Herbs, such as chamomile, lavender and calendula, offer gentle cleansing and soothing effects. An herb can be used alone or combined with other herbs to produce an array of bath blends to suit your baby’s needs. See the following formulas for some excellent herbal bath choices. You may want to refer to the Botanicals section in the Ingredients chapter for further information and to help you create customized bath blends.
Basic Herbal Baby Bath
Use approximately 2 handfuls of dried herb per 32 oz. of water. Note that if you are using powdered herbs, use only about 6 tablespoons. If using herbs that have been cut and sifted, use about 1/2 of a cup. If using seeds, use about 2 palmfuls.
Make an herbal infusion with the herbs and water. Strain the infusion and add it to the bathwater. If bathing the baby in a portable basin you can leavethe herbs in the infusion if you like, since there is no drain to clog. Either pour the bathwater and herbs directly onto the compost pile afterward, or pour the used water through a sieve and discard the herbs. Be aware that some babies like to pick the herbs out of the bathwater and place them in their mouths. Although the herbs used in the following bath blends are safe for internal consumption, the concern is for a baby who is not old enough to chew and swallow properly, so please keep a watchful eye on your baby during the bath. Makes enough for 1 bath.
Variations: Use plantain leaf to make a healing, soothing bath for itchy, scraped or irritated skin. Use mint for a cooling bath, which is especially nice on a hot summer day. Use chamomile for a calming bath, which can be very effective just prior to sleep. Use fennel seeds to make a bath for a colicky baby.