Yes, you can make your own baby products!
With just a few simple ingredients and a small amount of attention you can make amazingly useful products for your baby. Whenever possible use organic ingredients. It's fun to experiment and come up with your own recipe, too, by mixing & matching ingredients from the different recipes, or adding your own special touch.
Making your own Wipe Solution and Baby Wipes:
- For dry wipes: Simply mix the ingredients into a spray bottle, and use with wipes or washcloths.
- For wet wipes: You can use an empty commercial wipes container or any lidded container. Mix the ingredients seperately. Place the wipes in the container, then add the solution, and invert a few times to make sure the wipes all get sufficiently moistened. Use just enough solution to moisten. Extra solution can generally be kept refrigerated.
Recipe for Basic Wipes
1/8-1/4 c. baby shampoo
1/8-1/4 c. vegetable oil (apricot or sunflower)
2 cups lukewarm water
Basic Wipes Variation
1 ½ - 3 cups water
1/8 cup olive oil (apricot or sunflower too)
3-5 drops tea tree oil
8 drops lavender oil
Shake gently with 1 T (1/8 cup) baby shampoo
Pour over cloth wipes or can be kept in a spray bottle near changing station.
Anti-fungal Baby Wipes
1/2 c. distilled water
1 tsp. vinegar
1/4 c. aloe vera gel
1 TBS. calendula oil
1 drop lavender essential oil
1 drop tea tree essential oil
This solution gently discourages yeast diaper rashes. The vinegar and essential oils discourage yeast growth which means you shouldn't have too much trouble with these wipes getting moldy. To prepare, use a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Pour all your ingredients in, cover the jar and shake to blend the ingredients. Place your wipes in a container and pour on enough solution to moisten them. Store any extra solution in the fridge. It should stay fresh for a long time especially if you used distilled water. If a baby had a really red, raw diaper rash you might not want to use these wipes as vinegar may cause a burning sensation.
Make your own Teething Gel:
Teething gel ointment
1 ounce pure vegetable glycerin or vegetable oil
2 drops essential oil of clove
Add one drop of clove to your glycerin and shake it until it is well blended. Test it on yourself to make sure it is not too strong before adding another drop. For a young baby I use 2 drops. You could use vegetable oil instead of glycerin if you want. Glycerin is very sweet so it makes the remedy a bit more appealing.
Make Your Own Herbal Diaper Salve:
To make salve, we extract the beneficial properties of herbs in oil, then add beeswax to harden the oil.
These recipes require you to use parts rather than a specific volume of each herb. This technique allows you to easily adapt the recipe. If you want a small amount of salve you can choose one tablespoon as your part, if you want a large amount of salve you might choose 1/2 - 1 cup as your part.
The amount of oil needed is enough to completely cover the herbs, plus an inch of oil above the level of the herbs. The tricky part of this is determining exactly how much beeswax is needed to harden the salve. You can approximate the proportions based on the following equivalents. One pint of oil will need about 1 1/2 ounces of beeswax, or one ounce of oil will need about 1/2 teaspoon of beeswax. There are about 5 teaspoons of beeswax in an ounce.
If you intend to make your salve using freshly collected plants, you will want to clean them. Do this by shaking them to remove dirt then spread the herbs out to allow them to air dry for several hours (until wilted) to reduce the moisture content. Fresh chickweed, for example, contains a lot of moisture and this water content could cause your salve to spoil quickly.
To begin your salve-
- measure the desired amount of herbs into an enamel or stainless steel pan, or into a crock pot.
- Cover the herbs with oil. Use enough oil to cover the herbs plus another inch of oil above the level of herbs.
- Heat the herbs and oil over a low heat for several hours ( about 3 hours). If you are using roots you should heat the oil longer( about 5 hours). I strongly encourage you to use a crock pot for heating your oil because it operates at a controlled low temperature which is less likely to be a fire hazard. If you don't use a crock pot then use a double boiler.
- After heating, cool your oil for awhile. Set up a strainer lined with cheesecloth then pour the oil through to strain. When most of the oil has filtered through the cheesecloth, pick up the cheesecloth, keeping the herbs enclosed, and squeeze as much oil as possible from the herbs and cloth.
- Add beeswax to the oil and heat it until all the wax is melted. To test to see if your salve is hard enough, put some on a spoon and set it in a cool place for a few minutes. If your salve is too soft, add more beeswax.
- If you are using essential oils or Vitamin E you can blend them in now.
- Finally, pour your salve into containers and label.
- Heat 1 cup olive oil and 3/4 cup chopped herbs in a stainless steel, enameled or ceramic pan. Simmer at low for 30 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon occasionally. This helps to extract the herb essences and keeps it from burning.
- Cool slightly, strain out any chunks of herbs remaining.
- Return oil to pan and add 1/4 cup of grated beeswax. Stir gently to melt wax (you may need a bit of gentle heat to do this).
- Place a drop on a plate and freeze for a few minutes to see if it hardens. If it doesn't, add more beeswax; if it's too hard to spread on your skin easily, just add a bit more oil.
- Store in a jar, labeled with ingredients and date.
Suggested wild herbs to gather: cottonwood buds (late-fall or winter), pussy willow bark (early spring), chickweed, yarrow and plantain (look in your garden or lawn!).
Additional Uses: chapped lips and hands, scrapes from fall, minor burns, sunburn and bug bites
Make your own Baby Powder:
Fragrant baby powder
- ½ pound cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon lavender essential oil
Place cornstarch in a self-sealing plastic bag and add the essential oil drop by drop. Tightly close the bag and shake it to distribute the oil, breaking up any clumps through the bag. Let stand 4 days to distribute the essential oil. Use with every diaper change, or as needed. Potato starch or arrowroot powder can be used instead of cornstarch.
Spice or salt shakers with large perforations in their lids make good powder containers.
Make your own Deodorant Disks for the Diaper Pail:
First find yourself a mold - you can use paper muffin cups in muffin tins, candy molds, plastercine, whatever you want.
Start by mixing:
- 2 cups baking soda
- some essential oil from the "antibacterials" (I use lavender or pine or cypress, or citrus oils for mine)
- Mix in enough distilled or boiled water to make a thick frosting like paste.
- Pour or pat into the mold (Press about One-half inch of paste into each muffin paper) and let dry 24 hours. It only takes a day or so as long as you don't add too much water.
Wrap them well and store away until you need one. Tear the paper off before use. Each disk lasts for a month or so of deodorizing (or however long you find it effective). When the pail gets a bit smelly break it up and use the old disc to help clean out the pail. I find as well as deodorizing it works well softening the diapers when you launder them.
They smell MUCH better than any you can buy, are simple and cheap to make, and better for the environment.
Make your own Play-dough:
- 1 cup flour
- 1TBS cooking Oil
- 1 cup Water
- 1/2 cup Salt
- 2 TSP Cream of Tartar
- Dash of food coloring or Earth Paint (if desired)
Cook above ingredients over medium heat until it forms a ball. Knead until it's nice and smooth, then store in an airtight container. If desired you can add essential oils to make for a sweet smelling experience too. Lasts a very long time!