We all have delicate skin, not just newborns and babies. And since skin is our largest organ and defends us against infection, we must protect it!
Almost 95% of commercial baby shampoos contain chemicals that are damaging to the skin. The Environmental Working Group has determined that on average an adult's organs will ingest and sluggishly process over 5 gallons of chemicals every year - just on cosmetics! That's shampoos and conditioners, creams, makeup, hair care products.
Infant skin is even more delicate than adult skin, with a pH level ranging between 6.34 and 7.5, which is a lot more alkaline... we need to protect it! Commercial shampoos, conditioners and creams do not take this into consideration, and washing your baby's skin and peach-fuzz hair on a daily basis can be harmful for their skin.
It's a perfect moment to teach your baby that they do NOT need to bathe every day, nor do they need to be washed down with soaps and lathered with creams afterward.
Babies enjoy night-time bath, but a simple warm water bath will be enough to soothe and calm them before bedtime. The warm water will make them happy, and the natural pH of tap water - which is what we all use in the bath - will be enough to gently wipe off any excess sweat or dirt that may be trapped in between baby's folds... IT'S TRUU!
Here are some TRUU questions often asked by parents, and our answers:
Don't babies sweat? My boy's feet are stinky, sometimes filthy at the end of the day!
Yes of course babies sweat, collect dirt and grime, and odours. Remember: Dirt is not bad! (Read this article from Dr. Suzuki, on why kids need to get outside and get dirty!)
But if you're still concerned, there are safer alternatives for washing up baby:
1. Oatmeal stocking bath:
Get yourself some gluten-free oatmeal (either the old-fashioned or quick-cook kind, either is fine!).
Place one cup of it inside a knee-high stocking. Tie a knot. Place in bath and squeeze to release its natural "milk". Not only is oatmeal soothing on the skin but it's naturally cleansing. You'll love this so much, you'll wonder why you ever spent money on drying bubble bath soap!
Mmm... soft skin!! (PS: This is especially good on chicken-pox itchy skin!).
2. Beautiful, gentle, OIL!
That's right, you can use oil to clean and wash! Oil attracts oil, and it's amazing for cleansing the skin – everyone's, yours and baby's. Just dab a small pea-size onto a soft baby washcloth and rub baby's folds and even scalp. Rinse off with water and you'll have a clean baby without needing to use creams after! The best oils to use are extra virgin olive oil and jojoba, which are the two that closest resemble the body's own sebum (natural oil produced by the body). Remember: Oil attracts oil! Just as water and oil repel, oil is attracted to other oils, so it will stick to the body's natural oils that have been hanging on to the day's dirt and sweat. Oh yeah!!
You can also read about our "Oil cleansing method" [HERE], if you want to try your hand at cleansing your face naturally using oil, for clean, soft, beautiful skin!
3. My baby has cradle cap. I need to wash it off so it won't get infected and grow fungus and itch.
In order to carefully soothe and dissolve cradle cap, all you need is a small amount of extra virgin olive oil rubbed into the scalp, then rinsed off with water. It may take a few days or even weeks, but the alternative is less harsh to baby's skin. Cradle cap is there to protect your baby's scalp, so as long as it is wiped daily using a gentle cloth (with a dab of oil), and dried thoroughly using a washcloth, it will heal and disappear on its own. If your baby has cradle cap, it needs moisture (even water will do), and then it can be lightly coated with a natural, organic oil like jojoba or olive oil to lock in moisture inside.
4. But a nighttime bath gets baby sleepy!
If you're feeling like a nighttime bath is the best remedy for getting your baby sleepy, you can rethink this old wives tale. Having nighttime baths can actually stimulate your baby into playing and wanting more stimulation. On top of it all, you're probably going to cover up your baby's freshly hydrated skin with talcum powder, oils, rash creams, diapers and clothes, right? This is one of the worst ways to get baby's skin naturally conditioned overnight! What you need to do instead, is let your baby's natural skin oils gently cradle them while they sleep by LEAVING THEM ON.
If you need to calm baby down and get him to mellow out, be tranquil, peaceful, and ready for bed, they need two things: First, they need to be stimulated during the day, when the natural daytime lights are on, and they can go outside and get fresh air. Secondly, they need to be calmed down as the daylight naturally dims – snuggle them up in a warm blanket, cradle them, caress them, rock them gently, and read a book. You can also play soothing classical music in the background. These methods mellow out the mind and tell the brain that it's time for the body's natural melatonin levels to rise and get sleepy! Chances are you'll feel it too!
Do you have more questions about washing your baby naturally? Contact us! We'll gladly give you some advice on ways to cleanse your baby as he needs it.
- - - -