The uncertainty and bouquet of mixed emotions that I felt during my first delivery have taken over by a second-time mom, who is more aware and confident of her choices when it comes to her kids. It has been six years since I adorned the hat of motherhood and yet every day I learn something new. A lot has changed in the last six years but one thing which has been constant with me is that as a parent, I want the absolute best for our kids.
From fabric that touches their delicate skin to the cosmetic we use for them, from what they eat to what they read, everything needs to go through a standard test in our home called “Mom-approved-it “. I have read more labels of the products than books in these last six years. It doesn’t make me a paranoid mom but gives me an opportunity to learn new things and helps me find better ways to keep my little humans away from harmful chemicals.
During an evening walk in the park, a new mom asked if we should believe and follow everything our elders say. I knew where the question was coming from because I have been in such confusing situations too. I politely replied, follow your heart and keep your ears open.
There are so many pieces of advice and so much information available all around, that it often gets quite overwhelming for a new mom to follow through. I have been through such situations twice and understand their plight. The mom kept on asking questions about which products are best for her baby, honestly, I don’t have a name of a particular brand that I could recommend.
I have a list of things I follow through before purchasing any new skincare product for my little ones. Here is a brief idea of how I work it out. Writing this blog will be all worth it if I could help other confused new moms out there:
- Read the Label
I know you must have heard it a gazillion times and often don’t find enough time to read the label when a little one is clinging on to you. Read about it on the net, and do your research on the product and its ingredients. Read the label and find out about the chemicals that are used in the product. Try to find products that clearly mention the ingredients/chemicals used instead of just hiding them in plain sight.
- “All Organic” is not the best
Do not fall for this trap. One has to use chemicals for the longer shelf life of the products and there are chemicals that aren’t harmful to the skin. Understand that claiming to be all organic is quite possibly could be a market gimmick too. I have realized that many brands that often claim to be the all-organic kind tend to use the maximum number of chemicals to enhance the fragrance, texture, or color. Try to find the best chemical-free baby products after reading the labels.
- Understand your baby’s skin
Not all products would suit your child. Some have hypersensitive skin and some might not need many products to keep their skin hydrated. For my firstborn, I used a handful of new products and her skin adapted well. However, my second-born is a premie which means I had to be more careful with the products I would use for him. Sensitive skin might need different baby skincare products.
- Keep yourself updated
I love to read and you will often find me with a book in hand. I wanted to use this habit of mine to keep myself updated with the ingredients companies using for baby skincare products. It is not difficult to find paraben-free baby products in India. Had this not been practiced how would we come to know that phthalate, benzyl alcohol, etc. were sometimes used for cosmetics but not anymore. Keep reading and update yourself about such information. Honey is bad for infants or not? this discussion may go on for years if you won’t believe the scientific finding and trust that with time we will find such information.
- Stay away from Phenoxyethanol
This is one such chemical that should be avoided too, Phenoxyethanol is a “glycol ether” used as a fragrance ingredient and preservative that kills bacteria and extends a product’s shelf life. Phenoxyethanol has become a more common alternative as manufacturers phase out parabens and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, as it has been assumed to be a safer option despite lingering concerns.
A high concentration can cause contact dermatitis, worsen eczema, and could even affect the central nervous system. The FDA warned mothers not to use nipple creams containing phenoxyethanol as the chemical can cause vomiting and diarrhea in nursing infants (2008). Due to strong safety concerns in the event of an infant ingesting it orally, make sure to avoid phenoxyethanol in products that come in contact with your baby’s mouth, including, Baby lotion, Bodywash, shampoo, baby creams, etc.
- Trust your mom-instinct
I understand how overwhelming it all might seem. Trust your maternal instincts and find brands that have been complying with rules and regulations without a miss. Brands that clearly mention their ingredients and are proactive in removing harmful chemicals before guidelines make it mandatory. Finding the best baby skincare products for sensitive skin may get a bit overwhelming given the multiple options available in the market. I have been using some brands which fulfill all these criteria, out of all those Chicco’s new line of products in baby moment tops the chart.
Hope this blog will help you narrow your choice of products and understand the chemicals which must be avoided.
Until next time, mommy! Keep rocking this motherhood journey.