As soon as you announce you are pregnant people have lots of advice about what you need and what you don’t. Honestly from my experience it is very personal what you will and won’t use – who knew my husband and I would become addicted to the bath thermometer!
I did a lot of research while I was pregnant into different products and also where to buy them from – Hong Kong is often pretty expensive for these things so I leveraged friends and family to bring things back from UK, Australia and the US. This is ok for the one time purchase items but when you are using things regularly it is not so practical!
We try to use the best natural baby products and/or organic baby products wherever we can. Our aim is to minimise the toxins that our little one is exposed to – of course, it is impossible to avoid them altogether but we are trying!
Here are my top picks of personal care products as well as key items that she is exposed to regularly.
Natural skincare products for babies – my top picks
All these products are free from harmful chemical ingredients that have been linked to skin irritations, eczema, hormone disruption and cancer. I cross-check everything on EWG Skindeep database and the individual ingredients are never above a 3 and ideally 2 or below.
Hair and body wash – bath time fun
I have tried quite a few different ones. I have also transitioned from not using anything for the first 6 months, to then slowly introducing fragrance free formulations but now I feel that a light natural smell really helps the whole wind down pre bed and nice for me too after the chaos of the day!
My current pick is Babo Botanicals Shampoo, Bubble Bath & Wash, Lavender. I love the smell of lavender and will often put a few drops of pure lavender oil in my own bath.
It will not be the best option for very sensitive skin – have a look at my review on natural baby bath products to find something more suitable.
Massage oil – sleep, sleep, please sleep!
Baby massage has been cited to give all sorts of benefits from bonding to increased weight gain, aiding digestion, improving circulation, and easing teething pain…even improving sleep! And it is lovely when they are still and happy, letting you stare into their eyes and gently caress them…for us the problem was she never stayed still or happy for long enough!
But I think it is also about getting into a routine and we never quite managed it – we mainly used virgin coconut oil but this one from Badger – Calming Baby Oil, Chamomile & Calendula is lovely too with the added benefits of Chamomile and Calendula. Chamomile calms and Calendula soothes and protects the skin.
Babies have delicate skin, and are prone to inflammatory such as nappy rash, atopic dermatitis, cradle cap. Calendula is very gentle and has anti inflammatory properties. It is important to use organic calendula extracts and not the non-organic products as there have been studies to show that only the organic extract possess the powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties.
This is organic baby oil made from lovely natural ingredients – please read my post on mineral oil vs baby oil to find out why you should never use ordinary baby oils!
Moisturizer – soft, smooth skin
Living in Hong Kong with high humidity and soft water as well as having a baby that doesn’t have particularly dry skin means that we don’t need moisturizer every day. But when we go on holiday all of our skin changes overnight – Australia and the UK just the water alone makes all our skin drier.
Natural baby moisturizer is surprisingly difficult – so many contain fragrance. Even green brands have fragrance in them – some say made from essential oils but if you don’t know which ones it can be problematic for sensitive skin. Some essential oils really irritate the skin.
So we stick to Babo Botanicals fragrance free sensitive baby daily hydra lotion. The Oatmilk calendula miracle cream is one of their best-sellers and is also free from any harmful ingredients and great for really dry skin.
Nappy cream – no more red bottom!
I have tried a few nappy creams – I was going to do a whole post on this as it is such a sensitive subject;)
Several of the natural creams I tried didn’t work well when the nappy rash flared up!
But my Babo Botanicals worked really well (promise I don’t have any affiliation with the brand but their products are amazing!).
We use the fragrance free formula which has non nano zinc to protect the area and act as a barrier. It has calendula to soothe as well as shea and cocoa butter. Clears up redness very quickly.
Also, it doesn’t stain our cloth nappies – see my post about what we use.
Sunscreen – Physical not chemical UV blockers
I have done a whole post on best natural sunscreens for babies 2018 so please do have a look at that for all the tips and tricks when it comes to sun protection – sunscreen is not always the best option.
Having said that we still need sunscreen and I have tried quite a few now but our definite favourite is think baby, it is very easy to rub and doesn’t leave white marks in which is always the main issue with the physical sunscreens especially with a wriggling baby. The EWG skindeep rating is printed on the ingredients list – why don’t all brands do this!! Nothing above a 1!
Natural sleeping arrangements
Probably the most research I did before the baby was born was into her cot and mattress. I think I was subconsciously hoping that she would spend a lot of time in her bed! Of course, it never works out exactly how you imagine it but I have to say she does spend quite a lot of time in there now!
Mattress – organic, natural, free from harmful toxins
This was the most important decision as far as I was concerned. Comfortable but firm are the basic requirements but I found it so hard to find something that I felt was truly non-toxic and also didn’t weigh too much. I have a whole spreadsheet dedicated to this…crazy I know but that is why I am sharing my findings here – so hopefully we can minimise time spent with head in spreadsheets!
We ended up going for the Babyletto Coco core mattress – made from coconut husk and natural latex. These materials are non-toxic and hypoallergenic, and it is free of polyurethane foam, ‘soy’ foam, vinyl, PVC, chemical flame retardants, dyes, allergens, phthalates, PFC, synthetic latex, and off-gassing materials. And it is OEKO-TEX 100 Certified. It is also light which is a major bonus when it comes to changing cot sheets! Some reviews seem to have had fitting problems with the mattress but ours fitted perfectly into our babyletto cot.
I decided not to use their mattress covers as it is made from polyester and polyethylene.
If we had been in the UK then I would have gone for The Little Green Sheep Natural Twist Cot Bed Mattress. It is a bit heavier than the babyletto and a different size – but similar in terms of materials – cotton, wool, coconut coir and natural latex.
Once I had gone to all the effort to find the perfect organic, natural mattress I wasn’t going to use just any cover to protect the mattress! FInally, I found The Little Green Sheep waterproof Mattress Protector that is made of luxury cotton that absorbs the accidents very well!
Natural feeding – minimise plastic!
I am not going to go into lots of detail here as this is another post for another day but BPA free plastic does not mean that it is free from all nasty chemicals.
BPA free became very popular after several studies found that the chemical mimics estrogen and could harm brain and reproductive development in fetuses, infants and children. However, more recent research shows that a common BPA replacement, bisphenol S (BPS), may be just as harmful.
Try to avoid plastic as much as possible and NEVER heat it – no dishwasher or microwave or even strong sunlight.
I found using glass baby bottles very easy – most of the time you are holding it so it doesn’t get thrown around much and they are made of thick, sturdy glass.
Sippy cup is a whole different ball game – ours gets thrown on the floor constantly….we use stainless steel instead of plastic but I do wish there were better stainless steel options as they are pretty limited.
Natural bath time – mould and plastic free!
Bath time can be so much fun, it also seems to be a time to really suck and chew all our toys – and that is when she isn’t drinking the bath water.
I have found the best bath toys to be natural rubber ones. Ideally ones without holes to avoid the mold problem as well.
CaaOcho is 100% Pure Natural Rubber, Certified non-toxic, food-grade paint
Toothpaste is also something that you want to make sure you get the most natural option available – we use Lavera organic.
This is not an exhaustive list and you definitely can’t control everything your baby is exposed to or what they touch, put in their mouths etc. You will inevitably be given plastic toys that they will chew on etc but the above are the best natural baby products that I have found and the ones we use the most regularly.
Natural baby products or Organic baby products are definitely not the cheapest option – organic mattresses for example are expensive…but you child will hopefully spend a lot of time on it! 16 hours a day the experts kept telling me…certainly didn’t feel like that at the beginning!
There are affilate links in this article if you click on the link to buy then I will earn a small commission to help go towards running the site – all the products I recommend are completely my own choice and I have researched them on EWG skindeep database to make sure they meet my requirements for low toxic ingredients – rated 3 or below. The links are mainly for buying on iherb as it ships to Hong Kong or Amazon.com.