During the early newborn weeks, plain warm water is enough to clean your baby. For the first week or so, until the umbilical cord stump falls off, stick to sponge baths (no submerging your baby in water).
Around 4 to 6 weeks old, you can start using a few drops of a gentle baby shampoo on their hair and body. You only need to use a tiny, pea-sized bit — you want to leave their skin’s protective oils intact as much as possible.
As your baby gets older and grows a full head of hair, you may begin to use a little more shampoo to get their hair clean. Baby skin is thinner and dries out much faster than adult skin, so choosing a gentle, baby-friendly shampoo can help keep their skin from getting dry and itchy.
Some babies have particularly sensitive skin that may be prone to eczema and rashes. To protect their delicate skin from irritation, here are some ingredients you’ll want to avoid when you look for a baby shampoo:
Parabens and phthalates are harsh and possibly dangerous chemicals often found in adult toiletry products and plastics.
Formaldehyde— yep, the same stuff used in science labs (yuck).
Oxybenzone is a possible hormone disruptor.
Fragrance can irritate skin and is sometimes used as a broad label that includes other potentially harmful ingredients.