Coconut oil is an excellent oil for babies, kids and nursing mums.
This blog post was originally put together in 2013 when our second child Sam arrived and I’ve just updated it in 2017 for our new website. Coconut oil was such as favourite for me as a nursing mum and for my babies I just had to write a post back then! Now our babies are bigger I still use it just as much on them, from moisturising sore skin in winter to my go-to oil for any scrape or rash.
I began to use coconut oil for moisturising Sam after a bath and as a massage oil for his tummy as he had quite a bit of colic in the early days. It was absolutely perfect. I would rub half a teaspoon full into my hands and it would melt perfectly into his skin as you can see in the pic. It made him lovely and soft, healed up any dry patches and made him smell lovely to boot. We got his first smiles during one of the massages so it got his seal of approval too! We then started making babies wipes with coconut oil too, since then a host of mums have shared their hack on this one such as this easy one from Mama Joy here
There are so many possibilities for coconut oil with it’s anti fungal, anti bacterial and anti inflammatory qualities. It was also great for Sam’s cradle cap in the early days, as a nappy cream and I also consumed heaps of it to enhance my breast milk too.
For cradle cap simply massage a small amount into your little ones head, leave for half an hour then using a small baby comb brush through very gently to remove the scales. Washing the hair in the bath then removes completely. For nappy cream I applied during every nappy change, especially to the little crevasses and the antimicrobial properties of the oil keeps rashes at bay.
For breast milk simply take the recommended 3 and half tablespoons a day while you are nursing. I did this through a combination of smoothies, cookies and bars that we bake (see recipes section) and eating chunks of our 60% coconut milk powder as a snack, it’s quite sweet and is like a natural bounty bar especially if you have it with our chocolate!
The reason it enhances your breast milk is because coconut oil is pretty unique in that it also contains the medium chain fatty acids (MCFA) found in breast milk in the form of caprylic, capric and predominantly lauric acid. Most of the fat we eat contains the long chain fatty acids. The MCFAs in breast milk provide the source of nourishment as well as protection against infections. The more MCFAs in the milk, the healthier the baby is likely to be. The MCFAs in human breast milk can be as low as 3 or 4%. Studies have shown that when coconut oil is added to the diet it can increate MCFA content to as much as 18%. *.
It is really important that if you do decide to use coconut oil on and for your little one you get a quality one. Go for extra virgin and as this will ensure that all the wonderful properties are not lost in the extraction process. Also buy organic if you can too, I continue to use our organic whole kernel oil every day which is delightful for all the family!