Most babies, no matter how nice their skin is, will go through some sort of skin irritation. Whether it’s nappy rash, dribble rash, eczema or a red-blotchy-patchy-thing-that-no-one-really-knows-what-it-is rash, we all come across something.
Nappy rash is one thing I’d heard of, well before we were even thinking of kids. What I wasn’t aware of though is that you often don’t need a nappy balm or cream for newborn babies with today’s technology in nappies. I’d gone out and bought 3 different types of barrier creams and balms, only to be told at our antenatal class that I probably won’t need any for the first wee while! So, spread the word guys, to all those new mums out there. But, we didn’t avoid it forever. Especially when he started teething. Not only this, but he had quite bad eczema (or what looked like eczema) on his cheeks as a newborn and then from about 3 months onwards, he had a bad case of dribble rash. No matter how many times I changed the bibs or what cream I used, it wouldn’t go away. His skin was in a bit of a mess!
I didn’t like the thought of rubbing all these chemicals on my baby’s skin (I know, it’s probably silly, you can’t avoid it forever, as proven above, but I wanted to try for a little while!) so I tried to find some solutions that I would be happy with.
My mother-in-law used to swear by Aloe Vera gel, straight from the plant. It was basically her first aid kit, all in one. Aloe Vera gel contains two hormones: Auxin and Gibberellins. These two hormones provide wound healing and anti-inflammatory properties that reduce skin inflammation. Additionally, in Ayurvedic medicine, Aloe is used to effectively heal chronic skin problems, such as psoriasis, acne and eczema. Because of said mother-in-law, my husband grew a plant a few years back. This came in handy, I tell you, and made a huge difference to grubs’ skin when we used it. Ours seemed to grow better in full sun, and we would cut a whole leaf off and then keep it in the fridge, using little pieces at a time, rubbing the gel directly on to his skin. It’s great for any scratches or scars too.
Another trick I really liked was putting oats in his bath. Oats are great for soothing itchy skin and redness. I took about a cup of wholegrain oats, straight from the packet, wrapped them in a cheese cloth (or muslin would work well too) and dunked that straight in to the bath. You then need to squeeze and knead the oats and you’ll see all this milky white liquid start to come away. This is great for eczema, nappy rash and even chicken pox.
And, I love calendula cream. Calendula helps to improve blood circulation and helps skin wounds heal, including sunburn. The oil can be quite harsh on its own, but the cream has a soothing effect on the skin and relieves itching or pain. And, it’s great for nappy rash. I’ll put this on grub before bed time and in the morning, his nappy rash is noticeably better. This is something I would definitely recommend everyone has in their first aid kit at home. Weleda do a good one, but there are other brands too.
Lastly, if you’re really game and wanting to make your own, I stumbled across this recipe online when looking for an alternative to Sorbolene cream:
- ½ tbsp. beeswax pellets
- ½ tbsp. coconut oil (recipe calls for cacao butter it gave it a funny smell, so I used coconut oil instead)
- ¼ cup avocado oil (or olive oil)
- ½ cup pure aloe vera gel
Put your beeswax and oils in a glass bowl over boiling water (don’t let the water touch the bowl though) and melt down until mixed together. Let this cool until it’s like the consistency of butter at room temperature. Using a stick blender, mix your oils with the aloe vera gel. Voila! I found the beeswax and aloe vera gel online (make sure it’s pure aloe vera gel, most of the supermarket brands have other additives). I keep mine in a jam jar and find it actually lasts quite a long time as a little goes a long way. I use this after the bath over his whole body and find it works wonders for his dribble rash.
Have you tried any of the more natural suggestions above? Got any other tips? We would love to know, leave us a comment below.