We all want to give our babies the best and healthiest life, that’s a no-brainer! But a lot of the time we may not realize that the products we buy to promote a healthy lifestyle for them may actually make it worse! Believe me when I say, I was not a believer in this or ‘baby product market ploys’ until I saw it happen personally to one of my babies (and that’s never a situation you should LET IT GET TO!). Hence why I am even writing about the products you should not be using on your baby. Stay clear of these products, no matter how the company markets or promotes their products as being safe. Just because a product has ‘baby’ written on it, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe for your child. Read on to find out what happened to my baby boy and some other products that I researched that are harmful for babies.
Last night, I decided to give my baby boy his first ‘bubble bath’ (yes, this is the boy with all the crazy energy! So it’s safe to say bubbles. Were. Everywhere.). I was very ecstatic, as this was going to be a very special moment for him because he had only ever taken a regular bath with minimal soap. I got him a rubber ducky and he was laughing and splashing all over the place before I knew it! I didn’t once think about how dangerous this baby shampoo I was using could be for my child, because, why would baby shampoo be bad? Drying him off, I realized he didn’t look so happy now. And within a very short amount of time, I saw his skin reveal a deep redness all over it. Immediately calling the doctor and telling them what happened, I was told this is quite common for bubble baths on newborns. Supposedly, because their skin is so delicate, it can cause a huge reaction from even just a soft fragrance in a product! It doesn’t matter if it’s ‘baby soap’, adult formula, or a different product, even the slightest bit of fragrance in itself (without the added chemicals on top of it) can have a huge impact on your babies skin. It’s safe to say, I would only ever be washing my babies in plain water from now on!
As I’m sure you can tell, this was the inspiration of this post today. There is so many everyday products that we don’t realize can be harmful for our babies until we actually use it on them. And it can be even the tiniest thing you wouldn’t expect to be dangerous to them that can have the biggest impact! Because of my scare with my little boy last night, I’ve gone all Sherlock Holmes on my research to find the exact products us mothers need to keep away from our babies and how bad they can be if we don’t (basically, mothers unite!). Here are my top 5 most dangerous products for babies that I have not only experienced, but have also thoroughly researched!
Detergents (as we talked about in a previous blog about cloth diapers that you can read here), can have a huge negative effect on your babies overall health. In my recent blog post about baby detergents, I talk about the ones that are safe, and others that you should not use at all. I speak from experience when I say that my second daughter had a terrible reaction from a detergent we used on her cloth diaper that made her very itchy and uncomfortable (her skin even started flaking!). For that reason, I would highly recommend using these baby detergents that I know are 100% safe as my children have not had a single negative reaction to it since I’ve made the switch (and that was years ago!).
It’s tough on odor and stains, but incredibly gentle on clothing and skin. Seriously, I have never found more reliable and safe detergents to use, especially for babies with very delicate skin like mine! You can read more about why I trust these in-particular brand and other detergents in my blog post here!
2. Baby Shampoo
Like detergent, shampoos have been known to cause a huge reaction because of their fragrance and chemicals. This goes back to the story I told you at the beginning of this article about the bubble bath (I never would’ve imagined I’d be writing about how dangerous bubble baths are!). When I gave my son a bath last night, it wasn’t with any special shampoo other than what was listed on the market as ‘safe baby shampoo’. Looking at the ingredients now, I see that the shampoo now was full of a lot of ‘hidden’ toxic and harmful chemicals that, on top of the sensitivity to the fragrance, should never have been in a baby product. But that doesn’t mean all shampoos are that way.
This morning my husband and I picked up a special natural shampoo that I read about in an online baby forum called, “Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soap” (which I was a little nervous to try because I was not familiar with this highly recommended brand). But as of now, my baby has shown absolutely no sign of irritation or discomfort, which I noticed immediately after using the first shampoo. Applying this to my little boy’s skin, I notice how gentle and soothing it felt on my hands, which obviously made me very happy because I knew it would deliver the same smoothness to his skin! It moisturized, and was incredibly easy to not only lather on, but also to take off. I would highly recommend this shampoo to newborns and their mothers (moms, seriously! Grab some of this and treat yourself to a mini spa day! It’s that good!)
For more information (pretty much the A-Z on this topic of harmful baby products): Check out this blog post, 11 Toxic Children’s Products You Probably Use
3. Baby Lotion
Baby lotion is another one of those products you have to do a lot of research on and be really picky with because it’s easy to get a “bad one”. I have a friend that recently had a newborn and asked me what kind of baby lotion I use. Honestly, I was never a fan of using lotion on my baby because I was always unsure of the best one, and didn’t see the importance of it, but her doctor recommended, “Puracy Organic Hand & Body Lotion”, as the safest lotion to use on her baby. After my friend told me about what her doctor said, I decided I could try it as well because my baby was showing signs of dry skin.
We each picked up a bottle of our very own and tested it on our skin first. It felt very gentle, and didn’t have any harsh, any strong fragrance, or unnatural chemicals listed in the ingredients (honestly, I might just have to start buying this as my main moisturizer too because it was so soothing!). I waited 48 hours before I tried it on my baby, and now I have been using it for several years! It is smooth, relieving, great for dry skin, and 100% organic! You seriously can’t get better than that (yeah, I’m definitely going to buy a bottle for myself!). For more information, I highly recommend you read Piyushi’s blog post, Keeping Your Child Chemical Free from Piyushidhir.
4. NOT All Sunscreens!
Like I mentioned in my Safest Sunscreens for Babies & Toddlers, NOT all sunscreens with “baby” or “toddler” or “kids” written on the packaging are safe for young children. In-fact, unless you do proper research like what I’ve done in my blog post about sunscreens and this one here, any lotion, shampoo or wash that you are putting on your children (and most probably on yourself) is very very unhealthy for you.
I am so happy that people are finally realizing the same thing and not just making assumptions certain lotions, creams and oils are safe for them, their family and their children. I read a blog post by Lianna from BetterBeautyMama and she states how shocked she was to learn that the shampoo she was using on her children’s hair was dangerous and how it would harm their future. She also writes the same on her recent Sunscreen Basics blog post.
5. Disposable Diapers
If you have read a few of our other blog posts already, you would know I am a huge advocate for cloth diapers. But I wasn’t always this way. I started being a cloth diaper momma because one of my babies had a huge reaction to wearing disposable diapers from the harsh chemicals in them (her whole body was red and itchy and it absolutely broke my heart!). I have heard stories more often than not of mothers who have had a baby suffer from itchy or red skin as a result of disposable diapers, and all of that was just too much for me! Because of this reason, I would strongly suggest making the switch to cloth diapers as they are much gentler on delicate skin.
I can honestly say since I have switched to cloth diapers, I have not once had to worry about diaper rash or any irritation. And as mentioned above, cleansing your cloth diapers with the proper detergent (like Tide) can make all the difference in your babies health! You can read more about why I made the switch, and why I love cloth diapers so much on my blog here! Or for more information on how to cloth diaper, you can read this blog post here from blogginginbetween.com!
6. Baby Oil
I know a lot of mothers don’t like to use baby oil because it has been said to be incredibly harsh for delicate baby skin. Honestly, let me be real – this is so true! I used baby oil on my first born and the first few uses were great! Her skinned ‘appeared’ to be smooth and it didn’t seem to cause any irritation to her at all. But I didn’t notice the true impact it was having over time until a few weeks later. After two weeks, it began to look like her skin was becoming dull and flat, almost like it was sucking all the moisture out! I didn’t understand why baby oil was doing this to her, as it should be rejuvenating for her, so I stopped immediately. After several months of trying to find a proper baby oil to use, I have found that brands like Cetaphil are actually really good for using on your baby.
I know quite a few ‘mom friends’ that have used and recommended this one to me. And because I know how important using the right baby oil can be, I gave it another try. I am a proud mother of three and have used this brand on each of my babies (including my highly-allergenic second baby girl) and have seen nothing but good results! I tend to stick to the more natural products to avoid any damage to my babies skin, and Cetaphil has made that incredibly easy to do. Basically Cetaphil is my new lover (sorry hubby!).
Don’t forget, its not just the products that you use on your baby that can be harmful. There is many household chemicals, allergens and practices that we do everyday that could be harming our baby and family. For more Eco-friendly products and tips for around your home, check out thos blog post on Eco-friendly products for home on Sarah’s blog. Her blog provides awesome tips on natural and green living.
Overall, with all the marketing ploys with products today, it can be nearly impossible to find which baby products you should and should not use for your baby. Just remember, the safest and smartest way to go is to always read the labels and do a thorough background check of each product before you buy. I always aim for natural products only, and never once have my babies had a reaction to them. I would strongly suggest you make the switch from these harsh products as they may not show right away, but overtime, you will notice just how negativity they impact your child’s overall health! And really, nobody wants to see their little one anything but happy!