Baby Powder

Updated on April 14, 2008
M.T. asks from Plainfield, IL
10 answers

My husband started using baby powder on my son because "our parents used it on us." But I heard you shouldn't use baby powder because it can have Talc in it which can cause asthma. We are using the basic J&J baby powder now. Has anyone heard about his, or have any websites to recommend to read up on this? I have asthma and so worried my son will and do not want to pass this on to him.

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answers from Chicago on

Yes, it's true. Do not use any baby powder anymore. We were told that after my twins were born 3 years ago before we even left the hospital.

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answers from Chicago on


I took a parenting class before my first child at Delnor hospital and I remember seeing a picture of an xray of a baby whose parents were using baby powder and there were white specks all over the lungs. It was compared to asbestos in reagards to hazards of exposure. For that reason I didn't use baby powder and the nurse said that there was no need for it anyway. I would say if you or your husband really need to use powder, check with your baby's doctor to make sure the type you choose is safe or even necessary.



answers from Chicago on

when my kids were younger we used it all the time....i did hear about the asthma thing though and i also heard something about powder causing cervical cancer in girls. i talked to the ped. about both of these issues and he said that as long as it's used in small amounts and your not puffing it all over into the air there should be no problems. moderation with anything is very good.


answers from Chicago on

There a lots of things are parents did long ago, but doesn't mean it's necessary. Baby powder really isn't needed and it can clog the pores. Yes, talc can be a trigger for asthma, but you would be surprised how many other things in your home are triggers for asthma as well. Most of our everyday personal care products contain some type of formaldehyde, used as a cheap preservative, which can cause respiratory issues, immune disorders and cancer. Also any products in your home that have the word disenfectant on them, i.e. clorox, lysol have registered pesticides in them. Pesticides are the #1 trigger for asthma and have increased childhood asthma by 400% in the past 20 years.

I would stay away from the powder and look into other safer alternatives to help you with your asthma and prevent it in your home, if possible. If you need suggestions, I would love to help you. ###-###-####



answers from Chicago on

I was told the same by my ped. There are liquid powders which are okey to us.




answers from Springfield on

I do use powder at every diaper change because it helps to keep her bottom only use the "cornstarch" base powders. But once I was in a jam and ran out of powder and didn't know what to do (I live in a very small town), so my M. suggested pure cornstarch. I thought that was crazy at first, but that is now what I refill all of the power containers up with. Pure cornstarch in the baking isle of the local grocery. It's only about 79-99 cents to refill a container (compare that to baby powder!). I don't have to worry about any talc, perfumes, or anything else in it that my baby might be sensitive to.



answers from Chicago on

Is there a reason to use the baby powder? Are you trying to prevent an issue or make your baby more comfortable? I only say this because we've never used powder on our son in the 14 months he's been alive and it hasn't seemed to bother him that it is missing. If you're worried about wipes/wetness, then try leaving the diaper off a few more minutes to let him air dry. We weren't motivated by health or environmental issues; we just never found a real reason to use the product.



answers from Chicago on

You are right. You shouldn't use baby powder.

Why is he wanting to use it? To keep him dry? Does he have diaper rash?

If he wants to use the "because our parents used it on us" then you tell him that our parents also drove around with us not in car seats, but we don't do THAT anymore, do we?? :-)

If he insists on powder, find one that is made from corn starch and not talc. Also, I've heard it's better to sprinkle it on your hand then apply it rather than sprinkling it right on the baby. This way, less powder gets into the air around the baby so he inhales less.

You can google just about anything and find all sorts of things (good and bad).

I hope this helps!



answers from Springfield on

We use baby powder with every diaper change, as long as you just put a bit in your hand and gently pat it on, or sprinkle directly into the diaper it doesn't put very much into the air. Also we use talc-free powder...made by Johnson & Johnson. Just look on the front of the label and you should be able to find one that says "Talc-free" or "Cornstarch based"



answers from Chicago on

Hi S D,

I have heard the talc thing also. for this reason, I don't think they put talc in baby powder anymore, but to be safe, check the ingredients... corn starch replaces the talc.

we use baby powder... not because our parents did it though. I like to do it after using a very wet wipe (like the ones in the bottom of the container), it helps to dry them off a bit before closing them up in a diaper. I put it directly on my son, very carefully... i dont let it come out so fast that it makes a cloud of powder in the air. his little bag of boys gets tacky and sweaty... and he giggles when i rub it on him - hahaha - this is also a boy (16 mo.) who brings me his bottle of lotion and then lays on his tummy and pulls up his shirt (tries to anyway) because he enjoys his lotion massages so much.

for the baby girl though, i do not use it the same. too much can cake up and is a breeding ground for yeast. for her, I have her powder in a small dish, and i dip a cotton ball in it and sort of brush it on gently and in certain areas only (between her fat rolls on her thighs and under her chubby neck.. .also under her arms, it only takes a day to get that cheesy nasty gunk between those rolls). I change the cotton ball every day.

all this being said, anything that gets into your babies lungs and airways is potentially harmful so tell your husband to be careful.

p.s. - I stand corrected... I jsut visited the J&J website ( and it appears they still sell powder with talc in it, so do make sure it is cornstarch based.

Dr. Sears takes a no powder at all approach...

maybe just hide the powder on him... if your husband is anything like mine, he doesn't know where anything is kept anyway, and never thinks to look for himself :) LOL!

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