Bath time; once a tremendous struggle, now a highlight of Buddy’s day. Buddy for those that don’t know is our very own test baby and he’s fast gaining celebrity status at Express. I’m looking this week at products we’ve used for Buddy’s ablutions.
In the very beginning Buddy was washed without soap. In the confines of his little plastic baby bath his only bath-mate was his floating thermometer (an invaluable tool). I think at some stage Buddy must have heard the adage that newborns love water and being as his is, a staunchly independent chap, decided to rail against the norm. He would protest against being disrobed and dunked, would thrash about and on removal from the bath, would wail, presumably because now he was wet. I soon learned the erudite art of speed-bathing and with militaristic precision could have Buddy washed, dried, freshly ‘nappied’ and in his onesie within a matter of minutes. My advice to parents facing similar bath trauma is to have everything you need prepped beforehand, making sure that towels and post-bath nappies are safely outside the splash zone.
I’m pleased to say that Buddy gave up his bathing protestations about a month or so later. It was also around this time that baby wash was now deemed safe to use. We had a fair selection of freebies we’d picked up, which for the most part came from the Johnson’s range.
Johnson’s, heavyweight players in the baby bath time world, work to really push the envelope. They make washes, shampoos and bubble baths and apparently every conceivable combination of the three. It seems Johnson’s aim to extend the ‘wash and go’ ethos of time-saving convenience to our kids (take two bottles and one baby into the shower?).
The head to toe wash, according to the directions can be used from newborn, so was the first we used. My feelings on it are that it’s a watered down version of Johnson’s shampoo (it has a similar smell). I found it didn’t lather up all that well and wasn’t particularly long-lasting. It is intended to be an all in one wash and shampoo, I thought however that the Johnson’s Shampoo (which can also be used from 0 months) did a better job on Buddy’s hair.
A couple of months later we started Buddy on the bubble bath and wash variant. By this time Buddy had been given some floating bath animals with little mirrors in and placing them in a bubbly bath soup was a fun new experience for him. The product, to my mind, didn’t work so well as a wash however, as again it didn’t lather that well, tending instead to turn into more bubbles.
The Baby Bedtime bath, which we started using around 10 months old, was much more of a hit. This, unlike the previous Johnson’s washes we tried, has more viscosity and lathered up very well. As a result, the bottle we had lasted longer, a factor which contributed to us purchasing it again. Johnson’s blurb on the product talks of clinical proof that the wash helps baby sleep, the ingredient lavender cited as contributing to this effect. Whilst I’m not completely convinced of the washes ability to aid sleep, it certainly leaves Buddy with a pleasant aroma, we still use the bedtime bath occasionally, even when Buddy isn’t being washed before bedtime, mavericks that we are!
Before I move away from Johnson’s I must stop to recommend their Baby Soap. A Bar of this lasts us a fair old time, Buddy’s big brother who suffers with mild eczema uses this too and on occasion, so do mummy and daddy. If you need a moisturising soap this is a good alternative, with a smarter price than E45 and Dove products.
I’ve already mentioned that Johnson’s baby Shampoo worked well for Buddy’s hair. In all honesty I have to say that the other brand alternatives we’ve tried are largely much of a muchness. I may well get slapped wrists for saying this but there are some good affordable alternatives from supermarket brand lines. If you don’t want to give your hard earned dollar to these corporate machines the sample we had of Simple Baby Moisturising Shampoo performed just as well as Johnson’s and is a cheaper alternative. We also liked their talc, which despite containing no fragrance still smells like talc! Since Buddy learned to walk he’s become a massive fidget and a good blast of talc helps to dry him off post-bath, I’ll get less of a soaking too as I try to wrestle him into a towel.
One other brand we’ve tried along the way and have stuck with is Beaming Baby. On the quiet I’m a bit of an advocate for ‘organic’ alternatives, although I have to be convinced they’re as least as good as their non-organic cousins, as they tend to be more expensive. From the Beaming Baby range we still use their Organic Bubble Bath. What’s especially good about this is that it helps to moisturise and a little bit does go a long way. Whereas before we’d add a little baby oil to the bath water (a money saving alternative to using baby lotion) we’ll use this instead which combined with baby soap serves to keep Buddy’s skin ‘baby soft’ whilst providing good bubble coverage for him to flap about in. It’s also encouraging to be able to read through the ingredients on a product without it reading like the shopping list for a meth lab.
Whilst on the subject of organic alternatives I did find Organic Babies Wash and Shampoo was good. I found this was a better all-in-one hair and body wash for Buddy than the Johnson’s version, it gave good lather from a small amount and was sufficiently thick to make for a good shampoo. I’m sad to say that the price put me off buying it again, but for ecologically minded parents who are prepared to pay extra, this is definitely worth a try in my humble opinion.
Once again I hope the experiences Buddy and I have had can be of some use to you and please feel free to comment back with any queries you might have. I’m off now to get a bath on and get in some quality Buddy-dad time.
Take care all
Steve and Buddy