As parents we are so diligent about keeping toxic substances away from our precious children. So when they become mobile we quickly lock up under sinks and cabinets all those conventional cleaning products, car oils, paints, etc.
Except we forget one. Baby oil.
You read that right. Baby oil can be extremely dangerous, even fatal, to children yet it sits on top of changing tables waiting for those little hands to reach and grab.
Baby oil is such a staple in baby care isn’t it? I remember being pregnant with my little man and wanting to buy all those sweet smelling baby products and imagining myself giving my new baby a body massage. Never did it cross my mind just how dangerous this product really is. And it makes me mad that large companies pray on unsuspecting parents and are putting the lives of innocent children at risk.
What exactly is the danger in baby oil?
For starters baby oil is 100% mineral oil. Mineral oil is a product of petroleum distillation. According to Mother Nature Network, mineral oil acts as a plastic wrap clogging the pores, blocking the skins ability to absorb moisture as well as the ability to release any toxins back out into the skin surface (source). What’s even worse, as stated in one of my previous post 6 Ingredients to Avoid in Baby Products, (a guest post from Loriel at Healthy Roots, Happy Soul) we learned that mineral oil has been linked to 23 different diseases, and it can bioaccumulate in fat tissue and in breastmilk. More often than not, baby oil also contains other additives like synthetic fragrances which are non other than phthalates. Phthalates are endocrine disrruptors, responsible for male reproductive issues among many other problems (source).
A quick google research will yield some horrific articles on cases when children have ingested or aspirated baby oil and died a painful and slow death. I am not going for shock value here so I chose not to include any links to such articles. Plus, any tragic story involving children really affect me now that I am a mom.
Make your own all natural baby oil
You’ll laugh at how easy it is to make your own. All you need are two simple ingredients:
- Organic oil such as: olive oil, sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil, avocado, or jojoba oil
- Organic herbs such as: chamomile, calendula, or lavender (click on the hyperlinks to see where to buy)
You can get creative with different combinations of oils and herbs. To learn about the benefits or herbal infused oils and for the tutorial check out this previous post.
Homemade Soothing Baby Oil
- 4 oz. organic olive oil
- 4 oz organic sweet almond oil
- 1 cup dry organic chamomile flowers
- 1/2 cup dry calendula petals
- Add herbs into a mason jar, and fill with oil. (see full instructions for infusing here)
- When oil is done infusing, strain oil with a fine mesh strainer, a cheese cloth, or a thin clean T-shirt
- Using a small funnel add the strained oil into a clean container of your choice
- If desired add 5 drops of pure chamomile essential oil. I didn’t do this, oil was fragrant enough
While infusing the oil I use a 12 0z. mason jar like this one, for the final product I reused an empty bottle when the sweet almond oil came in, but you can keep it any container of your choice, just make sure it’s clean prior to putting the oil in it. If you don’t have any containers to reuse, you can find empty lotion containers here. If you are making this oil as a present for a soon-to-be or new mom, I recommend this book on baby massage, wouldn’t that make the cutest and most thoughtful present!?
Free Downloadable Label
If you like the label I created, you can download the PDF file by clicking on the link below. If it’s not the right size for the container you have chosen, you can save it in a Word document and fiddle with the size that way. I used a full sheet label paper like this one.