essential oils: mama and babe.
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