Do babies really need soap/shampoo? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 23 Old 03-16-2012, 03:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I seem to recall reading somewhere that if you don't start washing your baby with soap and shampoo (just using water instead), it is actually better for the baby and they will smell just fine. Or maybe it was just shampoo, but you still use soap on the rest of them?

 

Just trying to figure out what to plan on for our new little one... anyone have experience with this? If you do use soap/shampoo, do you have any good, mild, eco-friendly kinds? Something besides the standard Johnson & Johnson baby wash?


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#2 of 23 Old 03-16-2012, 03:13 PM
 
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I use soap if he's dirty. Otherwise, no. He is 7 weeks old, and Ive washed his hair twice with newborn shampoo made by burts bees. Mainly cause it smells so good, but also because I had greased his scalp up with oil for dry skin. I occasionally dab a tiny bit of soap in the neckfolds and around his testicles. With DD, I didnt really use soap until she started eating solid food. Then, she was gross, and I couldnt avoid it. I just dont see the need for it, they dont get dirty....

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#3 of 23 Old 03-16-2012, 03:21 PM
 
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California Baby is our favorite. We use the Super Sensitive line.

 

I rarely use soap with the littlest babies but sometimes, especially if they are on the chunky side, they can build up quite a funk under the folds of skin like their necks where milk has rolled down into.

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#4 of 23 Old 03-16-2012, 03:36 PM
 
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My babe is 3 months old. I wash his little hands with some weleda (those hands get grubby!) and under his chin (lots of drool and grub in there too!) and maybe his bum after a particularly messy poo, but other than that, I just let him soak in the tub or rinse off with me or daddy in the shower.  He always smells really nice, like baby, not soaps!


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#5 of 23 Old 03-16-2012, 05:52 PM
 
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My baby is 7 months old, and I can count the times I've done a full-body soap up on one hand.  In the early months, when she spit up more regularly, I would use a little gentle soap in her neck creases every time she had a bath.  Now, I do that once or twice a week at most.  I wash her diaper area with about the same frequency, maybe less.  Hands more often, now that she's reaching out to touch everything within reach.  She LOVES bathtime, and usually just has great fun soaking in the water with her brother.  

 

We have used several different scent/paraben/phthalate/sulfate-free soaps, but one good one that's generally easy to find is California Baby.


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#6 of 23 Old 03-16-2012, 06:37 PM
 
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My 4-year-old still only rarely uses soap - just when he's really dirty.  It's not that I'm opposed to soap.  I love how it smells and all the fun soap products for little kids (bubble bath, soap crayons, colored "shaving" cream, etc.)  He just has super, super sensitive skin in some areas.  EVERYTHING - no matter how hypoallergenic, organic or all-natural - irritates or burns whatever problem area he has on his skin, except water.  In warm weather, when he gets sweaty, I'll use a LITTLE gentle shampoo.  But he still has fine, babyish hair that looks and smells clean, with just water.


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#7 of 23 Old 03-16-2012, 09:19 PM
 
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I don't require soap or shampoo for my 8 and 4 year olds, much less my 7 month old baby. Sometimes they like to use those things because they like the smell or they want bubbles but they aren't really needed unless someone gets really oily or greasy. I wish I could get my dh to quit using it on them. He uses so much all the time. I get organic stuff but still...that's just sort of for fun. Not something they need to be scrubbed with.

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#8 of 23 Old 03-20-2012, 02:34 PM
 
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My LO is just about 6 months, and I was using a mild soap for a while, but have lately switched to washing her with honey. It seems to work well, even if she is actually dirty. I remember reading about using it instead of soap, but don't remember where I read it or any details. I know it's anti-bacterial and anti-microbial (and anti-viral?). She also barely has hair, so I use it on her scalp and don't have to worry about soap in her eyes.

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#9 of 23 Old 03-20-2012, 02:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckypirahna View Post

I know it's anti-bacterial and anti-microbial (and anti-viral?).

Only if it's truly raw honey. Just about every store brand of honey, unless you have a really good organic/raw section or store, is filtered and pasteurized so that the natural healing properties are killed.

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#10 of 23 Old 03-20-2012, 03:08 PM
 
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With DS (he's now 20 months, but we've done the same thing from day 1) we use a gentle soap (I like Rocky Mountain Soap Company's baby products) on his diaper area and hands only.  We have never used shampoo or washed his hair with anything other than water.  Even if he gets food in it, we just rinse it out.  I've gone 'poo free now too, as has DH.

 

I was actually just watching an interesting program on the news.  They were studying the micro-organisms that live in belly buttons.  They studies several thousand people, and everyone has 60-80 micro-organisms living in there, regardless of shower/bathing routine.  They are also now finding that these "good" bugs are really important to supporting the immune system, which is linked to reductions in asthma, allergies and other issues.  So being super "clean" and "germ free" is not actually a good thing.  Something to think about.


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#11 of 23 Old 03-20-2012, 03:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks ladies for all the advice/suggestions. It's good to hear from people who've BTDT. I foresee having an interesting time convincing dh that soap isn't needed, but I bet I'm the one who ends up bathing baby the most.

 

Oh, and speaking of such things... since we're guessing this is a boy, and not planning on circ'ing, is there anything special as far as washing genitals with soap? I guess maybe I should ask this in the circ forum, but I thought I'd throw it out there.


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#12 of 23 Old 03-20-2012, 03:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyscience View Post

Oh, and speaking of such things... since we're guessing this is a boy, and not planning on circ'ing, is there anything special as far as washing genitals with soap? I guess maybe I should ask this in the circ forum, but I thought I'd throw it out there.



Clean it like you'd clean a finger.  Do NOT try to retract the forskin.  Your DS will do that eventually on his own when it's meant to retract.

 

Oh, and you probably don't need to be as gentle with it as you think.  DH got a good laugh in the early days at me gingerly trying to be as gentle as possible with DS's penis because I was super paranoid about hurting him.  Now seeing how DS pulls on that thing makes me really realize they are NOT as fragile as I thought! ROTFLMAO.gif

 


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#13 of 23 Old 03-20-2012, 08:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nstewart View Post

 

Oh, and you probably don't need to be as gentle with it as you think.  DH got a good laugh in the early days at me gingerly trying to be as gentle as possible with DS's penis because I was super paranoid about hurting him.  Now seeing how DS pulls on that thing makes me really realize they are NOT as fragile as I thought! ROTFLMAO.gif

 

haha I'm there with you on that one. I don't think I even touched it until he was 3 months old. Just dabbed at it gently with a wet cloth.
 

 

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#14 of 23 Old 03-21-2012, 06:06 PM
 
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I use Burt's Bees or Aveeno baby shampoo on DD's hair but just wash her face and body with water. She sweats a lot and her hair gets greasy. She gets a bath daily, sometimes twice a day because she likes playing with her ducks!


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#15 of 23 Old 03-21-2012, 07:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nstewart View Post
Oh, and you probably don't need to be as gentle with it as you think.  DH got a good laugh in the early days at me gingerly trying to be as gentle as possible with DS's penis because I was super paranoid about hurting him.  Now seeing how DS pulls on that thing makes me really realize they are NOT as fragile as I thought! ROTFLMAO.gif

 


Heh... that is a lesson I learned from being married. I didn't want to hurt dh's fragile man parts, even though he was a grown up. I guess it's just the testicles that are fragile, though... which was a good self-defense tip to learn. ;)

 


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#16 of 23 Old 03-26-2012, 07:03 AM
 
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My 5 and 3 year olds still rarely use soap, only when they are really dirty or get food in their hair. My 1 year old only gets soaped up if he gets food in his hair. Other than that no soap is needed :) Honestly I didn't even do more than a wet rag bath until around 6-7 months with DS because it really wasn't needed. He never got dirty because he was always worn and didn't eat solids.


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#17 of 23 Old 03-27-2012, 10:46 PM
 
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I tried with both of my babies with just water, but both ended up needing soap. I think it has more to do with the fact that we live in a warm climate, though. With babywearing, just water would never get the mama-sweat stink off of them. :)

 

ETA: I use Burt's Bees Baby Bee tear-free shampoo and body wash. The unscented stinks really bad so I get the scented one. LOVE the way it makes my kiddos smell.


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#18 of 23 Old 03-28-2012, 03:38 AM
 
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Both of my babies required soap. I thought it would be ok with just water but DD2 especially had cradle cap that actually got stinky. I made my own soap, only using olive oil and apricot oil (lye soap) and it worked immediately to clear it up. DD1 was born in August and no matter how often I wiped her with water, her multiple folds of chubbiness needed soap to wash them or she got sore red areas.
They both have sensitive skin which is why I never use regular soap, only what I make.
I think it depends on the climate also, it gets very humid and hot here in the summer.

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#19 of 23 Old 03-28-2012, 04:01 AM
 
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I just weet to the dermatologist for LO's birthmark. She said just shampoo and what ever soap runs off is good enough. She also said you dont have to shampoo every bath. She doesn't suggest any soap on the body and just wipe the crevises of the neck and others. 

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#20 of 23 Old 03-28-2012, 06:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amberskyfire View Post

I use Burt's Bees Baby Bee tear-free shampoo and body wash. The unscented stinks really bad so I get the scented one. LOVE the way it makes my kiddos smell.


I'm glad someone else hates the smell of the unscented Burt's Bees stuff!  (They really ought to call it "unfragranced" IMO... it has a definite scent to it.)

 

We use Aquaphor once a week on my daughter.  It doesn't seem to have any SLS or parabens in it, but I'm still thinking of switching to something more natural, possibly the unscented Dr. Bronner's? Must research the best deals on a bulk order...


 

 

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#21 of 23 Old 03-28-2012, 10:57 AM
 
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The combination of my chunky girl's skinfolds and my over-active letdown that regularly sprays her face and neck makes a stinky baby. I use California Baby, Burt's Bees, and whatever else I was given at my baby shower that is not full of chemicals.

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#22 of 23 Old 03-30-2012, 02:33 PM
 
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I don't think soap is necessary at all on a baby.

 

I bathe my 12 week old 2 - 3 times a week and spot clean every day, but only with warm water. He smells fresh and is always clean. I don't see any reason to start using soaps or shampoos on him anytime soon.

 

DH and I only use mild castile soap on *select spots* in the shower and use nothing on our hair but a good scalp rub. It took awhile for our skin and hair to get used to this, but after the oil regulated I think everything turned out much better looking and healthier than before :) We both have sensitive skin and I find this method to be great not just for our skin, but also for our budget!


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#23 of 23 Old 04-10-2012, 09:49 PM
 
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I use California Baby too...about half done with the bottle I got at her baby shower and she's almost 6 months old. I don't use it most times she gets a bath though, usually just let her splash in the tub. Now that my mom watches her 4 days a week, part of their routine is for her to get a long soak/play in the tub every day. 


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