An Introduction to Organic Baby Bath
How to Wash your Baby Naturally with Organic Baby Shampoos and Soaps
Your baby’s wash-up routine may be daily, weekly, or somewhere in between, but regardless of how frequently you two frolic in the tub, you’ll likely want to pay attention to what goes into your baby’s bath soap and shampoos. Why? Because companies like to sneak ingredients in that may pose health concerns for your baby. Read on to learn which chemical ingredients you should avoid and how to green your baby's bath with organic, natural soaps and shampoos.
Common chemicals in baby bath products
Want to know what to avoid when choosing better baby shampoos and soap? This is the Ecolife watch list for these baby products:
- DMDM Hydantoin: This is a preservative used in many baby care products, yet it is a known human immune system toxicant and a suspected skin irritant.
- Ceteareth: Used in a variety of formulations for baby baths as solubilizing agents, these chemicals are suspected of many human health concerns, including neurotoxicity, organ damage, and skin irritation.
- Synthetic fragrances: As with any personal care product for you and baby, it’s best to avoid synthetic fragrances. Many of these man-made fragrances are considered persistent organic pollutants (POPs) because they stay in the environment a long time, causing air and water pollution and harming wildlife. And when used indoors, they pollute your indoor air (because most are considered volatile organic compounds (VOCs)), contributing to common respiratory problems like asthma.
- Triclosan: Added to many baby products as a biocide (antibacterial agent), preservative, or deodorant agent, triclosan has already been restricted for use in cosmetics in Canada and Japan because it is an endocrine disruptor and potential organ toxicant. More importantly, antibacterials like this one spur the development of drug-resistant bacteria, creating even more menacing threats for human and animal populations of future generations as we lose the ability to fit off disease.
Natural homemade baby soaps
If you would like to get creative and make your own baby soap then read on! You’ll be using delicious ingredients like olive and coconut oils, essential oils and nut butters, flowers and berries (check out these scent blend ideas), and other sweet, natural, grow-in-your-own-backyard kinds of things. Get all of the basics of the soap-making process at Cranberrylane.com and then dive into these baby soap recipes:
- Organic Natural Baby Soap - Buzzle.com
- Sudsy All-Vegetable Soap - Miller’s Soap
- Lavender Baby Soap - The Sage
- Glynnis’s Baby Blessing Soap - Soap Naturally
- Calendula Baby Soap - Soap Naturally
- How to make your own castile soap - Natural Pure Soap
In the spirit of all things green, Ecolife recommends making soaps without the use of animal ingredients like tallow from pigs and cows unless you can be sure it is from cruelty-free sources. You can find all manner of soapmaking ingredients, molds, and other supplies at the following soapmaking vendors:
And if you really want to get serious about soapmaking, look into joining a soapmaking group, of which there are many worldwide:
Organic baby bath products
Make it easier on yourself by choosing commercially-available organic baby soap and natural baby shampoos. Rather than using scary ingredients like triclosan, these companies base their baby product formulations on plant ingredients that come from nature and quickly biodegrade. Organic baby bath products have the added benefit of being created with certified organic ingredients that were grown without the use of agricultural chemicals like pesticides and fertilizers. Need suggestions for safer natural baby bath products? Read on:
- Avalon Organics Gentle Tear-Free Shampoo and Body Wash
- Baby Bear Shop Baby Bird Soap
- Baby Bee Buttermilk Bath Pint
- Badger Bedtime Soap Bar
- California Baby Super Sensitive Shampoo & Bodywash
- Eden’s Kiss All Natural Soap
- Miessence Baby Cream Wash
- Nature’s Baby Bubble Bath
- Terressentials Organic Baby Wash
- Waleda Calendula Soap
Just keep in mind that not all natural baby care products are made cruelty-free. To be sure that they are, look for the Certified Vegan or Leaping Bunny logos to assure that your chosen products don’t come at the pain of other creatures.
1 DMDM Hydantoin. (n.d.). Retrieved April 13, 2010, from Environmental Working Group Skin Deep Cosmetic Database: http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/ingredient.php?ingred06=702196
2 CETEARETH-20. (n.d.). Retrieved April 12, 2010, from Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database: http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/ingredient/701225/CETEARETH-20/
3 Environment - Air, Water, Wilfelife, and Other. (n.d.). Retrieved April 12, 2010, from The Fragranced Products Information Network: http://www.fpinva.org/text/ENVIRONMENT.html
4 Antibacterial or antimicrobial soaps and kitchen disinfectants. (2008, September 17). Retrieved April 12, 2010, from Center for American Progress: http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2008/09/green_clean.html