Budget Green (and Safe): Baby & Kid Products


Last week I posted a list of low-hazard personal care products based on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. You can read more about the database and search products here, or use the permanent button in the sidebar. My goal was to highlight products that are relatively inexpensive, but readily available in drugstores, grocery stores, and places like Target.

This week, I’ve created a similar list; this one consists exclusively of baby and kid personal care products.

According to EWG, the hazard ratings are

0-2 Low Hazard

3-6 Moderate Hazard

7-10 High Hazard

Baby & Kid Products

Shampoo

1 California Baby Shampoo & Body Wash Super Sensitive; Tea Tree & Lavender; Swimmer’s Defense

2 Tom’s of Maine Baby Shampoo & Body Wash, Jasmine

2 Aveeno Baby Wash & Shampoo, Lightly Scented

2 California Baby Shampoo & Body Wash, Calming

3 Huggies Baby Wash Extra Sensitive, Fragrance Free

3 Huggies Tear-Free Baby Shampoo, Extra Sensitive

3 Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Shampoo with Natural Lavender

4 Johnson & Johnson’s Head-to-Toe Baby Wash, Originial

4 J & J Buddies Instant-Foam, Easy Rinse Shampoo

4 J & J Softwash Shampoo

4 J & J Baby Shampoo, Original; Honey & Vitamin E; 2-in-1 Detangler; with Natural Chamomile; 2-in1 Extra Conditioning

4 Huggies Natural Care Wash

4 Huggies Baby Shampoo, Extra Gentle; Nourishing with Mango, Coconut & Aloe

4 Huggies Naturally Refreshing Hair & Body Wash

4 CVS Baby Wash, Regular and Tear-Free

4 Walgreen’s Tear-Free Baby Shampoo

4 Aveeno Body Wash & Shampoo

4 Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Shampoo & Wash; also, Shampoo Bar

The worst offenders (those with the highest hazard ratings) in this category are Baby Magic products, Huggies Toddler 2-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner, Bubblin’ Berry, Johnson & Johnson Soothing Naturals Gift Set, which all rated a 7.

Bubble Bath

0 Aveeno Baby Soothing Bath Treatment

2 California Baby Bubble Bath (all fragrances)

4 Johnson & Johnson Soothing Vapor Bath

4 Rite Aid Night Time Baby Bath, Tearless with Lavender & Chamomile

4 CVS Baby Bath, Lavender & Chamomile

4 Johnson & Johnson Bedtime Bath

The highest rated products in this category, again, belong to Baby Magic with a 7.

Diaper Cream

0 Rite Aid Zinc Oxide Ointment

0 Vaseline Pure Petroleum Jelly Jar for Baby, Creamy Formula, Enriched with Vit. E

1 Aquaphor Hydrophor Baby Diaper Rash Ointment

1 Badger Diaper Cream

2 Balmex Extra Protective Clear Ointment

2 Boudreaux’s Butt Paste (I used this with my daughters and it was great for getting rid of diaper rash, fast!)

2 Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment (This was the other product I used; it works really well on chapped skin.)

2 California Baby Diaper Rash Cream

2 Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Diaper Ointment

3 Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Diaper Rash Cream

4 Walgreens Zinc Oxide Ointment

4 Balmex Diaper Rash Ointment (Zinc Oxide) with Aloe & Vit. E

4 A+D Diaper Rash Cream, Original; and with Zinc Oxide

4 Aveeno Diaper Rash Cream, Fragrance-Free

4 Desitin Clear Ointment

4 Johnson & Johnson Baby Diaper Rash Cream

Baby Lotion

0 Vaseline Pure Petroleum Jelly Jar for Baby, Creamy Formula, Enriched with Vit. E

1 Badger Baby Balm, Certified Organic

2 Aveeno Daily Baby Moisturizing Lotion

2 California Baby Every Day Lotion, Calming; and Super Sensitive

3 CVS Petroleum Jelly, Lavender & Chamomile

4 Aveeno Calming Comfort Baby Lotion

4 Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Skin Cream; and Buttermilk Lotion

5 Huggies Baby Lotion, Extra Sensitive

The worst in this category are most Johnson & Johnson lotions and some Huggies lotions with ratings from 7-9.

Wipes

*See Update at Bottom of Post*

2 Seventh Generation Chlorine-Free Baby Wipes; also, Unscented with Aloe & Vit. E

3 Pampers Wipes, Natural Aloe, Unscented

4 CVS Ultra Soft Cloths

4 Pampers Sensitive Wipes

4 Huggies Supreme; also, Natural Care Wipes

Toothpaste (baby)

3 Gerber Toddler Tooth & Gum Cleanser, Natural Mixed Berry Flavor

3 Spiffies Tooth Wipes

3 Oral-B Stages 1 Baby Tooth & Gum Cleanser

3 Gerber Grins & Giggles Infant Tooth & Gum Cleanser

Toothpaste (kids)

1 Tom’s of Maine Goofy Grape Liquid Toothpaste, Fluoride-Free

1 Burt’s Bees Doctor Burt’s Children’s Toothpaste

2 Tom’s of Maine Natural, Fluoride-Free Toothpaste for Kids

3 Kiss My Face Kids Toothpaste

4 Crest Kids Spider-Man Super Action Liquid Gel

4 Crest Wild Expressions Fluoride, Anti-cavity Toothpaste Liquid

4 Crest Neat Squeeze Toothpaste for Kids

4 Oral-B Stages Mickey Mouse Toothpaste

4 Aquafresh Kids Fluoride Toothpaste with Triple Protection

4 Aquafresh Mary Kate & Ashley Toothpaste

4 Colgate Children’s Anti-cavity Fluoride Toothpaste

4 REACH Anti-cavity Fluoride Toothpaste

4 Tom’s of Maine Natural Anti-cavity Fluoride Toothpaste for Children

If you haven’t already, please see the post on Budget Green (and Safe): Personal Care for adults.

I’d like to reiterate that you should be careful not to go with an entire product line because they have a few low-rated items. Check the list first. I’ve found a wide range of ratings in different products within the same line.

If you have experience with any of these products and would like to let the rest of us know how effective you think they are, please write about them in the comments.

Update (4/7/09): After reading a comment from Elena, I’ve learned about Tushies Baby Wipes. They, too, are very safe (rating a 1) as long as you go with the unscented version. Scented varieties rate a 4. I’ve not seen them in my local stores, but they may be available in your area. They are available on Amazon.com, too.

Photo Credit: BigTallGuy

Comments

  1. This is a really great post. I think I could have guessed a few of the higher rated items from past experience. My daughter has sensitive skin and some of the worse products that you have listed has caused her to break out or have dry skin. My pediatrician even told me to stay away from most of the “smelly” baby products. He said they were no good. Seems he was right!

  2. Thanks, Nicki. The really smelly stuff never worked for us either. We haven’t had any problems since we started using some of the lower hazard products. I wish I’d known about the Cosmetics Database when my girls were born.

  3. Wow, thanks for posting this awesome short-list. I was surprised to see that so many Aveeno products had higher numbers. My impression was that they touted a more natural product. I’ll be sure to check the rest of the list.

  4. I hope the list is helpful. I, too, was surprised by Aveeno’s numbers. Several of the “natural” product companies come out higher than I’d like.

  5. This is a very helpful list, However I was suprised not to see Tushies Wipes up there. I’ve been doing a lot of research and have found them to be the safest one’s. Is there any reason they weren’t listed? Thank you for all the helpful info.

  6. @ Elena — Thank you for the comment. When I compiled the list, I went straight off of EWG’s Cosmetics Database and picked out products I recognized from “regular” grocery stores and places like Target. I’d never heard of Tushies Wipes, but after reading your comment, I did some checking. You’re correct, as long as you go with the unscented version, they are very safe, rating only a 1 with EWG. Scented versions are rating a 4. I’ll add an amendment to the original post. Thanks for letting me know about them.

  7. I’m glad to hear they ranked a 1. I became a little concerned when I didn’t see them on the list since I’ve had my heart set on tushies diapers and wipes because those are the one’s I plan on using when my baby arrives. I’ve put in a lot of hours researching and they are the only truly all natural products I’ve found. Especially the diapers, I was suprised to find they are the only gel free disposable diapers. I hope well known stores begin to sell tushies products such as babies r us, wal mart, target, etc. Would you be able to do anything about that by any chance or can you point me in the right direction? Thanks again!

  8. Catherine says:

    I dont understand why you dont have Natures Paradise Organics listed on your site. Their Baby Organic line was rated the safest with a 0 rating. I love thier products they are much safer then the products you listed. They are safe enough to eat, read their short healthy list of ingredients. The coconut line smells AMAZING like being at the beach.

  9. Hey Catherine, just read Beth’s comment from 4/7/09 “@ Elena”. That should answer your question. I had the same concern. I visited the EWG’s Cosmetic Database after reading this post and it is a bit overwhelming. She did a great job compiling this list.

  10. @ Catherine — Thanks for letting me know about Nature’s Paradise products. They sound great.

    What I was going for with this list was really a much more simplified version of EWG’s. I was also trying to highlight inexpensive products that are readily available in stores. My goal wasn’t to include ALL of the low-rating products in the Cosmetics Database, because I felt those were easy enough to find by clicking the link, but rather, those basic, easy to find products that may get lost in the mass of information.

  11. @ Elena — Just to let you know, I haven’t forgotten about your request. I’ve contacted the Tushies company to find out when their products might be available in large stores. As soon as I hear back from them, I’ll let you know.

  12. I am curious to know what you think about the whole greenguard certification

  13. Re: Greenguard Certification. Thanks for the question. I don’t know much about it at this point, but am researching it and will write a post with some answers soon.

  14. Claudia Hailwood says:

    Hello,
    My name is Claudia Hailwood and I am an expectant mother. I have tried to research the hazard rating for Huggies Pure and Natural diapers but have not had much luck. Do you have any information on this product? I will greatly appreciate any input you may have.

    Thanks,
    Claudia Hailwood
    claudiahailwood@gmail.com

  15. very helpful list! I will be switching ALL of my choices. Who makes the ratings for these products. How are they tested/rated?

  16. Thank you Beth for the comprehensive list of safe baby products. As an expectant father I would like to be sure that my baby are safe. If you have an updated list can you please share it with me too at nilopacheco@yahoo.com

  17. It’s sad that we even have to worry about this kind of stuff.