Friday, March 7, 2008

Baby Wipes Solution, Oil, Salve- Make your own

Baby Wipes Solution
You can make your own baby wipes solution! I use a strong tea or infusion & add some herbal oil to distilled water. There are a lot of herbs that are good for your babies skin, you can use chickweed (picture above growing right now in early spring!), chamomile, comfrey, calendula, and many others. Plantain & chickweed are common weeds found here in the pacific Northwest, I am using this infusion for my babies wipe water right now because I have a lot of the herb on hand, when my calendula blooms I will be using that as well. I also add some oil to the solution (about 1/8 cup to a few cups distilled water/ infusion), almond oil, sesame or olive oil can be used, if you want to get real fancy you can even add a little vitamin E & /or jojoba oil. Some people like to add a little vinegar, a few drops of essential oil, and/or baby soap. I don't use the soap or essential oil because my daughter has sensitive skin and I do not want the residue or irritation.

After you make your solution you can store a few wipes in the solution, beware they could mold if you keep to many in wipe water for too long. You can use a squirter bottle or spray bottle with your solution in it, spray on each dry wipe as needed, this will prevent your wipes from turning moldy. The solution should last at least a few days.

Herbal Oils
You can make your own infused oil and add this to your distilled wipe water. One way to make your oil is to determine the herbs you want to use. You can simply loosely fill a mason jar with your herbs and cover with the oil/s. Store a room temp out of direct sunlight for 1 or 2 weeks. (Be aware that more delicate plants like chickweed can spoil faster than other herbs) Strain your herbs and store in a cool dark place, most will keep for at least a year, if they start smelling funky it means they are rancid, discard and make a new batch. Another alternative is to use a crock pot or double boiler (this is especially good for roots), infuse your herbs for a few hours (or longer) on medium heat, if you are using a double boiler make sure the water on the bottom does not evaporate while you are infusing your herbs.

What to use for Cloth wipes?
I take recycling one step further, for my wipes instead of buying the baby wash cloths or purchasing other types of cloth wipes I use some old sweat pants that were thin (softer than the wash cloths!) One pair of sweats cut up equal quite a few good sized wipes! You can also use older cloth diapers cut into smaller squares. Some suggest using paper towels, I am trying to cut back on waist, help the environment & as an added bonus- save money- so I use cloth. I discard my wipes in the same bucket as the cloth diapers and wash them all in the same load.

Although not a local herb, I received some arrowroot powder from a friend. Sometimes it is nice to trade and barter! I have been using this occasionally on Ella's bum and it has been working nicely. I have been looking up some other powders and see that some add a little white clay, other powders and essential oils, I have not tried this on Ella because I avoid the oils. Here are some alternative recipes. Avoid Talc based powders! It is good to apply the powder to a "power puff" first before applying to babies bum vrs just sprinkling out from the container, so the powder does not get into the air for the baby to inhale.

About Creams / Salves and Cloth Diapers.
You may have heard about some studies suggesting that the additives in some baby soaps/ creams etc may be unhealthy for your baby. Why not make your own!
You really don't want to use any cream or salve that has a fish oil base such as A&E or Desitin when using cloth diapers. You will get this fishy smell that you will never get out of your diapers! Of course you can make your own salve with the oils I mention above, just add a little beez wax to thicken over heat, here is a video that will walk you through the process.

Diaper rash issues?
Here is a good link on learning herbs
Another solution, let your baby go naked! Ella loves it, she runs around like a wild child! Good for infants too, provided they are warm enough of course. It works for some to keep a thick layer of salve on and frequently change (especially change poopy pants right away!) Also consider food sensitivities, dairy, wheat, citrus, soy, even garlic are common causes. Mom's make sure you are aware that the food you eat will pass through the breast milk, really read labels if you are eating preserved food, eliminate the above mentioned food that may be causing a reaction from your diet. If you are formula feeding you may want to consider a different formula if your child has frequent rashes. More on food sensitivities. If you are using disposable diapers, some babies are sensitive to the chemicals in some commercial brands, 7th generation makes a safer disposable. Be aware of the detergents you are using; additives can cause rashes. Also, if you are making your own &/ or buying baby salve with additives or essential oils, this residue can stay on your cloth diapers even after washing, this could cause a reaction.

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