While writing my post on my homemade baby wipes, I mentioned my love of coconut oil. I cannot even begin to tell you how many things I use this stuff for! I love it for moisturizing my skin, my hair, my child, not to mention cooking and baking. In part, I love only having to buy one thing instead of 6. Especially when that one all-purpose thing actually works!
Since my son hit around 3 months old, he started drooling. I know, big shock! There are days when we’ve gone through 2 or more bibs just trying to keep his clothes dry. My big concern here was obviously not his clothes – it’s really not a big deal if they get wet. They’ll dry, and no-one will ever know the difference. The thing I was concerned about was his skin. In the same way that babies get diaper rash from having wet diapers in contact with their skin, they can get drool rash from having the skin on their face and even their chest (if they drool like mine does!) wet for too long. So, once I saw a red bump or two starting to form on his face, I felt a need to jump into action to make something to treat it with.
Enter my favorite coconut oil! In this instance, coconut oil provides a couple of benefits. Firstly it acts as a barrier to keep moisture away from the skin. It also has antimicrobial properties to help clear up any infections that might take advantage of damaged skin. You can read some of the research on this here. I added some aloe vera gel and a drop each of lavender and chamomile essential oils and there we have it – a balm that works wonders on his drool rash. Just make sure you dilute the essential oils enough – 1-2 drops per tablespoon of carrier oil for babies.
Now, you’ve probably noticed that I call this stuff “all purpose baby balm”, but all I’ve talked about so far is drooling. If you have babies you’ll know how sharp their little nails are, and have no doubt felt the pang of guilt when you get them up from a nap and see yet another scratch on their face, since they managed to wriggle their way out of the mittens you so diligently put on them when you put them in the crib (side note – I’m thinking of trying to “alter” a pair of our mittens to see if a homemade addition will make them slightly more baby-resistant, so stay tuned for that!). Well, this stuff really helps with healing those little scratches. Because the products are natural, there’s no concern about putting them on open scratches, and the moisturizing and antimicrobial properties of it help to speed up the healing process. The healthier the skin is, the faster it will heal. We haven’t had any diaper rash since we started using the homemade wipes, but if I see so much as a hint of it, this stuff is going straight on there too!
Update: We started using this on our son’s cradle cap, and it worked wonders – put it on at night, and then brush it out in the morning. It also worked really well treating some dry skin that he got from sweating in his sleep sack overnight (we had the swaddle ones, but were just wrapping the swaddle around his abdomen because he started rolling so we can’t swaddle his arms anymore). We just applied a small amount a couple of times a day (typically when getting him dressed in the morning and undressed in the evening), and it cleared up the dry skin in a couple of days.