Let’s face it: the last thing you want on your baby’s delicate skin are the chemicals and detergents packed into the skin products that line store shelves. When you think about it, why would you want those chemicals on baby’s skin as he grows up? Or your skin for that matter? If you’ve been thinking about natural alternatives to your baby’s skin troubles, then you might have heard about the magic of coconut oil. Unlike lotions, which can irritate your baby’s skin, coconut oil is a gentle, natural moisturiser with anti-microbial properties and a soothing, comforting scent. Even better, the oil is extremely versatile, and can be used for everything from a coconut oil bath to soothing nappy rash.
Here are 10 of the best uses of coconut oil for your baby.
1. Coconut Oil Bath
Your baby’s bath should be comforting, but its main purpose, of course, is to scrub away all the messes little ones get into. You can use coconut oil in the bath on its own as a soothing bath oil, but it can also be used as part of an effective cleanser for sticky, stubborn messes. Combine half coconut oil and half pure castile soap and watch the dirt come away with ease!
Bath time is also the perfect time to try soothing baby massage. Use a little coconut oil and gentle strokes to calm your baby. You can also use a massage oil for babies that’s formulated using coconut oil, like the Biconi Baby Massage Oil, which contains 3 natural oils that are all safe for baby’s sensitive skin.
2. Nappy Rash Cure
Nappy rash is uncomfortable for babies, and unfortunately, it’s all too common. Babies’ skin is very sensitive, and wet or dirty nappies cause friction and irritation from the dampness, resulting in a red rash that can sometimes spread up as far as the tummy. Even babies who are changed quickly can develop nappy rash from time to time, so it’s important to be ready to treat the problem at any time. If you use cloth nappies, the soaps and detergents used to clean the nappies can also contribute to skin irritation and nappy rash. Plastic covers can also cause issues, since they prevent normal air circulation and drying.
Commercial nappy rash creams are full of synthetic ingredients, and many parents are hesitant to use these products on baby’s sensitive skin. All-natural coconut oil comes to the rescue, with its ability to both prevent and treat nappy rash. Used as a preventative treatment, the oil makes changing easier and helps prevent the friction that contributes to nappy rash. If a baby is already suffering from nappy rash, the coconut oil soothes and calms the skin, helping the rash to heal more quickly. It’s best to use coconut oil consistently to help prevent this problem, which can make your baby very unhappy. Bonus: it won’t ruin cloth nappies!
3. Dry Skin
Babies usually have very soft skin that doesn’t need the help of a moisturiser. However, some babies do have dry patches that are tight, flaky, and uncomfortable. Lotions can irritate a baby’s delicate skin, but coconut oil is gentle enough to use straight from the jar to help solve dry skin woes. Any dry patches can simply be massaged gently with pure virgin coconut oil, hydrating the skin and helping to resolve the symptoms of dry skin. Common areas of dryness include the folds in the neck, which can become even more irritated without treatment. Coconut oil is a quick and easy fix!
4. Cradle Cap
Cradle cap is a skin problem that’s very common in newborns, because they are not able to move their heads while sleeping. The friction of the bedclothes rubs the skin, creating irritation. Dry, flaky skin then begins to appear on the scalp, usually concentrated near where the baby rests his head.
Coconut oil is a simple and natural treatment for cradle cap, and poses no threat to newborn babies. Simply treat the affected area with pure oil and let it sit for 20 minutes. After the coconut oil bath has had a chance to work, gently comb the flakes out of your baby’s hair, and rinse the scalp with warm water.
Eczema is a common skin rash that occurs when the skin becomes extremely dry. You will notice dry, red, broken patches of skin that may itch and burn. Coconut oil can be used after a bath and before bedtime to help hydrate the skin and resolve eczema over time. Regular coconut oil massage will also help improve eczema and dry skin.
6. Dry Hair
Dry hair can start early, making baby’s soft, fine hair frizzy and wild. Coconut oil is a simple moisturiser that can be combed into the hair to make it softer, smoother, and more manageable.
Acne doesn’t just start when we hit puberty—it can affect people all ages, including babies. If your baby is breaking out, then you may not know quite how to handle the problem. Babies often touch or even scratch the irritated area, making breakouts worse.
Coconut oil is a natural remedy for acne, and can help soothe and resolve uncomfortable breakouts. Simply apply the coconut oil to the affected areas, leave and allow the oil to work its magic, then gently rinse off. Repeat as necessary.
8. Bites, Scrapes & Bruises
Babies are curious and love to explore—which can sometimes get them into trouble. Minor scrapes, bruises, and bug bites can be scary to parents at first, but they’re something all babies get, and treating them isn’t difficult.
Pure coconut oil can help these little injuries heal quickly, since the oil contains anti-microbial lauric acid. For everyday scrapes and bruises, coconut oil is the perfect solution!
9. Croup & Chest Congestion
A sick baby makes many parents feel helpless, since there’s not much you can do but let the illness run its course. While your little one is sick, however, you can help by easing some of the symptoms of croup and the common cold. A soothing massage and coconut oil bath can help baby feel better. Easing chest congestion with coconut oil is another way you can ease your little one’s discomfort.
Consult with your doctor about which essential oils are safe, then mix a few drops with virgin coconut oil. You can then use this mixture to rub on baby’s chest and ease congestion during the worst of the illness.
10. Head Lice
Ew, lice! Most treatments for lice involve harsh chemicals that are hard on older children, but even harder on babies’ sensitive skin. Using a combination of apple cider vinegar and coconut oil, you can make a lice treatment at home without synthetic ingredients.
First, apply apple cider vinegar to baby’s head and allow it to dry. Then, cover the entire scalp with coconut oil, and allow it to sit for as long as possible before rinsing out. You can cover the scalp with a shower cap to help keep the oil on, if the baby does not try to remove it.
When it comes to young babies, it is very important to keep a close eye on head lice, and consult with your doctor if your home remedies don’t seem to be working well. What’s most important is getting rid of those nasty little parasites quickly—for your baby’s sake and yours!
What Kind of Oil to Use?
You might think that coconut oil is coconut oil, but there are many ways that the oil can be processed and refined before it’s packaged. Virgin coconut oil is the purest form of coconut oil, and the best form for using on soft baby skin (and your own skin!). Always choose coconut oil from an ethical manufacturer, and avoid refined oils for skin treatments. Biconi Virgin Coconut Oil is safe for little ones and adults alike.
Beware of Allergies
Though very rare, some babies do have allergies to coconut, so it’s very important to begin using coconut oil with caution. Put a small drop on your baby’s skin, and make sure there is no allergic reaction before you try using coconut oil as a remedy. Allergies can be very serious, so if you see any signs of a reaction, call your paediatrician immediately.
Consult with a Doctor
While coconut oil has amazing benefits, and can be very helpful for soothing and healing baby’s minor ailments, it can’t fix everything. It is important to keep in close contact with your paediatrician and discuss any health issues you encounter, to make sure you don’t need to take further steps. There have been few studies on the benefits of coconut oil for babies, but many mothers swear by the benefits of using this natural emollient for their babies’ health. Just make sure you have a caring doctor close at hand in case your baby needs further treatment—coconut oil might not always be sufficient.
A Bright Future
By starting your baby off using natural skin products over synthetic formulas, you are helping set him up for a bright future. You’ll avoid starting baby’s sensitive skin on harsh chemicals and synthetics, starting a precedent for going to Mother Nature first. Take advantage of the powerful healing properties of virgin coconut oil, and see how your baby thrives!