Article at a Glance:
- Is vinegar safe for baby? – Yes, but you must be mindful of the different types, acidity levels, and uses.
- Vinegar translates to “sour wine” and dates back to 3,000 BC.
- The strong pungent smell of vinegar is a result of the fermentation process.
- Apple Cider Vinegar is the result of fermenting apple juice and offers natural vitamins and minerals to babies including pantothenic acid, pectin, folic acid, niacin, biotin, iron, and a host of vitamins including B1, B2, B6, and D.
- Cradle Cap Solution – vinegar for hair can be applied using apple vinegar diluted with water can be used as a hair rinse to loosen the crusts or as a detangler.
- A diluted solution of vinegar and water can be used to help infantile seborrheic dermatitis and baby acne.
What Is Vinegar?
Vinegar is one of the most common liquids used throughout the world. It is also a crucial ingredient for pickling food through the fermentation process. Vinegar is an incredibly versatile liquid. It is useful in the kitchen, as an all-purpose cleaner, and can even be used to keep annoying insects at bay.
There are different types of vinegar depending on the liquid used in the fermentation process:
- Apple cider vinegar
- White vinegar
- Red wine vinegar
- Distilled vinegar
- White distilled vinegar
- Rice vinegar
Each country has a penchant for certain types of vinegar, such as cane vinegar in the Philippines, rice vinegar in Japan and China, and balsamic vinegar in Italy. Balsamic vinegar is more like fine wine and is very expensive. Trebbiano grapes are pressed and boiled until thick. Mother of vinegar is mixed with the thick syrup and then stored in wooden barrels for at least 12 years until it turns into acetic acid.
The mother of vinegar, described as a slime-like cellulose, is a bacterial culture used to break down ethanol (alcohol) into acetic acid. The Italian cities of Modena and Reggio Emilia are well known for their balsamic vinegar. Authentic balsamic vinegar must also come with a “Denominazione di Origine Protetta” stamp to certify its authenticity .
Vinegar contains acetic acid with a four to eight percent by volume concentration. However, the vinegar used in pickling has a higher acetic acid concentration that is up to 18%. Other kinds of acid like citric acid and tartaric acid appear in natural vinegar. All types of vinegar contain acids which are responsible for their sour taste. The production of acetic acid is currently accomplished synthetically and through fermentation with the use of the acetobacter .
What Are The Origins Of Vinegar
What is vinegar throughout the ages? Roughly translated from its Latin, Old French, and Middle English origins, vinegar translates to “sour wine.” Its use dates back thousands of years throughout many civilizations. Vinegar residues have been gleaned from ancient Egyptian urns as far back as 3000 BC. China’s rice vinegar dates back to the same period, although its written history has been traced back to 1200 BC. Vinegar was a popular liquid in Rome where they made the liquid from fruits, dates, and figs for bread dunking. During the biblical era, vinegar was used to flavor food, as a medication, and as an energizing drink.
Hippocrates pioneered the use of vinegar as medicine around 400 BC in Greece. He prescribed a mixture of honey and apple cider vinegar for coughs, colds, and other illnesses. Soldiers considered diluted vinegar a power drink that helped them fight battles. Rice vinegar was a staple drink among Japanese warriors or samurais as they believed it gave them strength. It was called “posca” by the Roman soldiers who used vinegar to kill infectious agents in their drinking water. Louis XIII’s soldiers also used vinegar to cool down their iron cannons and keep the metal surface from rusting .
The health benefits of vinegar were also highlighted during the Black Plague. The bodies of those who developed bubonic plague were washed with vinegar combined with herbs and essential oils. The caretakers of the sick also rubbed it on their bodies and inhaled vinegar to prevent contamination. Apple cider vinegar’s antiseptic properties disinfected and cleaned the wounds of the soldiers during World War I .
French winemakers developed a process to make vinegar through the Orleans method continuously. This slow method produces acid using vinegar and wine-filled barrels. The vinegar is siphoned and produces about 15% new vinegar. French winemakers provide a steady supply of vinegar in the market by using this method .
Today, there are different sources of vinegar. Vinegar is created from alcohol, grains, or fruits as long as the source is fermentable. The type of vinegar and its strength determines its use and if it can be used on your infant.
These Are Some Of The More Popular Types Of Vinegar:
- Fruit Vinegar
- Coconut Vinegar
- Cane Vinegar
- Vinegar As An Ingredient
These are among the best types of vinegar since they are made naturally and without the need of additional flavoring. However, fruit vinegar is more expensive. Even with the benefits of vinegar, it’s important to note that fruit vinegar, commonly produced in European countries is where premium vinegar is in high demand and therefore higher in price. Among the more popular fruit vinegar varieties are apple cider vinegar, persimmon vinegar, jujube vinegar, and quince vinegar.
Southeast Asian cuisine has become famous for its use of coconut vinegar both as a condiment and the main ingredient in some dishes. The benefits of vinegar when referring to the coconut variety is that it’s naturally sourced from coconut water. Its health benefits are comparable to apple cider vinegar.
Nutritionist and dietician Lynnley Huey of Digital Clinic Maven said coconut vinegar is a natural probiotic source. It is also a good source of potassium which helps balance electrolytes. Ascorbic acid, an antioxidant, boosts the immune system. This is one vinegar that will not raise your blood sugar level since it has a low glycemic index level .
This is a favorite vinegar in the Philippines, but it is also produced in the United States and France. Its flavor is much like rice vinegar, but there is no residual sugar content. Cane vinegar is usually produced naturally by allowing bacteria to react with sugar cane juice directly. It is produced through fermentation. People in Punjab, India put sugar cane juice in jars and enable it to react with wild yeast to create an almost black vinegar called vinegar sirka.
Appearance Of Vinegar
Vinegar comes in a wide variety of colors depending on how it is manufactured. Colors can be clear, light yellow, red, or black.
The acid in vinegar can also change the color of fruits and vegetables. For example, bright green, leafy vegetables can turn into a drab olive color. Surprisingly, vinegar tends to brighten fruits and vegetables that contain anthocyanins. With vinegar, the red color of fruits like cherries turn into a more attractive hue.
In fruits and vegetables that contain phenolic compounds, vinegar reduces the oxidation that turns their flesh brown.
Smell Of Vinegar
Vinegar has a pungent smell as a result of the fermentation process. The same pungent smell that gives vinegar its trademark odor enhances the flavor of food. Its taste is sour.
Are There Benefits Of Vinegar For Babies
Although we view our babies as perfect, they are often born with blemishes and hormonal imbalances. To correct these conditions safely, many parents opt to use natural products.
Apple cider vinegar is primarily sourced through the fermentation of apple juice. Just like the fruit from which it originates, apple cider vinegar contains many valuable vitamins and minerals . These include pantothenic acid, pectin, folic acid, niacin, biotin, iron, and a host of vitamins including B1, B2, B6, and D. It also contains potassium, citric acid, magnesium, calcium, sodium, acetic acid, and phosphorous .
White vinegar is a favorite among parents who prefer all natural cleaners. Parents must check the acidity level to see if it is safe for babies. A stronger 25% acidity is used for cleaning purposes due to its inherent ability to fight bacteria . White distilled vinegar is an affordable and useful household cleaning product.
Vinegar For Cradle Cap
Cradle cap (infantile seborrheic dermatitis) is an affliction where patches of scaly or thick crusts appear on the scalp. Skin appears mildly red and either oily or dry. Sometimes, skin flakes (dandruff) are present .
How do you use vinegar for hair? Vinegar for hair can be applied using apple vinegar diluted with water can be used as a hair rinse to loosen the crusts or as a detangler. However, care should be taken to avoid children’s eyes when using vinegar for hair .
Vinegar For Baby Skin Conditions
Infantile seborrheic dermatitis occurs around a baby’s ears, eyebrows, eyelids, in armpits, and other creases such as the groin. A diluted mix of water and apple cider vinegar can be used. Care should be taken to avoid the eye area .
Baby acne is often caused by exposure in the womb to maternal hormones. Does vinegar for skin work? Applying a diluted mix of warm water and apple cider vinegar for skin may help absorb oil and kill bacteria.
Vinegar For Fabric Softener
If you are like most parents, then you probably use fabric conditioner or softener on your baby’s clothes and beddings. However, many fabric softeners are made of harsh ingredients and are expensive. Instead, add some white distilled vinegar to your rinse cycle. Once the load dries, your clothes are soft, and there is no residual vinegar smell.
Vinegar Can Be Used As A Safe And Natural All-Purpose Cleaner
Babies have a tendency to put everything in their mouths including their toys. They transfer all the germs on the floor or wherever the toys are placed to vulnerable orifices including mouths, noses, and eyes. Cleaning your baby’s toys with vinegar and warm water helps keep germs at bay. Make your own vinegar and water solution, and then soak the toys in the solution for a few minutes.
Taking care of your baby need not be difficult and expensive if you know what eco-friendly cleansing products to use. Vinegar is a natural, affordable, and widely available ingredient that keeps environments and toys clean and babies healthy. However, vinegar is an acid, and different types have different uses. Always make sure you check with your pediatrician before using this product on your baby.
Is Vinegar Safe For Baby Resource: New World Encyclopedia; Vinegar.
 Merriam-Webster; Mother of Vinegar.
 US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health; Vinegar; Medicinal Uses and Antiglycemic Effect, Carol S. Johnston, PhD, RD, Cindy A. Gaas, BS, May 30, 2006.
 Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health; Vinegar.
 University of Washington; Beyond the Hype: Apple Cider Vinegar as an Alternative Therapy, Dori Khakpour, July 07, 2015.
 Maven; Real benefits to drinking apple cider vinegar.
 Penn State; Apple cider vinegar: examining the newest craze, Madison Galascio, April 15, 2016.
 WebMD; Apple Cider Vinegar.
 WebMD; Fighting Kitchen Germs: Dos and Dont’s, Dan Brennan, MD, December 05, 2017.
 Mayo Clinic; Cradle Cap, Is Vinegar Safe For Baby.
 US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health; Vinegar: Medicinal Uses and Antiglycemic Effect, Carol S. Johnston, PhD, RD, Cindy A. Gaas, BS, May 30, 2016.