Shampoo for babies
Best Baby Shampoo & Body Wash of 2020
Keep those little fingers, toes and hair squeaky clean with these shampoos and body washes.
There’s no shortage of shampoo and body wash combos created with baby-safe ingredients to keep your baby’s delicate skin hydrated and squeaky clean. From finger-painting sessions to messy mealtimes, all it takes is a good scrub-a-dub-dub* to clean little ones up.
*Rubber duckie + shampoo mohawk: optional, but strongly preferred.
How to Choose a Baby Body Wash and Shampoo
There are lots of options and lots of ingredients to consider. So how do you know what products are safe for baby’s skin? Consider these four things:
- Fragrances. While added fragrances may smell nice, some might cause sensitive skin to get overly dry and irritated. Many brands use essential oils or botanical extracts to create natural fragrances, but they may still aggravate sensitive skin, so it’s best to test a very small amount of any product with added fragrance before applying it all over your baby’s skin.
- Harsh chemicals. Parabens, phthalates and sulfates can irritate or even harm your baby’s skin, and they’re often found in adult shampoos and body washes. So it’s best to stick to baby-specific or sensitive skin products for baby’s bathtime.
- No-tear formulas. “Tear-free” is a real thing that refers to the absence of eye-irritating substances. So if the shampoo/body wash you choose doesn’t claim to have a no-tear formula, be careful with it around baby’s eyes.
- -__EWG rating__. The Environmental Working Group Skin Deep Database breaks down exactly what’s in your family’s skin care products, giving you the info you need to make an informed purchase. EWG researchers rigorously assess and rate product ingredients based on potential hazards and health concerns. The rating system works on a 1-10 scale from low to high hazard. (Note: some products may not have a rating available.)
Bath Time 101: Quick Tips for Bathing Baby
- Newborns don’t need to be bathed daily, or even with soap (plain water works just fine at the beginning)!
- Stick to sponge baths until the umbilical cord falls off, which could take a week or more.
- For a good cleaning, gently scrub between all those cute baby creases, under the chin, the diaper area and even between those teeny tiny toes (because sock fuzz).
- Get your little one all snuggled up in a hooded towel with animal ears. (Here’s some adorable inspiration.)
Do you think this content is helpful? Let our editors know!
With gentle gels and light, natural scents, these shampoos and body washes are our favorites for babies:
Mild Must-Have Shampoo
Aveeno Baby Wash & Shampoo, 18 oz.
Soap-free: check. Tear-free: check. Hypoallergenic: check. A delightful scent that everyone loves: check. This mild cleanser that’s especially great for sensitive skin (parents of kiddos with eczema give it rave reviews). The oat extract is what sets it apart from other baby cleansers; its a naturally moisturizing ingredient that won’t dry out skin even in the winter months. Plus, a capful under running water creates a good batch of bubbles. Another perk: It comes in an 18-oz. bottle, so it’ll last through lots of baths.
A ‘Soy’ Awesome Shampoo
Burt’s Bees Baby Shampoo & Wash Original
Soy proteins are the secret behind this plant-based, tear-free shampoo and wash. Soy proteins are natural moisturizers packed with vitamin B and essential minerals to scrub away the day. No phthalates, parabens, petrolatum and SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) keep bath time au naturel. Bonus points for making your busy bee smell as sweet as honey.
Gentle and Calming
Cetaphil Baby Wash & Shampoo with Organic Calendula
Cetaphil is a trusted brand for gentle cleansers for all ages and skin types, so you can bet their baby wash and shampoo is gentle enough for the most delicate skin. Extract from the calendula flower—a natural anti-inflamatory and calming agent—makes this wash perfect for babies with eczema or other rashes. And the formula is so rich and thick, you won’t want to stop lathering it all over your baby.
Baby Dove Tip to Toe Baby Wash
Dove’s products are well-loved for being less soap-like and more lotion-like due to their super moisturizing formulas, and their all-over baby wash is no exception. Parents of little ones with eczema really love it because it’s both moisturizing and gentle, since it’s made without dyes, parabens, phthalates or sulfates. It’s also fragrance-free, so you don’t have to worry about perfumes irritating sensitive baby skin (or overpowering your nose).
Puracy Natural Baby Shampoo & Body Wash
How about a clinical-grade cleanser without any harsh chemicals or toxins? Yes, please! Puracy Natural Baby Shampoo & Body Wash was developed by doctors to naturally hydrate skin and hair using food-grade, plant- and mineral-based ingredients (including sea salt). The tear-free foaming formula is safe for all skin types and works wonders on eczema and cradle cap. It has a light, refreshing citrus scent too.
No Rinse Needed
Mustela No Rinse Cleansing Water
Mustela gently cleans your little one’s hair and body without stripping away natural oils. This no-rinse, newborn-safe micellar water uses natural ingredients like vitamin B5 and avocado perseose, a rare molecule found in the heart of avocados that hydrates and keeps the skin’s cellular richness in tip-top shape. Since there’s no rinsing or scrubbing involved, it’s perfect for travel, in between baths or just a quick clean up. Plus, it’s paraben, phthalate and phenoxyethanol free and smells AH-mazing. PS: Their Foam Shampoo for Newborns is a must-have if your little one has cradle cap!
A Lovely Lather Shampoo
Tubby Todd Hair & Body Wash
Don’t be fooled by the modest 8-ounce size—all you need is a small squeeze of Tubby Todd Hair & Body wash to create a seriously luxurious lather. The natural fragrance of lavender, rosemary and coconut is perfect for the whole family, from newborns to grown-ups. Made with plant-based ingredients, it’s toxin, paraben, gluten, sulfate, artificial color and fragrance, and BPA free. Created by a mom of little ones with sensitive skin, the entire line combats dryness and eczema, while leaving skin nice and hydrated.
Babyganics Conditioning Shampoo + Body Wash
Two words: foam party (but not the kind you went to in college). Babyganics Shampoo + Body Wash is a foamy cleanser featuring their signature blend of tomato, sunflower, cranberry, black cumin and raspberry seed oils. Organic and plant-based ingredients work their magic to nourish and clean from head to tiny toes. It’s tear-free, and has no parabens, sulfates, phthalates, mineral oil, petroleum jelly, fragrances and dyes. There are three versions of this fab foaming wash: fragrance free, orange blossom and chamomile verbena.
Soothing Bar Soap
Weleda Calendula Soap
Bar soap for babies? Of course! While there’s been some debate over whether bar soap or liquid body wash is better for your skin, it mostly comes down to personal preference. So if you’d prefer to use bar soap on your little one, this bar from German brand Weleda uses calendula, chamomile and natural essential oils to create a gentle, calming lather. One upside to using bar soap over liquid: less plastic waste.
Classic Feel-Good Soap
Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Bar Soap
When we say Dr. Bronner’s soap is classic, we really mean it—the family has been in business for over 160 years! Their bar soap is made from stuff you can actually pronounce, with natural, gentle ingredients like coconut oil, palm oil, olive oil, hemp oil and sea salt. And it’s all organic and fair-trade, too, so you can feel good about what you put on your baby’s skin.
Best for Travel
The Honest Company Discovery Gift Set
No parent wants to carry a 12-plus-ounce bottle of baby shampoo when they travel; those big bottles are heavy, not to mention TSA-noncompliant. Especially if you’re only traveling for a couple of days, travel-size baby products are a must. Thankfully, the Honest Company has miniature versions of their parent-favorite baby products, including wash and shampoo, lotion, hand soap, balm and even laundry detergent. Each bottle is between 0.75 and two ounces, so they’re good to go in your carry-on.