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A Guide to Buying Baby Bath Products


Everyone loves a nice, warm bath, including your baby. Bath time will soon become a daily opportunity for you and your little one to bond and play.

Of course, one of the things that makes baths so great are the various products - soothing soaps, cleansing shampoo and skin-nourishing moisturizers. The right items turn bath time into an enjoyable, almost luxurious experience for baby. Here's what you need to know to choose the best baby bath products for your little one:

Washcloth: Soft and durable

A good washcloth is thick, soft and machine washable. You'll be using it often as your baby grows, and you won't have the time (or the energy) to hand wash after every bath. That said, you'll also want to make sure it's durable, well-stitched and free of any toxic dyes. Choose washcloths made of cotton, bamboo, flannel, nylon or muslin.

Soap: Cleansing, not drying

Believe it or not, you won't use any soap during those first few baths. Newborns should have sponge baths in the beginning, at least until their umbilical cord falls off.

Once soap and water come into play, choose soaps that are specially formulated for infant care. They should be labeled "hypoallergenic" and "nontoxic," especially since babies put anything and everything into their mouths. Don't get a baby soap known for sudsing, as these little bubbles strip the skin of its natural oils, which then causes dryness or irritation. This means you should avoid products with sodium lauryl sulfate, which is often added to soaps as a sudsing agent. Also, avoid bar soaps, which are more harsh and drying than liquids.

Shampoo: No tears here

Johnson's Baby Tear Free Shampoo

Like soap, your baby won't need shampoo right after birth. In fact, you don't really need this product until your little one starts sprouting hair.

Look for brands with the words "tear-free" on the packaging to avoid soapy eyes and lots of crying. Again, choose a low-suds formula to preserve the hair and scalp's natural oils. Also, opt for baby shampoos made for sensitive skin and containing naturally moisturizing ingredients like coconut oil.

Tub: Nonskid, temporary

The First Years Sure Comfort Deluxe Newborn To Toddler Tub
The First Years Sure Comfort Deluxe Newborn To Toddler Tub

Infant tubs are a must-have, but you also won't use one for very long. Most babies outgrow their tubs by 6 months, by which point they should have the neck and upper body strength to sit upright and transition to a full-size tub.

This means you can save a lot of money by buying a simple, basic tub rather than one with lots of bells and whistles. Sure, you can get an infant tub with a built-in water thermometer or shower head attachment, but you'll only use it for half a year.

Above all, you want a tub with nonskid details on both the inside and outside. Better yet, look for one with suction cups on the bottom so the tub doesn't budge.

Choose one made of BPA-free materials that's easy to clean. Plastic tubs simply require a quick wipe, but other tub types are treated to resist mildew. 

Also, make sure the tub has rounded edges (no sharp corners!) and support for your baby's head and shoulders. If you plan to store it or use it in multiple places around the house, look for a collapsible or portable model. Note that a nonfolding baby tub will take up a lot of room under the sink.

Moisturizer: Soft and non-irritating

Most newborns don't need lotion unless their skin is very dry, but a nice massage can be good for your baby. The light pressure stimulates blood flow to the skin to deliver vital nutrients, and the physical contact increases the bond between you and your baby.

Choose unscented lotions with natural, moisturizing ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter or sweet almond oil. Petroleum oil is also a good option, as is unscented mineral oil (often packaged as baby oil). Whatever option you choose should be free of alcohol, which dries the skin.

Keep in mind that if your baby's skin is chronically dry even with lotion, you might be bathing too frequently.

Towel: Warm and drying

Babies, especially newborns, get cold quickly, so you'll want to transfer them directly from the bath to a nice, warm towel. Get a thick, absorbent one made of material like bamboo, which also has natural antibacterial properties. Microfiber is also a great option, as it grabs dirt and dry skin and feels great to the touch. You can also choose from a variety of cotton types, the highest-quality ones being Egyptian, Turkish, Pima and organic.

Regardless of the material you opt for, make sure your towel has a hood. Remember, babies loose heat quickly, and the hood keeps them warm as you dress them in their pajamas.

Baby bath time tips

Nuby Octopus Hoopla Bathtime Fun Toys

Look out for the water spout! A nasty bump can lead to a bruise or cut. Buy a spout cover - there are lots of cute options in the shape of animals.

Avoid the toys. Bath time will be quick at first, so your child won't need bath toys until reaching toddlerhood.

Monitor the water temperature. You want it warm but not scalding. Also, keep the room temperature at 75 degrees or higher.

Never take your eye off your baby. If you have to go into the other room, take your little one with you.

Check the Consumer Product Safety Commission website for bath safety tips and product recalls.

Make bath time a fun, calming experience for you and your little one by getting only the best baby bath products on the market. 

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