I second the recommendation for te Skin Deep Database
. It's clear, searchable by product type or brand, and explains how it comes to its ratings. It reliably errs on the side of being harsh, downgrading a product even for too much essential oil or anything that can be irritating even to just some of the population. But since it explains the breakdown of the ratings so that you can make your own decision about which potentially irritating ingredients you are comfortable with!
We love Badger sunscreen
, initially bought it just for the baby but now the whole family uses it. It doesn't make my face break out, it stands up well to water, it washes out of clothes, it has shea butter in it which is very nice and conditioning. Our May babies will be too young for sunscreen this summer, but this is a great product for the long haul.
We liked California Baby shampoo, and I use a dab of their conditioner as a leave-in detangler for my toddler. Very pure ingredients. Like a previous poster, I used only plain water on her for the first week, then only very dilute cloth wipes solution on areas of visible soil. We didn't get into regular shampooing for nearly 4 months, and she was born with a lot of hair.
For moisturizer, I like food-grade apricot kernal oil. Though I aesthetically like the scent of the Burts Bees apricot baby oil, it has a lot of added stuff and synthetic fragrance (which is typically phthalates) and the bottle is designed poorly. And it's twice as expensive as plain ordinary apricot kernal oil. Jojoba, almond, and coconut oils are also great. We put these oils on her bum to prevent diaper rash (cloth diaper compatible), on her chin for drooling chappiness, and worked through her hair when we had a touch of cradle cap.
When we are fending off serious diaper area trouble, we use Alba UnPetroleum
, which has the consistency of vaseline but is plant-based and cloth diaper compatible. Also nice on my cheeks when I got a sunburn last summer - no breakouts.
I've been less enamored of Burts Bees since they were bought by Procter & Gamble. Pretty much all I buy of theirs anymore is the tinted lip balm (love the Fig color).
Remember all the fuss about BPA in baby bottles and teethers? They put that stuff into baby lotions
. Seriously. Blech. I was given several pretty little bottles of various other baby products, which I just disposed of. I don't want it near my kid. So I would steer clear of most mainstream products. They're unnecessary at best.