essential oils: mama and babe.

May 16, 2012, Michaela Evanow, 10 Comments

Tea Tree Oil

There are loads of ways to use tea tree oil, but two methods that I am particularly fond of. I ran into both issues with Florence, and I’m sure most mothers face these problems with a new baby: thrush and cradle cap.

For thrush my midwife suggested mixing one drop of tea tree oil with half a cup of purified water (I used distilled) and then swabbing the inside of baby’s mouth with a Q-tip. Although Florence gagged a bit, she didn’t seem to mind, especially because I washed it down with some milk! The thrush cleared up in a few days and I only swabbed her mouth twice. You can tell if it’s thrush and not simply the milky coating newborns get because it wont rub off with a cloth or it may bleed a little when touched.

I would humbly suggest avoiding gentian violet to treat thrush, as studies have been released that link it to cancer of the mouth. Of course, you may have to use a lot of it, but still. If you do decide it’s needed because the thrush is chronic, try using some non-petroleum jelly on baby’s lips before feeding, so the gentian violet doesn’t spread everywhere and cause purple mouth mayhem.

For cradle cap, I use a drop of tea tree oil mixed in with a natural and organic foaming shampoo I use for Flo’s scalp. Cradle cap can take some time to go away, but she has never had full blown cradle cap because I tend to it every day (a bit obsessively if you ask me). I brush her scalp with a soft baby brush, then run some coconut oil over the dry bits and comb through the flakes with a fine toothed comb. Then I finish with the tea tree oil shampoo mix and rinse well. I also put a little natural lotion on afterwards to keep her scalp supple.

What have your experiences been with thrush or cradle cap?

Now that I’m cloth diapering, I’m finding that using disposable wipes, however sweet and soft and organic they are, are a bit more of a hassle. I have two bins, one for disposable wipes and one for dirty cloth diapers. I use cloth wipes for pees, but am not quite ready to transition over to cloth wipes for the big #2. Little miss doesn’t go everyday, and on the days that she does go…well…it takes a few wipes and elbow grease and often a bath to get her clean! In my experience the best disposable wipes out there are Earth’s Best Chlorine Free Wipes. They have a fantastic texture, are moist enough, but don’t leave residue on baby’s bum, and of course, are nice and gentle. If you use disposable diapers, like I do on occasion, I also highly recommend their Chlorine Free Diapers.

I’m looking for some good cloth wipes to make the transition from disposable to cloth easier. I’ve been using old cut up receiving blankets, but as we all know, they fray after a while. I am not a sewer, so a simple surge or whatever you call it won’t do. I will probably buy some from eBay, since the only ones I can find around here are stupidly expensive and only come in 5 packs.

In any case, here is what I have hanging around Flo’s change station.

Babushka Mama’s Baby Bum Spray

  • 1 tsp liquid castile soap (I like Dr. Bronner’s Rose or Lavender soap)
  • 1 drop lavender essential oil
  • 1 drop tea tree oil
  • 2 cups distilled water

Mix together in a spray bottle, dilute if necessary. Use with cloth wipes. Some mums prefer simply using water, but I like to get the bum really clean, plus the essential oils are soothing and antibacterial. Distilled water avoids wasting water, because it can sit without growing any bacteria, which means you don’t have to change it every day.

Finally, every mama needs a perk. This is my favourite blend for spritzing.

Morning Glory Energizing Spray for Mama

  • 1/4 cup distilled water (usually fills a 3 oz spray bottle)
  • 1 tsp. alcohol
  • 10 drops grapefruit essential oil
  • 5 drops lime essential oil
  • 4 drops ylang ylang essential oil
  • 5 drops orange essential oil
Mix all ingredients together in spray bottle and give it a little shake. I shake my bottle before every spray, which is every morning, because this mama needs some energizing bright and early. Don’t we all!


  • Reply Going Coverless May 21, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    I sent the Beautiful Blogger Award your way–because you’re a beautiful blogger. 🙂 Check it out!

  • Reply The Laundry Lady May 17, 2012 at 6:27 AM

    I recommend wipes from Mama Bear Baby Wear on Etsy. Best combination of quality and prices I’ve found. Or you can try the bumGenius brand wipes. Most of my bumGenius wipes are still alive and well for baby number two, though a couple are fraying. Personally I recommend at least 3 dozen wipes so you don’t find yourself running out while you are doing wash. Plus they work great to wipe runny noses and dirty faces in the a pinch. You can buy from Cotton Babies and they will ship for free. I use a couple of drops of Kissaluvs Diaper Lotion Potion and then shake it up in a sprayer full of water. It lasts a long time this way.

    • Reply Michaela. May 17, 2012 at 10:36 AM

      Thank you! I will check them out on Etsy.

  • Reply Natalie B May 16, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    omg Mrs Loguacious! I am so going to use your trick for combating silverfish, they are rampant at my house!

    BMomma, I’m wondering, does cradle cap eventually go away on it’s own even if you don’t treat it? My little boy is nine months old and has always had a full head of hair (right from birth!). I noticed he does have a little bit of scaliness on his scalp, but I haven’t been doing anything for it.

    • Reply Michaela. May 17, 2012 at 10:40 AM

      Natalie, yes apparently cradle cap does go away on it’s own. Usually by 12 months it clears up. If not, you might want to ask your doctor. Also if cradle crap creeps past the forehead and cheek area, but that’s rare. Florence has mild cradle cap along her brow rim and then her ears, but it’s not a problem. Even with treatment it can still come back. It’s just one of those things!

  • Reply bmack May 16, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    do you make your own soap or have suggestions on store bought soap for baby/kid baths? Thanks! Love your blog 🙂

    • Reply Michaela. May 18, 2012 at 10:43 AM

      Hello! I don’t make my own soap…I’m not that crunchy! 🙂 But I do use Aleva Naturals for my baby, although it’s a Canadian company, I believe. It’s really gentle and Florence has never had a reaction. I always make sure that the soap/body wash/shampoo I’m using is free from Sulphates, Parabens, EDTA, Petroleum…in fact I think your question has inspired a post!

  • Reply Mrs Loquacious May 16, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    Baby L didn’t develop thrush (thank God!) but had a teensy bit of cradle cap. I use Aleva Naturals Baby Hair & Body Wash (which contains Tea Tree Oil, chamomile and oatmeal) to help keep it at bay. For the bum, I am using Tawna Hill Baby Hydra-Mist Changing Spray to prevent diaper rash; it has witch hazel, tea tree oil, lavender, aloe vera, rosemary oil, green tea extract… and the list goes on and on 😉 But it smells nice!

    And I’ve discovered that, to get rid of silverfish (a pesky little problem in my bathroom), some rosemary oil and lavender oil soaked into a cotton ball (strategically placed) repulses them but makes my bathroom smell great! 😉

    • Reply Michaela. May 17, 2012 at 10:35 AM

      Yes, I use Aleva too! It’s great stuff!! I tried using peppermint oil to repel ants but it didn’t work. According to my aromatherapy book it was one of the oils that would work…we ended up cutting down the large bush that they were climbing up to access the window…haha.

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