Going by blogs and Pinterest boards dedicated to everyone’s favorite tropical fruit, the uses for coconut oil abound—it’s a great furniture polish! A toothpaste! A pet skin lotion! As a mom of three, I’m as cuckoo for coconut oil as anyone else, but particularly because of its new-mom-and-baby applications. Here are 10 reasons why I think extra-virgin coconut oil belongs in every mom’s diaper bag.
It’s great for babies…
- It’s an amazing diaper balm.
No offense, Balmex, but coconut oil is better for little butts! Apply it every time you change a diaper to keep rashes at bay.
- It helps with cradle cap.
Before you invest in an over-the-counter cradle cap treatment or see the pediatrician about this harmless-but-not-pretty condition, try gently massaging coconut oil into you newborn’s scalp and leaving it in place for about 20 minutes. Then take a fine-tooth comb and brush out the flakes.
- It’s the best baby oil on the planet.
Mineral oil is the active ingredient in most traditional baby oils—yuck! Slather on some coconut oil instead, maybe with a drop or two of soothing lavender oil mixed in. So much more natural!
- It’s an awesome all-purpose “ouch ointment.”
Gently apply to bug bites, sun burn, hang nails…whatever unpleasant “ouchies” your child suffers from.
- It’s amazing for infant complexions!
Newborns can have all sorts of skin imperfections crop up during their first weeks on the planet. Rub coconut oil into their cute little faces for more picture-perfect skin.
And it’s great for new moms…
- It’s fabulous for fighting stretch marks.
Whether you get stretch marks has to do with hereditary—some of us are just “luckier” than others at winning those streaky red badges of honor. But coconut oil can make the skin exceptionally more elastic, so scoop some on your hips, belly and legs!
- It’s a natural post-partum personal lubricant.
At 6 weeks post-partum, your doc likely gave you the go-ahead to rekindle things in the bedroom…but ouch ouch ouch, perhaps you’re tempted to lie to your husband and tell him the doctor said 6 months? Try applying some coconut oil before ruling out mommy-and-daddy-time forever.
- It’s a necessity for new nursing mothers.
Skip the lanolin and try using coconut oil to protect your nipples during those first few uncomfortable days as you adapt to your new status as a “breastaurant.”
- It’s a helpful hair serum.
Between postpartum hair loss and little hands tugging on your locks night and day, your hair likely has had shinier, bouncier days. Rub a small amount into split ends to reduce frizziness and restore shine.
10. It’s a lovely lip balm.
Let me guess…you have chapped lips. Between the hospital climate, dehydrating effect of nursing (drink your water, mama!) and stress, it’s hard to avoid dry, ragged lips. Rub a tiny bit of coconut oil and let the healing begin.