As a long time vegetarian and yoga teacher I prioritize purchasing natural baby products for my 20 month old son. There are certainly hundreds of products to choose from and if you want a unique product for nearly every body part or any issue, you can find it. But I’ve narrowed it down to the top products that are the most useful on a daily or near-daily basis, products that are effective and not that expensive.
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- Water Wipes. I love Water Wipes because they are super gentle, 100% natural and strong. They don’t have any irritating scent or chemicals and were awarded the National Eczema Association of America Seal of Acceptance. You can use them anywhere and are OK for newborns. I think they are the purest wipes on the market. At home I still use the old fashioned method of soap, water and washcloth, in addition to wipes. But when I’m out and about, I always have at least one package with me.
- Dr. Bronner’s Baby Castile Soap. There are a lot of baby body washes, but sometimes they are expensive and not worth it. I think it’s better to spend your money on other things that matter more like good walking shoes, healthy food, etc. So, I like Dr. Bronner’s Baby Castile Soap. It’s highly concentrated, like all of their soaps, so a little goes a long way. It has many uses; body wash, hand soap, toy cleaner, floor cleaner, etc. Essentially you can use this for anything that comes in contact with your baby, that you want to clean. And you can use it at full strength or as a dilution. Of course it’s natural and scent free, so it’s not irritating.
- Live Clean Baby Shampoo and Body Wash. Dr Bronner’s doesn’t have a bubble bath, so if that’s what you need I recommend Live Clean Baby Shampoo and Body Wash. I bought it on a whim because it was on sale and I actually love it! It bubbles up easily, has a wonderful smell, is tear free, and reasonably priced.
- Shea Moisture. It is one of my favorite brands for baby and myself too! They have a huge product line which makes it difficult to choose sometimes, but everything they offer smells good to unbelievable and it’s natural. They are widely available so it’s easy to test products in real life, even if you choose to buy them online. Their story is great and so is their ethical stance, they do a lot community work and support female entrepreneurs. I love the Raw Shea Chamomile and Argan Oil Head to Toe Wash. I’ve bought the WHOLE collection and especially love the baby balm and the oil. But it’s not just for baby, my husband loves the scent and texture; he uses it too!
- Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Diaper Ointment. It’s really horrible when your baby is suffering from a rash and their little tushie is all red. Yes, there are prescription creams from the doctor and OTC creams at the pharmacy, but they’re all chemical laden and some contain steroids. I prefer something more natural. If you read carefully you’ll note that some of the famous brands have 40% zinc oxide, which is a high concentration of protection, exactly what you want. Burt’s Bees is one of the few natural creams that has the same 40%, but it doesn’t have all those chemicals.
- Alba Botanica, Mineral Sunscreen. Putting sunscreen on your baby can be a definite battle. Trying to hold him or her still while simultaneously avoiding getting cream in their eyes and hair can be a wrestling match! And so it’s good to make sure the cream is safe in case it gets where it shouldn’t. Every year the Environmental Working Group (EWG) publishes a safe sunscreen list and this particular Alba cream scored well. Alba makes a lot of different sun protection and this is my favorite because it has a smooth, easy-to-rub-in texture, a light smell, is moisturizing and not expensive.
- Method Antibacterial All Purpose Cleaner. There seems to be some controversy as to how natural Method products really are, but they’re certainly safer than traditional products. And even if they’re not perfectly natural, I think they’re close enough and redeem themselves through the variety, good scents, performance and price point. The antibacterial spray is strong and useful for diaper bins, shoes, and really smelly stuff. It’s not my favorite smell, but it works well and doesn’t have any Triclosan.
- Weleda. Weleda is like the Johnsons & Johnson of Germany. But unlike Johnson & Johnson, Weleda is much more natural and better for you. My two favorite Weleda products include one for baby and one for mommy! The Weleda diaper cream is soothing and great for everyday use. After changing what feels like 100’s of diapers a day and constant cleaning and wiping, my hands and fingers often feel dry and chapped. I hate it…Weleda’s Skin Food to the rescue! It’s thick and rich, but not greasy so it lasts on your hands for awhile. But you can use it anywhere and everywhere, even your face, I heard it was a makeup artist’s favorite cream to apply pre-makeup.
Monique Marco is an Ashtanga-based vinyasa yoga teacher who loves urban life and eats dark chocolate every day. She’s also a certified make-up artist and image consultant specializing in natural skin-care, beauty and eco-fashion.
This post was first published on The Mom Forum.