With infants, one has to be so careful with what is put on their skin. Not only is baby's skin super sensitive from only ever being in a dark, wet environment, but infants absorb much more through their skin than adults do. Pair this with recent research revealing that many baby products are ladened with far worse chemicals than are found in the same products for adults, and the reason for using all natural, organic products on your baby becomes blatantly apparent.
Luckily, though, this doesn't mean having to pay the high prices found on organic baby products in the stores. Rather, you can make your own products of equal or better quality at a fraction of the cost right in your kitchen.
Here is a recipe for a Massage Oil that is simple to make and, more importantly, is a great moisturizer for baby's skin. Best of all, though, it is completely safe for baby (you don't have to worry about not getting it on baby's hands, it's safe if baby ingests a tiny bit.)
1 cup Almond or Olive Oil
1 Vanilla Bean
1/2 cup Chamomile Blossoms (German, Roman, or Wild is fine)
2 Jars w/ tight fitting lids
Funnel or Rubberband
Rubber Spatula (optional)
With this recipe, given the amount of Chamomile used, the best method is a Cold Steep. Baking in the oven is not advised as Chamomile is such a gentle herb that much of its virtue will be lost due to evaporation.
Place the Herbs into one of the Jars, you may have to cut up the Vanilla Bean to ensure that it will be fully covered when you add the Oil. Now add the Oil and cap the Jar. Give it a good shake to fully mix the contents. Place in a cool, dark place for 4-6 weeks, but shake the Jar daily.
When it's finished steeping, it's time to strain out the Herbs. You'll want to fold the Cheese Cloth several times so that you have at least 8 layers. You want it so that if you hold it up, you can't see through the holes. Place the Funnel into your second Jar and place the Cloth inside the Funnel. Alternately, if you don't have a Funnel, you can secure the Cloth to the top of your Jar with a Rubberband, but so that it hangs into the Jar just slightly (about 1 inch.) Slowly pour the Oil into the Jar. This is wear the Rubber Spatula comes in handy: you can use it to scrape out the last of the Oil and Herbs into the Cheese Cloth. Remove the Cheese Cloth and gently squeeze the excess Oil from the Herbs, taking care not to allow any of the Herbs to fall into the Oil.
NOTE: Chamomile Blossoms break apart very easily and if the Cheese Cloth isn't folded thick enough, some of the stamen will pass through the Cloth and into your Oil.
This Oil will last for a few months with proper storage: always make sure that the lid of the Jar is on tightly, store out of direct sunlight, preferably somewhere cool. To increase the shelf life, this Oil can be stored in the fridge (you won't need to warm it before putting it on baby: just put the Oil on your hands first as you would normally do and rub your hands together to warm it,) or a preservative can be added, such as 1 tsp of Liquid Vitamin E or 1/3 tsp of strong Vodka (I recommend Everclear: it's strong enough for all your Herbcraft needs, i.e. preservative, tinctures, etc.)
NOTE: If you want to magickally empower this Oil, the best time to do so is after you've added the Oil to the Herbs. You can dip your finger into the Jar to give the mix a swirl and impart the Energy that way, or grab your favorite wooden spoon and mix the mixture, clockwise or counterclockwise depending upon what you'll use the Oil for (i.e. if it's primarily to be a moisturizer, then clockwise would be best as you want to increase the moisture in baby's skin, if it's to be used as part of an Infant Massage to help with Colic then counterclockwise would be best.)
Throwing the Bones