Choosing Baby Skin Care Products

by Tara M. Bloom

baby just out of bathIf you've been reading up about newborn care or talking with your pediatrician, midwife or OB about caring for your new baby, you've been told not to use any skin care products (such as soaps, lotions, powders or oils) during the first four to six weeks after baby is born.

Do you know why?

What we put on baby's skin is important. And not just for the first few weeks. Here are some quick facts:

  • Baby skin is five times thinner than an adult's, making it especially permeable
  • Because babies have a larger surface area relative to their weight, the dose of chemicals absorbed through baby skin is proportionately larger
  • Babies' immune systems and organs that break down potentially hazardous chemicals are not fully developed -- so the long-term effect of early toxin exposure can be exponential
  • The importance of choosing non-toxic, organic and natural baby skin care products is clear: to prevent your baby from coming into contact with compounds that pose threats to his or her developing organs, brain and body

While there are lots of brands that say they're "natural" or "organic," or "dermatologist-tested," or "hypo-allergenic," you need to know that there are requirements or regulations about naming products as such. Rather than look at the phrases that a company uses to market a brand, become familiar and confident with reading labels and understanding ingredients.

Because new babies' skin is so sensitive, and our environments can be filled with irritants, it's not uncommon for them to break out in rashes or have other negative reactions to baby lotion, baby oil and baby soaps -- even those that say they're "hypo-allergenic" or "dermatologist tested."

Prevent this uncomfortable situation and keep your baby's skin clean and healthy by starting off with non-toxic products that have been specially formulated for baby's safety with natural and organic ingredients. Find organic baby shampoo, organic baby bath products, organic baby lotion, organic baby oil and organic diaper cream from reputable brands such as Earth Mama Angel Baby and Mambino Organics.

Tara M. Bloom has a passionate desire for women to have safe, healthy, confident experiences of pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. She's the founder and CEO of Maternitique, a resource for women seeking naturally safe and beautiful maternity products through their childbearing years. Read more of Tara's maternity guides on her blog, Materni-Talk.

Copyright © Tara M. Bloom. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org.