The short answer to “Is Ivory soap safe for babies?” is: Yes it is. It’s one of the safest baby bath products you can use, actually.
However, choosing the right soap for babies with sensitive skin, in terms of ingredients, benefits, and overall quality, is vital to a baby’s bathing needs and parent’s concern.
We’re here to help you figure out if Ivory would be a good choice for baby skin during bath times, as well as have a conversation on the best bath time tips for your newborn.
Is Ivory Soap Good for Babies?
The question that brought you here: Is Ivory soap something you should be using on your newborn son or daughter? Is it safe for general family use? What if they have sensitive skin?
For a conversation like this, we will look at two products from Ivory: the Ivory original bar soap and the newer and more sensitive-focused Ivory gentle wash.
Ivory Original Bar Soap
This is probably the most common Ivory soap you’ll encounter, in the form of its popular beauty soap proudly made in the USA by Procter & Gamble (P&G) for 130 years.
These soaps are FREE of dyes and heavy perfumes and come in two variants: Original Soap and Aloe that usually come in their Ivory Original 3-Pack.
The Ivory Original 3-Pack is their standard “family” size product.
Who is It For?
It’s perfect for those who don’t want to burn a hole in their wallet but receive quality Ivory soap products.
Other Qualities That Ensure Safety:
- Manufactured without any harmful parabens, a preservative that can cause skin irritation and even hormone issues in developing bodies.
- Ivory soap is free of aluminum compounds which have been studied to understand their connection with cancers and Alzheimer’s disease.
Products like these are ideal in terms of ingredients that you want (and especially don’t want) in your bar of Ivory soap and is readily useable by all members of the family.
So ideally Ivory would be good for bath time, right? Note that Ivory Original Bar Soap suffers from issues that plague all bar soaps: Dry skin and bacteria.
Dry skin is a common phenomenon when using bars. It usually causes skin irritation and other allergies.
Despite commonly including an active moisturizing ingredient, the lack of water formula within the Ivory soap and their generally high pH level causes dry and cracking skin at times, not something you want near newborn sensitive skin.
Bacteria is an even more important aspect that a doctor would recommend to be a key health aspect to take note of when taking care of a newborn.
What Your Doctor Might Advise You
A doctor may not advocate for strong anti-bacterial formulas as their active chemicals can cause reactions with a baby’s sensitive skin.
The Ivory bar soap, and most Ivory soap bars in general, are prone to bacteria build up on the film of the soap, which may affect the immune system of a sensitive kid.
So when it comes to bath time, the one product you need to use is a soap with good water content so that your child doesn’t end up with dry skin as well as a body wash so that bacteria build up in products would be less of a worry.
Ivory Free & Gentle Cleanse & Soothe Body Wash: A Safer, Worry-Free Option
Don’t count Ivory down and out, as Ivory has come out with many new iterations of their Ivory soap in the past several decades.
One of the latest iterations of Ivory is their Ivory and Free & Gentle Cleanse. An updated and specialty Ivory soap made for those with specific dermatologist needs and ingredient sensitivity.
This time around Ivory goes for the liquid soap route, which should solve any issues with dry skin and is dermatologist approved for those who have experience with issues regarding health or other items of that nature.
What Does That Mean?
This body wash was specially formulated with the mildest cleansers and is designed to match your natural skin pH. Though it has a strong moisturizing ingredient, Ivory is still free of parabens, dyes, and heavy fragrances.
The end result is a new and improved Ivory, gentle enough for the whole family especially during bath times when babies need milder formulas.
If you’re a fan of Ivory and need new body wash for your son/daughter, or any other family member, their Ivory Free & Gentle Cleanse & Soothe Body Wash soap is a great option for your next bath time.
All in all, Ivory remains safe to use for babies as the soap doesn’t include any harsh chemicals or dyes. We would recommend getting the body wash liquid soap for the best effects.
Do Dermatologists Recommend Ivory Soap for Dry/Sensitive Skin?
You may come across different parenting websites that indicate you can use Ivory for different skin issues such as dryness or other common skin ailments.
This is especially important for babies who may be experiencing dry skin or even eczema. So is Ivory soap product good for people experiencing these issues, especially babies?
While Ivory soap can be useful for general cleansing, babies and other people who experience dry skin/eczema would typically use emollients instead.
Emollients are medicinal moisturizers specially formulated to treat skin issues like eczema.
So if you find that your kid has these conditions, don’t limit yourself to Ivory soap. Have a doctor-recommended emollient as well.
Always listen to your doctor’s recommendation as the final word on whether or not you should be using Ivory soap at all.
Basic Reminders for Bath Time with Ivory Soap
It’s important to remember there are certain aspects to taking care of a newborn that is often overlooked by first-time parents.
Bath time is not an overly difficult procedure, but it will definitely differ from how you’ve been used to washing yourself.
If you plan on using the brand Ivory soap soon, be sure to look at these reminders for how best to use these baby products with your newborn kid.
Besides the choice of Ivory bath soap, you’ll need to allot a good time for your baths. Especially if you’re planning for a detox bath.
This is especially true for first baths as the timing, both in regards to your schedule and the process in setting a routine, is key to making bath time much less stressful than it has to be.
Ideally, you’ll want your partner home as well so you can both be familiar with the growing family that’s happening in real-time.
Now, now. Don’t be shy to bring out the camera to commemorate this special moment.
Set Your Place
Location. Location. Location. This is absolutely key to getting your kid ready for bath time and keeping them safe as well.
Most parents would start by using their bathroom counter as this gives them ample height so they can stand while washing their child.
A kitchen counter can work as well but make sure any sharp or hazardous materials are out of reach.
You can even opt to check out some of the baby bath tubs they have available in stores now. A special tub like this can make bath time much EASIER, regardless of what brand it may be.
Get a nearby table set up with the following essential baby bath products:
- Alcohol pads
- Clean diapers
- Fresh clothes
It goes without saying that having your Ivory soap nearby would be handy as well.
Make sure the room temperature is room temp to slightly warm (75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal).
Bath Time Techniques and Parenting Tips
Start your bath time by gently cradling your child’s head in one hand while using the other to remove their clothing.
Your Baby’s First Time
Use a slightly warm washcloth while cleaning to properly remove any lingering dirt or debris.
Newborns aren’t generally advised to use typical soap bars during their first few bath times.
We recommend using brands like Ivory’s Gentle & Clean liquid soap when they’ve reached a more applicable age (3/4 months would be best).
Fighting Against the Cold
For those in cold climates, you can opt to wash them on a per-area basis, keeping all the other parts clothed to protect the child against the cold.
How to Scrub Off Dirt
Start with the “less dirty” areas, like ears, necks, elbows, and knees, then moving towards areas like their fingers, toes, and diaper areas.
The hair area would also be one of the last places you would wash to prevent them from losing too much body heat. You can easily wash their head as hair hasn’t grown too much just yet.
Beware of Soap in the Eye!
Soap in the child’s eye is one of the more difficult things to occur. That’s why it’s important to use a brand like Ivory that has no dyes, perfumes, or harsh chemicals.
Ivory’s claim of “99.4% Pure” is perfect for situations when even regular soap chemicals can affect babies in different ways.
To avoid getting water and soap in their eyes, you can wash them from the head and work your way going down to have the water slide off naturally.
The Diaper Bomb
The diaper area is a key part to clean as this will be the dirtiest part of the usual bath time. Gentle cleaning, as provided by Ivory’s Gentle & Clean body wash, is best for situations like this.
Keep in mind any discharges may be natural if you’re handling your daughter.
If you’re cleaning a newborn boy, keep in mind the sensitivity of uncircumcised genitalia. A circumcised penis would be doubly important as these are extremely sensitive open wounds that need time to heal.
Drying and Diaper Time
Once you’re done with washing, start gently drying them off to make sure they aren’t left wet and cold for too long.
A doctor would frequently recommend the importance of cleaning near the umbilical stump with a sterile alcohol swab. Though another doctor might recommend letting it dry naturally first.
Swaddle them up and have them in new fresh diapers, ready for the new day.
- Never ever think about leaving your baby alone in the bath. Even if the phone is ringing or the doorbell is going off, never ever leave your child alone in the bath.
- You don’t need a lot of water when it comes to bath time. Just make sure the water is warm, not hot. Since a child’s skin is sensitive to heat, you can opt for a baby bath thermometer which either gives you an electronic read or simply a heat indication if the water is too warm.
- Gentle soap formulas (like that of Ivory soap) are key, which means that most over-the-counter products are not advisable. Use a soap like Ivory Gentle and Clean or some Dove liquid gentle formulas as these can moisturize and protect well without any harsh chemicals.
- Make bath time fun for you and your baby. Engage with them the whole time, have toys or other things that can help entertain them. Simple plastic toys can double as excellent pouring tools.
Bath time can be an enjoyable experience to have with your newborn but it’s important to choose the right Ivory soap to use depending on their age as these can affect their skin in different ways.
If your baby is old enough, you can start using gentle soaps like Ivory Soap. It’s affordable, doesn’t carry harmful chemicals, and is useful for the entire family at home.
FINAL MOMMY TIP: For a complete guide on baby hygiene, you might want to take a look at our Baby Hygiene Guidelines and Tips to cover all the bases.
July 23, 2021 – updated article links