Homemade Baby Products: 20 Recipes

Natural, Homemade Baby Products: 20 Easy Recipes

Many moms choose to use cloth diapers to keep chemicals away from their babies’ delicate skin. Do you follow this same line of thinking when it comes to other baby products as well?

There’s a growing movement of concern about body (including baby) products that contain carcinogenic chemicals such as 1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde. Phthalates and parabens, both of which have been linked to hormonal and reproductive abnormalities, can also be found in many personal-care products. Unfortunately, none of these chemicals are regulated in the United States. Plus, the ingredients in fragrances don’t have to be disclosed – manufacturers can just lump all those chemicals into the word “fragrance”.

I’m certainly not an expert in these issues, and I don’t mean the above paragraph to cause unnecessary fears. Sometimes I’m not sure whether these things are worth worrying about. We’ll always be exposed to things like this in some regard just by living in modern society.

However, I’ve been having fun and $aving Money by experimenting with making my own baby products lately, and by doing so, I have confidence that I’m not putting weird preservatives or other unknown chemicals in products that touch my baby! If you’re looking to try your hand at making a few baby care products yourself, start with the list below!

Homemade Diaper Ointments

Make your own diaper rash ointment

Homemade Baby Wipe Solutions

Make Your Own Baby Wipe Solutions

Homemade Baby Shampoo

Make Your Own Baby Shampoo

Homemade Baby Lotion

Make your own baby lotion

Homemade Teething Remedies

Homemade Teething Remedies

Homemade Nursing Balms

Three-Nursing-Balms-For-New-Mothers

Typical Ingredients

Homemade baby products are generally less expensive than store-bought. Plus, if you start making several different kinds of baby care products, you’ll find that you’re using a lot of the same ingredients in different ways, so you can buy the ingredients in larger quantities to save even more money!

The most common ingredients found in the 20 links above include:

affiliate link disclosure


Do you make your own baby products? If so, what’s your primary motivation – cost savings or chemical avoidance? Feel free to link up your favorite recipes from other sources in the comments below!

Zinc Oxide and Cloth Diapers

Does ZINC OXIDE Cause Repelling in Cloth Diapers?  -via Diaper Wrecker

I don’t have to tell you that repelling is a dirty word amongst cloth diapering parents.

“You used WHAT BRAND OF DIAPER CREAM? Omg. You’re totally going to have repelling issues.”

You probably know that fabric softeners and ultra-greasy diaper creams are common culprits when it comes to repelling. Remember when I tried to ruin a diaper with Downy and Desitin? But how about zinc oxide? It’s an ingredient found in a lot of skin-care products and it’s hailed as a great cure for diaper rash.

Zinc Oxide and Cloth Diapers – Can They Get Along?

It’s a question that most cloth-diapering parents would like an answer to, considering the large number of popular diaper creams that contain zinc oxide – some marketed as “natural” products and some not. To name just a few, you have Desitin Rapid Relief, California Baby Diaper Rash Cream, Aveeno Baby Diaper Rash Cream, Boudreaux’s Butt Paste, Badger Organic Zinc Oxide Diaper Cream, and the new GroVia Magic Stick “Z”. Plus tons more.

More often than not, I read warnings that zinc oxide and cloth diapers aren’t exactly… sympatico. (Yes, I wrote that thinking in the voice of Flynn Ryder from Tangled. I’m putting that on my list of movies to watch again soon.)

Tangled

For example:

  • According to a page on the Earth Mama Angel Baby website: “Zinc oxide coats cloth diapers and renders them non-absorbent.”
  • Similarly, the Motherlove blog indicates that “Zinc is not a cloth diaper friendly ingredient; it’s made to repel moisture from a baby’s skin so if it comes in contact with a cloth diaper unfortunately it will also work the same effects in the place where you really want absorbency.”

However, Anne over at the Zephyr Hill blog makes a fabulous case that zinc oxide has been unfairly blamed for repelling. Anne argues that it’s actually a matter of what else is in the diaper cream – after all, zinc oxide is a powder, so it has to be mixed with other ingredients to form a cream that can be applied to baby’s bottom.

Zinc Oxide Plus What?

Let’s take that list of diaper creams and examine the creamy/oily/greasy ingredients in each. Taking those other ingredients as an indication of whether the product is cloth-safe or not really matches up with most of the anecdotal evidence I’ve heard from other moms about which creams cause repelling and which don’t:

affiliate link disclosure


What’s been your experience with zinc oxide and cloth diapers? Leave your wisdom below! 

Diaper Rash Creams and Cloth Diapers

If you’re just jumping into the world of cloth diapers, you’re probably thinking, “Whew! I finally got it all straight. I’ve figured out the cloth diaper systems, materials, features, and care. Wait, now you’re telling me that I also have to be careful about what kind of diaper rash creams can be used?!”

I know. I’m sorry. But I promise that it’s not hard to sort out the compatibility of diaper rash creams and cloth diapers. You just need to look at it on the ingredient level, which is what we will do in this article.

Diaper Rash Creams and Cloth Diapers

Common Diaper Rash Cream Ingredients

Ingredients Generally Considered “Cloth-Safe”

All of the “cloth friendly” ingredients should rinse away easily in regular the hot wash cycle of your washing machine without additional cleaning measures. These ingredients are not overly greasy or thick. They are best for preventative use.

  • Beeswax – locks in moisture; naturally anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-allergenic, and germicidal
  • Vitamin E – high in antioxidants; benefits the skin by helping it retain its natural moisture content
  • Lanolin – a rich source of skin lipids
  • Shea butter – effective at repairing damaged skin due to high levels of natural antioxidants and essential fatty acids
  • Cocoa butter – a natural skin softener, high in Vitamin E
  • Aloe vera – cool and soothing; can reduce skin inflammations, itchiness, and blistering
  • Coconut oil – contains a unique combination of fatty acids that moisturize skin beautifully
  • Olive oil – a gentle moisturizer for dry skin, containing Vitamin E, Vitamin A, and four different antioxidants
  • Grapeseed oil – aids with skin repair, as it has mildly antiseptic qualities
  • Jojoba oil – acts as a natural barrier to environmental allergens, and may help slow the growth of bacteria because of its anti-microbial properties

Ingredients to Use with Caution

Paraffin, petroleum jelly, white or yellow petrolatum, and mineral oil are common ingredients to see on the labels of diaper rash creams. These ingredients are derived from hydrocarbons and put through a refining process. Because they have a heavier, greasier texture than most of the ingredients in the section above, I recommend using these with caution on cloth diapers. Test them first (like I did with Grandma El’s – which contains yellow petrolatum) or use a disposable liner as a precaution.

Zinc oxide is questionable; many sources claim that it causes repelling and stains.

Ingredients to Keep Away from Cloth Diapers

The three ingredients in diaper rash creams that you should always keep away from cloth diapers are:

  1. Cod liver oil – will cause repelling and a “fishy” smell in cloth diapers.
  2. Calamine – may cause repelling; will leave a pink stain.

Tips for Avoiding Problems with Diaper Rash Creams and Cloth Diapers

Remember, natural fibers are more forgiving when it comes to washing away any kind of build-up, because the pores of the fibers are larger. Prefolds, flats, or any natural-fiber AIO or AI2 are great to have on hand for those times when you might need to use a particularly thick ointment. My mom, Crunchy Nana, recalls using Vaseline fairly regularly with prefolds without ever encountering a repelling problem.

If you’re not sure about an ingredient (or a combination of ingredients), just go ahead and use a liner to be safe. I’ve had to turn to Triple Paste a few times to resolve a bad diaper rash quickly, and I kept using my cloth diapers. Thanks to disposable liners, I had no issues with the thick cream transferring to the diaper.

One additional caution: If you’re dealing with a yeast rash, consider switching to disposable diapers until the rash has cleared up. It’s not necessarily the creams that cause a problem with your diapers (although they might), but you could have a bigger problem with the yeast lingering in the diapers.

Stripping Greasy Build-Up from Cloth Diapers

Oops! So let’s say that you were blissfully unaware of the problems that some diaper rash creams can cause for cloth diapers. Let’s say you smeared globs and globs of the greasiest possible ointment all over your baby’s bottom and then put on the best, most expensive, most beautiful cloth diaper in your entire stash.

The horrors!

Is there any recourse?

I’m certain that you can fix any build-up problem you have. I once tried to ruin a diaper with Desitin, but was able to fully restore its absorbency with just a few extra steps. (It does still have some stubborn gray stains that won’t go away, but that doesn’t affect the performance of the diaper in any way.)


What types of diaper rash creams have you had problems with? What is your favorite “cloth-friendly” diaper rash cream?

affiliate link disclosure