And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~ Kahlil Gibran

Friday, January 04, 2008

Grandma's Magic Powder

No, it's not a drug reference.

It is, quite simply, baking soda.

When Big Sprout was a baby, her skin was terribly sensitive. She was allergic (I think) to most brands of diapers. She would get so sore, and sometimes her rashes would get to the point she bled. It was heartbreaking, to say the least.

We finally found diapers that worked well for her, and a friend introduced us to a miraculous cream that cleared up diaper rash quickly and painlessly. The thing she liked best, though, was baking soda baths. Baking soda is something my Mom has used for both my Bro and I, as I am sure her Mom used it for her and her sister. I suppose it has been used for similar uses since baking soda was invented.

Big Sprout loved it. Soon she started requesting "the Magic Powder" for every little thing. She put it on sunburn, rashes, bruises and scrapes. As she got older, she even learned to make a paste of it to put on troublesome bug bites to take the itch away.

When we moved to live with DH, I tried giving her baking soda for her bath when she was sore, but she would never take it from me. After a few months of this, I finally realised that the reason she wouldn't take it was that it didn't look the same as "Grandma's Magic Powder". See, my Mom kept hers in this awful harvest gold Tupperware canister. Big Sprout just couldn't believe that good old Arm and Hammer was anywhere near as good as the stuff that Grandma got out of that yellow tub.

Here is where it gets good...

That year, as a gift, my Mom found a harvest gold canister just like the one at her house, filled it with baking soda, put a cute label on it that said "Grandma's Magic Powder" and gave it to Big Sprout as a gift. Mom even put a special scoop in the canister. I have never seen a child so happy over something so simple! Big Sprout would gleefully put "Magic Powder" in every bath she took. Quite often she put in too much, but she was so happy. My job was to sneak into the bathroom every night to make sure that the canister was full.

It was a sad day when Big Sprout told us she had figured out the secret of "Grandma's Powder". In time, she outgrew baths and the canister is now stored away for Little Sprout to use when she gets a little older. After all, every kid needs a little bit of "Grandma Love" of their very own.


Lisa said...

What a great story! And I bet the Sprouts remember it and pass it along to their kids too!

Kati said...

LOL What a sweet story!!!! Vinegar also works well (though it stinks considerably more) for sun burns & bug bites. Also, for generally itchy skin, powdered milk & finely-ground oatmeal soften the water quite well. (Those were our tricks for DD's baths when she'd get a nasty exzema rash that needed soothing.)

jenny said...

Oh oh oh, you couldn't have written this post at a better time! My Youngest has a rash that just won't quit and I have tried just about everything I can get my hands on. It has been persistent and she has had this rash since Thanksgiving, poor thing. I have not had this problem with the other two and I am completely stumped! What was this cream your friend suggested and the baking soda only in the bath? What about diapers? Which ones seemed to do the trick? I have switched brands but nothing improves. I am even trying to potty train her so we can get rid of the diapers but I can only take so many pee pee accidents on the floor before I slap a diaper back on her. I would be so grateful for any info you can share!

barefoot gardener said...

Lisa and Kati-
I am glad you enjoyed the story! I do hope that the Sprouts remember this for their kids (and if they don't, there might be a yellow tub full of baking soda given for baby shower gifts!).

Oh, your poor little girl!

First, baking soda in the bath only though, as I have said, Big Sprout did make a paste of it using water and put it on bug bites. I don't know how that would work, or if it would be okay. You might have to do some research. I usually do a LOT of baking soda in each bath when there is a sore butt involved, like 1/4 cup. I have been told you don't need that much, but it hasn't hurt anything yet.

With diapers, I think it would be just trial and error. Huggies was the brand that worked best for Big Sprout. Pull-Ups were great when we were potty training, and she never got sore from them.

The cream is "Ertel's Famous Butt Cream", and it is only available at a pharmacy here in MN. I guess the original pharmacist there came up with the formula. I know they deliver. Umm, email me if you want the info...

You still might want to have Youngest go to the doc, though. Sometimes little ones get yeast infections that look just like diaper rash, and that may be her issue. The baking soda baths may soothe that, but I don't know if they would cure it. I think maybe diluted vinegar as a "wash" might help kill off the yeast, but I don't know how you feel about the home remedy/go to the doc debate.

Good Luck!

barefoot gardener said...

Score! I made my mom cry when she read this!

the good kind of cry

jenny said...

I tried the baking soda in the bath tonight and it seemed to soothe her. We are trying aveda natural diaper cream and it looks like her rash is getting better, finally. I think we will start with the pull-ups once the diapers run out and start potty training her a little more agressively. At least the rash is no longer raw and bleeding. She has been a real trooper throughout the rash and I feel so bad for her. We have no health insurance and the clinic here does not do health check-ups and visits, only preventive birth control or pregnancy tests, and shots for children. With Hubby out of work, we can't afford a doctor's bill, so I have been relying on the internet for our medical needs. Thankfully we have had nothing worse than colds with the exception of Youngest's rash.

If her rash persists, I will probably be coming to you for that cream you suggested. Until then, let's see how that aveda cream works out. Only on the 3rd day with it now. Thanks so much for sharing and for your information! xo

barefoot gardener said...

I am so glad Youngest is feeling a little better now. Isn't it wild how little ones can have rashes SO BAD that you just want to cry looking at it and they take it so well? I know with both of my Sprouts, the only time they would fuss would be at diaper change time, and I couldn't believe how tough they are.

Health insurance issues stink. I have been lucky in that I have managed to have ins (at least for the kids) all the time. It may not be GREAT ins, but it is something.

Hope things keep on getting better!