Ditch the tear-free baby soaps at the store. They’re filled with chemicals and preservatives. Make your own Homemade Natural Baby Shampoo and Wash.
As a new mom, finding safe and gentle products for your baby is a top priority. One way to ensure that your little one’s skin is getting the best possible care is by making your own homemade baby soap using natural ingredients.
From prams to pacifiers, being a new parent is expensive. The shopping list seems to grow as quickly as the to-do list. Not only that but parenthood is a whirlwind of sleep deprivation and zero spare time. The last thing we want is to waste money on products that irritate our little one’s skin, adding to the stress.
That’s why I want to guide you through the process of making your own homemade baby soap and shampoo. It will save you time, money and the risk of irritation from commercial baby wash products.
Not many people realize that commercial baby wash and baby shampoo products contain toxic chemicals. Yep, it’s true. These chemicals include artificial colors, synthetic fragrances and preservatives that can irritate your baby’s skin and may be linked to more serious health issues.
Luckily, I found out a way to make a Homemade Natural Baby Shampoo and Baby Wash with just a few ingredients. WAY cheaper than anything you’ll buy at the store and so much kinder to your baby’s skin.
Why Avoid Store-Bought Baby Shampoo
If you think grabbing a bottle of baby shampoo in the store is more convenient, check out this list of ingredients from a very popular brand of tear-free baby wash and shampoo:
Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine (coconut oil-based surfactant), PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate (chemical surfactant), Sodium Trideceth Sulfate (foaming agent surfactant), PEG-150 Distearate (surfactant), Glycerin (moisturizer), Polyquaternium-10 (anti-static agent), Tetrasodium EDTA (chelating agent), Sodium Chloride (salt), Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjuster), Sodium Benzoate (preservative), Ethylhexylglycerin (skin conditioning agent), Phenoxyethanol, Parfum (synthetic fragrance that could contain dozens of chemicals to make up the scent).
Would you want to put ALL of this on your baby’s skin? No way!
So maybe you make the switch to a store bought natural shampoo? Unfortunately, they’re not much better. Many still contain preservatives and synthetic fragrances.
Worst of all, they charge a premium for less ingredients. Organic baby wash and natural baby shampoo products can cost a fortune. I used to pay about $14 for an 8.5 oz bottle of a popular brand of organic baby shampoo. I remember adding water to the bottle to make it last longer because it was so expensive.
Which ingredients should not be in baby shampoo?
1.Fragrances: A freshly bathed bub is one of the best smells in the world, so why mask it with synthetic fragrances that are linked to hormone disruption and skin allergies? Worst of all, it can be so tough to pinpoint which ingredient is causing skin irritation in your little one as fragrances do not be disclosed on baby shampoo labels. Instead the generic term “fragrance” is used which can potentially be hiding a cocktail of chemicals that your baby is in contact with.
2. Parabens: Avoid any baby product, if its label includes ingredients ending with “paraben.” These are synthetic preservatives that are commonly found in even natural baby shampoo as well as adult skin care. This toxic ingredient has been linked to a whole list of health risks including skin irritation, cancer and hormone disruption.
3. 1,4-dioxane: This chemical is found in the majority of baby soaps, in particular those labeled as “tear-free”. Alongside this ingredient, check for the word “laureth” on the label. This means that the soap has been mixed with a chemical called ethylene oxide which helps to create 1,4-dioxane.
This harmful chemical will be absorbed by your baby’s delicate skin and has been linked to nose and eye irritation, liver damage and even cancer. To protect your little one, avoid any product that mentions laureth, laureate, myrrh, ceteareth or oleth and contains ingredients ending with -eth, -oxynol, -xynol.
Natural Baby Shampoo Ingredients
Thanks to this natural baby shampoo and body wash recipe your baby’s skin will be protected from nasties and nourished naturally. Not only is this list of baby shampoo ingredients short and simple, but it can be easily customized depending on your baby’s needs.
- Liquid castile soap: This is a coconut-based soap that is non-toxic, affordable and easy to source. It’s gentle enough to use on baby’s skin, yet great for cleaning skin naturally.
- Vegetable glycerin: It is a natural humectant, which means it helps to attract and retain moisture in the skin. This makes it particularly great for babies who may have dry or sensitive skin. It helps to give this natural baby shampoo and bodywash a thick consistency and lather well.
- Carrier oils: There are many carrier oils for beauty and skin care that are gentle enough to use in this homemade baby soap recipe. My favorites include almond oil, fractionated coconut oil, or jojoba oil. I have used almond oil in this instance as it is a non-irritating and hypoallergenic oil, so it is a safe option for babies with sensitive skin or eczema. It also contains essential fatty acids and vitamins E and A, which can help to protect and strengthen the skin barrier, keeping the skin hydrated and healthy.
- Aloe vera gel: Aloe vera gel is an important baby shampoo ingredient as it can help to soothe redness, itchiness, and other symptoms associated with eczema or diaper rash. Additionally, it is gentle and non-toxic, making it a safe and effective option for homemade baby wash to help keep baby’s skin soft, healthy, and comfortable.
- Essential oils: Instead of those nasty, synthetic fragrances use essential oils for a natural, non-toxic fragrance. I only use Young Living essential oils (learn more here) for my baby. These are therapeutic-grade, organic and kind to delicate skin. For this homemade baby soap I’ve used lavender but my guide to essential oils for babies can help you choose one that’s best for your bub.
How to Make This Baby Shampoo and Baby Wash – Step by Step
Ready to learn how to make your own Natural Homemade Baby Wash and Baby Shampoo? Check out this easy recipe and tutorial.
1. In a 16 oz pump bottle, add 1.5 cups castile soap.
2. Add 1/4 cup vegetable glycerin.
3. Add 1-2 tsp almond oil (or your favorite carrier oil), 10 drops essential oils and 1 tsp aloe vera gel.
4. Add 1-2 tbsp water or fill to the to with enough room to fit the lid and pump. Screw on lid securely and shake vigorously for a few seconds.
How to Use This DIY Baby Shampoo and Body Wash
Whether you’re a new mom or a seasoned parent, bath time can often be stressful. Luckily, I have a few tips for using this DIY natural baby shampoo and body wash to make bathtimes quick, fun and easy.
First things first, gather all the supplies you’ll need before starting. Here’s what you’ll need:
- This homemade baby soap
- A soft washcloth
- A clean towel
- A sink or baby bath filled with warm water
1. Fill the sink or tub with warm water. Make sure the temperature is not too hot or too cold. A good way to check is by dipping your elbow or wrist into the water to see if it feels comfortable.
2. Undress your baby, and pop them in the water. Wet the washcloth and add a small amount of natural baby wash. Gently lather up the washcloth with your hands.
3. Start with your baby’s face and hair. Be sure to use a different part of the washcloth for each area to prevent spreading any germs. Be careful not to get into the eyes. While this is a gentle formula suitable for babies and kids, it’s not tear free. If shampoo gets into the eyes, use a wet washcloth or rinse with water.
4. Move down baby’s body, washing their arms, chest, belly, and legs. Make sure to clean all the cute little creases and folds.
5. Rinse the washcloth with warm water and use it to gently rinse your baby, making sure to remove all the homemade baby soap.
6.Lift your baby out of the water and wrap them in a clean towel, patting them dry gently.
7. If necessary, apply lotion or my DIY diaper balm to any dry or irritated areas.
How Often Should You Wash Newborn Hair?
Even though this is a natural baby shampoo, you should not wash a newborn’s hair every day. The American Academy of Paediatrics recommends washing your baby’s hair two or three times a week. This ensures the precious natural oils on baby’s hair and skin are protected.
In between hair washes, the “topping and tailing” technique can help keep your baby’s face and body clean. It involves cleaning the baby’s face, neck, hands, and diaper area with a washcloth, warm water, and this homemade baby soap.
I’m Not Getting Bubbles. What Can I Do?
This is the biggest comment I get on this post. If you have hard water, then it could affect the volume of bubbles you get. Here are 3 ways you can get more bubbles:
- Increase vegetable glycerin: You could increase the vegetable glycerin in this recipe to 1/2 cup (so add an additional 1/4 cup of vegetable glycerin) . Or if you want to do a spot test first – do 1 1/2 tbsp of liquid Castile soap and 1/2 tbsp vegetable glycerin. Add to the running water of the bath. Agitate to see if you get more suds and foam. If it works well, then make a bigger batch and add the essential oils.
- Skip the liquid castile soap: Another option is opt for a natural bath gel instead of using liquid Castile soap. I love the Young Living bath gel base and use it along with essential oils to make a personalized scent, like Lavender + Stress Away blends. I skip the liquid Castile soap, vegetable glycerin, and aloe vera gel and just use the bath gel base and essential oils. Simple and it suds up so well.
- Seedlings Baby Wash: You could even simply use Seedlings Baby Wash as an alternative to the bath gel base (it already has Seedlings essential oil which is formulated for use on babies) and use it alone or dilute it with water to make it last longer. I like to do 1:1 with Seedlings Baby Wash to water.
How Can I Extend the Shelf Life?
This Homemade Baby Shampoo and Body Wash will last for up to 2 weeks since it has water in it. Or if you omit the water, it will store for up to 3-6 months. It will be thicker without the water so you may need to dilute it with a bit of water with each use.
Top Tips for This Natural Baby Shampoo and Body Wash
- Feel free to customize the carrier oils in this baby soap recipe. It will depend on your baby’s skin whether you use fractionated coconut oil, jojoba oil, almond oil or another favorite.
- Lavender or Gentle Baby are great oils for this recipe, however there are other essential oils for kids that you can use. Whatever the case, make sure you use therapeutic-grade, organic essential oils.
- Always shake vigorously before using as naturally, the oil and water may separate.
- If you’re not getting the foam or bubbles you want for this baby wash, it could be your water (e.g. hard water). Opt for a bath gel base instead and use it with the essential oils (ditch the Castile soap and vegetable glycerin)
How to Get Started with Essential Oils
- Sign up for my FREE essential oil email course in order to learn the basics.
- Check out my FREE masterclass all about essential oils and this beginner’s guide to essential oils.
- Get my essential oils online course – complete with video tutorials, e-book and everything you need to get started with essential oils.
- Find out how to buy essential oils at wholesale, and get a starter kit for 60% off retail prices. It’s the best deal around and a great way to get started with essential oils. Plus lots of freebies just for you.
More DIY Recipes You Might Like
- Homemade Bath Bombs
- DIY Aromatherapy Shower Steamers
- DIY Hair Detangler Spray (with a Printable Label)
Did you try this Hawaiian ahi tuna poke bowl recipe? Don’t forget to rate the recipe and comment below to let me know how it went. You can also FOLLOW ME on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
Natural Homemade Baby Wash and Shampoo
- 1 ½ cups liquid unscented castile soap
- ¼ cup vegetable glycerin
- 1-2 tsp almond oil or favorite carrier oil
- 1 tsp aloe vera gel optional
- 10 drops Lavender essential oil
- 1-2 tbsp filtered or distilled water
- In a 16 oz mason jar, add castile soap, vegetable glycerin, carrier oil, essential oils and aloe vera gel.
- Top with distilled or filtered water.
- Replace lid securely and shake vigorously for a few seconds.
- Use 2-3 tbsp in a bath and agitate the water with your hands to create bubbles. Add more bubble bath as needed.
- Store for up to 2 weeks. Or if you omit the water, it will store for up to 3-6 months.
- You can increase the vegetable glycerin by 1/4 cup (so it will be 1/2 cup glycerin total with 1 1/2 cup liquid Castile soap). Do a test of 1 1/2 tbsp liquid Castile soap and 1/2 tbsp vegetable glycerin to see how it will suds up.
- Another option is to use a natural bath gel base instead of the liquid Castile soap and vegetable glycerin. Just add the essential oils you prefer. This list the natural bath gel base I use.
- You could even simply use Seedlings Baby Wash as an alternative to the bath gel base (it already has Seedlings essential oil which is formulated for use on babies) and use it alone or dilute it with water to make it last longer. I like to do 1:1 with Seedlings Baby Wash to water.
Want More DIY Recipes?
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- Make your own organic beauty and skin care products for less than $25 a month!
- Learn simple techniques to make your own skincare – without the fuss of complicated recipes or hard-to-find ingredients
- Get tried-and-true recipes that work to nourish the skin and make it look more radiant than ever before
- Create beautiful gifts for friends and family with the printable labels and gift tags I’ve included with this book
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Get glowing skin and learn how to make your own DIY beauty products with simple ingredients from your kitchen. Plus, get my 7-day essential oils course to get gorgeous skin from the inside out.
I was looking over your post and noticed that you refer to 1/4 cup of glycerin in several areas. But on the actual recipe graphic it says 1/4 tbsp – which is correct?
Tracey Black says
Thanks for pointing out – it is 1/4 cup of vegetable glycerin. I updated the recipe card.
J. M. says
Your instructions above the recipe, and in the recipe instructions say 1/4 cup of glycerin, but the recipe itself says 1/4 Tbsp.. which one?
Tracey Black says
Thanks for pointing out – it is 1/4 cup of vegetable glycerin. I updated the recipe card.
Hi. Thank you for the article and for sharing, i am looking for citric acid free, citrus free, and Dr. Bronners has citric acid, correct? Is there a castile soap you know without citric acid or citrus products? The recipe looks great otherwise. Thank you from the baby.
Tracey Black says
I don’t know of another Castile soap that doesn’t have citric acid. What I would recommend instead is Seedlings baby wash – it’s very gentle, no citric acid and concentrated so you can dilute it to stretch out your dollar. Shop here: https://www.youngliving.com/us/en/referral/1596978.
Thanks for this post! My wife and I are also interested in finding more natural alternatives. I’m wondering: does this work for newborns/infants too? Sorry if it sounds like a dumb question, but we’re first time parents, trying to figure this all out.
Tracey Black says
Yes, it does. Just be careful not to get in their eyes (it is gentle but it’s not tear free).