The skin on your baby is very fragile, delicate and thin. This means the skin is very sensitive and can react easily to weather temperatures and also irritants. Irritants can come from a variety of substances but mainly through the chemicals contained in the products you use on baby. Avoiding these chemicals can be as easy as purchasing organic products but here are 10 other alternatives for you to try.
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 do we know what consequences hydrogen peroxide will bring? There are totally unbleached disposable nappies on the market that ensures your baby does not come into contact with any bleach.
2. Never use talc on baby.
Why? Contamination of wounds or body cavities with talc is liable to cause granulomas. Inhalation of talc can cause respiratory irritation. Prolonged exposure to talc may produce pneumocomosis. Talc is liable to be heavily contaminated with bacteria including Clostridium tetani, CL welchii and Bacillus anthracis, hence it must be sterilized. Mardindale 31 P1096, 1745, 1407 Organic talcs are usually made with corn flour, arrowroot and white clay and are wonderfully safe and very effective for keeping baby’s skin dry.
3. Massage oils after bathing.
Avoid mineral based oils as they contribute to the drying of the skin when absorbed. Instead use natural and organic oils that continue to soothe and moisturize baby’s skin. Try products that contain sweet almond oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil and chamomile, rose, lavender and mandarin essential oils. But remember to always do a test patch first and watch for any redness or irritation. Do not use if this occurs! You only need the tiniest amount of oil to massage into your baby’s skin, less than a teaspoon.
4. Natural bottom wipes.
Homemade bottom wipes can be made easily. Cut a roll of strong paper towel (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 and is very economical as you only use 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 and Manchester.
Always wash baby’s clothes and Manchester 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 etc do not need to be disinfected, just dry in the sun.
7. Using organic baby lotion.
Organic baby lotions can be used as an alternative to massage oils and help keep baby’s skin from drying out.. However 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 then drying them in direct sunlight should eliminate any harmful germs as 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 bath tub 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 and is not dangerous. 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. The gentlest and safest way to cure cradle cap is to wipe the area with sweet almond oil, leave it on for about five-ten minutes then wash baby’s scalp with an organic baby wash or shampoo. Do not leave the oil on the scalp as this will cause further dryness as the glands become ‘confused. Organic baby products that are totally safe to use on your baby are readily available online and through chemists. There really is no excuse to be using chemicals on your baby anymore!