So often we hear about "chemicals" being bad and "natural" being good - to put it simplistically. Unfortunately, when it comes to babies there are some exceptions.
Natural products which contain ingredients derived from allergens should be approached with caution. This is because when the body is first recognizing an allergen, like peanuts, it needs to be ingested (eaten). When we use it on the skin before starting solids, the body can recognize it as foreign. Then when we do give peanuts, as part of introducing solids, babies can react to it.
The top allergens include:
- honey (may contain botulism)
- tree nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts etc.)
The oils of many of these are fine to use BUT (and this is a big butt - all puns intended), so long as they don't contain any of the protein. Technically they shouldn't by definition (as oils are fats not proteins), but there's a always a possibility of traces or more depending on the purity. Therefore it is recommended if you've found something you like and it contains nut oils or honey for example, it is best to ask the company if there are traces of protein (or botulism in the case of honey) before using these on your baby if they haven't been introduced to this allergen/haven't started solids yet.
If baby has been introduced to these allergens and is fine, you can use any natural product containing things like nut oils as bubs has already been in contact with these through food.
This isn't to scare parents. Allergies are on the rise and this can be one way to help prevent a reaction when introducing them around 6months (starting solids).
Some of my personal favourite products are Natures Touch (www.naturestouch.co.nz). These are designed by an NZ midwife, do not contain high levels/undiluted essential oils (not safe for babies under 3months), and have organic plant seed oils as the base.
We stock Botty Balm (or as we call it "everything balm") which is safe to use with our Kekoa nappies.
Kekoa's owner Alexis is a midwife and nutritionist and loves to help new parents navigate all that comes with parenting. She regularly presents new topics to help inform you, and always aims for a balanced approach.