When Can You Use Bath Products on a Baby?



When Can You Use Bath Products on a Baby 2

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Babies are born with an ‘incompetent’ skin barrier. Simply put, infant skin isn’t as good at keeping things out or keeping things in. Meaning that transdermal absorption of whatever you apply onto the skin occurs much more readily.

Likewise, the cleansers you use can more easily strip water and lipids from the skin; resulting in dryness and irritation, as well as an ineffective skin barrier. So be careful when you apply baby toiletries, and which ones you apply!

Understanding Your Baby’s Skin

The skin of a baby is very delicate and sensitive. It is much thinner than adult skin and lacks the protective oils that adults have. This means that a baby’s skin is more susceptible to irritation, dryness, and other skin conditions. It is essential to understand your baby’s skin before you start using bath products.

Adult skin ranges from anywhere between 0.5mm to 1.5mm in thickness. So, not very thick. Infant skin is even thinner! Up to a fifth thinner in fact. Mind. Blown.

A thin, immature and therefore poorly functioning barrier means that whatever is applied to the skin may get absorbed into the blood. What’s more, the detoxing mechanisms of the skin are not yet fully operational in a baby, so any toxic compounds absorbed aren’t broken down and detoxed before reaching the blood.

There’s much debate as to just when a baby’s skin is developed enough to tolerate topical products such as cleansers and creams. What everyone is in agreement with though, is that plain water is adequate to wash your newborn. By 4 weeks a healthy baby born at term should be able to tolerate mild cleansers well. If your baby was premature, then it’s recommended you hold off until your baby is 6-8 weeks old.

Waiting even longer is ok too! As we mention in our ‘when to bathe a newborn’ guide, young babies just don’t get very dirty and don’t need all that much in the way of bathing.

The culture around how to care for your baby is changing and guidelines are being rethought as we slowly recognise the need to respect nature’s evolutionary mechanisms for protecting our babies. Where once we would be washing babies in hospital grade cleansers immediately after birth, now we are being told to just leave babies to absorb the fluids they were born in!

We’re trying to encourage the growth of (good) bacteria on their skin, to set them up with a microbiome that will protect them through life. Unnecessary washing with harsh cleansers is at odds with those recommendations.

If you’ve ever read the ingredients list on any of your toiletries while hanging out in the tub, then you’ll know there is something like a zillion ingredients in the average store-bought personal care product. Most of which you can’t pronounce. Many of these ingredients have been linked to a myriad of health concerns, including, allergies, hormone disruption and cancers. You’ll want to go ahead and avoid most of these for your little one. For several years at least, since skin continues to mature throughout childhood. Better yet, avoid them forever. No one wants those nasties on or in their bodies.

Thankfully people are waking up to the importance of clean living! There are now lots of fantastic, non-toxic personal care products out there for both baby and you! Here at BabaMe HQ, we take time to research our products to try & bring 100% natural living to our customers.

Natural & sustainable is at the heart of our ethos, and we aim to only stock products from companies who share these values. Hopefully, you discover a love for these products as we have, as we really do believe that everyone can benefit from reducing toxins in their lives!

Choosing the Right Bath Products for Your Baby

Choosing the right bath products for your baby is essential. You should choose products that are gentle and mild, specifically designed for babies. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the right bath products for your baby:

Look for Hypoallergenic Products

Hypoallergenic products are specially formulated to reduce the risk of allergic reactions. When selecting bath products for your baby, look for products that are labeled hypoallergenic. These products are free from harsh chemicals, fragrances, and dyes that can irritate your baby’s skin.

Check the pH Balance

The pH level of a product can affect the acidity or alkalinity of your baby’s skin. Look for bath products that are pH balanced, as these are less likely to irritate your baby’s skin. A pH-balanced product will have a pH level between 4.5 and 6.5.

When the pH level of the product is too high, it can cause your baby’s skin to become dry, itchy, and irritated. On the other hand, when the pH level is too low, it can cause the skin to become red, inflamed, and more prone to infection.

Consider the Ingredients

It is essential to consider the ingredients in the products you use on your baby’s skin. Look for natural ingredients such as chamomile, aloe vera, and oatmeal, as these are gentle and soothing to the skin. Avoid products that contain harsh chemicals such as sulfates and parabens.

Also, keep in mind that some essential oils can be irritating to a baby’s delicate skin. For example, tea tree oil, peppermint oil, and eucalyptus oil are not recommended for use on babies.

How to Bathe Your Baby

When it comes to bathing your baby, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure their safety and comfort.

Prepare the Bathing Area

Before you start bathing your baby, make sure the bathing area is safe and comfortable. Use a soft, non-slip mat on the bottom of the bathtub to prevent slipping. Ensure the room is warm to prevent your baby from getting cold. Turn off any air conditioning or fans that could create a draft.

Use Warm Water

The water temperature should be warm, not hot, to avoid burning your baby’s delicate skin. Test the water temperature with your elbow or wrist before placing your baby in the water. The ideal temperature should be around 100.4°F (38°C).

To prevent your baby from getting cold, you can fill the bathtub with a few inches of warm water and then add more water as needed during the bath.

Be Gentle

When washing your baby, be gentle and avoid scrubbing too hard. Use a soft washcloth or sponge to wash their skin. Pay attention to the folds and creases in their skin, as these areas are more prone to irritation and infection.

Avoid using any rough materials that could scratch your baby’s skin, such as loofahs or bath brushes. Also, avoid using too much soap, as this can dry out your baby’s skin.

Clean Your Baby’s Hair

When cleaning your baby’s hair, use a mild shampoo that is designed for babies. Gently massage the shampoo into your baby’s scalp, being careful not to get any shampoo in their eyes.

Rinse your baby’s hair with warm water, and then wrap them in a soft, warm towel to dry them off.

Moisturize Your Baby’s Skin

After your baby’s bath, pat them dry with a soft towel and then moisturize their skin with a gentle lotion or oil. This will help to prevent dryness and keep their skin soft and healthy.

Choose a moisturizer that is specifically formulated for babies and avoid using any products that contain fragrances or harsh chemicals.

Bath Time Safety

Safety is always a top priority when it comes to bathing your baby. Here are some additional tips to help keep your baby safe during bath time:

  • Never leave your baby unattended in the bathtub, even for a few seconds. Babies can drown in just a few inches of water.
  • Use a bath thermometer to ensure that the water temperature is safe for your baby.
  • Keep all bath products out of reach of your baby to prevent accidental ingestion.
  • Always test the water temperature before placing your baby in the bathtub.
  • Never hold your baby while carrying hot liquids, such as tea or coffee, as the liquid can spill and burn your baby.

Bath Time Routines

Establishing a regular bath time routine can help your baby feel more comfortable and relaxed during their bath. Here are some tips for creating a bath time routine:

  • Choose a time of day when your baby is not too hungry or tired.
  • Play soft music or sing songs to help your baby relax.
  • Use bath time as an opportunity to bond with your baby by talking or playing with them.
  • Keep bath time short, no more than 10 minutes, to prevent your baby’s skin from drying out.
  • Follow bath time with a calming activity, such as reading a story or giving your baby a massage.

When to Call the Doctor

While bathing your baby is generally a safe and enjoyable experience, there are times when you should call your pediatrician:

  • If your baby develops a rash, redness, or other signs of irritation after using a new bath product.
  • If your baby’s skin becomes excessively dry or itchy.
  • If your baby has a fever or any other signs of illness.
  • If your baby has any open sores or wounds.

By following these additional tips and being vigilant about bath time safety, you can create a relaxing and enjoyable bath time routine for your baby while keeping them safe and healthy.


When can I start giving my baby a regular bath?

It is generally safe to start using bath products on a baby after they are at least one month old. However, it is important to wait until the umbilical cord stump falls off and heals completely.

What should I look for in bath products for my baby?

When selecting bath products for your baby, look for products that are labeled hypoallergenic, pH balanced, and contain natural ingredients such as chamomile, aloe vera, and oatmeal. Avoid products that contain harsh chemicals such as sulfates and parabens.

How often should I bathe my baby?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that you bathe your baby two to three times a week for the first year of life to prevent dry skin. However, you can bathe your baby more frequently if necessary, such as after a diaper blowout or if they become sweaty or dirty.

How should I clean my baby’s hair?

When cleaning your baby’s hair, use a mild shampoo that is designed for babies. Gently massage the shampoo into your baby’s scalp, being careful not to get any shampoo in their eyes. Rinse your baby’s hair with warm water, and then wrap them in a soft, warm towel to dry them off.

What should I do if my baby has sensitive skin?

If your baby has sensitive skin, you should choose bath products that are specifically designed for sensitive skin and free from harsh chemicals, fragrances, and dyes. You can also try adding a few drops of natural oil, such as coconut oil or olive oil, to the bathwater to help soothe and moisturize your baby’s skin.

How can I make bath time fun for my baby?

You can make bath time fun for your baby by using toys or colorful washcloths to keep them entertained. Singing songs or playing soft music can also help to create a relaxing and enjoyable atmosphere. Finally, be sure to talk to your baby and interact with them during bath time to help strengthen your bond.

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