Your newborn baby is probably the most precious thing in the whole world to you (or one of, if you have more kids). You worry about everything “ hot drinks, stray dogs, sunburn you name it, you've worried about. If you've read the ingredients on the bottles of baby lotions and creams, then you're probably worried about chemicals too.
You can replace many of your store bought baby products with a natural, chemical-free alternative “ coconut oil. Coconut oil is gaining huge momentum worldwide for being a super oil “ containing anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. Not only will it save you money, it will be better for the planet and better for your baby's skin. Coconut is a natural, delicious smelling moisturiser that can be used in a variety of ways, here are some ideas:
Coconut Oil Use #1: Nappy Rash Cream
Coconut oil is the perfect way to treat nappy rash naturally. There's no risk of it making the rash worse, because it's not full of chemicals like some store bought nappy rash creams. All you need to do, is apply coconut oil to the affected area. The thick oil will act as a barrier and prevent any further irritation, and the coconut oil will nourish and treat the irritated skin. Coconut oil is anti-fungal and so can even be used to treat yeast infections. Another added bonus is that coconut oil will not ruin cloth nappies, unlike some other nappy rash treatments.
Coconut Oil Use #2: Body Lotion
Your baby's skin is probably soft enough without you needing to cover him in any lotions or creams, but if your baby needs a little help, coconut oil is the perfect natural moisturiser. For example, some babies suffer dry patches in the creases of their neck, a quick dab of coconut oil will help to keep the area moisturised while protecting the skin from further irritation.
Coconut Oil Use #3: Baby Wash
Babies can get very messy, especially after dinner, especially if you're following baby led weaning! Instead of using chemicals to clean your baby, you can make this easy homemade baby wash. All you need is equal parts coconut oil, castile soap (you can buy organic, chemical-free castile soap) and water. All you do is mix the ingredients together and voila. You won't need to add any essential oils as fragrance (unless you want to), because the coconut oil will provide a delicious natural scent of its own. You don't need to use baby wash every time you bath your baby, but on the occasions you do need it, this homemade wash is a great product to use.
Coconut Oil Use #4: Cradle Cap Treatment
Coconut oil can be used as a natural treatment for cradle cap. All you need to do is massage the oil into your baby's scalp and leave in for about 20 minutes. The coconut oil will act as a moisturiser and will loosen the cradle cap flakes while nourishing the scalp. After twenty minutes, rinse the coconut oil off and use a soft brush to gently comb the hair and remove any loose flakes. Check out our article on cradle cap for more information.
Coconut Oil Use #5: Baby Massage Oil
We've all heard about the benefits of baby massage. As well as strengthening the bond between parent and baby, the massaging can also relax baby in time for bed. Some baby massage oils are actually made from petroleum “ not something many mums would knowingly want to rub into their newborn's skin. To make your own natural baby massage cream, simply take one part coconut oil and one part olive oil, mix together and, if you wish, add two drops of a natural essential oil. Lavender is a good one to choose because it aids relaxation.
Make sure you choose extra virgin coconut oil because this means it is as pure as possible. Other coconut oils may have been bleached or refined, adding in chemicals and taking out goodness along the way. Choosing organic coconut oil will further protect your baby from chemicals, and will be good for the planet too! Oh and mammas “ if you're breastfeeding and use coconut oil in your cooking or consume it any other way, baby gets the benefits too.
Where to buy it? Check out extra virgin coconut oil on Amazon or you may find it in your local health food store. Supermarkets have now started stocking it too “ just make sure it's extra virgin and organic.
Want to read more about the amazing benefits of coconut oil? Check out the coconut research center website.