The Best Baby Lotions to Soothe and Protect Their Delicate Skin

Keep baby's skin soft and smooth with the Earth Mama Calming Baby Lotion

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Baby lotion is similar to adult lotion, however, the formula for baby lotion is designed with babies' sensitive skin in mind first. Typically, baby lotion isn't necessary unless your little one is suffering from dry skin, but it's a great way to keep them moisturized and prevent dry skin. Either way, it's always good to have this essential baby product on hand should your baby's skin need a little nourishment.

Reviewed & Approved

The Earth Mama Calming Baby Lotion doesn't contain any harmful ingredients and is available in lavender, citrus, or scent-free. For a budget-friendly option, we recommend Johnson's Baby Head-to-Toe Lotion.

No matter the reason, you’ll want to look for a baby lotion with clean and safe ingredients as they could otherwise irritate your little one’s skin. Depending on how dry your baby's skin is, know whether you need to reach for a lotion (the lightest form of hydration), a cream (a denser, heavier moisturizer), or an ointment (a thicker, more emollient formula that creates a barrier to seal in moisture). We carefully considered skin types, ingredients, design, and value when reviewing products.

To help you find the best one for your baby's needs, here are the best baby lotions on the market.

Best Overall: Earth Mama Calming Lavender Baby Lotion

5
Earth Mama

Courtesy of Amazon

Who else recommends it? Mom Loves Best also picked the Earth Mama Calming Lavender Baby Lotion.

What do buyers say? 93% of 2,900+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above. 

The Earth Mama Calming Baby Lotion is our best overall pick because it's an all-natural lotion without harmful ingredients like parabens and synthetics. It only contains top-quality ingredients you can trust, and it does an incredible job of moisturizing a baby’s skin without feeling sticky.

Plus, this baby lotion smells amazing and is offered at a reasonable price. The lotion is available in two irresistible fragrances: lavender and citrus, or you can opt for the scent-free version.

Best Budget: Johnson's Baby Head-to-Toe Lotion

Johnson's Baby Head-to-Toe Lotion

Amazon

If you’re looking to moisturize your baby’s skin for a bargain, you’ll be happy to know that Johnson & Johnson has changed their formulation to a hypoallergenic, paraben-free offering. We love this budget baby lotion for its thick, creamy feel that goes on easily and absorbs quickly into your baby’s skin.

Plus, it’s got that classic scent that Johnson & Johnson has become known for. You might even be tempted to use it on yourself!

Best Ointment: Tubby Todd All Over Ointment

Tubby Todd All Over Ointment

Courtesy of Tubby Todd

Made from plant-based ingredients, this ointment is rich and creamy, and naturally moisturizes the skin. It’s great for all skin types, including those who may suffer from eczema or cradle cap.

Reviewers have dubbed it the “miracle cream” for their little ones' skin issues, like dryness, cradle cap, and baby acne. The thick texture doesn’t feel greasy, and the formula is fragrance-free. 

Best for Eczema: Vaseline Pure Petroleum Jelly

Vaseline Pure Petroleum Jelly

Amazon

If your baby suffers from eczema, you’ll be limited in which lotions you can choose for his red, itchy skin. When it comes to the best baby lotion for eczema, we haven’t found anything that works better than old reliable: Vaseline.

It’s the pediatrician-recommended ointment for baby eczema, and you’ll see most cases resolve themselves in just a few days once you begin applying Vaseline regularly. We like Vaseline Petroleum Jelly for Baby, which has a light and fresh scent that you’ll love and that won’t irritate your baby’s sensitive skin.

Best for Dry Skin: Aquaphor Advanced Therapy Healing Ointment

Aquaphor Advanced Therapy Healing Ointment

Amazon

Aquaphor lotion gets our vote for the best baby lotion for dry skin, but did you know it can cure a host of other skin issues, too? In fact, you’d be remiss not to have a tube of this miracle salve in your nursery and in your diaper bag.

Fend off dry skin during the colder months or tackle that peeling newborn skin by applying a thin layer of Aquaphor after bathtime. Dealing with cradle cap? Aquaphor can handle all but the most severe cases. Simply apply all over your baby’s scalp after a bath, and then cover with a cap for overnight relief.

Best for Newborns: Mustela Hydra Bebe Body Lotion

Mustela Hydra Bebe Body Lotion

Amazon

Mustela has an impressive line of baby skincare products, tackling tough issues like severely dry skin, baby eczema, and super sensitive or allergic skin with ease. We love Mustela for its delicious scent that lingers on baby’s skin and hair for more than just a few hours.

It's great for taking on dry skin, especially during that newborn peeling stage. It goes on silky smooth and doesn’t feel too greasy. Plus, it’s formulated with natural ingredients like plant-based glycerin and avocado perseose (a patented ingredient only used by Mustela) that are safe for a baby right from the start.

Best Multi-Purpose: Sun Bum Baby Bum Natural Monoi Coconut Balm

Sun Bum Baby Bum Natural Monoi Coconut Balm

Amazon

If you’re wanting something the whole family can use, you’ll love Baby Bum’s Coconut Balm. This plant-based balm can nourish and soothe all skin types with ingredients like coconut butter, shea butter, and aloe.

Not only is it great for baby's skin, but this balm can also be used by others in the family. It doubles as nipple cream, hand balm, and body moisturizer.

Best for Face: Weleda Sensitive Care Face Cream

Weleda Face Cream

 Courtesy of Target

When it comes to taking care of your baby’s photo-worthy face, it’s best to choose a super sensitive lotion that won’t exacerbate all those newborn skin issues. That’s why we love Weleda’s face cream. It’s formulated with calendula to make it extra gentle, containing nothing but natural, plant-based ingredients like white mallow and pansy extracts.

Not only is Weleda face cream suitable for newborn and baby skin, but it also makes a great soothing lotion for sunburn or even eczema.

Best for Sensitive Skin: California Baby Calendula Cream

California Baby Calendula Cream

Amazon

Another top-rated organic lotion with calendula is our choice for the best baby lotion for sensitive skin. That’s because calendula contains anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and anti-microbial properties crucial for calming irritated, sensitive skin on both babies and adults. California Baby is a name known for products that use top-quality and organic ingredients.

Formulated with lavender and clary sage essential oils, this light cream smells amazing and goes on easily for lasting moisturization. You can use California Baby’s Calendula Cream on a host of skin issues outside of sensitive skin, too. It’s effective on mild cases of cradle cap, eczema, and even diaper rash.

Final Verdict

If you're looking for a reliable baby lotion with ingredients you can trust, look no further than Earth Mama (view on Amazon). It's formulated without parabens, synthetics, and other harmful ingredients. However, if you're looking for something that will soothe extreme cases of dry skin and eczema then try Vaseline Petroleum Jelly for Baby (view on Amazon).

What to Look for in a Baby Lotion

Clean and Safe Ingredients

It's always important that your baby care products are formulated with clean and safe ingredients. Check that the baby lotion you're buying is free of parabens, fragrances, alcohols, dyes, and other harmful ingredients that could irritate your baby's skin.

Multi-Functional

Of course, your baby lotion isn't limited to simply hydrating the skin. There are some lotions on the market that are great for clearing up more severe skin conditions such as cradle cap and eczema. Finding a lotion that can be used for various skin conditions is a great option, especially if your baby has very sensitive skin.

Lotions vs. Creams vs. Ointments

While the three of these are all similar in nature, creams and ointments feel heavier than lotions since they have a higher concentration of oil. Lotions are the thinnest of the three, so they're the easiest to spread and absorb fast. However, if you're looking for something to be ultra moisturizing or help heal a skin issue like eczema, it may be best to go with a cream or ointment.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When should I start using lotion on my baby's skin?

    While most parents and caregivers think lotion is absolutely necessary every day for baby, experts say it really isn’t. You actually only need to use a lotion, cream, or balm when you notice baby’s skin is too dry. Parent tip: Sometimes it’s easiest to remember to do it straight after a bath, especially when they’re newborns!

    However, if you notice whatever you're doing at home isn't working, contact your child's pediatrician with your concerns. They may have answers for you or will possibly refer you to a specialist.

  • Can I use lotion on my baby's face?

    Similar to regular, non-baby lotions, there are lotions on the market specifically designed for the face. If you’re looking for a face lotion for baby though, check the label to ensure the product is designed for the face or safe to use on the face. Additionally, look to see if it’s safe to use near the eye area. 

    During those winter months, it can be easy to feel like your little one needs a ton of lotion to prevent dryness from kicking in. However, you can take other steps to take care of your baby’s skin (and your own!) by using a humidifier. Moisture from your skin can be pulled by dry air, resulting in dryer skin.

Why Trust Verywell Family? 

Katrina Cossey has been a digital content producer and news and feature writer for more than six years. She has covered topics ranging from local and national news as well as writing and researching parenting content. Katrina is a parent herself, and is a firm believer in Aquaphor Advanced Therapy Healing Ointment (view on Amazon). It’s been a life-saver during those cold winter months for everyone’s dry skin (mom included!).

6 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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