Your baby’s skin is very delicate, especially as a newborn. Luckily, we have some great tips for you to help you take care of it every day.
Your baby doesn’t need to have a bath every day, especially if they have dry skin or a skin condition. A daily top and tail wash is fine, but if you do want to do a daily bath, don’t use too many products. A bubble bath and body washes can be drying on your baby’s skin and make them more prone to conditions such as eczema. Use plain water or look for emollient products than encourage moisture. You can also find a number of baby specific products, at the store or prescribed by a pediatrician, that will cater to their skin type.
While disposable diapers are very absorbent, your baby’s skin can still be irritated when they have peed. Change your baby at least every couple of hours, and always as soon as possible when they have pooped. You can use a barrier cream to protect your baby’s skin in between changes but look for something which stays on the skin even when it gets wet. Baby powder is also helpful in keeping your baby’s tush free of irritation.
If you can face it, aim for some time for your baby to not have a diaper on. This allows air to circulate and is great for babies who get diaper rash often. If you’re worried about accidents, head out to the yard or stick to areas with wooden floors.
Many parents would be lost without their baby wipes, but some brands or varieties can contain ingredients that irritate your baby’s skin. In some cases, even between siblings, one brand can be suitable for one child and not the other. Look for brands which are specially formulated for sensitive skin or contain few ingredients. Cotton wool and plain water is the gentlest option for your baby, but this can be less convenient for diaper changes. Whatever you pick, try to find a hypoallergenic variety of it to avoid any possible complications.
It can be very tempting to try and pick off any patches of cradle cap on your baby’s scalp but this can cause the hair to come out with it. Use a special shampoo or massage petroleum jelly or olive oil into the scalp. This should encourage the flakes to lift by themselves without sacrificing all of the cute little hairs.
Try to avoid any products which contain synthetic fragrances, as these can be irritating and can also aggravate asthma or hay fever. They can also trigger skin allergies, which will make your baby very uncomfortable as it often itches them.
Babies under six months old should not be exposed to any direct sunlight at all, as this can be very damaging to their skin. Use plenty of shade and high factor sunscreen if you do go outside, especially between 11 am and 3 pm when the sun is hottest. Look for a sunscreen which has UVA and UVB protection and reapply frequently, even with a high SPF. Also, be mindful that it is a sensitive skin formula as well as non-toxic. Dress your baby in loose clothing and a brimmed hat to protect and the face and neck. Do not cover your stroller with any material as this emphasises the heat inside. Use an umbrella or separate shade instead.
Caring for your baby’s skin doesn’t have to be a difficult task. Choosing the right products and keeping an eye out for any soreness or irritation will help keep it soft and clean. Plus you wouldn’t want to replace the lovely newborn smell! Shop smart, and keep notes, and you’ll have a foolproof skincare routine for your baby in no time.