Back in 2013, I began the long process of switching all of my personal care products over to natural variations. The more research I did on ingredients in personal care products (like lotion, makeup, shampoo, deodorant, etc.), the less comfortable I became with the chemicals I was putting on my skin every day. It didn’t seem worth it to me to continue using products that included ingredients without any safety data, or worse, that included ingredients that were banned elsewhere due to health-related concerns but somehow not banned here in the U.S.
When Riese was born, it was important to me to be careful about the products that we were using on her body, too. Obviously if we were out and about and needed to borrow something or if we were traveling and options were limited, no worries. Stressing over perfection isn’t good for health, either. But I figured that for the products we were using on her body day in and day out at home, using natural versions would make a difference.
In 2015, I wrote a favorite natural + organic beauty products post sharing products I was enjoying at the time (which needs to be updated because I have some new favorites now – let me know if you’re interested in me sharing an updated version!), and I’ve since had requests to do a child-specific one featuring the natural personal care products we’ve liked most over the years for Riese, both when she was a baby and now as a toddler.
I’m happy to share what we’ve been using on her since she was born; this post will include our favorite non-toxic sunscreen, toothpaste, body lotion/oil, shampoo and conditioner, bug spray, and more!
Feel free to take or leave these recommendations – I’m just sharing which products I’ve found that we like and that I’m comfortable using on Riese based on the research I have done. If you’d like to learn more, the Environmental Working Group’s “Skin Deep” database is a good resource and place to search for products to see how they stack up in terms of ingredients.
Also, just an FYI that all of the product links below are affiliate links, but as always I’m only recommending products we actually use and love.
Natural + Organic Care Products for Babies & Toddlers
Favorite Baby + Toddler Natural Shampoo and Body Wash
For a long time we just used water to wash Riese because we didn’t think she really needed anything else, but once her hair started getting longer and we started putting sunscreen on her it was time for more of a legit shampoo and body wash situation.
We like both the Puracy Baby Shampoo + Body Wash as well as the BareBaby Organics Baby Shampoo + Wash. Neither seem to sting her eyes (I mean, she still HATES when we rinse out her hair, but at least the soap doesn’t sting) and the scents are really mild.
Now that her hair is getting quite long, we’ve also started using a little conditioner on her – we like the Honest Company Conditioner.
Favorite Baby + Toddler Natural Lotion/Body Oil
We love using this Baby Soothing Oil on Riese after her baths. It’s super hydrating, absorbs quickly, has a really high quality ingredient list, and apparently it helps with cradle cap for super little ones, too – I wish I’d had it when Riese was a newborn because we we struggled with cradle cap for awhile!
I also really love this Baby Balm – I bought it for Riese last year but loved it so much that now I use it for myself a lot (on my face), too. 😉 If you have a super little one/are nursing, the balm is also great for nursing nipples!
Best Natural Toothpaste
I did a lot of research on natural toothpaste – both for us before Riese was born, and then when she was little and we were trying to figure out what toothpaste to start using for her when she was getting close to 2. (That’s when our pediatrician recommended we start using toothpaste for her instead of just brushing her teeth with water).
Mainstream toothpaste often has artificial colors and flavors as well as triclosan, which is an antibacterial compound that studies have increasingly linked to adverse health effects (skin irritation, endocrine disruption, as well as antibiotic resistance). Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS – an ingredient that makes toothpaste foamy) is another ingredient I was looking to avoid as it can cause gum irritation.
I also didn’t want a toothpaste for Riese that tasted like candy and trained her tastebuds to want extra sweet stuff, especially since toddlers often think toothpaste is basically a snack and just eat it.
We now all use the Redmond Earthpaste in Spearmint flavor (that’s the only flavor of theirs not sweetened with sugar alcohols – here’s why I don’t like sugar alcohols) and we really like it. It has a nice, low key minty flavor and the ingredient list is great. I feel comfortable if Riese treats it as a snack, too. 😉
If that one is a bit too hippie for you, I also recommend the Dr. Brite Activated Charcoal Mint Toothpaste – it’s also high quality but a bit more like normal toothpaste in terms of flavor (minty and sweeter – it has some stevia) and texture.
Favorite Bug Spray/Mosquito and Tick Repellant for Toddlers
We use their Nature Spray (they recommend it for kids 1 and over, not younger) anytime we go hiking and it doesn’t smell terrible and most importantly it seems to work!
Sidenote: if you buy anything from Primally Pure (hot tip for you ladies: their dry shampoo is by far the best natural dry shampoo I’ve found – actually works and also has a really nice super faint lavender scent), use my affiliate code “fannetastic” at check out for 10% off your first order.
Non-Toxic Sunscreen for Toddlers
Finding a non-toxic sunscreen that isn’t so thick you can hardly squeeze it out of the tube is a challenge. It’s also hard to find options that go on clear and don’t leave you looking like you’ve just spread white icing all over your body. I’ve tried practically every non-toxic sunscreen on the market and here is my absolute favorite, both for myself and for Riese. (Just a note that it’s not recommended to use sunscreen on children until they are over 6 months of age. Before then, just keep them (mostly – some Vitamin D is good!) covered up.)
For Riese’s body, my favorite is the Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Lotion (SPF 30). It’s an excellent non-nano zinc oxide sunscreen lotion free of biologically harmful chemicals like avobenzone, oxybenzone, paraben, phthalates, PABA, 1,4 dioxane, and UV chemical absorbers – and it’s reef friendly, too.
We have been using it since last summer and I love that it rubs in easily (both on Riese and on me, even with my less smooth skin!). It also comes in a travel size tube which is nice for being out and about.
The Countersun line also comes in a great spray sunscreen version (in regular and travel size) that I use on Riese and myself as well – it doesn’t go on totally clear when you spray it so you have to rub it in, but it rubs in really easily and I love that the bottle lasts for ages compared to the normal spray sunscreens that are empty in basically one day.
For Riese’s face, a couple months ago I discovered the Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Stick (SPF 30) which is AMAAAAAZING when you have a squirmy toddler and you’re trying not to get messy lotion all over yourself/their clothes/their hair. Highly recommend – it goes on clear, too. I also like using it on the back of my hands when I want to protect them without getting my palms all greasy!
Favorite Diapers + Wipes
We have been using the Honest Company diapers and wipes since Riese was born and absolutely love both – no fragrances, lotions, or anything added and no chlorine processing.
The diapers are not only super cute (so many fun prints) but they also hold some SERIOUS liquid. When traveling or other times we’ve run out we’ve tried other brand diapers and they would start leaking pee relatively quickly once getting saturated. We’ve certainly had blow outs with Honest Diapers (when Riese was little), but we’ve never had pee leak through, even in the morning when the diaper is crazy wet. Highly recommend!
Natural Diaper Rash Cream
We actually haven’t found the perfect natural diaper rash cream yet! I just ordered this diaper rash cream after hearing rave reviews, so we will see how it goes, but I’d love to hear your recs too. We haven’t potty trained yet so Riese is still in diapers and does occasionally get a bit of a rash, so I want to find something that works!
We’ve already tried Butt Paste and the Honest Diaper Cream and both were just so-so in terms of results.
(Update from a month later: that diaper rash cream I linked to above is officially the first one I’ve found that actually works on Riese! Wooo!! Highly recommend.)
I think that’s everything – let me know if you have any questions! If you liked this post, here are a couple others you may find useful:
- Products I Recommend for New Babies + Expectant Mamas
- 2 Year Update (Riese’s favorites + Q&A from me)
- How we got started with baby led weaning
- At-Home Activities for Toddlers