Thank you for visiting my blog; it is an exciting venture for me and I hope this will become a forum for moms and homemakers of all types to share stories, frustrations, and triumphs. There will be recipes, pictures of my latest and greatest soap creations, and anything I think will be interesting to Enthusiastic Homemakers.....

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My All-Natural Baby

I hate to say, I've turned into rather a snob about my all-natural little baby Elvis. He was born after a natural (hard) childbirth in an antique brass bed at a birth center, attended by wonderful Midwives. Because of his "all-natural" beginning; I have endeavored to keep him as natural as possible. Now, I'm not taking anything away from babies that were born in a hospital; I had my first three babies in a hospital and know that the "natural" route is not safe or desirable for everyone. But for myself, as someone with no risk factors and a good track record; a Midwife-attended birth was a good fit. Since I also decided to use cloth diapers for the first time, I think I've been even more careful with what I put on my baby. After the birth, I was given a sample of Calendula balm which is made by Sierra Sage, and let me tell you, that's the stuff! It's good for everything from dry skin to diaper rash, which is what I mainly use it for. After doing research on Calendula, I found that it is excellent at getting rid of even the nastiest rashes, and has natural antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. I also found that it was rather expensive, so almost as soon as I began to make soap, I bought some Calendula balm through my supplier, and have used it for everything from soap to lotion. I seem to have misplaced that jar of balm I've been using for seven months now, so I decided to use my new-found skills and whip up a batch of my own. I got a little carried away and didn't really measure, so I'll do my best to give the proper proportions, although it's not an exact recipe and is easily modified and customized.

Baby Balm:

You'll need:

Olive oil
Virgin coconut oil (unrefined, it even smells like coconut and has tiny specks of the "meat" in it)
Castor Oil
Shea Butter
Hempseed Oil
Caldendula Extract
Rosemary Essential oil

Now, I realize that this may be more of a pain than it's worth, as the average person is not likely to have these ingredients on hand, but all of these ingredients are good for all sorts of things and can probably be found at your local health food store or online.

You'll also need a small food processor, for emulsifying the mixture. I don't usually use my kitchen equipment for making my beauty supplies, but all of these ingredients are "eatable", or at least not toxic, so I felt ok using my food processor and washing it out well. Although I would certainly not recommend ingesting this mixture, no matter how yummy it smells!

I basically started with a "base" of olive oil, it making up the main portion of the amount I wanted to use; for a 4 oz container probably 2 ounces would be olive oil. I then added a scoop of virgin coconut oil, about an equal amount of shea butter, melted; only a smidge (maybe a few teaspoons) of hempseed oil, a little castor oil to make it smooth, a teaspoon or so of Calendula extract and a few drops of rosemary essential oil. All of these ingredients serve a purpose, and blend together nicely. I then pulsed the heck out of the mixture in order to emulsify and thicken it. I did this until the blade was hitting just air, because the mixture was stuck to the sides and thickened.

I used this on Elvis; note that this is not a zinc oxide cream, and doesn't make a thick coating, it absorbs really well into the skin; the only little issue I had with it is that there was a small amount of minuscule specks of coconut occasionally, but they are really tiny and didn't present a problem. I know that diaper creams are a no-no with cloth diapers; but I think this might be ok, because it absorbs into the skin so quickly, also all these oils are very washable and soluble. At least, I'm willing to risk my cloth diapers on this balm!

I've applied it a few times to Elvis; I guess I'll see how it works and whether I like it as much as the balm from Sierra Sage!

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