July 12, 2009
A baby care kit is a great gift for new parents, who are usually thrilled to cross anything off their need-to-buy list. But with recent headlines about toxic ingredients in Johnson & Johnson baby products—and countless brands claiming to be "all natural"—how do you assemble the right collection?
Armed with a checklist from the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit that educates consumers about toxic contaminants, we hit the stores in search of a safe, cover-all-the-bases kit for around $50.
The following products are free of ingredients you should always avoid, according to the Environmental Working Group: Bronopol, BHA, DMDM hydantoin, oxybenzone, triclosan, boric acid and sodium borate, and dibutyl phthalate. For more info, visit cosmeticsdatabase.com.
Avalon Organics Shampoo and Body Wash, $9.95 for 8 ounces at avalonorganics.com.
Bonus: The formula is tear-free, sulfate-free and paraben-free and uses 100 percent vegetarian ingredients.
We also like: California Baby Super Sensitive Shampoo & Bodywash: $11.49 for 8.5 ounces at californiababy.com.
California Baby Light & Happy Bubble Bath, $13.99 for 13 ounces at californiababy.com.
Bonus: The bottle contains a bubble wand, so caretakers can delight their little ones with a bath-time bubble display.
We also like: Baby Bee Bubble Bath, $9 for 12 ounces at burtsbees.com.
Alba Unpetroleum Jelly, $5.99 for 3.5 ounces at unpetroleum.com.
Bonus: Instead of the petroleum found in many diaper rash products, this uses coconut oil, beeswax and plant oils. It can also be used on adults for dry skin or removing eye makeup.
We also like: Weleda's Calendula Diaper Care: $11 for 2.8 ounces at weleda.com.
Aveeno Baby Daily Baby Lotion, $5.69 for 8 ounces at drugstore.com.
Bonus: Aveeno products are sold at most grocery and drug stores, so replacement tubes are easy to find.
We also like: Burt's Bees Baby Bee Buttermilk Lotion, $7 for 4 ounces at burtsbees.com.
Earth's Best by Jason Natural Products Sun Block, SPF 30, $13 for 4 ounces at jason-natural.com.
Bonus: Jason products use no animal byproducts, lanolin, sodium lauryl/laureth sulfates, petrolatum or parabens. (Tip to remember: The American Association of Pediatrics recommends avoiding sunscreen on children younger than 6 months, so tell new parents to stash this one aside for a bit.)
We also like: Blue Lizard Australian Suncream for Baby, SPF 30, $12.49 for 5 ounces at drugstore.com.
Seventh Generation Baby Wipes, $5.99 for 80-count tub at seventhgeneration.com.
Bonus: Made from cloth that hasn't been processed with chlorine.
We also like: Avalon Organics Flushable Biodegradable Wipes, $9.95 for 50 wipes at avalonorganics.com.