Many parents have become concerned about the chemicals used in commercial baby products. Recent studies, like those that have appeared in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, have many parents asking how they can make their own baby products. Making your own baby shampoo really is not as labor intensive as you may think. It is actually fairly simple and you just might have some fun doing it.
Ingredients You Will Need
First you need to decide how "homemade" you want to get. If you really want to start from scratch, you would need ingredients such as vegetable shortening and lye. But that takes a bit more skill and precautions in handling and measuring the lye, especially for babies' delicate skin. The more popular and easier to execute recipes begin with a base of pure soap flakes. Castile soap works very well and is known for its gentle, natural cleansing abilities. Castile is made only from pure vegetable oils, mainly olive oil, as opposed to animal fats. It is usually unscented so you will need a nice, pure essential oil if you want your shampoo to be scented; the oil is also a delicate moisturizer for your baby's scalp. Lavender is a good choice for babies because of its safety and calming effect. You will also need distilled water. Other water--even pure spring water--has traces of minerals.
12 oz. of distilled water 4 tablespoons Castile soap flakes (or shavings from a Castile bar) 1 to 2 drops of pure essential lavender oil
Boil the distilled water and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes. Pour the water into a glass bowl and add the soap flakes, allowing them to dissolve while stirring. Next add the lavender oil and keep stirring until everything is blended. Pour carefully into a squeeze bottle or a bottle with a dispenser pump for ease of use while bathing your baby. Store your shampoo in a cool, dry place and shake the bottle gently before every use. Once you get used to making your own baby shampoo you can start experimenting by adding chamomile tea or herbs to the boiled water while it is cooling.
All of the ingredients are gentle enough even for a newborn, but it is always best to do a skin patch test in case your baby has very sensitive skin. Rub a bit of the finished shampoo on the inside of your baby's arm and wait at least 48 hours to see if there is a reaction. Your homemade baby shampoo will not feel or look like a commercial shampoo. It will be a thinner consistency and will not lather up or be sudsy. Sudsing agents are used in commercial shampoo and are not necessary. You will only need a dime sized amount of this natural shampoo for your baby or a bit more if you want to use it on your own hair. This shampoo will clean hair just as well as any of the high-priced shampoos, but is made especially for your baby by you with no chemicals that are not needed or that may be harmful.
- Dale Davidson/Demand Media