Herbal Baby-Bottom Care

Caring for a baby’s bum is a full-time job! 

changing-table

 

Especially if the baby has a rash 🙁  Thankfully, we haven’t had to deal with too many rashes, but when we do get one, (usually from teething), look out!  It.  Is.  Awful.

I have used many different remedies for the gentle care of my baby’s bum, all of them natural and herbal.  I cloth diaper with a variety (of types) of diapers; my favorites being cotton pre-folds with a wool cover, and pocket diapers with a micro-fiber liner.  I also use cloth wipes with a homemade wipe solution.

Baby Bum-Wipe Solution

I usually use tea tree, lavender or eucalyptus oil for their antifungal/antibacterial qualities.  I also like to use lemon balm for it’s scent and soothing qualities.

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My wipes are cut from old bits of flannel, (and old receiving blankets work well too).  I make my wipe solution, wait for it to cool, and pour it into an old dish soap squeeze bottle that I keep at the changing table.  I put my clean and dry wipes into a large mixing bowl, (that I keep permanently in my diaper changing area), and squirt them with the butt wipe solution.  I “mix” them until all are damp, but not sopping.

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I then roll them and store them in my Prince Lionheart wipes warmer.  I fill the warmer, and now that Sweet Baby is older, it is enough wipes to last a few days.  There is always solution left over, so I keep it at the changing table for the more ‘dirty’ jobs!  The wipes are also great for cleaning my baby’s hands and face, and sometimes Mama’s as well 🙂

After (nearly) every diaper change, I give a quick swipe of Baby-Bottom Salve.

1 oz  lemongrass salve tin

Sweet Baby’s Bottom Salve:

FOR INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO MAKE THIS, CLICK HERE.

I use the salve to treat rashes but also to prevent them.  I rub it in to moisturize, replenish and protect her skin.  I use the salve as a barrier.  If I’m out, and have forgotten the salve, or haven’t had time to make more, I use coconut oil.  Coconut oil is nourishing, antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial.  A wonder oil, that works brilliantly on baby bums.  If you’ve not got the time nor the patience to make baby-bottom salve, rest assured you are in good hands with plain coconut oil.  (I make the salve because I like to, and the added healing properties of the ingredients are important to me).

If I start to notice a rash developing, either from teething, trying a new food, or who knows what, I first:

  • Try to provide as much diaper free time as possible.  With Sweet Baby now ultra mobile, it’s getting harder, but we manage if we have to 🙂

sweet-baby's-woolies

  • Switch to my prefold/wool cover diapers.  This method of diapering the most breathable of all of the ways to diaper.  Many babies who are exclusively woolly bottomed almost never get a rash.  (So I am told).  In my experience, if I see the signs of a rash soon enough, I will put her to bed in her prefold diapers with a wool cover, a little salve, and she is usually healed by the morning!  Wool is magic.  I firmly believe that 🙂

If Sweet Baby’s bottom is still struggling after that, I use the following techniques to assist her healing and to make her more comfortable.

  • Breast Milk!  Breast milk can save the world!  Or at least it saves my world 🙂  One time DH came in  from the garden only to find Sweet Baby lying on the floor; I crouched over her with my shirt off, squirting breast milk on her bum.  She was cured!  And he never questioned my methods…  If you are nursing, don’t forget your liquid gold.  It’s your first line of defense.  Click Here to read some neat facts on breast milk.
  • Oatmeal baths.  Oatmeal is has amazing healing properties and does wonders for your skin.  Often used for eczema, rashes, insect bites, poison ivy, oak and sumac; sunburn and dry skin; oatmeal makes a great skin soother and has been used for hundreds of years as remedy for diaper rash.  Use plain rolled oats in either of the following methods:
    –Finely grind them in a food processor, coffee grinder or food mill and add to the bath water.  I use about a handful.  I am sure there is an exact science to this, but I don’t know what it is:)  Or, I usually take an old stocking and fill it with oats and make a loose knot at the end.  (Note:  An easy way to fill the stocking is to pull it over the edges of a mason jar so it stay open).  I toss this in the bath making sure to run hot water over it and palpitate it a bunch to release the slimy, gooey, oaty goodness.
  • Use Cod Liver Oil Externally.  Cod liver oil, naturally high in vitamins A and D, the skin-loving vitamins, is a great way to heal a diaper rash, says our family’s Naturopath.  We did not make it to this remedy yet, as I am not looking forward to staining yet more clothes with CLO.  I do have a plan for this application though, and that is to sacrifice a prefold to CLO, and if I were to rub it on Sweet Baby’s bum, I would just have that be my “fishy” prefold.  (Note: If you wash articles of baby clothing stained in CLO with articles of clothing that are not stained; you will end up with all articles of clothing smelling like fish.  I speak from experience here folks).  🙂  However, if your baby’s bum is as red as a stop sign, and you have some CLO around, don’t hesitate…it’s worth a smelly try.
  • Use Plain Yogurt on a Yeast Rash.  Yeast rashes are their own breed of diaper rash, characterized by little red dots.  I (thankfully) have not seen one yet on Sweet Baby, but I gleaned an AWESOME tip from an online Mama’s group I am part of.  The Mama had twin babies and one (or both) had a yeast rash, and she applied plain yogurt to the baby’s bottom.  It worked!  And quickly.  The beneficial bacteria in the yogurt go to work straight away on the yeast.  A brilliant solution I have kept filed away in my Mom-brain.  (Note:  It must be plain yogurt.  A flavored yogurt will be sugared and that would be exacerbating the problem).
  • Marshmallow Root and Slippery Elm Bark Tea.  It was suggested by our family’s Naturopath to make a weak solution  (tea) of marshmallow root and slippery elm bark for treating diaper rash.  This is to be taken internally. Marshmallow root is full of mucilage, a slippery plant substance that coats and heals skin and membranes.  It is regarded as very safe and has been given to children and babies for centuries.  Slippery elm bark is the same, a mucilaginous herb that coats and soothes.  It also is great for digestive health; which, in our situation; rashes usually come from diarrhea, so the slippery elm is a welcomed remedy.  This tea (or paste if you have powdered herbs) could also be applied topically.  Marshmallow root is a great friend to slaves, but if you don’t have one pre-made when the rash strikes, at least you have these other options.

If you have recurring diaper rash and feel like you are always dealing with something, you may want to consider diet and allergies as a possible culprit.  Also, if you are using cloth, your baby’s sensitive skin may not like the detergent you are using.  With our cloth diapers, my wash and care routine of them has been a lot of trial and error until we finally got it right.  (You can read about my love affair with cloth diapers here).  Also, if not rinsed properly, the residue from the detergent mixed with baby pee can be harsh on the bum!  Just a few things to consider…

What herbal remedies do you use for your baby’s bum?  I would love to learn some new ones!  Please share with us in the comments below, or continue the conversation on my facebook page.

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Some of the remedies in this post were suggested by my doctor, but I am not a doctor.  Nor am I a butcher or baker, or candlestick maker; and I thoughtfully encourage you to do your own research on topics of interest to you.  The remedies suggested are not a substitute for professional medical advice.  With any questions, consult your doctor.

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