recommendations, remember that they too are often wooed by marketing and don’t necessarily take the time to read ingredients and be sure they’re not going to irritate little ones.
Ingredients to Look for, and Some to Avoid
When it comes to ingredients to look for, consider the following:
- Many parents prefer to search for baby shampoos that are formulated with natural ingredients rather than chemical-based ingredients. Thankfully, there are many products on the market today that boast ingredients like plant extracts and natural oils from plants. Like we said, we’ve found several; don’t settle for less.
- What’s also great about the selection of baby shampoos that are available is that you can find many that contain organic ingredients. So, if this is important to you, just read labels carefully to see if any of the ingredients are certified organic.
- To help ensure your baby’s eyes won’t be irritated if any soap accidentally gets into them while bathing or shampooing, again, read ingredients and stay away from anything that scores lower than a 1 on EWG.
- If your baby has sensitive skin, dry skin, or a condition like eczema, search for formulas that are hypoallergenic and made using the gentlest and most soothing ingredients that help prevent irritation.
- Don’t want to go with an unscented product? Opt for one that has a mild fragrance derived from natural ingredients. They are out there.
In addition to knowing what to look for, it’s also wise to be aware of some of the ingredients that you might want to avoid. As you shop, consider the following:
- Harsh ingredients may end up causing irritation, especially since your baby’s skin is so delicate. For this reason, many parents often opt to avoid products that contain parabens, phthalates, fragrances, sulfates, and dyes.
- If you know that your baby is allergic to certain ingredients, even if they are natural, just look for those on the ingredients list so you can avoid them and continue your search for the right shampoo.
5 of Our Top Picks for the Best Baby Shampoo
Now that you have a good understanding of the benefits of using a baby shampoo for your little one, and you also have a better idea of what to look for in a high-quality product, let’s take a look at some of the top options that are currently available. The following five baby shampoos are certainly worth considering as you shop.
Earth Mama’s products are always created and formulated with your baby’s best in mind, and their Sweet Orange Body Wash is no different. Don’t be fooled by the fact that it doesn’t say, “And Shampoo,” because the reality is that for your baby, you just want clean and gentle to clean gently–hairs included.
This gentle wash is safe enough to use all over your baby’s body, and its organic vanilla and sweet orange essential oil combination make the most delicious, natural scent. It is also made with soothing organic Calendula and it’s free of EVERYTHING bad for any human. Even though it’s a castile-based wash and shampoo, it will offer some gentle foam, and as baby gets older, will make bathtime bubbles too. It’s a great option to have as baby’s bathroom soap, and one to grow with because it’s so clean and green.
And Earth Mama, of course, is a Mama-owned and run company you can trust with your entire family.
Weleda has always been a believer in products that work with your body’s inner nature to keep you looking healthy and beautiful. The plant-rich products they create are full of nourishing ingredients that connect our bodies and senses with nature. They have a commitment to the planet and to us, and for babies, they want to make sure that little ones have gentle products that are free of parabens, phthalates, synthetic preservatives and fragrances and that are never tested on animals.
This wash is a gentle 2-in-1 shampoo and body wash that gently cleans skin and hair and has been dermatologically proven to be skin-friendly –even for babes with sensitive skin and cradle cap. The calendula and sweet almond oil nourish your wee one’s skin, and keeps them smooth and clean with no sticky, icky residue.
Babo Botanicals is a certified B-Corp, which means you know their products are of the highest environmental and social standards. There is total transparency with Babo, so when they say they’re for sensitive skinned babies, they mean it. They’re an EWG Verified shampoo, and none of Babo’s products are tested on animals. They’ve earned PETA’s Statement of Assurance validating that.
The Senstive Skin Shampoo and wash is specially formulated with naturally-derived ingredients like colloidal oatmeal and organic calendula to help even the toughest cradle cap and dry skin, but in the most gentle and sensitive way. It’s gentle enough for daily use, and perfect for those wee ones with eczema. There are no petrochemicals, phthalates, dyes, harsh ingredients, sulfates or any other ingredients you can’t trust with your baby, and you can’t go wrong letting this shampoo and body wash grow with your babe too.
We always love the backstory of great companies, and BareBaby has one. Founded by parents who were looking for the best for their own children, BareBaby was born.
When Dr. Kent McKorkle and his wife Kim decided the products that were on the market for their son and daughter were just full of harsh chemicals, they decided they needed better. They would know, considering Kent was a chemist! The birth of their children put them on an all-natural /organic product journey, but knowing what Kent knew about chemistry and ingredients, they were sad to see that many of the ‘baby-safe’ products on the market, despite even having something that made the product sound organic in the name, were full of ingredients that would score as high as an 8 on the EWG.
Sick of the greenwashing, they created products with ingredients that all score 1, and that makes their BareBaby Shampoo score a 1 also. Made with organic aloe leaf juice, 20 amino acids, 12 vitamins and active enzymes–it’s great for baby’s hair and skin. The use organic orange and grapefruit essential oils for a delicious scent that’s good for body and hair.
And of course, there’s nothing junky in the shampoo that will harm your baby’s skin–her largest organ. All ingredients are gluten-free, and there are no sulfates, phthalates or parabens.
The folks at EverJoyn are all about conscious parenting and they believe it goes hand-in-hand with holistic wellness. They’re right, and we love them for it. They believe in raising children in such a way that when they’re adults, they have as little as possible to ‘unlearn’ and we dig that.
Their philosophy shows in their product line. Using only natural and USDA certified-organic ingredients harvested from forests and farms in Ontario, Canada, they choose each ingredient with the purpose of nourishing your baby’s body, mind and spirit. We love the purposeful packaging, even for little ones, that is full of positive quotes and affirmations, and mindful parenting reminders that will help keep you encouraged and uplifted!
They go by the mantra of Holistic Wellness Optimization, which falls in with helping create lives of mindfulness and purpose through personal care products that are holistically good for you and your family.
Their 2-in-1 Baby Shampoo and Body Wash is made with 9 simple and clean ingredients that leave your baby’s hair and skin feeling fabulous. Aloe Vera, Lavender, Orange Peel Oil and Coconut combine to give sweet-scented cleaning power that you can’t help but love.
The Best Baby Shampoo Is Waiting For You!
As you can see, there are a variety of baby shampoos and washes to choose from, and plenty that are clean and green and that come from incredible companies you can feel good about supporting. They support the earth and they support your baby and your baby’s health, and that’s what matters.
Especially in a world of greenwashed products! Now, get to lathering, rinsing and repeating!