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Homemade Baby Powder

By: Lucy Debenham BA (hons) - Updated: 5 Oct 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Baby Powder Talcum Powder Nappy Rash

If you are concerned about patting your baby down with baby powder and want to know if there are alternatives, then you have found what you're looking for. The following article takes a look at the latest on using baby powder and provides a natural, talc-free alternative. Surprisingly, doctors actually advise against using baby powder on babies. It is not the best defence against nappy rash and may actually harm your baby. If you feel that some sort of powder is a necessity, you'll find a recipe below that provides the same functionality with safer ingredients.

Concern about talcum powder

The use of baby powder has long been common and widespread. From daily life to the movie screen, it seems the typical nappy change would not be complete without a generous puff of baby powder. However, traditional baby powder is falling out of favour among doctors and parents alike.

To begin with, there is concern about talcum powder. Talcum powder consists of zinc stearate and a variety of silicates, all of which are finely ground. The concern is that these particles are small enough to be easily inhaled. Although most nappy changes are conducted with extreme care, one never knows when the infant will knock the powder over with a quick kick or outstretched hand. This may produce a cloud of powder that will be quickly inhaled. Inhalation of talcum powder can be life-threatening for babies.

Another reason that baby powder is looked on less favourably is that it apparently does little in the way of preventing nappy rash. The idea is that powder not only absorbs moisture, it also lessens friction between your baby's bottom and the diaper. However, most doctors believe that simply patting your infant's bottom dry and applying a barrier ointment is the most effective defence against nappy rash.

Make your own baby powder

If you still believe in the usefulness of baby powder, then you should at least opt for a formulation that avoids the dangers of inhaling talc. As you can see in the recipe below, the homemade baby powder presented here is based on corn flour, not talcum powder. Corn flour is doctor-approved because its much bigger particles are more difficult to inhale. To make your own baby powder, gather the following ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons crumbled, dried chamomile flowers
  • 4 tablespoons corn flour
  • 1 tablespoon orris root
  • ½ teaspoon potassium alum

Method

Of course corn flour is available from your grocer. Chamomile flowers and orris root can be found at local herbal shops or online. Potassium Alum is a mineral stone and can be found online in powder form. You may find it online where other natural ingredients are sold.

Once you've collected your ingredients, mix them all together in a small bowl. Then transfer this mixture into an appropriate container. You can then proceed to use it as you would any normal baby powder. However, you should not use this recipe on your baby's nappy rash.

So there you have it, a look at the concerns about baby powder and a natural alternative. Of course, babies aren't the only ones who use powder. You may find the above recipe very helpful and pleasing to use yourself to keep your skin soft and dry.

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