Editor's Note: This post was originally posted in June 2016 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in August 2018.
Coconut oil has taken the world by storm, and for good reason. This cooking oil is full of healthy fats, and has moisturising properties which make it a great natural remedy for lots of things...
...one of those is babies!
Coconut oil for babies? Yes, coconut oil can be used to solve a whole range of problems parents may encounter. Here are some incredibly beneficial reasons to add coconut oil to your baby essentials list.
Coconut oil allergy
Remeber, all skin is different.
Before you start experimenting with coconut oil, you should try a small amount of your baby's skin first. Whilst most parents claim to have experienced amazing results, others have had bad experiences using coconut oil on their baby, suggesting they have a coconut oil allergy.
Whenever trying something new, be cautious - your baby's skin is extremely delicate.
How to use coconut oil for babies
1. Teething pain reliever
No one likes to see their baby in pain.
If your child is teething, coconut oil could be your saviour!
Rub the coconut oil directly onto the gums of teething babies and children or add a drop on to their favourite teething toys to ease the pain.
Having no luck with traditional headlice methods?
Coconut oil is here to help!
The fatty content of the coconut oil, which persists on the hair and lice subsequent to washing, essentially suffocates the lice and makes it harder for them to maintain their grip on the hair. This makes it easier to wipe those lice straight out of children’s hair. Amazing!
3. Allergies & hayfever
Is your little one struggling with allergies? This is another way coconut oil can be used for babies.
Rub a little coconut oil inside the nostrils and the pollen will cling to the oil to quickly remove symptoms of allergies.
Visit The hay fever sufferer's ultimate survival guide for more tips.
4. Baby acne
Has your little one been unfortunate enough to have already developed acne?
Apply a thin layer of coconut oil onto affected areas twice daily until the acne fades.
The reason this works so well is that coconut oil contains large amounts of lauric acid which is well known for being very antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral. These antiseptic essential fatty acids found in coconut oil help prevent and eliminate bacterial infections when taken orally or applied directly to the skin - good news for your baby!
5. Treat burns
We hope you never have to deal with a baby burn, but if you do, here's a way to provide quick relief.
Coconut oil is also a well-known cooling oil, which is great for hot, inflamed skin. Apply to the burn immediately and continue applying until healed. This will reduce the chances of permanent scarring.
Chickenpox are every parent’s worst nightmare!
To ease the pain and itching, use coconut oil both internally and apply topically.
It is said to relieve itching, reduce inflammation, and reduce the severity and duration of the illness.
7. Cradle cap
Are you having issues with dry skin on your baby’s scalp? Coconut oil will not only nourish your baby’s skin, but it also helps eliminate cradle cap. Just rub a teaspoon onto their head daily.
8. Nappy rash
Nappies are a lifesaver, but that can be uncomfortable for babies.
Coconut oil is very comforting on a sore bottom and contains no harsh chemicals, unlike some baby wipes and products - who knew?
9. Ear infection
Looking for a gentle, natural remedy for your baby's ear infection?
Try coconut oil!
Gently heat some coconut oil until it just liquidised. Then, using a pipette or eyedropper, place a few drops inside your baby's ear whilst they're lying down. Leave to soak in for a minute or so and repeat twice daily.
When applied on scrapes and cuts, coconut oil forms a thin, chemical layer that protects the wound from outside dust, bacteria and viruses. It then speeds up the healing process by repairing damaged tissues.
Plus, it smells a heck-of-a-lot better than anything from your pharmacy!
11. Help heal bruises
Has your little one had a nasty bump or fall?
Bruises heal naturally over time, but you can use coconut to aid the healing process.
Apply it directly onto the bruise, and it will help to reduce swelling and redness.
12. Sun protection
Coconut oil alone can offer some degree of sun protection however, it works even better when used in conjunction with other oils that contain natural SPF.
Combine your normal sun protection routine with this miracle product for the ultimate protection!
13. Coconut oil for babies massage oil
Next time you have a little massage time with your little bundle, try using coconut oil instead of store-bought lotion or massage oil. This is extra soothing and moisturising and will keep your baby relaxed during your downtime together.
Another idea is to put a few drops in your baby's bath to instantly moisturise their skin. The coconut oil will soak into the skin and help keep it fresh and smooth.
Is your baby battling eczema?
Instead of topical steroids, try coconut oil. The anti-inflammatory properties might just help calm down the rash.
16. Mosquito bites
Babies love the sun just as much as us, but their skin is so sensitive that it can pose a risk.
Not only is there the sun to think about, but bug bites too.
If your baby happens to get bitten, rub a little coconut oil on the bite to help relieve itchiness. It works a treat!
17. Smooth hair
When your baby is born, their hair is soft and silky, but sometimes it can become dry and unmanageable as they grow.
If it's becoming difficult to comb your little one's hair, apply a tiny amount of coconut oil onto their head during bath time.
It will keep your baby's hair soft and silky and make brushing easier.
18. Dry & chapped lips
Babies are even more sensitive to temperature than we are and their lips risk drying out faster than ours.
Take a clean cotton bud and dip a small amount into coconut oil and apply on and around the lips to keep them healthy and hydrated.
19. Chest rub for a cold
Has your baby started to cough and sniffle?
Having a cold is bad enough when you're an adult, let alone when you're too small to help yourself.
A cold may make it difficult for your baby to breathe and, if left untreated, it may develop into a fever.
Use coconut oil as a chest rub to help decongest the nose and chest area by mixing it with an essential oil like peppermint or eucalyptus oil. Warm up the mixture and rub it on your baby’s chest to provide soothing relief.
20. Treating baby thrush
Oral thrush is common in babies and shows up on the tongue and around the mouth in speckled white watches.
If your baby is showing signs of thrush, take some coconut oil and rub it in between your fingers to make it warm. Pat the coconut oil in your baby’s mouth and it will reduce the condition and prevent it from coming back.
21. Baby toothpaste using coconut oil
Toothpaste? But my baby doesn't even have teeth yet!
You can start caring for your little one's gums right away. Massaging a small amount of coconut oil onto their gums twice a day will help remove bacteria and prevent it from clinging to gums, which could cause damage to new teeth later on.
22. Aid with constipation
Do you use infant formula? There's nothing wrong with that, but something to bear in mind is that it often contains little fibre.
Fibre is essential for newborns for the regular movement of bowels, and your baby could become constipated without it.
Remember, coconut oil is good to eat too! Add a half teaspoon to your baby's breakfast and increase gradually to see a dramatic improvement.
23. Dry skin
Last but not least, coconut oil for babies is a great use for recovering their dry skin and making sure it is hydrated and healthy!
Apply as a moisturiser to keep their skin supple and soft.
Wow, coconut oil really is amazing! Can you think of any other uses? Get in touch and don't forget to share the secret with other parents!