DIY All-Natural Baby Body Wash

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This recipe is so easy I don’t even know if it warrants a blog post. But post I shall, because when I was a 15 weeks pregnant first time mommy browsing the aisles of my local Babies R Us to make a grand wish list of junk my baby may or may not need, I had no clue what to do come bath time.

I had bought into the illusion that to keep my child sparkly clean, I needed to buy the piles of baby bath products lining the shelf of the baby bathroom aisle. Since every single bath product (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, body lotion, etc.) was on the new baby “essentials” checklist the store handed out, I assumed, naturally, that I would be using all of these products on my newborn the moment she popped out of me. If I didn’t, I’d be a bad mother with a dirty baby. Right???!

With the help of wonderful crunchy momma friends (thanks Bree!) and gleaning info from the interwebs on the science behind baby skin and the way it all works, I finally have this whole bath time thing (mostly) sorted out.

Using the giant pile of “recommended” products on your baby isn’t natural or healthy at all. Especially not the majority of products out there. I didn’t discover all of this until around the month Tessa was born. I didn’t even think to question the current status quo of baby bath routines till I discovered the Johnson and Johnson baby products scandal, which I wrote about earlier in my DIY Baby Wipes article.

Basically, it was discovered not too long ago that Johnson & Johnson’s iconic baby shampoo contains the formaldehyde-releasing preservative quaternium-15, as well as the chemical byproduct 1,4-dioxane. Formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane are known carcinogens. They’re even freaking listed on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services list of known human carcinogens NOT to be used in cosmetic products. And here we are, slathering this toxic junk on our newborns skin. W.T.F?!

Baby skin is like a sponge. It soaks up EVERYTHING. That’s why you can’t even put sunscreen on an infant. The SAFE chemicals in sunscreen will get soaked up into a newborns skin and literally POISON the newborn with an overload of chemicals that would just safely sit on top of an adults skin.

So all of that said, the fact is, the best way to care for your baby’s skin is to keep it away from products – even “natural” ones, for the most part. A newborns system has to work extremely hard to remove toxins from the bloodstream, so the less you use on your baby’s skin, the better. God has designed our little munchkins so magnificently – they have naturally protective oils in their skin that are better not washed off.

BUT! Every once in awhile, if baby is getting really grimy, you CAN use extremely gentle natural cleansing solutions on your baby to help clean off and sanitize the gunk that can gather in those beautiful chunky baby skin folds.

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Here’s the utra-simple recipe I use for our DIY All-Natural Baby Body Wash:

1 cup of warm water

2 tablespoons Castile soap

1 vitamin e capsule

Castile soap is made by a process called saponification, a process in which an alkali is added to oil. This is how soap had been made for centuries until the recent proliferation of synthetic surfactants, which consist of potentially toxic chemicals. *cough*Johnson and Johnson*cough*

Castile soap made by saponification is safe because none of the unreacted alkali remains in the soap. And since the soap is made with gentle natural oils, like olive oil, it is one of the gentlest cleansing agents you can use on your baby. Used sparingly, the soap will cleanse without drying or irritating delicate baby skin, and what is absorbed into your little ones skin won’t pose a threat to her delicate little system. Just be careful with your baby’s eyes because saponified soap is not tear-free – only baby shampoo made synthetically can be tear-free.

Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant found in many plant and animal based foods. Vitamin E oil closely mimics the natural oils found in your babies skin, and is one of the few natural oils that are safe for direct use on newborns. The tiny amount added to the baby wash serves as a moisturizer and a preservative for your little squirt bottle of baby wash.

And there you have it! I use this stuff sparingly on Tessa, and only when she gets milk getting all grody in her neck folds. Or if she has a particularly explosive diaper. But we try not to use it all the time – and only sparingly when we do use it. For instance, the last two baths were just plain ol’ warm water baths with a wash cloth to gentle wipe away any sticky milk grime.

If your baby appears to be suffering from dry skin, cut back on the frequency of bath times and use a gentle, safe, natural moisturizer like a DIY All-Natural Diaper Rash Cream to spot treat dry patches.

And voila! Bath time with baby, made simple and fun! I am so lucky that my little Tessa loves bath time so much. She giggles, and splashes, and laughs, and watches the water droplets with such wonder in her eyes. It is such a fun bonding time for Jonathan and I as a new little family. I am going to forever treasure our bath times with baby!

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Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls.

Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at gingifreeman@gmail.com or via the contact form on her website at www.domesticgeekgirl.com

Gingi Freeman

Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls. Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at gingifreeman@gmail.com or via the contact form on her website at www.domesticgeekgirl.com

9 thoughts on “DIY All-Natural Baby Body Wash

  • 18 December, 2013 at 3:05 am
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    I can’t believe they let J&J remain on the self with all those toxins in their products. I will definitely try this DIY baby wash. Thanks for sharing this recipe with us.

    • 18 December, 2013 at 3:09 pm
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      A LOT of people are trying to get them pulled off the shelves! You’d be amazed at how many moms still have no clue what was in (or still IS in) their product!

  • 7 January, 2014 at 3:43 am
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    This may sound dumb. If Castile soap can be used on its own, why are people using it to make liquid soap? What’s the difference? I’m trying to go natural for my baby and don’t want to spend time on making something if it’s not needed. TIA

    • 7 January, 2014 at 11:57 am
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      It really depends on the use. If it’s on gentle baby skin, or repetitive use every day, the soap can cause irritation, so it’s best to dilute it. According to Dr. Bronner’s website, castile can be diluted down to 1 part castile to 40 parts water before it loses it’s cleansing properties. I think it’s really all just the same principal as diluting apple cider vinegar or white vinegar. Yes you CAN use them straight on the skin occasionally, but after multiple uses you can irritate the skin or offset the skins natural acid mantle. But diluted it still offers the active properties… just in a safer dose. Would it “hurt” you to use it straight? Probably not. At least, not right away. But will it lessen the active ingredients to dilute them? Surprisingly, no! You really only need a small amount of an active ingredient. And with all things natural, it’s best to ask how little can I use, rather than how much. Ugh, I hope I answered your question! I’m kind of rambling and I haven’t had my coffee yet, haha…

      • 7 January, 2014 at 2:45 pm
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        Thanks, I didn’t know using it on its own is harsh on the skin.

        • 8 January, 2014 at 2:39 pm
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          If you are using Dr. Bronners castile soap, they have an excellent informative blog, you should go check it out!

  • 5 May, 2014 at 11:20 am
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    Our baby skin is very soft so we should be careful before using body wash for our baby.
    If your hands are body are not clean than you may be infecting yourself and your family by germs and disease. Colds, flus, and infectious diarrhea are spread through hand-to-hand contact.So Washing your hands regularly can help controlling the spread of germs and dirt.

  • 1 August, 2015 at 7:37 pm
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    Are any sort of preservatives needed in any of your products? Anything like Optiphen or Germaben? I’ve read that recipes calling for water are typically breeding grounds for bacteria. I want to begin making my own baby products but I want them to be as safe as possible.

  • 12 February, 2016 at 9:04 am
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    Baby body is too soft. We need to take care of it. Instead of using clothes to wash their body, we can use wipes. But make it clear in your mind that baby skin is too delicate. We can use tea tree oil wipes because it natural.

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