Bath time for young infants isn’t just about keeping clean. In fact, if your baby isn’t crawling or eating solid foods yet, they’re not getting sufficiently dirty to require a bath every day. A gentle sponge bath, however, is one of the best ways to bond with your baby and a lovely opportunity to spend a few moments together at eye-level. Gently wiping their skin with a soft cloth and massaging tiny limbs is comforting for both of you and can soothe a fretful infant.
Most babies love bath time as long as the water is the right temperature and you treat it as a
period of calm intimacy. Make sure your baby isn’t overtired or hungry, and lower the lighting or place the bath in a position where it’s not shining in their eyes. You may want to play some quiet music which your baby will come to associate with an activity they enjoy.
While you can give a bath at any time of the day, transitioning to bathing before bed when they’re still very small will help establish a more relaxed bedtime ritual as they get older.
Commercial bath products can over-dry a baby’s sensitive skin. Many are filled with toxins like propylene, parabens, and a host of chemicals with the letters “eth” in them, indicating the presence of 1,4-dioxane. These carcinogens abound in creams and lotions, and your baby’s skin (and the environment) are far better off without them. Along with plain water, here are some suggestions for safe bath products that also promote responsible environmental stewardship:
Organic Wash Cloths
Cotton is processed with harsh chemicals and bleach, which leaves a residue that can irritate your baby’s skin. Choose a washcloth made from organic cotton or bamboo. From harvest through to production, both of these natural materials leave a much smaller environmental footprint than commercial cotton or man-made fibers.
Massaging your baby’s skin at bath time is a wonderful way to make him feel loved and relaxed, but baby oil is a dangerous combination of petroleum by-products and scent. It covers delicate pores and prevents your baby’s skin from releasing toxins. Use natural oils like coconut, olive, chamomile or sunflower, all of which can be used to give a safe and calming massage.
Ellie Bianca Baby & Me Body Oil
You will rarely need to use soap until your baby is crawling around, but if the occasion arises
when you do need a little extra cleaning power, make sure to choose a soap made entirely of natural ingredients. These often include milk, honey, olive oil, and coconut shea. Commercial baby soaps are usually made from the same ingredients as regular soap and packaged to appeal to new parents. They can contain ammonia, formaldehyde and antibacterial chemicals, all of which contribute to allergies, rashes, and eczema in babies.
Milk and Honey Baby Soap
Diaper rash is best treated with air, but you may also want to apply a salve to keep the area dry and soothed. Organic balms will contain a natural anti-inflammatory, like evening primrose oil, an antifungal agent such as myrrh, and beeswax to hold it all together. Just make sure the area is completely dry before applying any type of cream.
Organic Salve Baby Bum
Bamboo Bath Towel
Our own Moon and Baby towels are made from organic, sustainable, and environmentally friendly bamboo. This amazing material is incredibly soft, durable, and naturally hypoallergenic. Bamboo is highly absorbent and there is no need to rub your baby’s sensitive skin to dry off after the bath. Just wrap her in bamboo and let nature do the rest. You can read more about the environmental and health benefits of bamboo here: Link to Bamboo article.
Organic Bamboo Hooded Baby Towel
It’s a short list, but that’s all you need to keep your baby clean and happy. Stay away from the commercial oils, lotions, soaps, and powders. It’s a market that your baby doesn’t need, the environment can’t sustain, and your conscience shouldn’t support.
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