If you read my recent post about going shampoo-less, you know that I’m learning how to wean my body off of the totally unnecessary body-care products that we are taught to believe we need – and which, by their very use, perpetuate their “necessity”.  Tsh Oxenreider’s article explains this vicious cycle even better, and shows that going ‘poo-less isn’t just a hippie fad.  It’s a way to reclaim and honor our body’s innate wisdom.

So in that same spirit, the best time to stop using shampoo and all that unnecessary stuff is…um, birth.  Baby’s body came into this world smelling oh so sweet, so why cover it up with artificial scents and cleansers that strip Babe’s hair and skin of its natural oils?

Now it’s time for my latest confession: for the better part of last year, I didn’t use soap in the shower, either.  I read about other people who use baking soda and/or apple cider vinegar in place of soap as well as shampoo, and decided, why jump off the bridge with only one foot?  So I went for it.  The same bottle of diluted baking soda (1 Tbsp per 1 cup of water) worked great for my body, while diluted vinegar (same ratios) gently cleaned and toned my face.  Again, I’ve fallen off the bandwagon lately but I’ll be going back to this method.  It seems to work better than soap without drying out my skin – in fact, I’ve read that the vinegar helps to restore proper pH.

So, a gentle, natural baby wash: dilute 1/2 cup baking soda in the bath, and use your hand to run water all over baby’s skin and hair.  If your hand feels too dry afterward, try decreasing the amount of baking soda in the water next time, or replace with apple cider vinegar.  Let’s face it – babies just don’t get that dirty!  As they approach toddler age, you’ll probably be surprised to discover that the baking soda continues to work just fine and you can spot-clean with a gentle natural soap like Dr. Bronner’s baby line when Billy draws tattoos all over Sally’s arms with Sharpies.

Even though baby’s skin is legendarily soft, a bit of gentle moisturizer can help sometimes, especially in the dry winters.  Almond oil is wonderful and easily found, and absolutely delicious with a bit of vanilla and lavender essential oils.

I couldn’t find a recipe that I liked for homemade baby lotion, but I’m thinking that the following would be divine and thanks to the coconut oil, antibacterial enough to keep for a month or longer.  (Refrigerated would probably be best.)

THEORETICAL RECIPE FOR HOMEMADE BABY LOTION

Combine 1/2 cup each coconut oil, honey, and coconut milk or raw cream.  (Raw unpasteurized cream will have intact enzymes that will keep it from going rancid.)  Keep in a jar in the fridge.  Warm in your hands before putting it on baby.

I think I’ll make a batch of this when I get home, and use it on myself to see how it goes.  If you try it, please leave a comment letting me know what you think!

This entire post came about because I had a wild hair going about avoiding disposable products, and I wondered if baby wipes could be homemade.  The answer was: of course!  I combined this recipe from several I liked, but didn’t love, on the web.

HOMEMADE BABY WIPES

1/4 cup aloe vera gel or 1/2 cup aloe vera juice

10 drops of grapefruit seed extract or tea tree oil (disinfectant)

5-10 drops of your favorite essential oil

2 cups hot water

20 square pieces of old flannel or t-shirt material

Cut your pieces of material to use as re-usable wipes.

Combine all other ingredients in a glass mixing bowl and stir to dissolve aloe vera in water (especially important if using gel).   Let cool.  Storage option #1: store liquid in spray bottle next to squares; spray square immediately before use.  Storage option #2: Lay fabric squares in a rectangular lidded container and pour cooled liquid over squares, taking time to make sure all the squares absorb liquid.  Take out and use when needed.

Finally!  Any good post about diaper-changing must include the following:

A wonderful recipe for diaper rash cream.  (100% natural option: A friend of mine used a little squirt of breast milk when needed and it took care of diaper rash like a dream.  Hm!)

And the ultimate online authority for sewing your own cloth diapers.  Yes!

Note: In the interest of blogging with integrity and full disclosure, I want to say that I am not a mother yet, so all of this information has come to me as dreamy research for a hopefully-not-too-far-off someday.  Since I’m learning, I would really love to hear how these recipes work for you, what tweaks you make, your own favorite recipes, etc.  Thanks in advance for sharing your wisdom!

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