Being on bedrest during my pregnancy, although shitty in so many ways, was fantastic for giving me time to PREPARE and do ALL THE DIY THINGS.
Like the boss that I
was AM, I made nipple AND diaper balm (and soap, and cloth bum wipes…. but ya know). I didn’t want to share until they were both tried and tested and got BabyOverlord’s Évelyne’s and my stamp of approval.
Honestly, with the nipple shields I barely used the nipple balm for it’s intended purpose at all. I made several jars, and gave a few to friends who said it works well. What I did start using it for was as a baby skin balm. It felt weird slathering balm that was meant for my boobs on my baby, which is ridiculous since there’s nothing “boobie” specific about that balm except for the name I gave it (boobie balm… bahahaha). But by golly that BB totally works.
It quickly became apparent that Évelyne has the skin of those allergic to the sun (like her papa). Her cradle cap was out of control and her poor little body was covered in eczema (which I hear is common in babies- seriously babies, wtf happened to this idea of flawless baby skin? It’s crap). In weeks she was frantically itching herself, in particular her head, to the point where her head was covered in bloody scabs and we started putting her in sock hands for all sleep and feedings. Despite me cutting her finger nails like the brave soul I am (have you ever cut a baby’s fingernails?? It’s a harrowing activity filled with tense moments and possibly tears at least once), she just DIGS into her head.
Due to her baldness, EVERYONE noticed her cradle cap, scabs and dry skin (poor little chicken) and ALL had advice (although I expected this part of parenthood, it still surprised just how much EVERYONE had something to “offer”). Mostly- everyone suggested coconut oil.
Over the years with my own eczema, I’ve noticed that coconut oil just doesn’t cut it on a moisturizing intensity scale. It’s a quickly absorbing moisturizer, sure, but it doesn’t hydrate very well or have much staying power. We needed a heavy duty moisturizer.
Enter balms. Balms typically have heavier oils (such as shea or cocoa butter) with higher moisturizing content as well as some form of wax to provide a barrier (I use locally produced beeswax). Balms are hugely nourishing and can be lovely for the skin.
The Boobie Balm was such a thing. In my sleep deprived and colicky baby state I did not have time to make something special for her cradle cap or skin, so eff it. I slathered on that Boobie Balm all over her head and body multiple times a day.
And wouldn’t you know, it worked. Oh sure, the cradle cap kept coming (cradle cap is the result of the baby secreting hormones through their scalp after birth and sometimes it can start a cycle that won’t stop until it’s good and ready), but it was much less itchy and scaly and easier to brush out several times a day. The balm is also the only thing that really helps with her dry skin and eczema patches. Much more effective even compared to my whipped body butter that I use for her nightly massage.
(My friend whom I gave some boobie balm also used it on her daughter’s cradle cap and reported back that it worked really well- so two babies tested and approved!).
The Diaper Balm is also something that I use daily and love. What’s nice about my DIY Diaper Balm is that it’s cloth diaper friendly (other diaper creams can ruin the diapers). The beeswax provides a barrier while the oils moisturize and the infused herbs are soothing. The only difference between the Boobie and Diaper Balms is that for the Diaper Balm I spent 4 weeks solar infusing olive oil with soothing herbs and I added a few drops of lavender essential oil.
Although infusing oils doesn’t really take a lot of work, I don’t really have the time it will take or the energy to use a 48hr slow cooker style method. So… for my next batch I’m just going to use the Diaper Balm recipe sans herb infused oils along with a bit less EO for my Baby Balm.
Here’s the recipe:
Baby Skin Balm
- 1 cup of Shea Butter
- 1 cup coconut oil (unrefined)
- 1 tbsp cocoa butter
- 1/2 cup of olive oil (optional- infused w chamomile, marshmallow root and calendula)
- 1 oz beeswax
- 2-4 drops of lavender essential oil (optional)
Using a double boiler (pot with an inch or two of water, metal bowl on top), melt the butters and wax together. Once melted add a few drops of lavender oil if you’d like.
Pour into glass containers and allow to cool. (should make two-three small mason jars). Store extras in the fridge (should keep up to 6 months).
(This balm likely won’t help severe cases of eczema. If your baby has eczema, you should see your family doctor or a dermatologist. We had to see one for Évelyne and her eczema had progressed to the point of needing a steroid cream for flare ups. The dermatologist also recommended heavily moisturizing after a warm bath and pat dry only. This balm is meant for that purpose- moisturizing throughout the day to manage her dry skin between flare ups. It works beautifully).
(New batch update: so. Unfortunately, during my soap making I had removed the stopper on the lavender EO since you need to pour the EO into tbsp for the recipe. And, of course, I didn’t remember that when I went to add a few drops of EO to my baby balm. Half the bottle of lavender EO poured in. As a result, I ended up just adding a ridiculous amount more butters and oils without measuring to try to dilute the EO until it was at a safe level for baby. As a result, I have a ridiculous amount of baby balm that smells strongly, and isn’t the best consistency. I’ve been using it on myself and it’s been amazing. Sigh, always double check the EO stopper).