Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Tutorial: Herb Infused Baby Balm

Now that there is a baby in the house again, I've been working mostly on being a mom again, but have enjoyed creating things for the little guy. I've been making baby food for him to enjoy, doing a little sewing for him (you know the cute hats, little ties, and decorated onesies), and cloth diapering.  Of course, I am making and using natural bath products...baby wash, soap, oils, and baby powders all made by Mom.  

Happy Cloth Bottom

From time to time my little guy gets a little rashy on the bottom end (usually to sampling a new food) and it needs taking care of.  I wanted something that was natural and mostly safe for cloth diapers and safe for baby bottoms.

With a little ingredient research, I concocted this little balm that takes care of rash pretty quickly to keep baby bottoms happy.  The ingredients are few and simple, but each has purpose.   Coconut oil and shea butter both have anti-fungal properties and are great all around skin soothers and softeners.  The herbs are both anti-bacterial, which in turn helps with rashes.  I've added  Bee's Wax to help make the soft oils a little more firm. Zinc oxide is used as a drying agent.  I made some with and without the Zinc oxide.  I like to have some on hand for non-rash purposes.

Ingredients:

·         Dried Chamomile 2 heaping Tbsp
·         Dried Calendula 2 heaping Tbsp
·         Coconut Oil 1 cup
·         Shea Butter 1/2 cup
·         Bee's Wax 1/4 cup
·         Vitamin E 1/4 tsp
·         Zinc Oxide (optional) 1 tsp


Equipment:

·         Measuring cups and spoons
·         Heat Seal Bath Tea Bag
·         Hot Iron
·         Double boiler
·         Balm Pots


Herbal Infused Baby Balm
Directions:

Measure your Chamomile and Calendula flowers into the heat seal bag.  Using your home iron on the hot setting, seal the bag.  You can add your herbs directly to the oil, but trust me when I say this will save you the time and mess of straining later.

Add an inch or two of water into the bottom pan of your double boiler and bring to a boil.  Meanwhile, measure out your oils and bee's wax into the top double boiler pan.  Turn your heat down to simmer and place pan of oils over, toss in your herbal tea bag, cover, and let simmer 1-2 hours.  As the oils heat you should smell the sweet aroma of the herbs infusing into the oils.  Be sure to check your water level so it doesn't boil dry.  Do not allow the oils to boil.

After the two hours, turn off heat and let oils cool to room temperature.  Don't let the oils start to solidify.  Carefully remove the tea bag and gentle squeeze oils from bag.  Add in the vitamin E and stir.  Here is where you add the Zinc oxide.  I split my batch, putting zinc oxide in only half of the batch.  Zinc oxide helps keep the rash dry and thickens your balm at the same time.  I like to have some on hand for minor rashes or just to soften skin without the oxide.  Pour into small pots.  I used a thick walled cosmetic jar and two recycled/sanitized baby food jars (for the zinc oxide portion).  Small canning jars would work nice too.

Let cool.  Put a lid on your balms and store near your diapering station or in your diaper bag.

Use liner with cloth diapers





**NOTE:  If cloth diapering, you will want to use a liner when using this balm as the oils can cause build-up that will render your diapers ineffective.  I use a scrap of flannel or an old t-shirt cut, but you can also purchase disposable diaper liners.  Also be sure to wash the liners separately from your diapers. 


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