Babies are more vulnerable than anyone to the many harsh and dangerous chemicals lurking in most household products, even those supposedly designed for them. And we want to protect them more than anyone.

Following the spotless approach to washing your baby’s clothing, linen etc. as well as cleaning your home the spotless way will go a long way to help prevent skin irritations, rashes, and respiratory problems and reduce her risks of ever developing asthma, allergies, eczema, psoriasis, as well as cancers, nervous disorders and reproductive abnormalities. All these are threats that most “ordinary” household products, even baby products, carry.

Here are some spotless ways to take care of your baby simply and naturally.

Baby wash

  • Wash babies with a little olive oil and water.
  • For grubby toddlers, a little bicarb moistened with warm water will gently remove any grime.
  • Add a strong pot of Rooibos tea to your baby’s bath to soothe and heal eczema or rashes.

Baby shampoo

  • Wash babies’ hair with plain water.
  • To treat cradle cap, rub your baby’s scalp with coconut oil (or olive oil). Leave for a few minutes and rinse.
  • To wash out oily residue (or sticky mysteries), mix a quarter of a teaspoon of bicarb with a quarter cup of warm water and pour carefully over baby’s head. Leave for a minute, then rub gently and rinse well.
  • For older toddlers, wash hair with the same bicarb solution above (or you can increase to half a teaspoon bicarb). Rinse and follow with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with a quarter cup of water. Be careful to avoid your child’s eyes. Rinse or, for dry or knotty hair, leave the vinegar solution in.
  • To help detangle toddlers’ hair, mix a quarter cup of apple cider vinegar and half a cup of water and keep in a spray bottle. Spray on before brushing.

Baby moisturiser and nappy cream

  • Coconut oil is a fabulous all over skin conditioner for babies. It heals, protects, soothes, and treats dry skin.
  • Coconut oil makes a great nappy cream too and is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal so fights nappy rash without clogging pores.
  • Olive oil has similar properties and can also be used as a moisturiser and in place of nappy cream.
  • Make a wonderful all-purpose baby cream (which is great for adults too) by blending a cup of coconut oil with a quarter cup of olive oil. Add a few drops of lavender essential oil, and / or some aloe ferox (or vera) gel. Store in a dark, cool place.

Baby powder

  • Mix one part bicarb with six parts cornstarch for a safe alternative to baby powders that contain talc (a suspected carcinogen and cause of respiratory problems).
  • The bicarb deodorises and helps fight infection while the cornstarch absorbs moisture away from the skin.
  • (This mixture also makes a brilliant deodorant or aftershave powder.)
  • Don’t use this powder if your baby has a yeast infection as the yeast will feed on the carbohydrates in cornstarch.

Baby wipes

For tiny babies we suggest you stick to cotton wool and water, or even better Rooibos tea (see our blog about this). But for older babies and outings, baby wipes are great.

These wipes may sound a little complicated to make at first but now only take us a few minutes to make. They work very well: they’re perhaps a little less robust than “ordinary” wipes but are very effective and gentle. If yours tear easily use less water, or more if they seem too dry (paper towels do vary in thickness; we buy the cheapest brand and they work just fine). The oils mean that you hardly need to use nappy cream.

  • Remove half a roll of (preferably unbleached) kitchen paper towels from the roll, folding each towel in half as you go, concertina style. You will now have a flat pile. Folding this way only takes a minute and will be handy for when you use them. Half a roll makes enough for one batch – about 50 wipes.
  • Cut the pile in half so that you have two smaller, squarer piles, which you stack.
  • Put your pile of folded towels into a baby wipe box or any plastic box with a good lid.
  • In a cup or small jug, pour a tablespoon of olive oil and about 10 drops of lavender essential oil over a tablespoon of salt.
  • Leave for a few minutes to allow the oils to become absorbed by the salt.
  • (You can also use a few drops of tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is great but don’t use it if your baby has a nappy rash or very sensitive skin as it can sting. Rather stick with soothing lavender oil in this case.)
  • Add half a cup of freshly boiled water, or preferably Rooibos (or chamomile) tea.
  • (You can also add a tablespoon of pure aloe vera or aloe ferox gel for extra healing power and an added treat for baby’s skin.)
  • Whisk all the ingredients together briskly, making sure that the salt is completely dissolved and everything is well mixed.
  • Pour the hot liquid over the paper towels so that it soaks through them all.
  • Allow them to cool.
  • Use like shop bought wipes, but store in a dark cool place.
  • You can use cloth wipes (muslin works well) with the same recipe. Soak the used cloth wipes with your nappies and wash. Used and washed nappy liners work well too.
  • (Don’t make more than half a roll of paper towel wipes at a time as they can get mouldy. Tea tree essential oil helps avoid this.)

You can have a look at some images in this blog post.

Nappy soak

  • To soak nappies, add a quarter cup of bicarb to five litres of water.
  • Alternatively (or as well), add a quarter cup of vinegar to the water.
  • Either (or both) will keep germs and smells at bay as well as gently cleaning and softening fabric.
  • Wash nappies as other laundry.
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