I know some people love “new car smell”, but I’ll take new baby smell any day. Of course, as sweet as they are, they do need a bit of hygienic maintenance every now and then. If you’ve ever visited the baby section of a large store, you’ve probably found yourself in front of a baffling wall of tubs and bath products, each proclaiming that theirs is the best. You may have also been gifted any number of products as baby shower gifts…
So, how do you decide what to use?
Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could rely on companies to use safe ingredients and to label their products honestly? Then you could look for labels with happy words on them and choose the one with the scent that appealed most to you. But that’s just not the way things work. Labels that use the words Natural, Gentle, and even Organic don’t necessarily mean a thing.
Thankfully, there are groups looking out for the public’s well-being and doing their best to hold companies to higher standards. The Environmental Working Group has a database that can come in very handy when you’re deciding what products to use for your baby. You can type in the name of a shampoo, bubble bath, lotion, etc. and it will give you a rating between 0-10, zero being the best. The products from Earth Mama Angel Baby all have good ratings, and these are my favorite bath and body goodies for little ones. That said, you can use much simpler (and cheaper) options. A little bit of basic, multi-purpose, castile soap will do the trick; and coconut and jojoba oils are great natural moisturizers.
Aside from the bath products themselves, you can also get hung up on what type of tub to buy (or register for). I have to say that in my experience, the tub itself is much less important than the water temperature, air temperature, and mood of the adult bathing the baby! You may not need an infant tub at all, especially if you have a good sized kitchen sink. You can also bathe with your baby, as long as you can stand the cooler water temperature. (There are plenty of toys such as this one that tell you if your baby’s bathwater is too hot.)
One more detail worth mentioning is the question of special baby towels and washcloths. These are included on most “What You Need For Baby” lists, but I’ve heard a number of expecting parents question this claim. If you’re gifted hooded baby towels and tiny washcloths printed with water critters, by all means enjoy them! But- if you feel obligated to go out and spend your own money on them, I’d absolutely suggest using what you already have. Keep it simple! (Simplicity: that’s truly one of my favorite things.)
Last but not least, if you have a few minutes, here’s one more of my favorites~ an absolutely beautiful video of a newborn’s first bath. Enjoy!
(Photo credit: Chris R. McFarland)