by Terri Coles
(Photo by Dean Wissing, via Creative Commons)
With all the products out there for babies, it’s hard to know what you’ll actually need and what will just take up space, especially for those early weeks when your child’s life will largely consist of eating, sleeping, and pooping. In truth, there are only a few essentials for the first couple of months, and as a bonus you can save money by making many of them yourself at home. This lets you use ingredients you may already have around the house, and means you haven’t laid out a ton of cash if you find that something doesn’t work and you need to try another option.
DIY baby powder
David Suzuki’s Queen of Green blogger, Lindsay Coulter, recently posted a recipe for DIY baby powder on her blog — it can be made by combining clay, arrowroot powder, and cornstarch, all of which are often sold in bulk at health food stores.
If you like a scented baby powder, try this suggestion from The Smart Mama — she uses lavender oil in her homemade version!
DIY diaper cream
I know a few parents who swear by coconut oil – which is solid at room temperature — as diaper cream. It certainly smells great! This oil naturally has antifungal properties, which is why it’s popular for use in the fight against yeast in cloth diapers. It’s easy to find at any health food store and some regular supermarkets, and also makes a great all-purpose moisturizer — for you and your baby.
DIY baby oil
Oils are a great way to keep your baby’s skin moisturized, or to use for a relaxing infant massage. Along with coconut oil, other natural oils can serve a double duty outside your kitchen and on your baby’s skin. This can be a great way to avoid irritants or possible allergens that are found in some baby care products. One friend of mine uses olive oil to moisturize her daughter’s skin post-bath, and found it helpful for treating cradle cap as well. Simple Homemade suggests sweet almond oil as another option, with essential oils mixed in if you wish, and Organic Authority provides a few DIY baby oil recipes if you want to get creative. (Always use essential oil in a carrier oil; never put them directly on your baby’s skin.)
You’ll notice that many baby care products use calendula — this is because of the herb’s soothing properties. (Its flowers are also edible — beautiful on a fresh salad!) The blog 5 Orange Potatoes has easy instructions for a calendula infusion that you can use to soothe your baby’s skin and encourage healing. As a bonus, it looks great!
DIY baby shampoo
Last year, Johnson & Johnson dealt with controversy after it was reported that their baby shampoo contained ingredients that are known carcinogens. Subsequently, the company announced that they’re phasing these ingredients out of their products around the world, but that process could take up to two years.
Fortunately, homemade baby shampoo is easy to make from inexpensive castile soap — try this recipe from eHow. As a bonus, castile soap is made from vegetable oils and not animal fats, so it’s veg friendly. It’s also found in the great Dr. Bronner’s line of products — they make a baby wash and I use their soaps to make homemade cleansers.
About the author:
Terri Coles is a freelance reporter specializing in health and lifestyle topics who lives and works in Toronto, Ontario. She contributes regularly to Pawesome, The Teal Cat Project, and Vegansaurus, and is currently blogging about her experience as a pregnant vegan at Veggo Preggo.
Tags: baby care baby shampoo terri coles