Every house on the neighborhood block has at least one small tub of petroleum jelly stashed in their medicine cabinet, guaranteed. (However, if you’re one of the households that doesn’t, maybe a few items on this list will convince you to get a tub.)
Why is that? Because we’re all familiar with the versatile wonders of petroleum jelly. It can be used on minor cuts, scrapes and burns. It can soothe chapped lips and remove makeup. It can shine leather shoes. It can even prevent chrome from rusting. It can get gum off of your kid’s hair. It can get rid of watermarks on wood. The list goes on.
Today, we’re going to narrow down its uses to only one area of concern: your baby. Here are the five ways petroleum jelly can help you save on baby products.
1. No-tears shampoos Is that large bottle of baby shampoo with its guaranteed “free-tear” formula not working out as promised? Don’t be so quick to throw it out just yet. Smear a good amount of petroleum jelly on your little one’s eyebrows before his bath. The petroleum jelly will keep the sudsy water from getting into his eyes.
2. Diaper rash cream Prevention is key. If your baby is prone to diaper rash, here’s what you can do to prevent it from coming back after you’ve treated it: Rub petroleum jelly on his bottom before you put on his diaper. This will limit the contact of your baby’s skin to his wet nappy. Before you do, however, make sure his bum is completely dry first. “If it can lock moisture out, it can also lock moisture in, which defeats the purpose of keeping your baby’s skin dry,” says pediatrician Ina Atutubo, MD.
If your baby already has diaper rash, petroleum jelly is not recommended. It will keep the irritated area moist, worsening the condition, Atutubo adds.
3. Baby lotion The safest skin care products for babies need to be dye-free, fragrance-free, phthalate-free and paraben-free. 100% pure petroleum jelly is safe even for sensitive skin. If you’re noticing dry, flakey areas on your baby’s skin, a little bit of petroleum jelly will go a long way. Just make sure to wash your baby’s skin before you apply. Petroleum jelly locks moisture in on whatever it’s slathered on; it can lock in dirt too.
4. Baby Oil Is your baby going through a cradle cap? A cradle cap is when your baby’s scalp has flaky, dry skin that looks like thick dandruff in the form of white or yellow crusty patches. While its appearance may seem like it's a matter of concern, it’s actually very common among babies. To remove, add a few drops of baby oil to the affected area then rinse off. If you don’t happen to have baby oil, you guessed it -- petroleum jelly can be an alternative.
Sources: Sept. 23, 2014. "What Baby Skin Care Products Does Your Newborn Need?". webmd.com Undated. "26 Extraordinary Uses for Petroleum Jelly". rd.com Undated."Cradle cap (infantile seborrheic dermatitis)". babycenter.com