Friday, May 2, 2014

Cradle Cap and the Nook & Crannies: Coconut Oil

There has been a lot of hype around coconut oil these days. And honestly, I feel like it should have started sooner. Without going into too much detail, I came across coconut oil years ago. I was having a recurring problem and was getting prescribed super antibiotics by my then OBGYN. These antibiotics messed with my entire body, made me feel terrible, and only temporarily solved my problem. One the third round, I broke out in hives and decided that I would have to find an alternative way. I stumbled upon this website and it led me to coconut oil. I am one of those people who will try just about anything. Especially if I am in pain and need whatever is ailing me to stop, so I had an open mind. After a week or so of using the coconut oil as a topical ointment, I was just about cured. Along, with probiotics, that I still take daily and feel just as strongly about, and the use of the coconut oil, I was literally cured in a month or so and have not had a problem since. 

I am convinced that drinking water, taking probiotics, and using coconut oil would solve a lot of the problems we are having today. That is just my opinion and I will leave the soap box for another day.

I knew that I was going to use coconut oil in my daily regimens, I just didn't know to what extent. While I was pregnant, I got dandruff for the first time in my life. Not sure what that was about, but there were lots of things that popped up in my pregnancy that I feel like no one seemed to mention, or "forgot" about. Heh. But I slathered my head with coconut oil and took a shower, washed it out, and the dandruff was gone after 2 treatments. I also started getting extremely lazy with my nightly face washing routine, so coconut oil became, and still is, my face wash/make up remover. Just make sure you have a towel you don't mind getting make up on around. It has pretty much found a way into every, EVERY, aspect of our lives. If you catch my drift. 

Moving along. There were little surprises that I was not ready for when I entered motherhood. Getting pooped on, wiping away boogers, the weirdness of the whole belly button, umbilical cord falling off ::shudder:: I had no idea what cradle cap was, or did I know that white yeast would find itself in the nooks and crannies of my daughter. There was no place left unslathered by coconut oil, so I figured we would test it out and let it work it's magic on Delilah.

Let's start with the nook and crannies. I suppose when you think about it, under the neck and armpits would be a great spot for yeast development. It's warm, moist, and dark. I didn't however, think it would show up on my little innocent baby. I read all about it and found out that some babies get it so bad it bleeds. I was going to do my best to make sure that didn't happen with Delilah. As soon as I would see it, I would immediately wipe it away with a wet paper towel. I didn't want to use a wipe, in case it would sting her. I would apply a pea sized amount of coconut oil where it was forming, usually in her armpit and in her neck folds, I even found it in her elbow crease, and rub it in. I would do all of this after her bath, since that is when she would trap the most moisture in those little spots. Thankfully, with preventative measures, she only had a week or so of the yeast growth and it never bled. Yay! Coconut oil to the rescue!

I pinned a recipe on Pinterest, homemade coconut oil wipes, maybe you've seen it. I was going to make all of her wipes! But let's not get too crazy, once I realized what little time I had, I was not going to spend it making wipes, enter Pampers Sensitive Wipes! It was a good thought though…

Cradle Cap was such a weird phenomena to me. I had heard of it only briefly when my niece was a little baby, but that was the furthest thing from my mind when I was 20. 10 years later, it made another appearance and I was much more interested. I have googled and searched and guess what? Coconut oil saved the day on this one too! I first noticed a little dime sized spot on Delilah's head, I assumed it was the beginning of cradle cap, and it was. Seeing some of the pictures on Google freaked me out, so I was going to make it my goal to try to get rid of and keep it away. 

After every bath, which is and was every night (used soap every other day), I would put, again, a pea sized bit of coconut oil on her head and message away. My daughter was born without a lot of hair, so if your baby has a full head, you might want to do this before bath, or before bed and just see what you are working with in the morning. I bet coconut oil could make some amazing mohawks! Moving on, after I messaged the oil on her head, I used this brush, that I bought from the Natural Baby Company, to really work it in there. Delilah did not seem to mind ;)

Luckily, we didn't have a problem with cradle cap. Anytime I would spot the slightest beginning of it, I would quickly do our coconut oil routine and it would just as quickly disappear. I think the trick is catching it before it gets too bad. I did make it a habit to "brush" her two hairs every night regardless, and I still do today.

You don't need a ton of coconut oil and if you have never worked with it before, it starts as a solid and then melts when you touch it. It has a melting point of 76 degrees. Really the stuff is amazing. To make it a little easier to handle, you can whip it like you would whipped cream. Put a couple drops of essential oils and you have a cocktail that no bacteria or yeast can mess with!

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