I’m a First-Time Mom, and *This* Is the Wellness-Boosting Gift I’m Begging You To Get Every New Parent

One of the first things everyone tells you the moment you get pregnant is how much unsolicited advice you'll receive from friends and strangers alike. This, fortuitously, was not my experience at all (everyone was really respectful!), which has made me all the more focused on not being that person who starts blabbing pointers the moment someone confirms an impending arrival. But there's one exception to this rule. And that exception is my recommendation for baby's first bath products.

Bath products, you ask? Yes, and here's why: Between all the big-ticket items (baby monitor! crib! stroller the size of a small SUV!) and the cute ones (onesies! blankets! mobiles!), many new parents simply forget about the everyday essentials. And when it comes to bath time with your baby, that's about as everyday and essential as you can get.

Consider it prime time for bonding. "As babies develop, skin to skin contact is so important not just for physical comfort but also emotional development in building the bond between baby and parent," says Joshua Zeichner, MD, Associate Professor of Dermatology at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. "Baby skin is much more sensitive than adult skin...and more likely to develop dryness, irritation, and rashes, so it is important to choose the right bath products."

That's where my number-one gift recommendation comes in: Natura's Mamãe e Bebê Mom & Baby collection. All of the products are safe to use from baby's first bath, and the vegan formulas are free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates, dyes, and all the other things you'd rather avoid. Plus, they've got an expert-backed triple threat: Dermatologically tested (your baby's already ridiculously soft skin is in good hands), ophthalmologically tested (no tears), and pediatrician approved. And yes, they come in multiple adorable gift sets.

One other plus? The Brazilian brand is rooted in sustainability, so you can pamper your babe and the planet at the same time. The cruelty-free products are formulated with fair-trade ingredients sourced from communities in the Amazon, and prioritize recyclable packaging and product refills to lower the environmental impact.

Now that I'm a first-time mom about to be a second-time one (my 17-month-old son is about to become a big brother in T-minus 10 weeks), I gave the full, fresh-smelling line a spin to see how it held up on my now-busy toddler. Here are my faves—for him and for me.

  1. 1. Baby Head to Toe Liquid Soap, $15

    baby's first bath natura liquid soap

    The best tool in your arsenal will always be an all-purpose soap that you can lather all over your slippery tiny human (this will serve you well into the toddler years). “Look for cleansers that hydrate while they cleanse,” says Dr. Zeichner. “The goal of cleansing is to remove soiling without compromising the integrity of the skin barrier.” Confirmed that this one leaves my son feeling extra soft and sweet-smelling.

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  2. 2. Baby Shampoo, $16

    baby's first bath natura

    Shampoo isn’t always necessary (see head-to-toe soap goodness above), but it’s actually a nice addition to your routine, especially if your babe has a full head of hair (and a tendency to get a whole lot of oatmeal in it). “Look for cleansers that don’t cause irritation of the eyes,” advises Dr. Zeichner, which is never more true than when you’re dealing with shampoo. This one is gentle enough to deliver on that.

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  3. 3. Baby Conditioner, $16

    baby's first bath natura

    What’s shampoo without conditioner? Exactly. And when it comes to the post-bath comb, this one is key to ensure your baby’s (freshly scented) strands are easy to detangle. Say it with me now: No more hairbrush battles.

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  4. 4. Baby Moisturizer, $20

    baby's firth bath natura

    Remember Dr. Zeichner’s insight on skin-to-skin contact? Once you become a parent, you realize how true this really is. Giving your baby a post-bath massage with ultra-nourishing cream not only calms them for bedtime, but helps you feel extra connected. This one has vegetable oils and cupuaçu butter to pamper and protect baby’s skin.

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  5. 5. Mom Stretch Marks Oil, $20

    stretch mark oil natura

    I count myself as a personal fan of the Mom & Baby line—and this is why. The formula is rich in almond oil, and meant to be slathered on your belly in the bath or shower, then rinsed. It feels oh-so-luxurious on my (seriously stretched) seven-months-pregnant skin, and leaves me feeling majorly moisturized.

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  6. 6. Mom Stretch Marks Cream, $30

    stretch mark cream natura

    The oil is meant to be used while bathing, but the moisturizer is fair game for any time (read: I most definitely force my husband to give me belly massages during nightly TV binges). The fragrance-free cream once again taps almond oil to help give a boost in skin elasticity. The result? Skin as soft as, well, a baby’s.

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Bonus BOGO alert: Buy-one-get-one-free with promo code SUDS to stock up on all your baby-gifting needs for a limited time.

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