Getting Real With Katie Bugbee

As mothers, we have become Master Multi-taskers, so why should we expect any less from the products in our kitchen cabinets?

Fortunately, you can make many “diaper bag” products with just a few simple pantry ingredients.

baby - shutterstockThe problem with so many baby creams is that they contain mineral oil, which has gross chemicals in it. Plus, it only seals skin from losing moisture – rather than adding nutrients to it. Instead, you should either look for products that have natural oils as their base – or make them yourself.

Here are the natural products you’ll need to make most DIY baby creams and remedies (or be sure to look for these in the products you buy):

  • Coconut Oil: a great substitute for those iconic yellow jars of petroleum jelly that we all used for everything growing up. Can usually be found in the baking aisle of your favorite grocery store.
  • Almond Oil: light enough to use in combination with other products, but substantial enough to use on its own. And since it has some inherent antimicrobial properties, it offers an additional layer of protection to our little ones.
  • Vegetable Glycerin: a liquid extracted from plant oils (typically palm, soy or coconut), this is commonly found in lotions, toothpastes and shampoos, largely because it attracts moisture to the skin and aids in absorption. This is a great substitute for the alcohol found in herbal tinctures and medicinal rubs.
  • Beeswax: this ancient and pure wax is not only completely sustainable and 100% natural, but it’s also frequently included in lotions and creams for its thickening properties that create a rich and creamy texture. Beeswax is also prized for its ability to form a protective coating on the skin.
  • Oatmeal: not only nutritious as a food, oatmeal is also beneficial to external skin, and has been used for centuries to draw out the heat in irritated skin and help the body retain moisture to assist in its own healing.
  • Shea Butter: endorsed around the globe as a champion moisturizer, it penetrates deep into the skin to deliver extreme conditioning and long-lasting coverage for intense healing of irritated, damaged and dehydrated skin.

Homemade Soothing Oatmeal Soak

⅓ cup oatmeal/oats (instant, quick cooking or regular)

  1. In a food processor, grinder or blender, pulse the oatmeal on the highest setting until it becomes a fine powder.
  2. Draw a warm bath and sprinkle the pulverized oat powder into the water until it dissolves.
  3. Allow baby to soak for 15-20 minutes and pat dry (avoid rubbing, as this can irritate the skin).

This soak can be a preliminary step before applying either one of the two homemade baby creams below or as a soothing bath to keep baby’s skin smooth, soft and supple.

Homemade Baby Lotion

  • ½ cup almond oil
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup beeswax
  1. Combine everything in a glass jar (Mason jars or pickle/olive jars are fine) and cover it loosely with the lid. From here, place the jar into a medium saucepan with a couple of inches of water over medium heat.
  2. Shake or stir the jar occasionally and once all ingredients are melted, remove from heat and place aside to cool. Store in a cool, dry place.

*Adding more beeswax will make a thicker cream, similar to body butter.

Homemade Diaper Rash Cream

  • ½ cup Shea butter
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon beeswax
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable glycerin
  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the Shea butter, coconut oil and beeswax together.
  2. Remove from heat and add the vegetable glycerin.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat the mixture until it begins to solidify into a smooth cream.
  4. Pour into a jar and let it cool. When it’s room temperature, cover with a lid and store in a cool, dry place.

Since these creams are best when used within one year to 24 months, they make fantastic gifts for friends and family with little ones!

What other types of homemade baby products have you made?

Katie Bugbee is the senior managing editor and resident parenting expert of Care.com. A busy working mother of two, she’s an expert on many parenting dilemmas, from appeasing picky eaters to finding the perfect babysitter.

* This article is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be providing medical advice and is not a substitute for such advice. The reader should always consult a health care provider concerning any medical condition or treatment plan. Neither Care.com nor the author assumes any responsibility or liability with respect to use of any information contained herein.