There’s nothing sweeter than the soft, silken skin of a baby and keeping baby’s skin healthy and hydrated often requires using baby lotion after a bath (and maybe before bedtime too). Since most babies have sensitive skin, it’s important to choose something made with gentle and non-toxic ingredients. Whether you’re looking for something with a calming scent or a lotion that both heals and moisturizes, we’ve found the seven best baby lotions on the market today.
Best Baby Lotions
(Best scent — $$)
Why it’s great: This Earth Mama lotion is made with organic herbs and oils for maximum moisturization. Ingredients include organic calendula, vanilla and shea better as well as lavender essential oil. With a lavender scent that is soothing for both parents and their little ones, this lotion is perfect for your post-bath-time routine. Parents praise this lotion for being fast-absorbing and non-greasy. This lotion is also dermatologist-tested and proven to reduce skin irritation.
Keep in mind: Some customers report issues with the bottle’s pumping apparatus.
Good for: Parents looking for products with 100% organic ingredients.
(Best value — $)
Why it’s great: This lotion, by Aveeno, comes in an 18-fluid ounce container and is hypoallergenic and fragrance-free. Recommended by both pediatricians and dermatologists, this lotion’s formula is intended to nourish baby’s skin for a full twenty-four hours and includes ingredients designed to prevent dryness. Even with a high-moisture level, this lotion is not oily or hard to apply. This lotion is also paraben- and phthalate-free and gentle enough to use on baby’s delicate skin everyday.
Keep in mind: This lotion has a different consistency than other lotions and is more like a gel, which absorbs faster.
Good for: Families who are sensitive to scented products as this lotion is fragrance-free.
(Highest value — $$$)
Why it’s great: This soothing lotion, by the French brand La Petite Crème, is great for babies who are prone to diaper rash. Designed as a three-in-one approach to replace diaper cream, baby wipes and ointment, this lotion protects and nourishes baby’s skin. Made from all-natural ingredients and with no harmful chemicals, this lotion is also fragrance-free and has a creamy and smooth consistency. This lotion is available in a large size for baby’s changing table as well as a small size to slip into your diaper bag.
Keep in mind: This lotion is not intended to use all over baby’s body, just baby’s bum!
Good for: Treating and preventing diaper rash as this product is designed to go on babies after a diaper change.
(Best for eczema — $$)
Why it’s great: This Era Organics lotion is not only a moisturizer but also works as a healing ointment for babies with especially sensitive skin. Proven to combat rashes, dry skin and even cradle cap, this lotion is particularly effective at treating eczema flare-ups. With a nutrient-rich formula that includes organic chamomile, beeswax, cocoa butter, coconut il, calendula and avocado oil, among other herbs and extracts, this lotion works to soothe and nourish baby’s skin. This cream is also unscented and free of toxins and parabens.
Keep in mind: Some customers report this lotion takes a few minutes to fully absorb into the skin.
Good for: Babies with dry or sensitive skin as well as babies with eczema, cradle cap, hives and rashes.
(Most moisturizing — $$)
Why it’s great: This baby lotion, by the popular brand Burt’s Bees, is made with buttermilk, shea butter and sunflower oil. Designed to keep baby’s skin nourished and soft, it absorbs quickly and is clinically proven to moisturize for up to 24 hours. With 99% natural ingredients and zero parabens, phthalates or petrolatum, this lotion will not harm or irritate baby’s delicate skin. This lotion also has a clean honey scent and a thick, creamy consistency.
Keep in mind: Some customers report packaging issues, so be sure to check your product before using it in case you have to exchange it for a new one.
Good for: Babies with dry skin as this lotion is extra hydrating and moisturizing.
(Easiest to apply — $)
Why it’s great: This moisturizer, by Shea Moisture, comes as a pack of three so that you don’t have to worry about running out quickly. With a calm and comforting chamomile scent, this lotion is made from certified organic ingredients, including raw shea chamomile, argan oil, and deionized water. Parents report that this moisturizer goes on baby’s skin easily and absorbs quickly, making application a breeze. This lotion is also reported to work wonders on rashes and for babies with sensitive skin.
Keep in mind: Some customers report loving this scent, but others say it can be a bit strong.
Good for: Parents looking to buy in bulk without sacrificing quality as this product comes in a pack of three.
(Best for sensitive skin — $)
Why it’s great: This baby lotion, made by The Honest Company, is gentle and mild, perfect for everyday use. Made with natural plant-derived ingredients, including organic shea butter, olive, jojoba, chamomile and aloe, this lotion’s lavender scent instantly relaxes parents and babies with its lush and intoxicating aroma. Hypoallergenic and dermatologist-tested, this lotion is also made without dyes, silicones, parabens or synthetic fragrances to ensure that baby’s skin won’t be harmed or irritated from use.
Keep in mind: The consistency of this lotion is lightweight, but some parents report that it’s a little watery.
Good for: Parents who want a lotion made by a trusted brand that uses natural ingredients.
FAQs about Baby Lotion
1. Why do babies need lotion?
Babies typically have sensitive skin that requires a little extra TLC. Using baby lotion helps moisturize baby’s skin and keeps it from drying out. Fun fact: massaging your baby with lotion has other benefits, including calming your baby or lulling him to sleep. Surprisingly, baby massages have also been credited with improving digestion and circulation and helping with weight gain and teething pain.
2. Can I use adult lotions as a substitute?
It’s best to use lotions made specifically for babies as oftentimes, these products have been made with gentle formulas to protect baby’s extra-sensitive skin. Products made for adults are also more likely to include harsh chemicals and irritants, which can be particularly harmful to a baby’s delicate skin.
3. What causes dry skin in babies and how do I avoid it?
Dry skin is common in babies, especially in the wintertime when the air is dry and cold. Some babies have naturally dry skin, but other factors can cause it, including bath times that go too long or run too hot. Some doctors even recommend avoiding bathing your baby every day to avoid drying out her skin. Applying baby lotion all over baby’s body and especially in areas prone to dryness is an effective way to prevent dry skin. Also, feeding baby plenty of fluids from breastmilk and formula will keep her whole body hydrated, including her skin. However, don’t offer water to your baby unless you’ve checked with your pediatrician. Lastly, check your laundry detergent to make sure it doesn’t have any chemicals that might be harmful to your little one’s skin. If you think your detergent might be causing a reaction, choose a gentler detergent made specifically for babies’ sensitive skin.
4. What does dry skin look like?
Dry skin is often described as looking scaly or with rough, flaky patches and fine lines and cracks. Don’t worry too much when you see it, most babies experience dry skin every once in a while and it shouldn’t cause baby too much discomfort, especially if treated with an extra dollop of lotion.
5. What’s the difference between dry skin and eczema?
It can be tricky to tell the difference between dry skin and eczema, but the most common distinguishing factor is that eczema is often red or pink and will look slightly inflamed. If you suspect your baby has eczema, contact your pediatrician. It’s easily treatable, but since every baby is different, your doctor will have the best advice for what will help your baby.
There are so many things to worry and wonder about as a new parent. A case of dry skin doesn’t have to be something you lose sleep over, especially when there are so many wonderful baby lotions available to try. Baby lotion can help with a variety of skin sensitivities, including rashes, hives, and even a pesky eczema flare-up. Be sure to check with your pediatrician about which products might work best for your baby’s skin issues, though rest assured that most baby lotions are made with safe and gentle ingredients that aim to heal, never harm. Post-bath-time or pre-bedtime, lather yourself up with some lotion and get to work massaging your baby, which you may find is as relaxing for you as it is for him!