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Make Your Own

Last July, my six year old cousin and I were playing with her toys (which was awesome, obviously). At one point, she handed me her doll and insisted that I swaddle it. No big deal. Except my swaddle looked more like a poorly wrapped fajita. We both stared at the doll in silence. Finally, after a lingering glare at my baby bump, she informed me that I “better learn how to do that soon.” Ouch.

Well…after numerous YouTube videos and web tutorials, I still have no idea how to swaddle a baby (I can make a killer life size cotton origami crane though). Thankfully (or maybe as a result of this), Isla didn’t seem to like being in a baby straight jacket.

My point is that some things just don’t come naturally just because you become a mom (or dad). For example, I didn’t miraculously acquire a talent for making homemade goods. I go as far as making my own baby food and that’s only because the Baby Bullet smiles at me through the entire process.

However, my mom is passionate about making her own everything (as in MYO, the parenting version of BYO). Recently, she has started to make her own laundry detergent and baby shampoo, both of which work amazingly. Obviously, the biggest advantage of this is that you know what is going into the stuff you put on your body, which is especially important if you are allergic to the world (like myself). I hear it can also be cost effective (my mom makes it all for me at no cost. Yay for moms!). Anyway, for those inquiring minds, here are the recipes below:


Materials (can be easily acquired from

  • tea tree oil bar soap (natural anti-bacterial agent)
  • washing soda
  • pure borax
  • 100% essential oil (lavender or lemon works well)
  • large container (we use a 7 kg empty kitty litter container)


  1. Fill half of your container with hot water. Pour this water into a large cooking pot. Next, grate your tea tree bar soap with a cheese grater and pour the grated soap into your pot. Bring this concoction to a boil (soap will melt), then remove from heat.
  2. Have your container filled with hot tap water, 1 cup of borax, and 1 cup of washing soda (well, leaving room for your stove top concoction). Ensure that these ingredients are stirred well. Pour your boiled water and tea tree mixture into the container and stir.
  3. Add 15-20 drops of your chosen essential oil to your container.
  4. Put the lid onto your container and carefully take it outside to cool. It should set in approximately 15 hours.

You will only need to use about half a cup of this detergent per regular load. Trust me, one batch lasts forever.



  • empty 12 ounce bottle
  • Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild Soap Unscented
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of vitamin e oil
  • 2-3 drops of 100% essential oil (again, pick whatever scent you like)


  1. In 1 cup of water, add all the ingredients s-l-o-w-l-y. Pour this mixture into your shampoo bottle, then top up with more water.
  2. Shake container before using, as the oil with separate from the other ingredients.

Try to avoid washing your kid’s eyeballs with this stuff, as it doesn’t contain the magical yet poisonous anti-tears agents that make commercial shampoos so rad radioactive.