Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Favorite things- Baby Care Products.

A little positive reinforcement from Julie and here I am writing another favorite things blog. This one dealing with baby care products. You may remember this post where I talked about all the crap that is in personal care products, and how I wanted to use safer products on my baby. Well I have now used a bunch of such products and can make some recommendations to you if you are also looking to use 'safer' products. I just want to note that I have made my own judgments about what is 'safe', based on information from the company and the data presented at the cosmetic safety database put together by the environmental working group (EWG). Your judgments might be different.

Burt's Bees - Baby Bee Shampoo & Wash: I tried at least four different organic baby shampoo's before receiving this as a gift from my friend Pam. I was familiar with the company but wasn't sure how I felt about it since it had 'fragrance' listed among the ingredients. I did some research and while I never found out what exactly that 'fragrance' was, this product is listed as being free of phthalates, parabens and Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate. Since these are the main ingredients that I want to avoid I feel comfortable using this product. The best part? It smells SO GOOD. Most people expect babies to smell like Johnson and Johnson's products, and when I was using other things I always felt like Colin didn't have 'that baby smell', in fact some of the organic shampoos smell nasty! Well this product covered that issue and then some! Now people are always asking my what I use on him because he smells so good. Even my 'very picky when it comes to smells' mother (it is just who she is, nothing wrong with it) loves this stuff, and if Joanne Jones approves you know it must smell good. I also use their Apricot Baby Oil, a few drops in the bathtub helps keep Colin's skin from drying out.
Due to the presence of 'fragrance' on the ingredient list this product is given a score of 4 (on a scale from 0-10, 0 being safest) by EWG. Since every other ingredient has a score of 2 or less and I believe in the company I have made the judgment that this product is 'safe enough' for Colin.
I also want to note that Burt's Bees as a company has helped develop "The Natural Standard" for personal care products, so that when something is labeled as "natural" it actually is. (Unlike 7up which is label at 100% natural and has HFCS in it! ugh.)

Eucerin Aquaphor : When Colin was suffering from severely dry skin on his legs and chest our pediatrician recommended this product. Since it is a petroleum product it isn't the 'greenest' thing you can find but it does have a score of 2 from EWG. What I love about it is that it WORKS! Colin's dry skin was spiraling out of control and I was trying three different organic lotions but nothing even touched it. A few nights of applying this after his bath and the dry skin was history. I've even used this in place of chapstick when I got desperate (and I can get pretty disparate for chapstick) and it healed my dry cracked lips overnight!

TruKid Sunny Days Sunscreen: Sunscreen is tricky! I've only tried a few of the 'safer' sunsceens but so far this is my favorite. Zinc oxide is the safer sunscreen but it tends to not rub in well and leaves you with a white glow. This product doesn't do that, it smells great and it is less greasy that some other brands. EWG scores it a 2. California Baby also makes a sunscreen that I've heard good things about but this was less expensive (and by sunscreen standards it was still pretty pricey!)

Children's Tooth Gel : This is the second toothpaste I've tried with Colin. The first one he hated the taste of (and it was supposed to be naturally flavored with apple and banana) so I couldn't keep the toothbrush in his mouth. This one he finds much more palatable and enjoys brushing his teeth (read chewing on the toothbrush.) EWG has not rated this item, but the company is pretty upstanding in their mission and philosophy. This is the first of their products that I have tried but I've been reading about them in the blog-o-sphere for a while. In case you are curious we use the MAM Teach Me Toothbrush
which according to The Soft Landing is BPA/PVC/Phthalate free.

Absent from this list is a diaper cream, because I haven't really found one I like yet. Colin has yet to have any kind of serious diaper rash so I haven't had to put this type of product through its paces. I've been using Nature's Baby Organics Diaper Cream because of the EWG rating of 1 but I find it a little 'thin'. Since I don't use it often I have a lot of it so if I ever run out and find myself trying something else I'll update you.


Erin said...

I use the Bert's Bees stuff on Sam and Ben and I love it, too! It does smell fabulous, and I add the Apricot Baby Oil to the bathwater, too, and it really helps with the dry skin. We also use Eucerin and it works wonders -- I was much more comfortable with than than using steroid creams on their excessively dry skin. The baby oil in the bathwater really helps prevent the dry skin, I think. In terms of a diaper cream, I just use the Eucerin -- I slather it on their little butts before putting them to bed and if they had any redness, it clears it up overnight. I'm still working on finding a good sunscreen...

Erin said...

I just looked up the sunscreen that is sitting in the nursery (but I haven't used yet) -- it's Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby -- oil free, fragrance free, etc. It isn't listed on the EWG website, but the other fragrance free, oil free Neutrogena products are a 2. It has zinc oxide in it, so I'm guessing it's going to be tough to rub in! I guess we will see on Sunday! I just got Sam and Ben new hats from Baby Gap -- and the hats are SPF 40! Yippee!

Daisy and Ryan said...

You're right about the baby smell with some of the other soaps. We mostly use the Cali Baby with lavender. Smells great - but it doesn't last, so you can't smell it even later in the day. We have the Burt's Bees but it's in MY shower for when he joins me in there - so we don't use it as often. Maybe I should try it more. :) I do miss that baby smell!

Aquaphor is some great stuff, isn't it? It clears up just about any skin issue in no time. We can't use it with cloth dipes, though - but don't really need it so much. When I have needed a diaper cream - I use organic coconut oil. Works great! :) It's not a liquid oil - but it pretty much turns to liquid when you rub it in. It's worth trying if you are looking for something to use. I put a little bit in a container in his room. We don't need it often, but if he gets red at all, I put it on & it goes right away. (Be sure to get Pure & Extra Virgin though!)

For lotion... Aiden's derm recommended Cera Ve for his eczema. That stuff is awesome! We use the cream versus the lotion (it's the one in the tub, not the pump) - have to get it at a place like CVS. It makes his skin incredibly soft!! Incredibly. I wish it didn't cost so much b/c I would love to use it on myself!

Sunscreen has been an issue for us. We got some Cali Baby but haven't used it yet. Ryan was like...did it really cost this much?? (I didn't warn him before he checked out...) Where did you find this other kind? Maybe we should try it first if it's not as expensive. I saw the Burt's Bees, too - but haven't looked it up to see what the rating is. It's a little less than Cali Baby - about $12.99, I think (versus 17 for CB).

We still aren't using toothpaste for Aiden. Just water and a toothbrush. Have you ever found anything that works really well with teething?? We have this teething oil that works really well - but Aiden HATES the taste of it. And I just can't bring myself to use orajel.......

Becky said...

I use tylenol if he is really bad or teething tablets for when he needs something just to take the edge off. He seems to enjoy the teething tablets. I buy everything from diapers.com