Caring for your baby’s hair requires a gentle touch, regardless of whether they were born with little hair or a full head. That’s where baby shampoo comes in handy. These cleansers are formulated to clean your baby without irritating sensitive skin and delicate hair.
With so many available options, reading through ingredient lists and labels can be confusing and overwhelming, leading to a trial-and-error approach. In this post, we explore the world of baby shampoos, provide you with expert advice and bath time tips, and help you select the best baby shampoo for your little one.
Our Top Picks
⭐Best baby shampoo for curly hair
Your baby’s skin and scalp are delicate and need special care. If your little one has curly hair, it requires even more attention because it loves moisture! To keep your baby’s hair looking and feeling healthy, you need a baby shampoo that provides gentle hydration and nourishing nutrients. This tear-free shampoo is super-rich and free of harmful ingredients like parabens, phthalates, and sulfates. It has been dermatologist-tested to ensure it’s safe for your baby’s delicate skin.
- Tear-free and contains no parabens, sulfates, dyes, or phthalates.
- Formulated to moisturize and care for curls, coils, and waves.
- It’s got a subtle fragrance, so if you’re looking for a scent-free option, this one’s not for you.
⭐Best baby shampoo for eczema
Cerave’s Baby Wash and Shampoo is a great choice for babies with eczema because it is free of harmful ingredients like parabens, phthalates, sulfates, dyes, and fragrances that can irritate their delicate skin. Instead, it contains ceramides, essential for maintaining healthy skin barrier function, according to Craiglow.
Additionally, this shampoo and wash includes hyaluronic acid and vitamin E that help to moisturize and soothe dry baby skin. It’s worth noting that the product is developed by pediatric dermatologists and has received a seal of approval from the National Eczema Association, making it a reliable option for parents seeking a safe and effective product for their baby’s delicate skin.
- Mild, won’t strip baby’s skin of moisture
- Ceramides help to maintain the natural barrier on a baby’s skin
- You’ll still need to pair it with a separate eczema lotion to treat patches
⭐Best baby shampoo for sensitive skin
This baby formula was created by pediatric dermatologists and is packed with vitamins and minerals from superfoods. The gentle formula contains protective and hydrating plant-based ingredients, including a unique blend of marine algae that helps to keep your baby’s sensitive skin clean, smooth, and soft. It’s an extra-gentle formula you can trust to care for your little one’s delicate skin.
- Extra-gentle for sensitive skin
- No fragrances, parabens, phthalates, or essential oils
- Formulated with 14+ essential vitamins and minerals
- Pricier option
⭐Overall best baby shampoo
When it comes to baby wash and shampoo, the simplest option can often be the best. Eucerin’s baby washes and shampoo is a drugstore favorite and highly recommended by Craiglow. This gentle formula is fragrance- and tear-free, making it perfect for babies. Moreover, it contains no ingredients that could irritate your baby’s hair and skin, such as soap, fragrances, dyes, or drying alcohol. Unsurprisingly, Eucerin is a top-recommended brand by pediatricians and dermatologists.
- A little goes a long way
- Tear-free, fragrance-free and dye-free
- Contains pro-vitamin B5 and natural shea butter to keep baby’s skin and hair nourished and moisturized
- You may want to follow up with a separate lotion to keep skin moisturized
⭐Best cradle cap shampoo for babies
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, a cradle cap is a form of seborrheic dermatitis that causes greasy, scaly patches on a baby’s scalp. While most cases resolve on their own within a few months, certain baby shampoos can help speed up the process.
Mustela’s Foam Shampoo for Newborns is a top pick for this purpose. It contains ingredients like avocado polyphenols and sunflower seed oil that help to loosen the flaky patches on the scalp and prevent them from returning. So, if your baby has a cradle cap, this foam shampoo is a great option to help keep their scalp healthy and free from irritations.
- Free of fragrance, parabens, phthalates, and phenoxyethanol
- Made from 99 percent naturally derived ingredients
- Using the shampoo alone might not entirely eradicate cradle cap
⭐Best organic baby shampoo
Babo Botanicals has created an organic baby shampoo and wash combo that’s great for your baby and the environment. The formula is hypoallergenic and gentle, which means it’s free of any potential skin irritants like fragrance, gluten, soy, dairy, parabens, phthalates, petroleum, and sulfates. Additionally, Babo Botanicals is a certified B corporation, meaning they have socially responsible and environmentally sustainable business practices. From their extra-sensitive formula to their ethical principles, Babo Botanicals is a product you can feel good about purchasing and using.
- Organic plant-based ingredients
- It can be difficult to find in stores, so it is best to order online.
⭐Best baby shampoo for Black and biracial babies
Caring for a baby’s curly hair requires special attention, and Cara B’s natural baby products cater to those needs. Their baby shampoo and body wash are designed to protect the sensitive scalp of little ones. They are made with all-natural ingredients, without harmful chemicals like parabens, sulfates, phthalates, petroleum, or mineral oil. Instead, it contains vitamin E, coconut oil, and aloe to gently nourish and maintain the health of the baby’s hair.
- No artificial colors, fragrances, or preservatives
- Purchasing supports a Black female-owned business
- Naturally scented with chamomile
⭐Best moisturizing baby shampoo and wash
Puracy’s baby shampoo and body wash is an eco-friendly choice for parents who want the best for their babies and the environment. The formula comprises almost 99% natural ingredients, including sea salt to purify and balance the skin, coconut-based cleansers to produce a gentle lather, and fruit and vegetable-derived moisturizers to hydrate and nourish. Moreover, Puracy’s baby shampoo is easy to rinse and requires only one cup of water. It also comes in refill pouches, which reduces plastic waste, conserves water, and saves energy.
- Made without sulfates, salicylates, parabens, petroleum-based ingredients, animal by-products, perfumes, or dyes.
- Tear-free, chemical-free, residue-free, and gluten-free—while also being vegan, hypoallergenic, and biodegradable
- Natural fragrance is an ingredient
How Frequently Should You Bathe Your Baby?
Some parents may feel that giving their baby a bath is essential to their bedtime routine, but experts advise against bathing infants too often.
Parents can use a washcloth and mild cleanser for the first month to wipe their baby’s skin every few days. After the first month, parents can bathe their baby in a tub or sink, but they should only do so three times per week. For babies with eczema, it is recommended to use lukewarm water soaked once or twice a day without soap. The skin should be patted dry and immediately moisturized to keep the skin hydrated. Dermatologists refer to this as the “Soak and Seal” method.
Since babies are not crawling around, they do not get very dirty, so it’s unnecessary to bathe them too frequently. However, parents should regularly clean their baby’s diaper area and areas where dirt can accumulate, like the folds of their neck.
Here is everything you need to know about how often should you bathe your baby or toddler.
Choosing The Right Baby Shampoo
You should look for several things when choosing a suitable shampoo or body wash for your baby.
Some companies use the term “hypoallergenic” to suggest that their product is less likely to cause skin irritation as it does not contain some of the most common irritants. However, this term has no regulation, so it’s still important to read the ingredient list if you have concerns about certain substances. Nevertheless, choosing a product with a hypoallergenic label is a good starting point to ensure that it will be gentle on your baby’s delicate skin.
When it comes to your baby’s delicate skin, you want to choose a cleansing product that won’t dry it out. This is because babies are more prone to dry skin issues than adults. One thing to remember is that tear-free shampoos are not a gimmick but rather a safer option for your baby. They contain less active cleansing agents than regular shampoos, which makes them gentler and less irritating to the eyes. So, don’t hesitate to choose tear-free shampoos for your little one!
Using scented products on your baby might seem like a nice idea, but being cautious is important. Fragrances can irritate your baby’s skin and overwhelm their senses. If you opt for scented products, ensure the fragrance comes from natural sources. It’s worth noting that “fragrance” is not a regulated ingredient, so it could contain harmful chemicals. Ultimately, choosing fragrance-free products is safer to ensure that your baby’s delicate skin is not exposed to unnecessary chemicals or irritants.
Choosing the right baby shampoo and wash product is important for your little one’s delicate skin. There are many options available in the market, but it’s important to look for gentle, hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, non-drying, and tear-free products. With the information provided in this article, you can make an informed decision and choose a baby shampoo and wash product that is safe and effective for your baby’s unique needs.