There are many reasons that parents to decide to cloth-diaper their babies. Some to save money, some to reduce the amount of waste they put into landfills and some because they want to keep the chemicals and toxins founds in disposable diapers and disposable wipes away from their baby’s sensitive skin. Two out my three children have extremely sensitive skin. They are prone to eczema, rashes and minor irritations from many products that my oldest daughter can easily tolerate. One of the most common, all natural and soothing treatments for inflamed, itchy and irritated skin is an oatmeal bath. You can buy pre-made oatmeal bath products or you can simply fill a small cloth bag with raw, whole oats, tie it with a string and toss into a warm bath.
Here are some interesting facts about oatmeal:
- Oatmeal contains saponins! If I hadn’t just written a blog on the gentle, yet effective laundry cleaning properties of soap nuts, I wouldn’t know that saponins are nature’s cleansers that soak up dirt and oil. In the digestive system, the saponins soak up cholesterol and flush it out of the body.
- Oatmeal contains fats or lipids. If you give your sensitive-skinned baby a warm oatmeal bath, be sure to pat him dry instead of rubbing. This will help the lipids to remain on the skin and form a barrier to keep moisture locked in. Oatmeal also contains phenols which work as both an anti-oxidant and an anti-inflammatory. You can even mix a little oatmeal and water to exfoliate your face with the paste. It will be gentle yet leave your skin feeling soft and clean. Or add some honey and make a mask. Leave it on for 10 minutes before washing it off.
- Colloidal Oatmeal is simply made from whole grain oatmeal that has been blended into a fine powder that adheres to strict guidelines regarding particle size and fat content. This makes it easier to add to soaps, lotions and shampoos. You can make your own finely ground oatmeal by simply grinding dry whole grain oats in a blender. This means that you can add the powder directly to the bath, without the cloth bag. Tossing whole oats in may leave you with a clogged drain and a dirty tub.
Does your baby have sensitive skin? If so, do you buy oatmeal products or do you make your own? Please share any other uses you have for oatmeal or any other all natural tips for soothing your baby’s sensitive skin.