When Little P was tiny I didn’t like the idea of using talcum powder. I was a bit paranoid that she might choke on the clouds of talc that tend to go everywhere and I was also getting tired of the film of white dust all over the bathroom from my own talc use. Unfortunately liquid talc gave her a sore bottom so I discovered wonderful Burt’s Bees dusting powder (expensive but I used it sparingly!). But when she was a few months old it was discontinued so I needed an alternative (I’ve seen it for sale on Amazon but it’s even more pricey). Most of the ingredients on the Burt’s Bees container were recognisable (cornflour, bentonite clay, essential oils) so I searched online for ‘homemade baby powder’. After some trial and error and variations on different recipes I finally arrived at this one which both myself and Little P have been using successfully for over a year (no sore bottoms or nappy rash here).
Mine is a variation on the recipes I found on these sites:
3 cups of corn flour (find it in any supermarket)
1 cup of bentonite clay (often used in home brewing I got it from
2 drops of lavender oil (or any other essential oil you prefer)
Measuring cup (you can use any size cup depending on how much powder you want to make but I always use 3 measures of cornflour to 1 measure of clay)
1 large container for mixing (I use an old clean tea tin)
Pestle & mortar
Plastic funnel (you can make one by cutting off the top of a water bottle)
Old clean talc container or a sugar shaker for the finished powder (I’ve been using the same Burt’s Bees powder containers I’ve had since Little P was born!)
Firstly measure out the bentonite clay and grind it thoroughly using the pestle & mortar (you may have to grind small amounts at a time rather than all the clay together). Take the time and make sure it’s ground into a superfine powder or else the finished powder will feel gritty on the skin. Put the clay into the mixing tin and gradually add the cornflour, mixing as you add. Finally add two drops of essential oil and thoroughly mix so everything is well combined. Then place the funnel into the powder shaker and spoon in the finished powder. One standard measuring cup of clay and three standard measuring cups of cornflour makes approx 500g of powder.
Some useful information
As with any new baby product always test before using. I tested this on myself first, then tested it on Little P’s leg before using it on her bottom and the rest of her body. Cornflour and bentonite clay are both edible so pretty safe and this doesn’t produce the ‘clouds’ of tiny dust particles like talcum powder (the consistency is like flour). But because it is talc free it doesn’t feel as silky as talcum powder and needs to be rubbed in a little more. I also find that I use a lot less. It absorbs excess moisture, keeps skin dry and the essential oil gives a lovely gentle fragrance.
Some recipes also add dried flowers like camomile or calendula which would be lovely but I could never manage to grind them finely enough so the resulting powder felt very ‘gritty’. If anyone manages this please let me know how!