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While it might seem like the list of things you need to buy for your new baby (or baby-to-be) is miles long, there are really only a handful of necessities that you’ll use just about every day — and one of those is baby lotion.

Just like you lather your skin with body lotion to fight dryness, your baby experiences dry skin.

In fact, their brand-new skin may be even more prone to dryness, water loss, and potential irritation because it’s thinner than adult skin, notes Marisa Garshick, MD, a dermatologist at Medical Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery (MDCS) in New York City.

The best time to use baby lotion on your infant is right after bathtime to help lock in moisture and support the skin barrier, notes Garshick. Doing so at the same time each day also helps enforce consistency and creates a nice soothing element to your baby’s bedtime routine.

Because baby skin is naturally more delicate, you’ll want to look for baby lotions that are formulated without harsh ingredients that can be rough or irritating to your child’s sensitive skin.

Simple is best, according to Garshick. That means avoiding products with fragrances, preservatives, parabens and sulfates. Alcohol is another important ingredient to avoid, as it can be especially drying on infant skin.

When shopping for baby lotion, you might come across some products that are called creams or ointments. “Lotions are the thinnest, lightest type of moisturizer because they contain the highest percentage of water, so they are absorbed quickly,” says Brendan Camp, MD, a dermatologist at MDCS.

“Creams contain more oil than lotions, and as a result feel heavier but are still easy to spread on the skin, and ointments contain the most oil by concentration.” Ointments, Camp explains, are best for targeting areas of extremely dry skin.

When creating this list, we relied heavily on the advice of board certified dermatologists to ensure that we were selecting lotions containing the most beneficial and non-harmful ingredients.

We also considered Environmental Working Group (EWG) ratings, as well as customer reviews.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $10
  • $$ = $10–$20
  • $$$ = over $20

Best lotion for baby’s dry skin

Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment

Price: $$

When it comes to treating very dry infant skin, your best bet is a petroleum-based ointment, according to Garshick. You’re probably already familiar with Aquaphor’s fragrance- and preservative-free ointment, but this is their baby-focused variety.

“It contains 41 percent petrolatum, which helps to protect the skin, and also contains panthenol and glycerin to help moisturize and nourish the skin,” says Garshick. “It can be used not only for dry skin, but also to protect the skin on the diaper area or for little cuts and scrapes.”

Best baby lotion for eczema

Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream

Price: $

Eczema is a fairly common condition in babies and usually shows up as flaky, red patches of skin. Luckily, there are lotions specifically formulated with ingredients to target and treat eczema.

This lotion from Aveeno contains colloidal oatmeal, which helps calm the redness and irritation and is particularly sensitive on baby skin. It also contains vitamin B5, which is both nourishing and relieving on itchy skin.

Best natural baby lotion

California Baby Super Sensitive Cream

Price: $$$

This simple cream is formulated without common allergens and irritants like fragrance or harsh chemicals, and is entirely plant-based (making it one of the pricier options on this list).

What this cream does contain is glycerin, a naturally derived humectant that is helpful in relieving dry, itchy skin as well as helping heal scratches and scrapes. Allantoin is another key ingredient that helps smooth skin and keeps it moisturized, notes Papri Sarkar, MD, a dermatologist in Boston, Massachusetts.

Best baby lotion for sensitive skin

Mustela Hydra Bebe Body Lotion

Price: $$

This formula from Mustela is headlined by plant-derived ingredients, such as jojoba oil, sunflower oil, vitamins E and F, sweet almond oil, shea butter, avocado perseose and glycerin.

Because it’s also free of potential skin irritants (like parabens, phthalates and phenoxyethanol) it leaves skin hydrated and smooth without risking redness or rash.

Best smelling baby lotion

Johnson's Bedtime Baby Lotion

Price: $

If there’s one signature baby lotion scent, it’s definitely Johnson & Johnson’s bedtime baby lotion, which, according to the manufacturer, is clinically proven to help your baby fall asleep thanks to an infusion of calming chamomile and lavender.

Its main emollient ingredient is glycerin, which works to nourish dry skin and help it retain moisture. As its name suggests, this is the perfect lotion to use right after the bath to help ease your baby into their bedtime routine.

Best unscented baby lotion

Baby Dove Fragrance Free Moisture Hypoallergenic Lotion

Price: $

This baby care line from Dove is gentle, safety tested and fragrance-free, so it’s suitable for sensitive infant skin. It contains natural nutrients that helps delicate baby skin absorb and retain moisture throughout the day and night and is even suitable on eczema-prone skin.

It’s both dermatologist and pediatrician tested and free of harsh ingredients like parabens, dyes, and phthalates.

Best organic baby lotion

Earth Mama Sweet Orange Baby Lotion

Price: $$

Parents love Earth Mama for their ethically sourced, all-organic ingredients — and that includes the Healthline Parenthood editors!

All of Earth Mama’s products are dermatologically tested and NSF/ANSI 305 certified for their use of organic ingredients. For those who prefer a scent, this sweet orange scented baby lotion, formulated from herbs and oils, is an excellent choice.