Whether you are a first time mom or a fifteenth time mom, I am sure that we can all agree that doing what is best (and safe) for our babies is our number one priority. Right? Right. It gets hard, though!!! Knowing what is best (and safe) for our babies used to be easier, I’m sure. Today, though, there are thousands and thousands of products marketed to babies, specifically newborns, out there to choose from. Do we buy this brand or that brand? Do we go this way or that way? Do we test this or try that? As a mom, I just want a one size fits all approach to my baby’s health. That’s why, mothers reading this right now, I’m here to talk about coconut oil.
Yeah, you read that right. I’m here to talk about the magic that is coconut oil. Have you heard about it yet? Aside from breast milk, coconut oil treats everything.
Have a rash? COCONUT OIL.
Have a bug bite? COCONUT OIL
Have an allergy? COCONUT OIL.
Have a toothache? COCONUT OIL.
Need an alternative to butter/vegetable/olive oil? COCONUT OIL.
I’m not kidding, guys. Coconut oil solves it all. The benefits are endless and it really does not matter how old you are. Your 98 year old great grandmother can use it as an anti-wrinkle cream and your 2 week old baby can use it on a diaper rash. You can eat it, rub it, melt it, and swish it. It’s fantastic.
I must have been hiding under a rock for the better part of my life, because it was only recently that I learned about the wondrous, magical, ways of coconut oil. Like many, I grew up thinking that just any old thing was perfectly okay to put on my skin or into my body. My mom bought me store brand lotions, body washes, and toothpastes. I was given regular butter and oil from gigantic plastic bottles that only cost 75 cents. It’s not my mom’s fault. I do not blame her! She had other things to worry about at the time and, to be quite honest, I have seemingly turned out alright so far! However, when we know better, we do better. That’s the saying, right?
Humans are constantly evolving. Thanks to the world wide web, we have access to information that we hadn’t previously had access to. So that’s pretty darn cool. Because of all of this new access to information, and our abilities as humans to evolve and learn, we are now able to understand that just putting any old thing onto our skin or into our bodies is really not that terrific of a thing to do.
In fact, it’s actually pretty toxic. I’ll save you my conspiracy theory, free spirit, child of the earth, hippie spiel (but, oh, you better believe I have one) and just leave it at this; the skincare industry (and those alike) are regulated, but not as regulated as other sectors that the FDA cover. So, basically, these industries that aren’t that regulated are getting away with filling the products we buy with actual toxic chemicals.
The actual toxic chemicals that these products are being filled with are chemicals that have literally been linked to diseases (*ahem* cancer *ahem*), reproductive issues, and a lifetime of illness. Scary! I mean, isn’t that scary to you?
There are lots of resources out there to learn about just how bad these products and chemicals are, but I want to just shout out my favorite app of all time (that has also managed to ruin my life): Think Dirty.
The basis of this app is that you can scan any household product and it’ll generate a rating from 1-10 (1 being the safest and 10 being the “oh my god, get this out of my house NOW”-est). Ohhhhh, brother. When I say “ruin my life” I mean that it has single-handedly made it so that I have thrown out any product I previously owned only to spend so much money on all natural, organic, chemical-free options. My husband can’t decide whether to applaud the fact that I’m investing in our health or cry because I’ve probably “invested” more than anyone wants to “invest” in the baby wash…or floor cleaners…or toothpaste. Just kidding. It hasn’t been that much. Geez.
After I downloaded the Think Dirty app, and used it for a good month, I realized just how messed up it is that all natural, organic, healthy products are the most expensive. Enter coconut oil.
When I tell you that you can replace SO many household products with coconut oil, I’m not even kind of joking. If you want to get really crazy, you can even make your own lipstick with it. I know. Crazy. I don’t do that (mostly because who has the time??) but I do use it as an all natural solution to almost, practically, everything that my daughter comes into contact with. And while coconut oil is not the cheapest thing on the block, you will end up saving money and it is totally worth it.
There are many debates out there about whether or not just any coconut oil will do. Previous to writing this, I was a little divided on that argument. I believed that any coconut oil was better than no coconut oil, but I also understood that the best of the best is the best for a reason.
However, after writing this and doing a lot of research, I can now proudly say that you must get the best of the best (or at least the better of the better) if you’re going to start living that sweet, sweet, coconut oil life. EcoCult goes into detail about why, but I’ll summarize:
First, not all coconut oil is organic. You really want organic. Mostly because then you know that you’re buying something that wasn’t sprayed with all sorts of disgusting pesticides.
Pesticides don’t just harm (kill) native bugs and plants, mama! When you’re putting something that was sprayed with pesticides on your baby’s skin, you might as well just put the pesticides on your baby’s skin. Feel me? With me? Okay.
Second, it is important to get virgin coconut oil as opposed to refined coconut oil. Virgin coconut oil is taken from fresh coconuts. It’s pure. Refined is taken from a dried coconut.
Ecocult mentions the smell as the biggest giveaway (though it should say virgin vs. refined on the jar). Since virgin coconut oil is taken from fresh coconuts, the smell of the coconuts still linger and it retains all vital nutrients. Refined oil has to be processed and bleached (more chemicals!).
Finally, how the oil is extracted is extremely important. Apparently, it’s sort of the same thing as what happens when the air hits a sliced apple. You know how apples turn brown when they’ve been sitting out for a bit? Yeah, same thing with coconuts. This is why it’s important that the oil is extracted as soon as possible and kept unheated. Heating the oil up breaks the coconut down and the nutrients are destroyed.
Still with me, mama? Great! So, we have established that coconut oil is the best thing ever since there are so many benefits and it’s, generally, really easy to find (especially nowadays). We have established the best kind of coconut oil to go for and how to tell the difference between the best of the best and the worst of the worst. I want to bring the conversation back, now, and talk about the benefits of using coconut oil on your newborn. Ready? Me, too.
I am a fierce advocate of breastfeeding. I think it is the most amazing thing you can do for your baby. The healing properties of breast milk are amazing, when you get down to it. It doesn’t only sustain your baby, but it can literally heal anything. However, I get that stuff happens and breastfeeding doesn’t always work out. Which means you won’t have any of that sweet, sweet, breast milk medicine to get you through those early newborn experiences. That’s fine. That’s where our precious coconut oil comes in!
Coconut oil is the only rival of breast milk out there. This is because, like breast milk, coconut oil has amazing healing properties. Let’s look at some of the things you can use coconut oil for on your baby, shall we?
Ah, yes. Cradle crap as I like to call it. Ha! Cradle cap is basically dandruff and pretty harmless. It can still be annoying, though. Especially since it’s on your brand new baby that shouldn’t have to deal with skin issues just yet. Let’s wait until puberty, shall we??? No, seriously.
Cradle cap just happens because the hormones left over in your baby’s body from being in your womb can produce more oil than necessary. So what do we do to get rid of it? COCONUT OIL.
Ugh. A diaper rash is the worst. Poor sweet babies and those poor, sweet, baby butts! Diaper rashes have many causes.
People typically think that the only reason a baby has a diaper rash is because a diaper was left on too long after it was soiled. While that is a cause, it’s not the only cause.
It can come from the type of diapers/wipes you’re using, the kind of food your baby is eating (if you’re breastfeeding, the kind of food you are eating), or even the soap or laundry detergent you’re using on your baby. Sometimes it’s as simple as airing that cute little butt out, but if that doesn’t do the trick you shouldn’t worry! What do you have? COCONUT OIL.
Yeast infection (also known as Thrush)
This can go hand in hand with diaper rashes because, often, babies (especially baby girls) can be super susceptible to yeast infections in the diaper area. Like diaper rashes, it can be caused by a lot of things. If you notice a yeast infection happening on your little ones nether regions, spread some coconut oil over it after wiping them dry.
If you’re breastfeeding, you may notice it on your nipples and inside baby’s mouth. This makes it super annoying to get rid of because you guys just keep passing it back and forth to each other.
I’m a big advocate of using apple cider vinegar on your nipples after nursing (just dry them and then wipe them with ACV) and then using coconut oil on as a moisturizer/nipple cream. Apple cider vinegar is totally safe for babies to ingest and will absolutely do the trick. Now, I wonder what is also safe for baby to ingest and will help heal those nipples of yours? COCONUT OIL.
What??? Yep. Oh, yes. You read that right, my mama friend! Since coconut oil is “hypoallergenic” (mostly unlikely to cause an allergic reaction), you can add it to anything your baby eats. I don’t buy into the “superfood” craze (surprised?) but I really believe that coconut oil is as close as they come to being an actual superfood. What has a ton of nutrients and will give your baby a boost of the good stuff? COCONUT OIL.
Babies come with naturally soft skin. Have you ever felt a baby’s body? It’s like silk! To maintain that silkiness, however, their skin needs some upkeep. How many mamas rub their babies down with lotion after a bath?
It’s not only soothing to get massaged (I’m relaxed just thinking about it), but it’s also incredibly good for the baby’s skin to be rubbed down with a lotion (or OIL) enriched with yummy nutrients. Hmm, what could we use? COCONUT OIL.
I’m telling you, mamas. When it comes to your newborn, you really can’t (or shouldn’t) afford to use just any old thing on their bodies. They’re tiny and new. Their skin (and tummies!) can’t handle all of those harsh chemicals.
For that reason, I definitely recommend coconut oil as a “one size fits all” solution to really anything that happens on (and inside!) your newborn’s body.
Coconut oil is safe, nutrient-packed, and all natural. You can find it pretty much anywhere, and you can rest easy knowing you’re doing what is absolutely best for your babe. Enjoy!