This past week has been full tilt nesting, baby readying frenzy. Following my baby shower, we finally figured out what else we needed and bought bought bought- all the big stuff (stroller, diaper bag, cloth diaper starter amount, sling) are purchased.
On my list of little things was some DIY projects such as diaper rash balm and nipple balm.
Since we plan on cloth diapering, I checked out the local cloth diapering Facebook group to see what people recommended and really liked using that was baby, health and cloth diaper friendly.
Turns out people either use straight up coconut oil or one of two locally made products.
“Well,” I thought “what’s so special about the locally made stuff?” After a bit of snooping and reading ingredients lists, actually not so much. None of the ingredients were that exotic or fancy and the process would be even simpler than my whipped body butter recipes (which, let’s face it, is pretty darn easy).
Since I’m not a fan of buying something that I can easily make on my own- a quick google search, a read of several different recipes and off I went and made my very own diaper cream! A bit of finagling with consistency and amount of Shea Butter and Coconut Oil happened, but I’m pleased with the result.
Here’s the basics on why I chose the oils I did (beyond the fact that they were also listed on the locally made recommended diaper creams):
Shea Butter: Has fat soluble vitamins A and E and prevents the skin from drying out while being uber gentle.
Coconut Oil: Naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal
Beeswax: Creates a protective barrier to the skin
(See Wellness Mama for more details although she adds fancier ingredients in hers, a few such as zinc oxide, which may not be great for cloth diapering).
The locally made products also have a blurb stating “Blend of anti-fungal essential oils” which really could be any of the following: (see here for safety-research details)
- clove oil
- lemongrass oil
- lavender oil
- tea tree oil
- eucalyptus oil
- cinnamon bark
- thyme oil
- geranium oil
- oregano oil
Since I have had some pretty severe reactions to essential oils in the past (see this post on my experience with Tea Tree Oil), and since we’re talking about slathering this stuff all over the Bean’s delicate, newborn lady bits, I decided less is more. I would strongly suggest you do the same and maybe choose one or, max two, of the more gentle EOs listed and be VERY frugal with the amount you add.
Another way to add healing properties is to infuse an oil with dried herbs and leave in a clean jar for 4-6 weeks, shaking once a day, in a sunny place. Solar herb infusion magic! You could also try the slow cooker for 48hrs method (see directions on the Mountain Rose post linked below).There are rules for infusing herbs though- so please read up before moving forward (I like this post by Mountain Rose, since they are herb “people” you could say and they know their stuff).
I decided to infuse some olive oil with calming and soothing dried herbs so I could also use this oil for my nipple balm. I chose calendula, chamomile and marshmallow root (all healing and calming herbs).
Finally, something to consider is consistency. From all the images and discussions, I can see that a more solid, yet creamy, consistency is key. When it comes to creating balms and creams, really it’s about the ratio of solid to liquid oils that you use. Meaning, if you want a more solid product, make sure you use more solid at room temperature oils such as coconut oil and Shea butter vs liquids such as olive oil or jojoba oil.
The original recipes I looked at either had zero liquid oils or very minimal. Since I went through the trouble of infusing some olive oil, I was going to use it, which meant my recipe has a higher ratio of Shea and coconut oil (and even some very hard cocoa butter) to balance this out. If you want to skip the olive oil, I’d also leave out the cocoa butter.
Ok all that preamble to help you decide on the ingredients for your diaper cream. Once you have your ingredients in place, the actual making of the cream is ridiculously easy and takes a minimal amount of time.
DIY Diaper Rash Balm (makes three small jars)
- 1 cup of Shea Butter (find at natural health store)
- 1 cup of unrefined coconut oil (find in most grocery stores)
- 1 tbsp of cocoa butter (leave out if not using liquid oil)
- 1/2 cup infused herb olive oil
- 1.5 oz of beeswax (find at natural health stores or farmer’s market)
- 8-10 drops max of lavender essential oil
Sterilize jars and lids in pot of boiling water (use tongs to remove and place on clean dry towel to air dry). In a double boiler (pot with one-two inches of boiling water and stainless steel bowl placed on top), add all oils and beeswax. Stir while melting. When melted, add essential oil.
Pour into jars and allow to cool. If the consistency isn’t quite what you’d like, you can always scoop the oil back out, put it back in the double boiler and either add more liquid oil for a softer consistency or more hard oils for a firmer consistency. Don’t forget to also add more beeswax.
Store in a cool, dry place. I’ll be storing mine in the fridge just to maximize shelf life since hopefully the Bean will be another month before arriving.
How to know if your oil is rancid: the colour changes, the smell is off (or kinda nutty).
There you have it! Easy peasy!