The skin on your baby is very delicate and requires careful attention to the ingredients that go on it. Your baby’s skin is sensitive and can react easily to weather temperatures and irritants. Irritants come from a variety of substances but the main source is through toxins contained in bath products. Avoiding these chemicals can be as easy as purchasing organic products. Here are 10 natural alternatives you can use to care for your baby’s skin.
1. Unbleached disposable nappies.
The Choice website states: As far as dioxins are concerned, they’re a family of organochlorins that includes one of the most toxic chemicals yet made. In the past, dioxin traces were found in chlorine-bleached white paper and pulp products, including disposable nappies. However, nowadays nappies are usually oxygen-bleached (using hydrogen peroxide), which forms no dioxin.
However since we do not know the exact consequences hydrogen peroxide can cause, it’s best to search for unbleached disposable nappies to ensure your baby does not come into contact with any bleach.
2. Avoid Talc.
Talc is often found in baby powders as a drying agent. However, if wounds or body cavities are contaminated with talc, it is liable to cause granulomas. Inhalation of talc can cause respiratory and lung irritation. Additionally, Talc has been known to be heavily contaminated with bacteria including Clostridium tetani, CL welchii and Bacillus anthracis, hence it must be sterilized. It’s not worth the risk of having contaminated talc in baby powder, so it’s best to avoid the ingredient altogether.
3. Massage oils after bathing.
Natural massage oils like sweet almond, coconut, chamomile, rose, and lavender can help soothe and moisturize you baby’s skin. Avoid mineral based oils as they contribute to the drying of the skin when absorbed. Remember to always ask your baby’s doctor and do a test patch first to avoid any irritations or allergic reactions. You only need the tiniest amount of oil to massage into your baby’s skin.
4. Natural bottom wipes.
Homemade bottom wipes can be made easily. Cut a strong paper towel roll (Viva are great) in half. Take out the cardboard inner roll. Mix two cups of water with ½ cup sweet almond oil and ½ cup of organic baby wash. Place one half of the roll into a container and pour over ½ of the solution. Store in container.
Or for just a wiping solution try a cup of cool chamomile tea and a teaspoon of honey mixed well. Honey is a natural antiseptic so it is great for keeping baby’s bottom germ-free and will help treat existing nappy rash.
5. Soap-free washing & bathing.
Newborns can be gently and easily wiped down with rose hydrosol. This is distilled water that contains healing and soothing aromatic rose extracts suitable for the most sensitive of skin types. Rosewater is very economical, only requiring a small amount. Older babies should be washed with organic baby washes as adult products tend to have harsher ingredients that can irritate baby’s skin. Use baby washes sparingly.
6. Washing baby’s clothes with clean ingredients.
Always wash your baby’s clothes before using and wash in pure soap flakes or a gentle skin sensitive washing solution. Do not add water softeners or conditioners as these can cause skin irritation. Dissolve the flakes in a little warm water before adding to the washing cycle. Baby’s clothes and sheets do not need to be disinfected, just air-dried.
7. Using organic baby lotion.
Organic baby lotions can be used as an alternative to massage oils and help keep your baby’s skin from drying out. However, your baby’s skin is sensitive, so monitor the results carefully and discontinue use if any sign of redness or irritation occurs.
8. Sanitizing cloth nappies.
Washing cloth nappies at a temperature of 65 °C or hotter and drying them in direct sunlight should eliminate any harmful germs. The ultraviolet light has a sterilizing effect and a natural bleaching ability. Natural Nappy Soak: Half fill a nappy bucket, then add a quarter of a cup of bicarbonate of soda and swish to dissolve, add 3 drops of lavender essential oil and 3 drops of tea tree essential oil. Soak nappies in this overnight then wash as per normal. Add half a cup of white vinegar to the final rinse for softer nappies. Always make sure the nappy bucket lid is firmly in place, and always out of reach of children.
9. Umbilical stump tips.
The umbilical stump must be kept clean and dry until it falls off naturally. Fold baby’s nappy below the stump so it’s exposed to the air and not to urine. Avoid bathing your baby in a bathtub until the stump falls off. Try using the hydrosol wash mentioned above. Studies have shown that leaving the stump to dry out naturally is the quickest method. Do not apply any drying agents as they can cause irritations.
10. Cradle cap care.
Cradle cap is the result of overactive glands in your baby’s scalp. It’s not dangerous, but it looks like a crusty patch of skin. This drying has been attributed to the hormones the mother passes to her child at birth and can continue for several months. A gentle and safe way to cure cradle cap is to wipe the area with sweet almond oil, leave it on for about 10 minutes, and wash your baby’s scalp with an organic baby wash or shampoo. Do not leave the oil on the scalp as this will cause further dryness within the glands.
Organic baby products are becoming more readily available online. It’s important to pay close attention to the ingredients and how your baby’s skin reacts to different methods.