Last Updated: Mar 17, 2021 @ 1:39 pm.

We tested a dozen different baby lotions to find the best—we were looking for gentle formulas, simple moisturizing ingredients and effectiveness. After trying out these lotions on various babies and toddlers, here are the best bets.

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Best Baby Lotion

Loved the scent!
Tops in our testing, this lavender and vanilla scented lotion has a silky texture. Not greasy. But does contain petrolatum and alcohol
$7.97 ($0.44 / Fl Oz)

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Best Baby Lotion: Aveeno Baby Calming Comfort Moisturizing Lotion

After trying out a dozen or so baby lotions with actual parents and babies, one lotion rose to the top: Aveeno’s Baby Calming Comfort lotion. Why? Folks loved the smell, gentle ingredients and silky moisturizing. Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Lavender and vanilla scents are supposed to be calming. We’re not sure if that is for baby or parent, but they seem to do the job!

• Hypoallergenic, paraben-free and phthalate-free.

• Has a small amount of oatmeal. 

What Needs Work

• Petrolatum and alcohol. Like many baby lotions, this one contains petrolatum and alcohol—we realize some folks object to petrolatum for sustainability concerns. And alchohol-based lotions generally aren’t recommend for babies with very dry skin or eczema. We’ll have an alcohol-free option to recommend later in this article.

• Scent was too strong for some.

• Doesn’t moisturize for 24 hours. Other lotions we tested lasted longer, in the estimation of our parent testers.

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Best Budget-Friendly Baby Lotion

Soft and silky texture
We liked this affordable and smooth lotion, which is scented with lavender and chamomile. Dye free, sulfate free and paraben free. One caveat: the pump-top sometimes breaks!
$6.83 ($0.25 / Fl Oz)

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Best Budget-Friendly Baby Lotion: Johnson’s Moisturizing Bedtime Baby Lotion

We know—buying lots of lotion for baby (along with other care essentials) can get pricey very fast. So we looked for the best budget-friendly baby lotion: one that works well but is easier on the wallet.

After trying a few contenders, we thought Johnson’s did the best job at a price that didn’t break the bank.

What We Liked

Affordable. This lotion costs about 32% less than other lotions we tested.

• Soft and silky texture.

• Hypoallergenic, dye free, sulfate free and paraben free.

• Lavender and chamomile scent is pleasant, said most testers.

What Needs Work

• Pump top sometimes breaks.

• Scent is too strong for some. This was a minority opinion, but it did irk some parents.

• Rashes? We see some reports that babies who tried this lotion developed rashes. Now, to be fair, this can happen with any lotion and any baby. So our advice would be to test any lotion first to see if there is any reaction before slathering it on.

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Best Alcohol-Free Baby Lotion

Thick texture = great for dry skin
This lotion won over our testers who wanted an alcohol-free option—and it is fragrance free. That's important because we know some folks can't stand the smell of other lotions!
$7.77 ($0.43 / Fl Oz)

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Best Alcohol-Free Baby Lotion: Aveeno Baby Daily Moisture Lotion

For babies with dry skin or eczema, the general recommendation of pediatricians and dermatologists we interviewed was to go for an alcohol-free lotion that acts as a stronger barrier to keep moisture near the skin. Alcohol is drying, of course.

After trying out a few alcohol-free baby lotions, we thought Aveeno’s Baby Daily Moisture Lotion was the best. Note this is different than the best overall pick above from Aveeno, Calming Comfort, which DOES have alcohol. Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Thick texture thanks in part to colloidal oatmeal.

• No added scent. Most of our testers liked the scent.

• Fragrance, paraben, steroid and phthalate free

• No alcohol, steroids or dyes.

What’s Needs Work

• Sticky/greasy. That’s the downside to a thick moisturizer for dry skin—it can feel rather sticky or greasy to the touch.

• Rashes? We see some reports that babies who tried this lotion developed rashes. Now, to be fair, this can happen with any lotion and any baby. So our advice would be to test any lotion first to see if there is any reaction before slathering it on.

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Best Baby Lotion for Dry Skin, Eczema

Gentle, affordadble
We loved this lotion for babies with dry skin—it offered moisturizing that lasted an entire day. Very light fragrance with no dyes, parabens or phthalates. The texture can be a bit runny, however.
$7.68 ($0.38 / Fl Oz)

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Best Baby Lotion for Dry Skin, Eczema: Baby Dove Face and Body Lotion

This lotion, Baby Dove, was a winner for parents who had babies with dry skin or eczema. It seemed to help ease the dryness.

Now, we should point that this lotion does contain alcohol, which some folks who have babies with eczema are advised to avoid. As always, follow the advice of your doctor when it comes to skin conditions and eczema.

For folks with only mildly dry skin, this is a good lotion to try. Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Affordable.

• Paraben free, hypoallergenic, no dyes, no phthalates.

• Very light fragrance didn’t overwhelm our testers.

• Moisturizing for close to 24 hours.

What’s Needs Work

• Somewhat runny in texture.

• Does contain alcohol as well as petrolatum

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing baby care products like lotion since 1994. We do hands-on testing—we buy the products with our own money.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Baby Bargains is your independent and unbiased source for expert baby gear reviews.

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