I think you have already heard about the benefits of using natural oils to treat skin problems and keep it moisturized.
But have you heard about coconut oil for a newborn baby?
Well, coconut oil is not only good for consumption, but it has different uses for newborn babies.
They’re easy to apply, and their natural properties can be very effective in relieving skin and hair concerns.
So, let’s dig deeper into the benefits of coconut oil and how you can use it!
How Coconut Oil Is Good for Babies
Coconut oil is a NUTRIENT-RICH oil mainly used as a primary fat source of nourishment for ill and premature babies.
Besides its dietary use, coconut oil is rich in medium-chain fatty acids with medicinal and skin-protective properties.
Though there’s no report on the VCO for in vitro anti-inflammatory, its effectiveness has been demonstrated as a therapeutic aid in relieving babies’ skin concerns and infections.
It is also used as an emollient therapy for moderate pediatric atopic dermatitis and has shown the ability to increase skin capacitance.
The molecular structure of coconut oil permits it to be penetrated by the skin, making it a good moisturizer!
Plus! Applying coconut oil can enhance body temperature, breathing, and skin health and growth for babies.
However, it would help if you considered that the topical or oral use of coconut oil for babies should be done with the guidance of a pediatrician.
1. Natural Moisturizer
Coconut oil mainly consists of medium fatty acids, which are considered healthy fats. They can restore the skin’s barrier and maintain supple and soft skin.
Its structure will allow it to penetrate the pores and confine the moisture, and at the same time, it will feel LIGHT on the skin!
You can dab the coconut oil on the area with dry skin and do a baby massage until it soaks up onto the baby’s skin.
Moisturizing the baby’s skin is one of the profound benefits of coconut oil, which will stay on the skin until bath time!
NOTE: If the baby’s skin is persistently dry, you should see a doctor.
2. Helps in Treating Eczema
You will notice eczema symptoms when you see that the baby’s skin is extremely dry that it becomes itchy.
If you have ever heard of emollient therapy, it keeps the skin moisturized by combining products to help avoid atopic dermatitis flare-ups.
A study in in-vitro reveals that topical virgin coconut oil could effectively REDUCE the symptoms of eczema.
If your doctor APPROVES the application of coconut oil, you can massage your baby with the oil before or after bath time.
You can also use castile soap as a body wash, since this is an organic soap made from 100% plant oil and does NOT contain harmful chemicals such as parabens and sodium lauryl sulfate.
Regular coconut oil massage will help the baby’s eczema symptoms to disappear. You can also do this at bedtime to give sufficient hydration to the skin.
3. Relieves Diaper Rash
Diaper rash or diaper dermatitis is an inflammatory skin problem in infants, usually caused by urine absorption and diaper condition.
- A study on 117 patients with atopic dermatitis showed that applying virgin coconut oil for eight weeks is more potent than mineral oil in mitigating atopic dermatitis.
Then, gently massage the groin part of the baby, particularly in the skin folds where the rash first occurs.
Its antibacterial, antifungal, and emollient properties will help relieve Candida Albicans, which causes fungal infections and diaper rash.
Coconut oil serves as a BARRIER between the dirty diaper and the skin.
If you have no access to coconut oil, you can also use a natural diaper rash cream!
4. Removes Cradle Cap
Cradle cap or most commonly known as the dry scalp is a condition that affects infants during their first weeks after birth.
You can identify the cradle cap by its flaky skin and reddish scalp, akin to dandruff.
Fortunately, the antibacterial properties of coconut oil can be surprisingly helpful in reducing the condition!
Apply a small amount of coconut oil on the affected area by the cradle cap and massage the scalp.
Let it sit for 20 minutes or overnight to disperse the scale.
Then, you can brush off the flakes using a baby comb. After that, rinse off the oil using lukewarm water.
5. Protects Your Child’s Skin
Besides coconut oil’s antibacterial properties, it also contains anti-inflammatory properties agents to protect the skin from potential pathogens.
Coconut oil is often used in the diaper area to fend off germs and itchy rashes, and it has similar infection-fighting properties as breast milk.
Breast milk contains lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid with its infection-fighting properties.
Coconut oil is the only other NATURAL source of lauric acid. It makes up nearly 50% of pure oil.
6. Potential to Treat Baby Acne, Lice Infestations, and Insect Bites
Babies have delicate skin vulnerable to breakouts leading to itchy and swollen skin. Coconut oil has anti-inflammatory and skin protective properties that may help relieve acne.
Plenty of people have also tried to use coconut oil as a remedy for lice infestations.
You can use apple cider vinegar to wash the baby’s hair. Cover all hair with virgin coconut oil if the ACV dries out, and let the oil sit using a shower cap.
Research shows that the coconut oil’s medium chain fatty acid has insect-repellent properties that will fend off bed bugs and flies.
Its anti-inflammatory and emollient properties can also give comfort from the soreness due to mosquito bites.
You can rub the oil using your palms to warm it up and apply it to the affected area. But don’t rub too much, as this may cause discomfort to the baby.
TAKE NOTE: For the use of ACV, you can ask your pediatrician first for the recommended usage.
7. Hair Care
Coconut oil for baby care has a high MOISTURE-RETAINING ability that maintains the baby’s hair hydration.
Generally, you can use coconut oil to manage dryness, frizz, and dandruff, as it can aid in minimizing protein loss to damaged and undamaged hair.
Coconut oil for babies can be utilized as a cure beneath their locks to help the problem of cradle caps.
You can apply coconut oil to the baby’s scalp and wash it after 20 minutes. I recommend using a soft brush to eliminate flakes.
Possible Side Effects of Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is likely safe for babies, contrary to commercial moisturizers with fragrances and chemicals that can harm the baby’s skin.
Natural edible products indicate that it is safe enough for your skin, especially if babies have thinner skin barriers.
There aren’t many reported cases regarding the adverse effects of coconut oil on babies.
But if you see any negative skin reactions, stop applying oil to the baby, as he might have experienced an allergic reaction from the coconut.
The baby can experience the following side effects:
- Rashes and irritation
- Difficulty breathing
If your baby starts experiencing serious symptoms, seek medical advice immediately!
What Makes a Good Coconut Oil?
Don’t jump right into just any coconut oil that you can find, as you can use the good ones if you know the drill.
Search for the best quality virgin coconut oil that has been labeled as the following:
- Extra virgin coconut oil
- Cold pressed
Avoid the ones with “Deodorized” labels.
By following these tips, you can ensure that the oil you’ll get undergoes the LEAST amount of processing.
Extra virgin coconut oil has been extracted from fresh mature coconuts without additives or high temperatures, so it preserves some nutrients that serve as antioxidants.
Grocery stores have coconut oil in both solid and liquid states, but they are NOT the same! All saturated fats must be in a solid state at room temperature.
Liquefied coconut oil has to go through extra processing and extraction of some of the fatty acids. And know that the health advantage is associated with fatty acids.
Choosing the Right Coconut Oil
When it comes to your baby’s delicate skin, you only want to use baby products that are natural and do not contain harsh chemicals that can damage his skin and hair.
In choosing the right coconut oil for your baby, opt for the PUREST virgin coconut oil with no additives because you don’t want to expose your baby to chemicals and dyes.
Find the organic UNREFINED coconut oil in its most natural state with less extraction. This is the purest grade and least harmful for the baby with sensitive skin.
Here are some types of coconut oil that you can choose from:
Pure Coconut Oil
Pure coconut oil has a pure coconut taste and a clean, clear look. It shouldn’t have any small particles and regardless if it is yellowish.
It is unrefined, labeled as “virgin” or “pure,” and produced from cold-pressed coconut meat.
Generally, it is full of fatty acids that boosts the body’s cognitive function, metabolism, and skin and hair health.
Virgin Coconut Oil
Virgin coconut oil does NOT use chemicals to extract the coconut oil.
Rather, it is only made by working with fresh and wet coconut flakes to press out the oil and milk in a compound. It is segregated through non-heat-related methods.
This will preserve higher natural bioactive ingredients, which makes it preferable to use for cooking because it’s healthier to eat.
On top of it, it has active retaining components such as Vitamin E, known to soothe skin.
Unrefined coconut oil is preferable to use as a natural moisturizer and conditioner than refined ones because it undergoes fewer processes and is relatively gentler on skin and hair.
Plus! Virgin coconut tastes and smells delicious as it has that tropical and exquisite coconut aroma compared to other oils.
Refined Coconut Oil
Refined coconut oil belongs to the RBD category of coconut oils, which refers to Refined, Bleached, and Deodorized.
The process involves producing coconut oil by pulverizing dried coconut kernels.
The drying method will leave the kernels out in the fields, which has the potential for bacteria build-up.
The process also requires higher temperatures, which can ruin some of the more heat-sensitive benefits of coconut oil.
Furthermore, copra or refined coconut oil consists of less bioactive components like Vitamin E, an essential element in natural skincare products.
How to Make Coconut Oil at Home [4 Steps]
You can make your DIY coconut oil by following these steps!
- Start by cracking the coconut open and saving the water for later. Then, separate the coconut meat from the shell.
- Make coconut milk by using a blender. Mix the coconut meat and water, then set the blender for two minutes.
- Extract the mixture using a nut milk bag and collect all the coconut milk in a bowl.
- Once you gather all the milk, heat this at a low and consistent temperature.
- Don’t ever try to use high temperature because it will alter its composition. Patience is the key!
The heating method can take up to 1-2 hours, the water will evaporate from the mixture, and you can see that the oil is extracted from the solid.
If the mixture has fully separated into oil and solid, strain all the oil and store them in an airtight container.
Frequently Asked Questions
I figured out you might have some questions about the wonders of coconut oil, so here is some information that may come in handy.
How Does Coconut Oil Compare to Other Oils for Baby’s Skin and Hair Health?
The common properties of coconut oil, such as having anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties, make a point of helping treat your child’s skin conditions.
It also contains a high level of lauric acid, a fatty acid that is more soluble compared to other natural oils. This helps to secure moisture onto the skin.
Note that the baby’s skin is less hydrating than the adult’s. So, locking moisture and helping up the finer lipid skin barrier is vital for babies.
Let’s go to hair care.
Coconut oil’s high lauric acid content is, again, the key! Its low weight and straight molecular chain mean that it can penetrate the hair shaft effectively.
So, it can proceed to the scalp and fasten itself to the proteins in the hair follicle.
This will stop protein loss, particularly when you wash the hair using shampoos that may strip the hair of these properties.
TIP: Use coconut oil as a pre-hair wash treatment.
Unscented, organic vegetable oils are fine to use for your baby. No need to use expensive scented oils!
If you use high-quality vegetable oil, then you can put your worries away.
They are EDIBLE, so you can apply them on your skin and know that babies always put their hands and feet in their mouths.
Baby oil is a type of mineral oil. At the same time, baby oil and petroleum jelly are SAFE on the baby’s skin and hair.
But coconut oil treats baby skin problems such as eczema more effectively than mineral oil.
If you choose a non-edible oil, you might as well opt for castor oil, as it does not contain toxins and helps your baby’s muscle growth.
Make sure your baby oil is NOT EXPIRED!
Olive oil is a good addition to a heart-healthy diet, but they’re not good when it comes to your baby’s sensitive skin.
There are fats in olive oil called oleic acid, which can break down the skin. It’s even unsafe to use olive oil for eczema and rashes.
You might also consider not using essential oils. They are highly concentrated and can cause soreness in the skin.
Though some essential oils are safe, they must be diluted before application.
How Do I Store Coconut Oil?
Luckily, you don’t need to do anything! It does not need to go to the fridge to prolong its shelf life.
You can store it in the pantry and keep the lid tight. It can last for a long time, even up to TWO years!
You may notice that the oil will change from solid to liquid, which is completely normal, depending on how warm it gets in your location.
What Is Cradle Cap?
In medical terms, cradle cap, or seborrheic dermatitis, is similar to adult dandruff. It’s not usually painful and itchy.
It looks more like thick crusting than flakes.
A cradle cap is not attractive but will eventually disappear as the child grows. You can opt to use natural products, including virgin coconut oil, to try to remove thick crusts.
In rare cases, cradle caps can turn into a fungal infection, and if nothing works, consult your pediatrician for a baby cream to help with this problem.
What Home Remedy Can Stop and Treat Cradle Cap?
You will notice the common signs of cradle cap as patchy scaling on the scalp. The baby has dry or oily skin, flaky white or yellow scales, and slight redness.
You can leave them be, as they usually dissipate as they grow up.
But if you’re a conscious parent and you want to remove those thick crusts, you can do the following:
- Apply shampoo on your baby’s hair and scalp frequently. This will help to soften the cradle cap, as it can easily come off by giving extra shampoo and oiling.
- Apply coconut oil to your baby’s cradle cap and massage it. This will help in giving it time to penetrate the oil into the thick crust and loosen it. Add this to the baby wash routine.
- Use a brush with silicone bristle to soften the spots of the cradle cap as you wash them. You can brush it before and after bath time and use shampoo to rinse it.
- Coconut oil does a great job of easing the crust and preparing it to be effectively removed when you shampoo the baby’s hair.
NOTE: Do not try to pick out the crust of the cradle cap.
I always use coconut oil for cooking but little did I know that it has numerous advantages for overall skin and hair health.
One perk of coconut oil is that it’s ORGANIC, so you don’t have to worry about harsh chemicals, especially since we’re talking about your baby.
But, as always, before you do anything, consult your pediatrician to ensure the health and well-being of your baby.
Soon enough, you’ll also be using coconut oil for baby care!
FINAL TIP: For your baby to have healthy skin, it’s also good to have natural baby lotions on hand! Here’s a quick buying guide for your convenience!