Shopping

The best baby shampoos
Olena Yakobchuk / Shutterstock

The 5 Best Baby Shampoos That Are Super Gentle

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.

Regardless of whether your baby has a full head of hair or just a bit of fuzz, you’ll want to use one of the best baby shampoos in order to keep their scalp clean. The best choices are gentle enough for babies, which means they’re free of harsh ingredients like parabens, phthalates, dyes, and sulfates which can potentially be irritating to delicate skin. Also be sure to choose a shampoo that’s labelled "tear-free," meaning it shouldn't irritate your baby’s eyes even if it accidentally ends up in them. Pay attention to whether or not the shampoo has fragrance — you may enjoy how your baby smells after using a fragranced shampoo, but you may prefer to avoid fragrances if your baby has sensitive skin, since fragrance can cause allergic reactions or make skin overly dry.

Many baby shampoos tout other benefits that are worthy of attention. Some have the ability to prevent or reduce cradle cap thanks to ingredients like salicylic acid, while others are super hydrating because of ingredients like ceramides. Some shampoos are specifically designed for eczema-prone skin, boasting the National Eczema Association (NEA)'s seal of acceptance. While buzzwords like “hypoallergenic” and “natural” may look good on the bottle, there isn’t any federal regulation around using either term, so a fragrance-free shampoo with that NEA seal might be a safer pick if your baby has sensitive skin. If using vegan products is important to you, there are baby shampoos that don’t use any ingredients derived from animals available. Finally, many baby shampoos also double as a body wash, so keep an eye out for those if you'd rather not worry about switching products halfway through your bath-time ritual.

Parents on Amazon indicate that they love using these five baby shampoos to make their little ones squeaky clean without irritation. The products are all specifically designed for babies, so they’re designed with gentleness in mind.

1

A Fragrance-Free Baby Wash & Shampoo That’s Super Hydrating

If you’re looking for an ultra-gentle and fragrance-free pick, this baby shampoo and wash from CeraVe is exactly what you need. The product leaves out all of the harsh ingredients you’d want to avoid in a product for your little one — including parabens, dyes, phthalates, and sulfates — and instead opts for skin-benefitting ingredients like hydrating hyaluronic acid and ceramides. This pick is also certified by the National Eczema Association, which recognizes products that are suitable for those with eczema or sensitive skin.

Despite being sulfate-free, users report that this shampoo and wash make quite a good lather. The shampoo is also tear-free, so you won't have to worry about irritating your little one’s eyes. And it should rinse clean with no residue left behind.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: "Bought this to bathe my newborn in. I have always loved CeraVe products because of their use of ceramides so I had high hopes for this baby wash. It’s perfect because it’s scent free, tear free, helps retain the skin’s moisture barrier, and so much more! [...] This gets them clean, help it stay moisturized, with no consequences! Pair with CeraVe Moisturizing Cream to keep baby’s skin soft and supple and free of dry patches!"

2

A Fan-Favorite Baby Shampoo & Wash

With more than 16,000 reviews on Amazon and a knockout 4.8-star rating overall, this Baby Dove wash and shampoo combo is a favorite on the site. And it makes total sense that parents love to use it on their children; this pick is free of dyes, parabens, sulfates, and phthalates (aka ingredients that are harsh for babies' delicate skin). The shampoo has glycerin to help moisturize, and many reviewers indicate that it has been a helpful product for sensitive skin, despite the fact that it's not fragrance-free. It’s also labeled as tear-free. This comes in a few other formats, too, including a fragrance-free version.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: "I love this product! I was afraid it wasn’t going to lather as good as I like because of the creamy constancy but it was great and very bubbly. I loved the scent. It wasn’t too strong and it was very soothing. It makes my baby’s skin super soft and great smelling all through the day. Her hair gets very greasy through the day and this is the only product I’ve found that actually keeps her hair clean! I will never run out of this!!!"

3

A Baby Shampoo & Wash With Lavender

Highly rated on Amazon with an impressive 4.8-star rating overall, this shampoo and body wash from The Honest Company is also a personal favorite in my home. Despite being sulfate-free, this pick has a thick, creamy lather that cleans well without being overly drying. The product smells amazing because it contains lavender, and it’s tear-free so it won’t irritate your little one’s eyes accidentally. The shampoo is made without phthalates, parabens, dyes, synthetic fragrances, and formaldehyde donors, so you can feel confident that it's safe to use on your baby.

The Honest Company also makes a lavender lotion that pairs well with this pick.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: "This product is incredibly gentle. I know it has accidentally gotten in my baby's eyes but she didn't even notice. The scent is very gentle and it goes on very smooth. I love the pump action for generating some gentle bubbles in the tub before I put baby in and is easy to use one handed."

4

A Baby Shampoo Formulated To Reduce Cradle Cap

Cradle cap is super common, and if your baby is one of the many to present symptoms, you may want to give this foaming baby shampoo from Mustela a try. The product is designed specifically to reduce or eliminate cradle cap by gently exfoliating with salicylic acid to clear the scaly, flaky skin. And the best part? Amazon reviewers back up this product’s effectiveness, giving it a whopping 4.7-star overall rating on the site after more than 5,000 customers have weighed in.

This baby shampoo is free from parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and fragrances. It’s tear-free so it shouldn't cause any eye irritation.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: "My son was 6 weeks and started getting cradle cap. So I got this and it was 99% gone with the first wash. I wet his hair and lathered this in and you can see the cradle cap, even in places I didn't know was there!!! I started combing it out and OMG!!!! There was so much. I rinsed it out and his hair was so soft and clean when it dried. The next day I seen some flakes on one side so I wet but hair and lathered with the shampoo and combed out the few flakes and rinsed it out. It's been several days and no more cradle cap!! Not one flake!!!! I absolutely love this stuff and highly recommend it. Buy it, try it, you won't be disappointed!!!"

5

A Vegan Baby Shampoo & Wash

If you prefer to use vegan products in your household, this shampoo and wash combo from Puracy is totally vegan and cruelty-free, so it has never been tested on animals. But honestly, the positives of this pick don’t end there. The shampoo and wash is free of harsh chemicals, including sulfates, formaldehyde, parabens, phosphates, perfumes, and dyes. It’s tear-free — so you don’t have to worry if the product accidentally ends up in your little one’s eyes — and pH-balanced.

This shampoo and wash contains fragrance; the citrus grove scent is a light, subtle blend of pink grapefruit essential oils and botanical extracts. This pick is labeled as both natural and hypoallergenic.

This shampoo and wash is also available in a two-pack, or in a large, 64-ounce refill bag.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: "The Puracy Natural Baby Shampoo & Body wash is our new household favorite. It's safe for kids, has all natural ingredients, and the scent is so nice! I've used many different brands over the years for my kids and this one keeps their skin soft and doesn't hurt their eyes. The packaging, bottle, and pump are also top quality. Thank you for such an amazing product, you guys know exactly what mom's need!!"