Bath time is stressful!
Once upon a time, when Logan was a tiny baby, bath time was a dream! His little blue bathtub fit perfectly on a towel on his dresser and he would sit quietly and stare at the wall hanging his Great-Granny made for him. Sure there was the occasional “shower” but who worries about a little baby pee, especially from a breastfed baby. It was nice while it lasted.
Bathtime now consists of me trying to hold back a jumping, naked toddler who is screaming with excitement and trying to get into the bath before the temperature is right. Once he’s in the bath with his toys, all is well for about 20 seconds until he remembers how fun it is to splash. The warm water is pretty relaxing, so I’d better be watching closely for the signs of disaster (the look of concentration paired with soft grunting.) If I’m lucky, I get him onto the toilet in time. If I’m not, he gets out of the tub so I can clean him up, clean the bathtub, refill the water and finish his bath. If I’m lucky, this only happens once per bath. Yep, my kid’s a bath pooper. This happens frequently enough that baths have become a special treat, usually when I am planning on mopping the bathroom floor anyway, because it’s soon covered in a quarter inch of water. Most days he just takes a shower with Daddy.
I am pretty particular about what I put on my baby’s skin. Many of the commercial baby products, while claiming to be gentle, are still packing chemicals that I wouldn’t give him to drink, so why would I want them absorbed through his skin? We finally ran out of all the baby shampoo we got as shower gifts. My favorite brand was California Baby, but oh man I cannot justify spending over $10 for a 8.5oz bottle of soap. So a Google search and a trip to the store later here’s how I made a gentle, soothing baby wash.
Most recipes I found for homemade baby shampoo called for liquid castile soap, essential oils, and water, but having made liquid hand soap out of bar soap before, I decided to give it a shot this time around. Our family has long been fans of Dr. Bronner’s soaps, and I recently started using their coconut oil as a moisturizer. Dr. Bronner’s products are organic, fair trade and vegan. The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep website puts all their products on the “low risk” spectrum. With this in mind, I went out and bought a bar of their unscented bar soap and a gallon of distilled water. You want distilled water because even filtered water still contains minerals.
How to make homemade baby wash:
1. Bring 2.5 cups of distilled water to a boil and add the herbs you would like to infuse, I used chamomile and lavender, but you could also use orange peel, rosemary, cinnamon, clove, calendula flowers, eucalyptus, or just a nice smelling herbal tea.
2. While your infusion is steeping, grate an ounce of bar soap. It should be just around half a cup.
3. Strain any loose herbs out of the infusion and reheat on the stove top or in the microwave. Add the soap shavings and stir with a fork until all the soap is melted.
4. That’s it! Store in a jar or other container (I reused an old agave nectar bottle.) It lathers really nicely and leaves behind a nice mild scent and best of all, for under $10 you have enough soap and distilled water to make ten times the amount of shampoo as one bottle of store bought!