Being a first time parent can be daunting. From choosing the best pushchair for your needs (reversible seat? compact or sturdy? helpful add-ons? it costs how much?!) to selecting a suitable bed (cot vs crib vs baby box), you’ll feel like you’ve never had to take so many decisions all at once. And with newborns’ skin being so delicate, finding the right skincare for your little one can be a bit of a minefield. Beauty brands are tapping into parents’ increasing demands for baby and child specific skincare, with established brands like Aveeno and Dove being well placed to launch gentle bath products tailored to babies’ needs. Having trialled quite a few products – on my skin and on my baby’s – I’ve whittled down the list of skincare essentials which I’ve come to rely on day in day out.
First up on the list of baby skincare essentials is Dove Baby’s Head to Toe Wash. The brand needs no introduction: having brought gentle nourishing bath and body care to the masses for the past 60 years they are well placed to launch a baby range. This multi-purpose product is perfect if you’d rather keep your bathroom as clutter-free as possible – a concept I’m all for as reviewed in How to Streamline your Beauty Shelfie however it does prove increasingly difficult the older children get. This can be used on the whole body including hair, a great all-in-one option that is tear-free and super mild to provide gentle moisture replenishment. There doesn’t seem to be a hard and fast rule on when to start using bath time products for your baby. I didn’t feel the need to in the first few months and just used water and a soft sponge, but did make an exception for his head. Curdled milk in baby hair isn’t a cuddle-inducing scent. If you’d like to find out more about the Baby Dove range I’ve reviewed a wider selection of products in my post Baby Dove Gentle Bath Time Care.
Next up is Aveeno Baby’s moisturising lotion. Similar to Dove, here’s another beauty giant (part of the Johnson & Johnson family) that has branched out into baby territory, providing gentle everyday bath products to soothe, nourish and protect sensitive skin. With the continued growth of natural skincare ranges and a rising awareness of what we put on our skin, the number of ingredients listed on a product can play in our purchasing decision. Aveeno’s baby moisturizing lotion contains nearly 78% more ingredients than the adult’s version, however these additional ingredients are actually moisturising oils such as soybean, sunflower and buriti, anti-inflammatory chamomile and olive leaf extract, and soothing aloe vera. All valid formula-enhancing ingredients. The only exception to look out for is the very low concentration of fragrance – it is the final ingredient – which seems like an unnecessary addition to a baby product but hasn’t had an adverse effect on my baby’s delicate skin. If you’d like to find out more about the Aveeno range I’ve reviewed a wider selection of products in my post Aveeno Mother and Baby Skincare Routine.
Not a sweet smelling or cutesy product but a necessity, I started using this Nappy Ointment on my baby’s bottom when all other creams had failed. I won’t go into the gory details but it wasn’t just a little redness my toddler was contending with, and after applying loads of Sudocrem (my usual go to nappy rash cream) for nearly two days I was recommended Bepanthen by a fellow mum. This ointment forms a breathable layer, helping to protect your baby’s skin from rubbing against the nappy. The formula is enriched in Provitamin B5, helping skin to repair whilst keeping it moisturised. It claims to be so gentle that it can be used on the most sensitive skin, even that of premature babies. A thin layer is supposed to suffice but I was desperate so applied a generous layer with every nappy change. After 12 hours my toddler’s skin had already improved significantly and the nasty rash was cleared the day after. For £3.36 this nappy cream is definitely worth having on hand, even just for extreme cases. For everyday use Baby Dove offer an alternative which I reviewed in Baby Dove Gentle Bath Time Care.
Probably the baby product I reach for the most on a daily basis. There’s a pack near the changing mat, a pack in the changing bag, spares under the bed and probably more lurking in the bathroom/pushchair basket/handbag. Nine months pregnant and frantically trying to get everything ready for baby’s arrival (I know I did have 9 months to get organised) there was one skincare essential I didn’t need to research, as my husband had helpfully road tested most of the baby wipes on the market. Driving to meetings and not always having access to running water, he resorted to using baby wipes when swapping glasses for contact lenses. Huggies Baby Wipes Pure were the only ones he tried that didn’t sting his eyes so logically he felt they would be ultra gentle on a newborn’s skin. Unscented and made up of 99% water, these wet wipes clean gently and efficiently, and for only £1.00 are hard to beat.
I couldn’t share a baby skincare essentials list without mentioning Johnson’s, who no doubt dominate the baby bath time market with their iconic globally recognised range. Who doesn’t have childhood memories of their Baby Powder or lavender-scented Bedtime Bath? Unfortunately my baby’s skin didn’t react too well to the fragrance in that body wash and since then I tend to stay clear of scented baby products (the exception being Aveeno). I have a mind to try this out on my own skin though and reminisce about childhood scents.
Am I going a bit overboard in the baby skincare department with this being my third post on the topic? Although for anyone with delicate or sensitive skin there’s no reason why these products couldn’t be part of your skincare routine (minus the nappy rash cream). Do you use any toiletries aimed at babies? I used to use Johnson’s Baby Oil which is great on damp post-shower skin. Leave a comment below to let me know about your favourite ones!