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Coconut oil is a wonderful natural product to use on babies. As moms, we are always looking for the best natural option to treat our babies. So many products on the market these days have so many chemicals you don’t even know what you are truly putting on your baby.
I was astounded at all the uses and benefits that coconut oil provides for babies. As a new mother, I was excited to try it, and boy did it deliver. I love it! I still use it on my kids today and on myself as well.
If my husband gets a scrape or bruise he knows what I’m going to say, “Get the coconut oil!” He may laugh about it, but he has seen the results firsthand. This stuff is amazing!
Why is coconut oil so amazing for babies?
Coconut oil has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. This makes coconut oil perfect to use on babies. It is a natural product for both external and internal uses.
The saturated fats in coconut oil are in the form of Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) which make them easily digestible. When coconut oil is consumed, the MCTs get transferred straight to the liver for energy production.
You want to make sure to get Unrefined Organic Coconut Oil when you are using it for your baby. It is extracted from fresh coconut and treated in a way that preserves all of the beneficial properties. It also has the highest amount of antioxidants.
So how do you use coconut oil on babies?
Given all the natural benefits it provides, the uses of coconut oil are endless. There are, however, some especially great uses for coconut oil when it comes to a new baby.
1. Get Rid of Cradle Cap Naturally
Cradle cap is very common in newborns. It can be patchy scaly crusts on the scalp or very oily or dry skin that has flaky white or yellow scales. It is mostly on the scalp but can also be on the face (usually ears and nose) or groin area.
It is usually not itchy or uncomfortable for the newborn, they are just difficult to remove. This is where coconut oil comes in.
Apply some coconut oil to the affected areas and let it sit for 10-20 minutes. Then use a soft baby brush to remove the crusty area. Be very gentle.
Rinse with lukewarm water. You may have to repeat. Just remember to be gentle and don’t scrub the affected area.
2. Cure Baby Eczema
Baby eczema or atopic dermatitis is a condition most babies get during their first few months. It can look like patches of red or dry skin.
It mostly affects their face and joints of their arms and legs, but it can show up anywhere on their body.
Your baby will most likely outgrow it, but in the meantime, you can treat it with coconut oil.
It can be itchy and irritating which could cause them to scratch it and make it worse.
Apply coconut oil as a moisturizer daily to soothe and hydrate the affected area. It will gradually treat eczema.
3. Relieve Diaper Rash Quickly
Babies get diaper rash quite easily during their first few months. Their skin is very sensitive and the smallest irritation can cause diaper rash.
Coconut oil can act as a barrier to prevent any further irritation and help heal the existing diaper rash. This is especially helpful if they are experiencing a lot of runny poops leading to diaper blowouts.
Apply to the groin area during every diaper change to treat irritated skin.
This is also a great alternative to other diaper rash creams because it does not ruin cloth diapers.
4. Treat Baby Acne
Baby acne is acne that develops on a newborn’s face. It usually appears on the cheeks, nose, and forehead.
It is temporary and will usually last only a few months. Coconut oil is a great treatment for baby acne. It moisturizes the skin without irritating the acne any further.
Apply a small amount to the affected area to moisturize and help treat the acne.
5. Get your baby relief from teething pain
Coconut oil is a natural anti-inflammatory. Applying coconut oil directly on their gums can relieve their discomfort and soothe inflammation.
You can also apply a small amount onto their teething rings/toys to help alleviate the pain as they gum it.
6. Remove Meconium Easily off a Newborn
Meconium is the first bowel movement of a newborn. It is very sticky and tar-like. Removing from the baby’s bottom can sometimes irritate the skin since it takes some time to remove.
Apply coconut oil to the baby’s bottom after every diaper change for easier removal during the next diaper change.
The coconut oil provides a barrier on the baby’s skin and allows meconium to be easily wiped away.
7. Use during a Baby Massage
Coconut oil is a great moisturizer for delicate newborn skin. Most creams and lotions only moisturize the topmost layer of skin.
Coconut oil has deeper benefits for the skin by hydrating the skin beyond the top layer and reducing water loss. It is great to apply after a bath or a shower if you shower with your baby.
Adding in a massage to their nightly routine helps babies sleep better and can reduce colic. The I Love You baby massage is also great for helping trapped gas move and relieve the baby of uncomfortable gas pains when you can’t get your baby to burp.
Massaging with coconut oil not only moisturizers their skin but also allows you to bond with your baby.
Related Post: How to transition baby to their crib.
8. Natural Sunscreen
Coconut oil contains antioxidants that help protect the skin from harmful radiation. Coconut oil alone is only about 4 SPF, so it is not a sufficient sunscreen on its own.
Note: Always consult a doctor before using natural remedies.
9. Helps with digestion and constipation
Coconut oil has increased levels of MCFAs (medium-chain fatty acids). These fats contain Lauric acid and capris acid which help against infection from bacteria or viruses.
They boost the baby’s immune systems and promote healthy digestion. Healthy digestion in turn relieves constipation.
An easy way for your baby to ingest a little is to use it in place of nipple cream if you are breastfeeding. Not only does it relieve your sore nipples but gives your baby the benefits of ingesting it. Coconut oil was a lifesaver during my breastfeeding journey.
You can also use it in place of oil when cooking your food and your baby will receive the health benefits through the breastmilk produced.
At 6 months when your baby can start Baby Led Weaning, use coconut oil to cook some Baby Led Weaning Banana pancakes (see recipe here).
Related Post: 14 Tips to Survive Breastfeeding for the first time.
10. Use on bumps and bruises
Coconut oil can be applied to bruises to help speed up the healing process. Bruises heal over time, but when applying coconut oil it reduces redness and swelling to promote faster healing.
It also provides a barrier on any scraps or cuts with its antimicrobial benefits and protects any wound from outside particles getting in. This allows the damaged tissue to heal faster.
This becomes especially important when they start crawling and trying to walk. Then again when your toddler becomes more active and is able to enjoy all of these fun toddler activities.
Note: Coconut Allergy
While the benefits of coconut oil are numerous and work wonders for most, there is also the possibility of a coconut allergy. Always be careful when introducing anything new to your baby.
Be sure to consult your health care physician before trying any new remedy for your baby.