I’ve had sensitive skin and severe eczema my whole life. No amount of creams, ointments, tar, or oatmeal baths ever completely relieved me of the dry, itchy, scarred skin that made people always look twice at me when I wore shorts or short sleeve shirts. My biggest fear was that I would pass that onto my babies. Sure enough, my little boy was born with super sensitive skin just like me, and he has since had it rough on his teeny tiny behind!
When he was only two months old we were prescribed a steroid cream to help with his eczema. I found that with fewer baths with no soap, he was able to produce more of his natural oils to protect his skin and prevent the splotchy, red rashes. We cloth diaper now, but for the first two years of his life, he was in disposables which are full of dyes and chemicals. Also, the harsh chemicals and drying alcohol in standard baby wipes always irritated his skin, and from the time he was only a few months old, we were trying out all kinds of different powders and ointments, but nothing ever helped for too long. Putting breastmilk on the rash was the best cure that I could find. But I quit breastfeeding when he was a year old, so after that, we were left again with nothing.
I was sure that switching to cloth would solve all of our tushy problems, but unfortunately, he still suffers from diaper rash, no matter how often we change him. It isn’t as bad since making the switch, though. Also, instead of the chemically filled creams and powders, I have opted to an all natural approach!
Diaper Rash Cream
At the local farmer’s market in my hometown, we stumbled upon a woman who made all natural baby products and bought a diaper cream from her that consisted of: organic olive oil, organic unrefined coconut oil, beeswax, organic cocoa butter, and vitamin E. When I looked at the ingredients, I was sure that was something that I could make myself! I was on a mission! After lots of research, I found that much of what was in this natural cream that I had bought was just filler. The beeswax and cocoa butter, while soothing, are primarily to keep the cream at a harder, more manageable consistency. The olive oil, though it makes the skin soft, doesn’t have healing properties. And the vitamin E is a natural preservative. I came to my own conclusion:
Plain old, organic, unrefined coconut oil. I’ve been doing a lot of research on this stuff lately and to be honest, I am utterly amazed by it! Coconut oil has the same healing properties that breastmilk contains. And it has worked wonders on my son’s little bum! I have a jar on the changing table at all times (not to mention on my own vanity plus one in the kitchen!). If you are struggling with diaper rash–or any kind of skin irritation for that matter–I highly recommend coconut oil! You will love the results!
What makes it even more wonderful is it’s cloth diaper safe!
Luckily, since switching to a Homemade All Natural Wipe Solution and Homemade Baby Powder, we don’t have to use this on the bum anymore. Because of his sensitive skin, especially in the winter time, I like to lather my son up with coconut oil from head to toe after bath time! He loves it and I immediately see improvements on the dry, red areas from eczema.
All Natural Baby Powder
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against using baby powder as they have found that it can cause respiratory issues. The two ingredients listed in commercial baby powders are talc and fragrance. Long-term exposure of talcum powder has been linked to lung cancer. (For more information on the dangers of talc, click here.) Fragrance can consist of any number of dangerous chemicals that the manufacturers are not required to disclose.
That was enough for me to decide that I needed to find a healthier, all natural alternative for my babies’ bottoms! This is what I’ve decided on:
- 1/4 cup ground oats
- 1/2 cup arrowroot powder
- 1/2 cup powdered zinc oxide (not pictured)
- 20 drops lavender essential oil
I chose arrowroot powder because it is a natural powdered root starch that absorbs moisture and is very light. Oats are full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds making it very soothing on irritated skin (I learned this from all of the oatmeal baths I used to take to try to help my eczema). Lavender essential oil has several healing properties including: antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiseptic, and more. It is gentle enough to use of babies skin, too.
I recently updated my recipe and added powdered zinc oxide. Zinc oxide is most commonly known as a sunscreen; however, powdered zinc oxide is a natural antibacterial substance that can sooth skin, protect skin from irritants, and absorb moisture. I found that the oatmeal was clumping, so I cut back on that and added the zinc oxide which should take care of that problem.
The first time I made this mixture, I used a food processor to grind up the oats, but found that it didn’t powder them very well and I was left with chunks during changes (never a pretty site!). This time around, by the suggestion of my brilliant husband, I used our coffee grinder. It powdered the oats perfectly!
I use Ball Dry Herb Jars because they come with a very handy shaker top, but you could use a shaker from the dollar store or even put the mixture in an old baby powder container you have laying around. The mixture I made was enough to fill four 4 oz jars. I keep one at my changing table, one in my diaper bag, and one on my vanity to use as a soothing body powder. I hope you love it as much as we do!
I am still completely in love with this powder! Since starting to use my Homemade Natural Wipe Solution, we haven’t had to deal with any diaper rash at all! Anytime we do see a hint of redness, though, this powder works it’s magic right away! I use it daily as a body powder, and my husband likes to sprinkle it in his shoes if they start to get a little stinky!
I think what makes it work wonders on my son’s tush is the zinc oxide. The formula I was using before, though, effective, didn’t nearly work as quickly since I’ve added it. Grinding the oatmeal up into a fine powder was also brilliant because now we don’t have any kind of powdery clumps during changes! It is also cloth diaper safe!
Have you made an all natural baby powder or cream? Let me know how it worked!