The adverts most likely to get me shouting at the tv in disgust are either for formula milk or baby toiletries. They drive me nuts. In order to research this post I just lost half an hour of my life on Youtube watching advertisements for Johnson's Baby Products, swinging between having my heartstrings wrenched to the point of fat tears and screeching obscenities.
On the Johnson's Baby website they suggest you buy EIGHT of their products for your baby's first weeks of life. It's not an exaggeration for me to tell you the truth here - what your baby needs in the first weeks of life are YOU and some milk. Some water, cotton wool, nappies (unless EC is your bag,) and something to wear are also good if you can swing it. You most certainly do not need oils, lotions, shampoos, creams, wipes, yadda, yadda, yadda.
I know, I know, the smell of these products is nothing if not nostalgic for lots of us. But don't forget, that is not what babies smell like. This is what perfume smells like. Babies smell really, really good just freshly baked, the way they were meant to. Babies don't get dirty - well at least my newborns were not rolling around in the mud. Yep, they got milk in their chin folds which was easily wiped away with water and they pooped which was easily wiped away with water. Really, you protect your baby inside you own womb for 9 months, surrounded by essentially water and the minute they pop out you want to apply products containing a list of ingredients as long as your arm, most of which you can't pronounce?
What is 'Clinically Proven Mildness' (trademark) exactly? And how do they clinically prove mildness? Who is it tested on? And if the products are 'as gentle as water' why not just use, well, water?
I was very kindly given Johnston's products as gifts when my babies were small which I received gratefully and passed on to someone I knew would use them. Initially the reason I didn't use them was because Brodie was born with severe eczema which meant only water, ever. But then the formaldehyde scandal broke and I was horrified. As a new parent you are dead set on protecting your baby from harmful things and here was a baby product potentially containing something which is used to embalm?
Ok, so I'm not a chemist and I appreciate that lots of the products around my home probably contain potentially harmful things but that doesn't mean I want to bathe my child in them and then rub it into their beautiful skin. Sheesh.
Of course their are lots of other products out there, some more authentically 'natural' than others and many eye wateringly expensive either because they contain high quality ingredients or because retailers have sniffed out parental panic over formaldehyde and are rubbing their hands together with glee.......
So you can choose a different product, or you can continue to use Johnson's in full knowledge that they haven't actually removed potentially harmful chemicals from their products but are trying to in cases where it's possible, or you can wash your children with warm water and a good scrub like I do. We use a gentle shampoo to wash the mops but the rest of the cleaning is done with a sponge, flannel and parental elbow grease. And my kids smell great and are clean, honest, give them a sniff if you don't believe me.