Coconut Oil for Babies

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Coconut oil has been called by many "the healthiest oil in the world." While it was once maligned for its high saturated fat content, recent research indicates that its medium-chain fatty acids and anti-microbial properties actually make it a healthy choice, according to Mark's Daily Apple website. Its hypoallergenic nature, nutritional profile and light taste make it a perfect ingredient to include in baby food, and its moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties make it an excellent item to include in your baby's skin care regimen.

Baby Food

  • Coconut, which is not actually a nut at all, is considered to be very hypoallergenic, which makes it an excellent choice for baby food. Also, it also is very high in lauric acid, a fatty acid found in breast milk that enhances digestibility and is believed to have protective properties. Additionally, adding healthy fats to vegetables like carrots, pumpkin, spinach and squash that are high in fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K facilitates the absorption of those key nutrients.

    When your doctor has cleared your baby to eat solids, consider adding a small amount of unsweetened coconut oil, milk or cream to items that your baby has had before. As with any food, don't introduce coconut products and another new item at the same time in case the baby has a negative reaction. For a tasty treat, consider mixing your baby's cereal or vegetable, fruit or meat purees with coconut milk instead of milk, formula or water.

Moisturizer

  • Coconut oil, which is rich in healthy fats and vitamins, is a very effective moisturizer. Many people also enjoy the oil's light, natural scent. Additionally, it is an all-natural product that does not contain the harsh chemicals and scents that are found in many commercial moisturizers. Consider moisturizing your baby with coconut oil instead of regular moisturizer after your baby's next bath. While moisturizing your baby with the oil, you can also indulge your baby with a soothing infant massage, which has been shown in numerous studies to enhance bonding, aid in the development of healthy sleep patterns and speed infant weight gain.

Cradle Cap Remedy

  • Newborn infants offer suffer from cradle cap, which is a condition marked by flaky, scaly patches of skin on the scalp. This condition, which is harmless, can be treated at home using coconut oil, according to the Baby Center website. The anti-microbial properties of coconut oil will help to soothe the inflammation of your baby's delicate skin, and oil itself will help to moisturize the dry skin and loosen the flakes. Apply pure coconut oil to your baby's scalp, allow it to sit for about 15 minutes and then gently remove the flakes with a soft brush, toothbrush or comb. Follow the oil treatment with a gentle shampoo to help remove any remaining flakes.

Diaper Rash Remedy

  • Coconut oil is also a natural remedy for diaper rash. The natural fats help to provide a moisture barrier, the vitamins and healthy fats nourish the skin, and the anti-microbial nature of coconut oil helps to prevent infection. To use as a diaper salve, simply apply a generous amount of pure coconut oil to your baby's freshly cleaned skin after changing your baby's diaper.

References

  • Photo Credit Martin Poole/Digital Vision/Getty Images
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