Babies don’t arrive with instruction manuals much to parents’ dismay. Being ready before your little one arrives helps, but a perusal of the baby care aisle can leave you baffled. What is the best baby soap? Why can’t your new baby just use your soap? What’s the difference between organic, hypoallergenic, and natural? If you’re seeking answers, you’ve come to the right site.
Baby Soaps Reviewed In This Article
Baby Dove Wash (Check The Latest Price On Amazon) Is The Best Baby Wash For DadProgress
Dr Bronner's Pure Castile Bar Soap For A Baby (Check The Latest Price On Amazon) Is Probably The Best Baby Soap For Vegans
Aspen Kay Naturals Lavender & Goats Milk Soap (Check The Latest Price On Amazon) Is The Best Organic Baby Soap For DadProgress
Aquaphor Baby Wash & Shampoo (Check The Latest Price On Amazon) Is Probably The Best Two In One
What’s A Soap?
Soap is a salt of fatty acid... Chemistry can be quite boring though. Here’s an excellent Youtube video by Lehman’s that in 3 minutes shows what it takes to make soap.
When Should I Use Baby Soap?
A sponge bath using only warm water is enough for the first couple weeks until the umbilical cord falls off.
Any time after this you can introduce baby soap, but use soap only on overly dirty or oily areas. Soaps can dry skin and are mild irritants so the skin time of soap should be minimal.
Keep in mind that most babies don’t need daily baths. The Mayo Clinic mentions three times a week until your baby begins to crawl.
We bathe our baby every day and usually use organic baby shampoos, but we rarely use soap. It's often needed to wash his hands and face when we have played outside though.
Baby Soap: Organic, Hypoallergenic, Or Natural?
Marketing terms exist in the baby care world as much as any other industry. You’re going to come across all of them at some point, along with advice that might not be scientifically sound.
Your baby’s skin is sensitive, but a marketed hypoallergenic, natural, or organic soap doesn’t automatically mean it’ll be the best. Nor does it guarantee that any governmental agency has tested and approved it.
Organic Baby Soap
Organic means the soap’s formula is free of artificial dyes, fragrance. However, only certified organic actually means organic.
Natural Baby Soap
Natural can mean different things. It can mean they use only some natural ingredients. Some companies will list the percentage of natural or plant-based ingredients.
Hypoallergenic Baby Soap
Hypoallergenic isn’t an official term. It was first used in 1953 in a cosmetic campaign. Consumers take it to mean it’s safe, but the word isn’t regulated by anyone. These products claim to cause less allergic reactions.
Some chemicals are known t cause more allergic reactions, and most soaps avoid them. It means that it's not technically false to call some products hypoallergic. But virtually everything has a potential to cause allergic reactions to some people. Hence, it means that buying a hypoallergenic soap doesn't protect 100% against reactions.
Ingredients of the best baby soap
If you happened to watch the Youtube video in the beginning, then you know that oils and fats are needed to make soap.
The best baby soap may include coconut oil or olive oil, but there are also other options.
For example, soaps made of pure olive are sometimes called Castile. Castile baby soap has reputed to be exceptionally mild and work well for all skin types.
Liquid Soap or Bar Soap?
Liquid soap is more convenient to use, but it also contains more ingredients than traditional bar soap to maintain its liquid state.
This article speaks mostly of bar soap, but many of our recommended brands in the last section come in a liquid variety too.
1) As a father, I like easy to use products, and so I usually buy liquid soap. Aquaphor Baby Wash & Shampoo (Sold On Amazon) is an easy to use two in one.
2) If you're searching for organic soaps, then go for a bar soap.
What to Consider in a Baby Soap
The best baby soap will have features you might not find in every brand marketed for infants and toddlers. Some are personal preference. Others are necessary for the safety of your baby’s skin and eyes.
The best baby soap is naturally scented through baby-safe essential oils or has no scent. If you wish to know more, keep reading.
It's a personal choice. As it's so easy to find organic soaps with certification, there are only a few reasons not to go with it though. They can be more expensive, but soaps last a long time.
These soaps are not tested on animals. As people can effectively make soaps at home, I can't think of a reason why animal testing would be necessary. To be honest, I'd be suspicious of soaps that have been tested on animals (what chemicals have they used that need to be tested?).
It's better to have as few chemicals as possible in baby soap.
Not antimicrobial or antibacterial
If you wish to know more, read the text chapter.
Is Baby Soap Safe?
As I've already pointed out (sorry for repeating myself), soaps can dry skin and are mild irritants. So the skin time of soap should be only a couple of minutes.
Every baby’s skin has an individual tolerance to different soaps though.
You should only use mild soaps, and it's a good idea first to try them on a small area of the skin.
Baby Soap For Eczema
If your child has eczema, then soaps can irritate her or his skin. All the baby soaps that I’ve reviewed in this article are mild and suitable for sensitive skin. That said, if they irritate the skin, you may want to consider cleansers without soap. It's also necessary to apply topical emollients 1-4 times a day.
The incidence of eczema is 15-20%. If your baby has dermatitis, then the outer layer of protective skin barrier is damaged. It means that a lot of factors (including soap and hot water) can irritate it. This condition has been linked to genes, allergies, and infections, so it's multifactorial.
You don't need to use soap at all because it's not necessary for babies. You also have an option to use soap-free cleansers. That said, mild soaps may be suitable for older children, but you can find it only by trial and error.
You must understand that just because soap is for sale, it doesn’t mean it’s safe or been tested by the FDA. Consumerism offers a false sense of security when it comes to beauty and personal care items.
What Should I Do If My Baby Has A Reaction?
A skin reaction (contact dermatitis or a genuine allergic reaction) to all soap is rare. That said, the signs can arise up to 72 hours after contact. If this happens, you should stop using the soap (didn't see this one coming, right?) and any new detergents. If it's a severe reaction, you should also contact your pediatrician.
Are there harmful chemicals you should avoid in baby soap?
Yes, the Environmental Working Group has extensive information and ratings on common ingredients. Here are a few you should avoid unless it’s received extensive review:
Triclosan is an antimicrobial agent that you can find in some soaps. It may cause many health problems from antimicrobial resistance to endocrine disruption.
Triclocarban is a similar chemical, and it has been speculated that it also has adverse effects. It's better to avoid them both when choosing the best baby soap.
It's a known irritant and best avoided in baby products.
Alcohol in soap can irritate and dry out your baby’s skin.
As I've explained in my article about organic baby shampoos, many ingredients that make up the scent are not listed on the label. They may include hormone disruptors for example.
Is Baby Soap Antibacterial?
Baby soap can be antibacterial, but not all baby soaps are. Two important antibacterial agents in antibacterial soaps are triclosan and triclocarban.
I've already explained, why it's a good idea to avoid them. It's suspected that they may cause many health problems. Additionally, in 2007 a study found that antibacterial soaps aren't better at killing disease-causing germs than regular soaps .
Does Baby Soap Expire?
Soap is usually good for three years from the manufacturing date.
The FDA doesn’t recognize dates, require them, or enforce them on the packaging. Soap makers claim it’s to ensure consumers use a fresh, effective product.
Signs you should replace your baby soap:
To prolong the life of your bar soap, you should be sure to dry it between uses. Store the soap in a dry, cool place.
Can I Use My Baby’s Soap Too?
Baby soaps are gentle cleansers, and yes, you may use them too. They won’t cut through heavy grime or and some deodorants though.
5 Best Baby Soaps For DadProgress
Dove is a company recognized for its gentle cleansing beauty bars. Their baby formulation offers the same benefits, but it’s tear free and a brand your whole family can enjoy. Dove is also recommended by Dr. Sears, a renowned pediatrician and author of child care books.
Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap is gentle enough for daily use by the entire family. Their unscented bar actually leaves no scent behind, and the bar itself has no odor, which is a rarity in the soap world. They also offer a line of essential oil scented soap bars too.
Aspen Kay Naturals is a Florida based company that produces high-quality soaps the old-fashioned way. Lavender essential oil gives off a light fragrance to promote relaxation and calmness during your baby’s bath.
Aquaphor baby wash & shampoo is designed for your baby's sensitive skin. It offers your baby’s skin healthful ingredients like chamomile essence and Provitamin B5.
Shea Moisture offers wholesome products made from natural and certified organic ingredients. Frankincense and myrrh essential oils add a clean, masculine body to this bar while the aromatherapy qualities induce calm and relaxation in your little one.
To Sum Up
The best soap for your baby will cleanse and keep the delicate balance your baby’s skin. What's more, you shouldn't have to worry about additives or harsh ingredients.
If you're searching for the best baby wash, then check out the Dove Baby Wash (sold on Amazon).
The best all in one is probably the Aquaphor Baby Wash & Shampoo (sold on Amazon).