Coconut oil is brilliant for babies with a host of uses and here at the RealFoodSource we have a new addition, baby Sam arrived at the beginning of August and is absolutely adorable!
As a new mum I'm amazed at the amount of baby care products you can buy, there are loads on the shelf marketed to parents with claims such as "as pure as cotton wool and water". A quick check of the label shows that most of them are made with mineral oils which are petroleum or paraffin based. My first thought is why would I put a by product of the petrochemicals industry on my little one? Their skin is so soft and delicate and deserves the utmost respect.
So I got out our organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil in the first few weeks and began to use it for moisturising Sam after a bath and as a massage oil for his tummy as he's had quite a bit of colic over the last few weeks. It's absolutely perfect. I rub half a teaspoon full into my hands and it melts perfectly into his skin as you can see in the pic. It makes him lovely and soft, heals up any dry patches and makes him smell lovely to boot. We got his first smiles during one of the massages last week so I think I've got his seal of approval too!
A quick google for other ideas a few weeks ago has shown me a host of other uses too. There are so many possibilities for coconut oil with it's anti fungal, anti bacterial and anti inflammatory qualities. I've now started to use it for his cradle cap, as a nappy cream and am taking it to enhance my breast milk too.
For cradle cap simply massage a small amount into your little ones head, leave for half an hour then using a small baby comb brush through very gently to remove the scales. Washing the hair in the bath then removes completely. For nappy cream I apply during every nappy change, especially to the little crevasses and the antimicrobial properties of the oil keeps rashes at bay.
For breast milk simply take the recommended 3 and half tablespoons a day while you are nursing. I do this through a combination of smoothies, cookies and bars that we bake (see recipes section) and eating chunks of our new 60% coconut milk powder as a snack, it's quite sweet and is like a natural bounty bar especially if you have it with our chocolate! I seem to have a constant sweet tooth while I'm nursing. The 60% is the coconut oil content.
The reason it enhances your breast milk is because coconut oil is pretty unique in that it also contains the medium chain fatty acids (MCFA) found in breast milk in the form of caprylic, capric and predominantly lauric acid. Most of the fat we eat contains the long chain fatty acids. The MCFAs in breast milk provide the source of nourishment as well as protection against infections. The more MCFAs in the milk, the healthier the baby is likely to be. The MCFAs in human breast milk can be as low as 3 or 4%. Studies have shown that when coconut oil is added to the diet it can increate MCFA content to as much as 18%. *. Sam has definitely been growing like a mushroom since I've been taking it daily!
It is really important that if you do decide to use coconut oil on and for your little one you get a quality one. Go for extra virgin and cold pressed as this will ensure that all the wonderful properties are not lost in the extraction process. Also buy organic if you can too, I used our RealFoodSource organic Sri Lankan (can buy in 1ltr and 500ml) and Filipino oils (1ltr) which are delightful.
I really do love using our gorgeous oil in this new way as it has so many amazing properties and I wanted to share with other new parents out there. Sam's skin is glowing and he's thriving! We really don't need the magnitude of baby products and quite often the simple things we have in our larder are the best.
*from Coconut Cures, Bruce Fife, N.D.