A baby getting a bath in a tub with soap suds in a comforting bright bathroom.

Best Natural Shampoo for Babies: Guide and 3 DIY Recipes

Choosing the right shampoo for your baby is essential for their delicate skin and hair. As a parent, you naturally want gentle products that are free from harsh chemicals and formulated with your baby’s health in mind.

Table Of Contents
  1. Understanding Natural Baby Shampoo
  2. Benefits of Natural Shampoo for Baby
  3. Key Ingredients to Look for
  4. Ingredients to Avoid
  5. 3 Homemade Natural and Gentle Baby Shampoo Recipes
  6. Best Practices and Tips for Bath Time
  7. No Time for DIY? 4 Recommended Natural Baby Shampoo Brands
  8. Understanding Labels and Certifications
  9. Natural is Best: Your Baby Deserves It
  10. Best Natural Shampoo for Babies: FAQs

Natural and organic baby shampoos are often the go-to choice because they are made with non-toxic, soothing ingredients that cleanse without stripping away the natural oils needed for healthy baby skin and hair.

The increasing demand for safer, more natural products has led to a proliferation of organic baby shampoos on the market. Not all are created equal, though, and it’s important to look for shampoos with certified organic ingredients that are suitable for even the most sensitive skin.

Often recommended by pediatricians and chosen by hospitals, high-quality natural baby shampoos combine effective cleaning with peace of mind, knowing that these formulas help to avoid potential irritants and allergens.

When searching for the best natural shampoo for your baby, consider the specific needs of their skin and hair.

  • Are they prone to dryness, or is their scalp sensitive?
  • Does their hair require extra moisture?
  • Do they need a fragrance-free formula?

With careful consideration and a bit of research, you can find a natural baby shampoo that will keep bath time both safe and enjoyable, leaving your baby’s hair soft, clean, and smelling fresh.

Understanding Natural Baby Shampoo

When considering shampoo options for your baby, natural ingredients play a huge role. Natural baby shampoo is often formulated with a variety of natural oils, such as organic coconut oil, that provide soothing and moisturizing properties.

These ingredients are chosen for their innate ability to clean without stripping away the natural oils from your baby’s delicate scalp.

Natural products often avoid the inclusion of harmful and toxic chemicals like sulfates, parabens, and phthalates, which can potentially irritate a baby’s sensitive skin. Instead, gentle baby shampoo will rely on the cleansing power of natural ingredients that are less likely to cause adverse reactions.

Benefits of Natural Baby Shampoo
– Mild on the skin
– Typically hypoallergenic
– Free from synthetic fragrances and dyes
– Biodegradable, environmentally friendly formula
– Often enriched with vitamins and minerals for healthy hair care

Choosing a natural baby shampoo is about finding a balance between effective cleansing and maintaining the health of your baby’s scalp and hair. Look for products that are transparent about their ingredient list and prioritize plant-based, non-toxic formulas.

Benefits of Natural Shampoo for Baby

Natural shampoos for babies offer a myriad of benefits, ranging from gentle cleansing to sustainable practices, and are thoughtfully formulated to cater to the delicate needs of a baby’s skin and hair.

Gentle on Baby’s Sensitive Skin

Natural shampoos are formulated to be mild and are less likely to cause skin irritation, making them a great choice for your baby’s sensitive skin. Products like Earth Mama use ingredients that soothe rather than strip delicate skin, preventing dry skin and maintaining natural moisture balance.

Nourishing Ingredients for Baby’s Hair

The presence of nourishing ingredients such as aloe vera and chamomile in natural shampoos can help moisturize and protect your baby’s hair. These ingredients support healthy hair growth and prevent dry hair, leaving your baby’s hair soft and easily manageable.

Minimizing Allergic Reactions

Without harsh chemicals, natural baby shampoos minimize the risk of allergic reactions. These non-toxic baby shampoos often come with better EWG ratings, indicating that they meet the strict standards set by the Environmental Working Group for safe products.

Safer Ingredients, Healthy Habits

Using shampoos with safe ingredients free from harmful additives is a decision. Exactly those kinds of decisions will make it easier to make subsequent natural-centric decisions about skincare products for your baby.

Don’t just limit these kinds of decisions to skincare, though. Steer clear from chemicals for their skincare, as well as for other aspects of life like diet.

Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Choices

Natural baby shampoos often use fair trade ingredients and eco-friendly packaging, reflecting the commitment companies like Dr. Bronner have towards sustainability. Choosing these products contributes to supporting quality products sourced from their fair trade projects around the world, such as Brazil, Ecuador, Ghana, and Sri Lanka.

The Importance of Tear-Free Formulas

A tear-free formula is essential for a stress-free bath time, ensuring the shampoo does not sting your baby’s eyes. This makes natural tear-free shampoos an indispensable part of a nurturing and enjoyable bathtime routine.

Avoidance of Artificial Fragrances and Dyes

Natural baby shampoos are free from synthetic fragrances and dyes, which can be harsh on your baby’s skin and respiratory system. Instead, they might use natural fragrances derived from essential oils or fruit extracts for a gentle, pleasing scent.

Key Ingredients to Look for

When selecting the best organic baby shampoo, always scrutinize the ingredient list carefully. Opt for natural, nourishing components that support delicate skin nourishment.

Moisturizing Agents

Your baby’s shampoo should contain safe and effective moisturizing agents. Aloe vera is a superior choice for hydration, renowned for its gentle, soothing properties.

Look for shampoos that contain aloe or other natural ingredients, ensuring your baby’s scalp remains moisturized. This goes for natural oils as well, but more on that below.

Natural Oils and Butters

Natural oils and butters like shea butter and cocoa butter offer rich, deep nourishment for your baby’s skin and hair.

Oils such as Cocos nucifera (coconut oil) or Olea europaea (olive oil) also provide essential moisture and are readily absorbed, leaving the baby’s hair soft and smooth. In addition to those, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, and jojoba oil are solid ingredients for moisture retention in the skin.

Antioxidants and Vitamins

Seek out shampoos that are enriched with antioxidants and vitamins to safeguard and condition your baby’s scalp and hair.

  • Vitamin E is a key antioxidant that can help protect the skin from oxidative stress.
  • Also, shampoos with fruit oils like grapefruit or bergamot can deliver essential nutrients and are often part of a comprehensive blend of plant-based ingredients for the scalp and hair.

Ingredients to Avoid

When selecting a natural shampoo for your baby, it’s important to be mindful of certain ingredients that could be potentially harmful. Here is a list of additives to avoid:

  • Mineral Oils: These are by-products of petroleum processing and can create a film that inhibits the skin’s natural ability to release toxins. It doesn’t absorb into the skin. Rather, it sits on the skin and can clog pores or worsen skin irritation.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): A common surfactant that can strip the scalp of its natural oils and may cause skin irritation. Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES) is preferred as it’s more gentle and less likely to cause skin irritation. That said, avoiding them both is recommended.
  • Sodium Benzoate: Often used as a preservative, sodium benzoate can react with vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and citric acid to form benzene, a known carcinogen.
  • Potassium Hydroxide: A strong alkali used for pH adjustment, but in high amounts can be irritating to skin and eyes.
  • Cocamidopropyl Betaine: This is a synthetic surfactant and detergent associated with skin and eye irritation. It’s also associated with some allergic reactions, especially in those with sensitive skin.
  • Benzyl Alcohol: A preservative and fragrance ingredient that can cause skin and eye irritation.
  • Sodium Citrate: Used to adjust the acid-base balance in shampoos, it is generally recognized as safe but may cause irritation in some individuals with sensitive skin.

For each ingredient, it’s crucial to consider the concentration used in products – lower levels might be less concerning than higher doses.

Manufacturers sometimes claim that low concentrations of these chemicals pose no threat, but for your baby’s delicate skin, choosing shampoos with more benign ingredients is preferable, especially when the natural options are virtually endless.

We linked to two brands earlier, like Dr. Bronner and Earth Mama. But you can easily make homemade baby shampoo with a few natural ingredients, giving you full control over the quality and choice of ingredients in the finished product.

3 Homemade Natural and Gentle Baby Shampoo Recipes

When considering your baby’s delicate skin, opting for homemade natural shampoo can be reassuring. You can choose certified organic ingredients and fair trade ingredients to ensure quality and sustainability.

1.) Soothing Chamomile Baby Shampoo

This homemade baby shampoo recipe is made with natural and gentle ingredients, perfect for taking care of your baby’s delicate skin and hair. Plus, it includes the calming scent of chamomile, perfect for babies during bathtime.


  • 1 cup distilled or purified water
  • 1 tablespoon dried chamomile flowers (for a natural scent and to soothe the skin)
  • 1/4 cup unscented castile soap (like Dr. Bronner’s unscented castile soap)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable glycerin (to moisturize and hydrate the scalp and hair)
  • 1 teaspoon vitamin E oil (natural preservative and skin nourisher)
  • 1-3 teaspoons sweet almond oil (gentle and nourishing for delicate skin)


  1. Heat the distilled water to a gentle boil. Remove from heat and add the dried chamomile flowers to the water to create a chamomile infusion. Allow it to steep until the water cools to room temperature, which should take about 30 minutes.
  2. Strain the chamomile flowers from the water using a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth, making sure to capture the chamomile-infused water.
  3. In a clean bowl or container, combine the chamomile infusion with the unscented castile soap. Stir gently to mix the ingredients without creating too many suds.
  4. Add the vegetable glycerin to the mixture for added moisture and hydration.
  5. Mix in the sweet almond oil, which is known for its gentle, nourishing properties, ideal for a baby’s sensitive skin. Also, add the vitamin E oil at this point.
  6. Once all the ingredients are well combined, transfer the shampoo to a bottle with a pump or squirt cap for easy use.
  7. To use, gently massage a small amount into your baby’s wet hair and scalp during bath time, then rinse thoroughly with water.

Store-bought or otherwise, remember to always patch-test any new product on a small area of your baby’s skin and check for any negative skin reactions.

2.) Gentle Coconut Baby Shampoo and Wash

Coconut oil creates a gentle wash that’s moisturizing and nourishing because it is a natural emollient and anti-inflammatory.


  • 1/4 cup organic coconut oil (fractionated coconut oil is great if you have it)
  • 1/4 cup pure aloe vera gel (to soothe the skin)
  • 1/4 cup liquid unscented castile soap (gentle cleanser)
  • 1 cup distilled or purified water (to dilute the mixture)
  • 1 teaspoon vitamin E oil (natural preservative and skin nourisher)
  • 1-2 tablespoons vegetable glycerin (for added moisturization)
  • Optional: 5-10 drops of lavender essential oil (for a calming scent)


  1. Begin by gently melting the coconut oil in a double boiler or in the microwave using a microwave-safe container. If using a microwave, heat it in short bursts, stirring in between, until just melted, not hot. If you overheat it, let it cool to room temperature before proceeding.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the melted coconut oil and aloe vera gel. Aloe vera is known for its skin-soothing properties, making it perfect for a baby’s sensitive skin.
  3. Add the liquid castile soap to the mixture.
  4. Pour in the distilled water to dilute the mixture, making it gentle for the baby’s skin.
  5. Stir in the vitamin E oil, which acts as a natural preservative and is also great for the skin.
  6. Add the vegetable glycerin, which will help to moisturize and protect the skin during cleansing.
  7. If you choose to use lavender essential oil, add it now. Lavender has natural relaxing properties, which can be beneficial during bath time. Start with less for the first batch to be extra cautious (2-3 drops) and check for skin irritation.
  8. Whisk all the ingredients together until you have a well-blended mixture.
  9. Transfer the baby wash to a pump bottle for convenient use during bath time. Foaming bottles are excellent.
  10. To use, pump a small amount onto a soft washcloth or into your hands and gently cleanse your baby’s skin. Rinse well with warm water.

Babies and adults alike love the smell of lavender. For quite the relaxing, aromatic baby bathtime experience for you and the little one, this is a great recipe.

3.) Frankincense, Myrrh, and Aloe Baby Shampoo

This shampoo smells amazing and is fantastic for keeping the little one’s skin moisturized and nourished, especially with the addition of aloe vera and jojoba oil.


  • 1/4 cup liquid unscented castile soap
  • 1/4 cup aloe vera gel (natural soothing agent)
  • 1/2 cup distilled water
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin (optional, for added moisture)
  • 1-3 teaspoons jojoba oil (mimics the skin’s natural oils)
  • 1 teaspoon vitamin E oil (natural preservative and skin nourisher)
  • 5 drops frankincense essential oil (known for its calming properties)
  • 5 drops myrrh essential oil (reputed for its nurturing effects on the skin)


  1. In a bowl or bottle, combine the liquid unscented castile soap with the aloe vera gel. The aloe vera gel will help soothe and protect the baby’s scalp and skin.
  2. Add the distilled water to the mixture to ensure the shampoo is gentle enough for a baby’s delicate skin.
  3. If you’re using vegetable glycerin, stir it into the mixture now. It can help to retain moisture in the skin and hair.
  4. Pour in the jojoba oil, which is gentle, non-irritating, and closely resembles the natural sebum produced by our skin. You can also now add the vitamin E oil.
  5. Add the frankincense and myrrh essential oils. These oils are not only known for their wonderful scents but also for their soothing and skin-supportive properties. Start with less for the first batch, 1-2 drops each, and check for irritation.
  6. Gently mix all the ingredients until well combined.
  7. Transfer the shampoo to a pump bottle or a container with a secure cap.
  8. To use, wet your baby’s hair with warm water, apply a small amount of shampoo, and gently lather. Rinse thoroughly with water.

Note: Any of the above recipes can be customized according to your liking. That said, remember that essential oils are extremely concentrated plant compounds. While they’re amazing when used correctly, we always recommend using fewer essential oils than you think you need, especially for babies.

Additionally, essential oils and vitamin E are entirely optional. Water, castile soap, and natural oil are really the only necessary ingredients for the most basic baby shampoo. We included added ingredients for extra moisturization and natural relaxing fragrances.

Best Practices and Tips for Bath Time

When preparing for bath time, remember that your approach should cater to your baby’s delicate skin. Opt for a gentle baby wash that is free from harsh chemicals and suited for daily use. The right product will cleanse without stripping away natural oils. Any of the shampoos above can be used as baby wash alternatives to store-bought products.

Keep the following tips in mind:

  • Water Temperature: Warm water is soothing and ideal. Aim for a temperature around 95°F to 100°F (35°C to 37.8°C). Always test the water with your elbow or a bath thermometer to ensure it’s not too hot. If it feels hot to you, it will feel hotter to them and their sensitive skin.
  • No Tears Formula: While many baby products are tear-free, it’s still best to avoid getting any soap water in their eyes. Just gently washing around their face is sufficient. There’s no need to scrub or overwash babies; they aren’t that dirty!
  • Quantity: A little goes a long way. Use a small amount of baby wash to prevent skin irritation and to maintain the skin’s moisture.
  • Frequency: Not all babies require daily baths. Adjust the frequency according to your baby’s skin type to avoid potential dryness. When it comes to bathing, we don’t bath our newborns daily, especially not right after birth.
  • Be Gentle: This time is for them. Make it relaxing and fun; don’t rush it. Let them get acclimated to the water and the process overall. Also, pat dry when finished, and avoid any rubbing motions when drying.

No Time for DIY? 4 Recommended Natural Baby Shampoo Brands

When selecting the best natural shampoo for your baby, consider brands that focus on gentleness, safety, and the use of certified organic ingredients. We already took a look at great natural ingredients and a few DIY baby shampoo recipes above. But, if you don’t have time to make your own baby shampoo, any of the below brands are solid alternatives.

1.) Babo Botanicals

Babo Botanicals offers a range of the best natural baby shampoo products that are known for their gentle and safe formulations. Their sensitive baby fragrance-free shampoo and wash is acclaimed for being formulated with aloe, calendula, and chamomile flower extract.

2.) Earth Mama

Earth Mama is praised for its natural shampoo for babies, which is often used in hospital NICUs. This indicates a level of trust in the product’s suitability for newborns, which it earns through its high-quality organic ingredients designed for the most fragile baby skin.

3.) Dr. Bronner’s

Dr. Bronner’s is a well-known brand in the natural products market, and their baby unscented pure-castile liquid soap serves as a multi-purpose option that can be used as a baby shampoo. With certified organic and fair trade ingredients, it’s a versatile choice for parents who prefer a mild wash for their little ones.

4.) Pipette

Pipette Baby Shampoo focuses on being as gentle and tear-free as possible. They emphasize safety in their best baby soaps and shampoos, creating hypoallergenic products that soothe and nourish your baby’s scalp and skin without harsh chemicals.

Understanding Labels and Certifications

When selecting a natural shampoo for babies, it’s helpful to understand various labels and certifications.

Certified Organic Ingredients

This signifies that the raw materials used in the shampoo are grown without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, which is better for your baby’s skin and the environment. When you see a product with certified organic ingredients, you can be confident that these elements have met stringent organic farming standards.

EWG Verified

This mark indicates that the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment, has reviewed the product. It means the shampoo’s ingredients have been vetted for safety according to the group’s strict criteria.

Fair Trade

The inclusion of fair trade ingredients suggests an ethical choice, supporting fair wages and working conditions for farmers and workers. It’s a good indicator of the company’s commitment to social responsibility.

As you navigate through the choices, look for the Environmental Working Group’s database (linked earlier in this post) as a resource. It provides insights into the health and safety of personal care products, including baby shampoos, by scoring them based on their ingredient lists.

Remember, the presence of these labels and certifications on your baby shampoo means that you’re choosing a product that’s been held to higher standards for safety and environmental impact.

Natural is Best: Your Baby Deserves It

Birth is a critical milestone for you and your baby. It was hard for you, but it was also hard on them.

Treat them to naturally sourced products that nourish them rather than using questionable chemicals. We promote using natural ingredients on our blog for many reasons and utilizations, but especially for those we love.

DIY vs. Store-bought Baby Shampoo

  • When you weigh DIY vs. store-bought baby shampoo, remember that homemade solutions can offer full control over the ingredients tailored to your baby. Additionally, DIY is so much cheaper in the end, oftentimes for a superior end product that you crafted all by yourself.
  • Store-bought baby shampoos are specifically formulated to meet safety standards and often undergo rigorous testing. Among the different products available, store-bought options also provide convenience and time savings. There are great natural shampoos out there, like the ones we mentioned earlier.
  • We prefer DIY whenever possible. But, as long as the ingredients are safe and suited well for your baby, that’s what matters the most.

Making an Informed Decision

  • Making an informed decision involves understanding the wide array of personal care products for babies, from skincare products to hair products.
  • Look for labels that list ingredients transparently and favor those with certifications indicating they are free from harmful chemicals.
  • Making good decisions to use wholesome products and ingredients while your baby is young will establish beneficial habits to do the same as they grow older.
  • Also, make the informed decision to use natural ingredients for your own skincare and haircare.

When you choose natural, you make a good choice. Feel good about that choice and keep informed. Here’s to many fun and enjoyable baby bathtimes ahead!

Best Natural Shampoo for Babies: FAQs

In this section, you’ll find specific information about creating your own baby shampoo, the safest ingredients to use, top-rated products, and how to select the best options for your child’s delicate skin.

How do I make baby shampoo at home?

You can create a simple baby shampoo at home using gentle ingredients like castile soap, distilled water, and a natural oil such as almond or coconut oil for moisture. Read more about our recipes earlier in this post.

What are some ingredients I can use to make a gentle baby shampoo?

For a gentle baby shampoo, consider ingredients like aloe vera, vegetable glycerin, and essential oils (diluted only). Two essential oils you could use would be lavender or chamomile. Never use them undiluted. Just a few drops per cup of finished product is a good place to start.

What are the top-rated organic baby shampoos currently on the market?

Babo Botanicals Sensitive Baby Fragrance-Free Shampoo & Wash and Nature’s Baby Organics 3 in 1 Shampoo and Body Wash are among the top-rated organic baby shampoos.

How can I identify a baby shampoo that is free from harmful chemicals?

Look for certifications such as USDA Organic and check labels for the absence of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances to identify shampoos free from harmful chemicals. Even better, make your own baby shampoo with the recipes we included in the above post.

What criteria should I consider when choosing a natural shampoo for my baby?

Consider factors like ingredient transparency, hypoallergenic properties, the presence of skin-nurturing ingredients, and certifications from reputable organic and natural standards.

Can you recommend some gentle and safe body wash and shampoo combo products for infants?

Pipette Baby Shampoo + Body Wash is recommended for its gentle and safe formula, suitable for infants.

What brands of natural baby shampoo are recommended by pediatricians?

Pediatricians often recommend brands that are clinically tested and approved, such as California Baby Shampoo, which is known for its gentle and natural ingredients.

Are there any organic baby shampoos that also cater to sensitive skin conditions?

Yes, there are organic baby shampoos specially formulated for sensitive skin, including fragrance-free options like Babo Botanicals Sensitive Baby Fragrance-Free Shampoo & Wash that are designed to soothe and nourish.

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