Inspired by my recent success at making baby wipes, I decided to get a little more creative and up the ante. I decided to make my own diaper cream.
Now, if you know me at all, you know why I inherited the nickname “Lucy”. Together, my sister (nicknamed “Ethel”) and I have set our houses on fire, caused floods, and wreaked many other forms of havoc. How we – and our children – have survived thus far is a phenomenon that has our respective husbands scratching their heads. Only God and his very busy horde of angels can figure it out.
Undaunted by my penchant for mishaps, I embarked on my diaper-cream-making journey with gusto. I started the same way I begin preparing for a meal – by disconnecting the smoke alarms (I wish I could say I was joking, but it’s actually the truth).
The recipe is simple. On the stove, heat and stir the following ingredients until melted, combined, and smooth:
- 1/2 cup cornstarch baby powder or liquid baby powder
- 2 large containers petroleum jelly or creamy jelly
- 3 cups water
- 1/4 cup calamine lotion
- 1/4 cup baby lotion
Sounds easy breezy, right? How can you possibly mess that up?
Things started off okay. Since I didn’t have calamine lotion, I just increased the baby lotion to 1/3 cup and added some aloe gel. I thought that aloe would be a good addition for sensitive skin.
As the mixture began to cook, I began to think (neither cooking or thinking are my strong points, so this could only lead to trouble). Didn’t they tell us in prenatal class about the benefits of olive oil? Why not add in some olive oil? And, since I wasn’t sure if regular baby powder is made from cornstarch (the recipe asked for cornstarch baby powder), why not add some cornstarch? It would counterbalance the extra olive oil.
I’m not a chemist – or a cook. As I added my new ingredients to my smooth, creamy liquid, it immediately turned lumpy and began to separate. I turned up the heat and continued to stir, but no amount of heating and stirring was going to fix this baby. I decided to pull out the blender and see if I could get the liquid and the jelly to mix together that way. I suppose that blending it in the pot was a bad idea because the olive oil and petroleum jelly mixtures began to spray all over the kitchen. Great. The walls, floor, stove, and my clothing were covered.
I turned off the blender and poured off the still separated excess liquid into the sink, leaving me with just the jelly-like cream. I hadn’t yet gotten around to doing the breakfast dishes, but since it was just liquid I was pouring, I didn’t think that having them in the way was a big deal. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The liquid that wouldn’t congeal for me in the pot immediately congealed in the sink and over the dishes. I turned on the water to try to wash it off but the entire drain was clogged by the congealed goop. Have you ever tried to wash dishes covered in vaseline and oil in a clogged sink? Not a happening story.
Sometimes, the best way to deal with a mess is to just ignore it. (This, by the way, is probably my life motto.) So I turned my back on my sink (and my walls, my floor, and my stove) and began to scoop the remaining contents of the pot into containers. You know the widow in the Bible who had to borrow containers from all of her neighbours because her oil miraculously multiplied? That was me. I’m not sure how one little recipe can make so much diaper cream, but I used every available container and the pot STILL wasn’t empty. After running out of containers, I resorted to plastic sandwich bags. Thank goodness we buy them in bulk!
As I write this, several hours later, the kitchen is still covered in oil and petroleum spray. The sink is still clogged and the dishes are still coated. My husband just called from work to ask about my day. With forced cheerfulness, I told him that, as always, I have everything under control and that, thanks to me and my newfound hippie ways, we now have a lifetime supply of diaper cream.
“Oh, and honey, can you please pick up some sandwich bags, plastic containers, and degreaser on your way home tonight?”
PS I just want to add, as a post script, that it took a good hour to unclog the sink, involving many panicked calls to my mother and lots of frantic googling. If you ever need to unclog a greasy sink without going to the expense of hiring a plumber, baking soda, vinegar, boiling water, a plunger, and a good hair dryer will do the trick quite nicely.