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Freshly Picked / Squeaky Clean

Do you ever get ideas in the shower? The other day while I was sudsing up surrounded by bottles of different soaps and shampoos, it popped into my mind that it might be useful to write a blog post on all the different baby bath products we've used over the past 6 months on our daughter Lily. 

I know that not everyone is concerned with what chemicals are in baby products and I know that even some washes claiming to be "gentle" or "natural" can be questionable. My husband is always asking me why we can't just get the $3 bottle of Johnson and Johnson (he loves that traditional "baby" smell Johnson and Johnson gives). While I understand where he's coming from and know that not all chemicals have been proven to be as scary as they are made to sound, my personal opinion is if you can find a product you love without the extra chemicals or synthentic fragrances, why not make the more natural choice?

What we put on our babies' skin seems to be gaining headlines recently, with even Johnson and Johnson announcing that it would be phasing out certain carcinogenic ingredients in not only some of their baby products, but also some of their adult bodycare items. You can read the NY Times article about that here.

With that said, here are our reviews on the baby washes we've personally used on our daughter (and even on ourselves and our other kids). 

1. Erbaviva Baby Shampoo / I was first introducted to Erbaviva when I worked at a children's boutique we used to have here in Yuba City. The store did not carry this shampoo, but it did carry their baby soap and I loved that. That was 6 years or so ago, but even after that boutique closed, I still purchased Erbavia items and when I found out we were pregnant with our daughter I bought this shampoo along with the bar soap. Like the rest of their producst I've used, I absolutely LOVE this shampoo. I am really sensitive to scents and this product not only smells amazing it is so calming. It makes our bathroom smell like a spa everytime we use it. It contains organic essential oils and lathers really nicely (with the help of a tree bark extract). The only thing I'd love to see change with this product is that I wish it was a baby shampoo and body wash in one. At around $17 for 6 oz, it's on the pricier side, but a little goes a long way and I think it's completely worth it. (Erbaviva is also USDA Certified Organic).

2. Earth's Best 2 in 1 Shampoo & Body Wash Lavender / When Babies R Us in Roseville was having a big sale I picked up several bottles of this baby shampoo and body wash. Like I said I'm picky about smells but this smells great (if you like the smell of lavender). In fact, I brought this to Fremont Hospital when I doulaed at my sister's birth and my niece had her first bath in this and I remember my sister's nurse commenting how good this smelled. In fact, she even asked to see the bottle to see what it looked like and asked where she could buy some for herself! This has a great lather as well. To name a few of is features, it is free of parabens, free of mineral oils, free of synthetic fragrances and is 100% vegetarian. The only thing I've noticed about this product is that when I use it on my daughter I seem to have a hard time completely rinsing it out of her hair...even when I think there couldn't possibly be any more shampoo on her, once she's out of the bath and I go to comb her hair little suds always seem to pop up. I'm not sure why this is and who knows, maybe it's just us, but I just take her back to the tub, give her a couple more rinses and she seems to be good to go. It runs around $8 for 8.5 oz. 

3. Burt's Bees Baby Bee Shampoo & Wash Fragrance Free / I picked this up on a whim at our local Target. I used to use Burt's Bees products on our first two children but I always did the items with fragrance, this was my first time going fragrance free. To be honest, I was not happy with this product at all. I bought the large bottle at $15 and I have to say I couldn't wait to use through it so we would could toss it out and be done with it. Now I know fragrance free doesn't mean it's without smells...it just means it doesn't have added scents to it, but really this wash smelled gross. At first the smell reminded me a little bit of how I remember Fruit Loops cereal smelling, but that faded fast and it just smelled bad to me. Both our older boys complained about the smell as well. Now moving past the scent, the wash consistency reminded me a bit of wet lotion...it just didn't seem to stay put and it was nearly impossible for me to work it into a lather. I would end up using large quantities of it to feel like I was getting our daughter clean because it seemed to just sit on her and then slide off. While I liked that this was a plant based product, overall I felt like I wasted my money buying it and we wont' be buying it again in the future. 

4. Seventh Generation Baby Shampoo & Wash / A few months ago our Target had a Seventh Generation display on a baby aisle endcap...since we have used Seventh Generation cleaning products in our home, I thought I'd give their baby line a try. I like shampoo/wash combos because they're simple...no need to have 2 products when you can just by 1! So that feature was a plus and I also found it interesting that it was gluten free and made with extra virgin olive oil. This wash has a light scent...I don't love it but it's also not offensive. And I guess how I felt about the scent describes how I feel about the overall product...didn't love it, didn't hate it. It runs around $8 for 10 oz. It's okay but once again it's not something I'd necessarily purchase again. It has more of a gel like consistency and lathers and rinses out well. 

5. Dr. Bronner's Mild Unscented Pure Castile Liquid Baby Soap / I purchased this product at one of our local health food stores, New Earth Market. This is another product I would not buy again. This soap is truly "liquid" and it doesn't really lather. I hated the smell of this. Even though it's "unscented" the natural scent of it is very distinct and my husband also hated the smell. Actually, now that I think of it, even when other family members would hold our daughter after using this soap on her they'd say they didn't like the way she smelled and I didn't blame them. While Dr. Bronner's products are made with certified fair trade and organic oils, this soap just wasn't for us. Also, if you know anything about the history of the company, you know about Dr. Bronner's "message" and it felt weird to me seeing it printed all over the soap like they were trying to convert me to their vision or something (just my own opinion). 

So there's our reviews! And if you're wondering, we use and love this whale bathtub, but the modern design lover in me would have loved to try out this tub if it had worked for our needs. Now that you've heard what we love and what we could live without, we'd love to hear your feedback! Have you tried any of the above products? What were your experiences? Do you love a product we didn't review? We want to hear what it is!


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