Oh baby, your beauty regime's ridiculous!
22:39 GMT, 5 August 2012
Browsing in John Lewis, I was flabbergasted to find a bottle of shampoo costing 15.50 — for babies. But this product, from the Original Little Sprout range (devotees include Cindy Crawford and Brooke Shields), is just one of a burgeoning number of luxury baby beauty products.
Trend forecaster Euromonitor predicts this market will expand until 2015, with baby haircare being the biggest area. There are now conditioners and styling products aimed at toddlers. Whatever happened to a time when 2 Johnson’s No More Tears shampoo was good enough
Like many new mums, I fell into the baby beauty trap when my daughter was born two years ago. Seduced by the smart-looking tubs, lured in by the health messages pushed at new parents and reassured that the products had been formulated with babies specially in mind, I splashed out on Bamford Baby’s Organic Bath and Massage Oil, 28, Green Baby’s Organic Calming Sleep Balm, 7.50, and organic soap at 10 a bar.
Baby beauty: Products for children are equally pricey for mummy and baby
I think now I must have been sleep-deprived and suggestible. Yet it seems to have become a status symbol to pull a sleek pot of Burt’s Bees Baby Balm from your designer Orla Kiely changing bag.
‘I didn’t want to use lots of harmful chemicals on my children,’ says Julie Robinson, 36, from Teddington, South-West London. She spends up to 300 a month on products for George, two, and Rosie, nearly one. ‘My favourite brand is the pricey Weleda Baby. I use the nappy cream, shampoo and calendula oil.’
Wanting to avoid chemicals is the main reason parents shun traditional formulations. However, many midwives recommend using no products at all to wash your baby for the first six months.
And Dr Anna Chapman, a paediatric dermatologist at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in London, advises that ‘natural’ isn’t always the most important thing to look for: ‘The best products are not coloured or scented as it can trigger dermatitis.’
I eventually got over my obsession with buying ‘the best’ and found cheaper brands that are still chemical-free, such as Little Me. I also buy huge pots of antiseptic cream Sudocrem — some products are market-leaders not because they look trendy, but because they work.