I have decided to go with a pure, cold processed soap bar for our new baby instead of any baby washes or liquid castille soaps. Now, I'm looking into lotions. I do plan on using some plain organic coconut oil on her sometimes, but sometimes I just like to use lotion! What is real lotion, or is that not as simple as defining real soap? How do I find one without any additives since they're not required to print all ingredients on the labels?
Also, what about natural conditioners for their hair? I don't mind using pure oil occasionally, but sometimes I want to avoid having to wait for it to soak in and worrying about her leaving oil stains wherever I lay her down.
We use Dr Bronners soaps and sometimes lotions, but we usually only use coconut oil or raw shea butter for "lotion". My DD is 2.5, she has pretty short hair still, but I've never needed a conditioner for it. Sometimes I have used this if its really tangled after we bathe http://www.azurestandard.com/shop/product/11056/ But, the great thing about letting a 2yr old put on her own coconut oil "lotion", is that it gets all over her body including her hair! :) It is great for use in hair as well as on the skin :)
Lotions include water, which introduce bacteria. Hence the need for preservatives. AFAIK, the only way to avoid this is to make it yourself and use natural preservatives and use up the lotion quickly (even with storing it in the fridge). So much easier to skip the water.
Shea butter, cocoa butter, and other butters can be whipped to feel more like a lotion with a lot less work and worry.
I just oil coconut oil. It is anti-fungal and a whole host of other great things, which help human skin with most minor ailments all by itself. Super simple and a super long shelf life. It is solid below 76 degrees and liquid above that. If you prefer the solid, keep it in the fridge in the summer. You could probably whip that, too, to give a more lotion-like feel.
Personally, I have VERY hard water and very fine, curly hair. Every time I try non-shampoo and non-conditioner tactics, I end up with a mess. And my hair is great normally, so I have worked out some compromises there. DH uses sulfate-free shampoo (not the fancy salon stuff, but the health food store kind purchased at a discount store) that I doctor up with essential oils to address specific issues. DD (age 11) uses 'cone-free conditioner to wash her hair and [a different 'cone-free conditioner] to condition it. I use his shampoo before doctoring it up and her [second] 'cone-free conditioner. DD & I read the Curly Girl book from the library and implemented several techniques from it and I researched more on the long hair community boards. DD actually has straight hair, but the curly girl method works wonders for her hair! Mine not so much, but her hair is much drier than mine is. I'm not particularly brand loyal and the manufacturers are constantly changing formulas, so I check the boards before shopping.
"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." - Mother Teresa
We wash our own hair with a baking soda rinse then vinegar rinse. DH and I had an 'adjustment' phase while our scalps were still in oil-producing overdrive (caused by shampoo) but a NEW scalp would not have this problem. Now, my hair is the nicest its ever been. The vinegar has a conditioning and detangling effect (doesn't smell once it dries, which is quick).
Also, just not bathing as much will let the skin produce its own oils, and reduce need for lotions. We have lots of kids come in and out of our house. All the ones that were used to bathing everynight had improved skin on our 2 nights a week schedule. (may have had to do with less exposure to harsh bath products, too. Previous homes were more 'conventional')
Whipped coconut oil is a great lotion; and I feel like it is more lotion-y whipped (maybe because it looks more like lotion?). I threw a jar full in my kitchen-aide mixer with the whisk; it worked it into a wonderful froth. Then I spooned that back into jars. It is easier to get out that way - you can add scent if you like - which makes it more luxurious (I like lilac E.O).. Its best used RIGHT after the bath, otherwise it can feel like it sits on top of the skin.
Edited to clarify: I keep it solid, if that isn't apparent!
Just some thoughts!
I don't use soap to wash my babies unless really needed. Generally, just bath in warm water suffices. I don't bathe my babies more often than once a week unless needed (diaper blow out!). Nor do I wash their hair with soap or use conditioner (though all my babies have had full heads of hair). In the past, I've used olive oil after a bath as a skin lotion, but I've been using coconut oil on my toddler after her bathes lately and plan on using it for the new baby, too. I like the way it soaks in and its smell better than olive oil.
jes h, I love your idea of whipping the coconut oil. I must give that a try! BTW, it makes a lovely hair conditioner, too.;-) (So does olive oil whipped with an egg, but that's messier and I can't leave it in my hair all day in a braid or bun!)
i swear by Cj's Butter
They get a bath when visibly dirty (Dr. Bronner's for the toddler, just water for the baby). I've never used shampoo or conditioner on my 2.5 year old. He was born with hair and his hair today looks great and his scalp is in great shape. My 3 month old has had her hair wet with water maybe 3 times. I won't use anything but water for her either.
I definitely think you should try to keep baths to a minimum and try using nothing at all on your babe's head.
ETA both of my kids have had/have cradle cap. I've done olive oil soaks to make the flakes easier to comb out, then washed that out. I'm thinking it will take time to resolve. I have an itchy scalp and flaky hairline so I'll be attempting no poo for the second time. I started a new job last time and it was bad timing to deal with the transition which was brutal for me.
Mama to Chu born July 2010
Excitedly expecting somebody new in August 2012
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