Friday, May 3, 2013

Natural Baby Wash & Shampoo

I had been using all natural products on myself for a few months, when I began to wonder why I wasn't doing the same for my toddler. I had been washing her hair with Johnson & Johnson's Baby Shampoo, and cleaning her skin with Aveeno's Baby Wash every night.  I did some research on both, and was not happy about what I learned.  I don't have the energy to go into it all on my blog, but let's just say that both are full of unnecessary and sketchy (at best) chemicals, that I'd rather not lather into my child's skin. 

After some googling, I found a blog called My Merry Messy Life, which had a recipe for Homemade Moisturizing Baby Shampoo.  You should definitely check out her blog yourself, as it has many other great natural hair and skin ideas for adults as well.  In her Baby Shampoo post, she  outlines the cost to make her shampoo, and it comes to under $3 for 12 ounces. Not bad! Unfortunately, I found the baby shampoo left my daughter's fine hair too greasy.  Happily, however, I found that when used strictly as a body wash, it left her skin squeaky clean and super soft. Since I've been using it, I rarely have to use baby lotion on her. 

Below, I have posted the recipe for the Baby Wash. I altered it a little since I wasn't using it as a hair wash, and therefore wanted to make it a bit more moisturizing. I'm also sharing with you my own recipes for Baby Shampoo and Baby Lotion that I've been using.  All are easy to make, last practically forever, have great results, and are incredibly cost effective.  And best of all, you can relax knowing nothing but completely natural ingredients are being absorbed into your precious child's skin. 

The Tools
Moisturizing Baby Wash
1/2 Cup Castile Soap (I like Dr Bronner's Baby Mild)
1/2 Cup Water
2 Tbsp Sweet Almond Oil, Jojoba Oil, or Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Vitamin E Oil or Aloe Vera Gel (or just more of the oil used above)
Optional: 8-10 Drops Essential Oil (I like Lavender)
Mix all ingredients in a large glass measuring cup, and pour into a bottle (I used an old Cetaphil face wash dispenser). Give it a shake before each use to make sure ingredients are well mixed, and apply straight to skin or on a wash cloth. 

Simple Baby Shampoo

1 Part Dr Bronner's Baby Mild Castile Soap
1 Part Water
Optional: Essential Oil to add scent
Mix ingredients, store in a bottle (I use a squirt bottle), shake before using, massage into scalp, try to avoid eyes (not completely tear proof), and rinse well.  Keep in mind that your child's hair does not need to be shampooed every day.  Like I discussed in my adult hair post, over-washing strips hair of it's natural oils.  I therefore wash my toddler's hair at most two times a week.

Conditioner or Clarifying Rinse, if needed

1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar 
1 Cup Filtered Water
Mix ingredients, store in an old shampoo bottle, give it a shake before using, pour over hair, let sit for a minute, and then rinse again with water. Vinegar smell will fade as hair dries. Keep out of eyes; NOT tear proof.  I use this rinse every few weeks, as I find that castile soap can sometimes leave a bit of a build up after a while.  If your child has longer hair, you may want to use it every time you wash his or her hair, as it makes for a fantastic detangler.

Baby Lotion

Coconut Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Jobaba or Olive Oil
Really, you can use any kind of natural oil that has been cleared for skin use.  I prefer Coconut Oil because of its antibacterial properties and it's great smell. Remember, a little goes a long way--use too much and your baby is going to be slick for a little bit!

** A Note About "Tear-Free"**
Have you wondered how companies make their baby shampoo and wash "tear-free"?  Some groups claim that they do this by adding chemicals that numb or anesthetize the tear ducts. The companies claim this is not true. However, the United States does not regulate the tear-free labels, which means it's hard to know if the companies are telling the truth.  So whether it is true or not, it makes me nervous enough to not worry about using a non-tear-free natural alternative.  If you are careful when washing and rinsing your child, it's relatively easy to keep it out of their eyes (and I say this as a parent to a very wild and squirmy child that hates having her hair washed).    


  1. Thank you so much for this post. I am excited to start using the body wash on my girls!

  2. I really enjoyed your post. You are really going to see a wonderful difference with your natural products for your family. Enjoy!

  3. Has anyone made this with the bar of soap instead of the liquid? I did and it is very think, not sure what I did wrong.

    1. The recipe calls for just the liquid type of Dr. Bronner's. It would make sense that using a bar of soap would create a much thicker result. Next time try the liquid, or maybe just do half and half?

  4. Wouldn't you need a preservative because you are adding water to prevent mold and unseen bacteria? Could you do this without the water?

    1. I've never had a problem with mold, but you could use distilled water to make it less likely for mold or bacteria to grow in it.