When you have a new baby, you are pretty much overwhelmed by its helplessness. The baby looks so fragile and dainty and his/her skin looks as if it would break. The skin of a baby is very delicate, sensitive and thin unlike adults. It reacts badly to the use of harsh products and hence needs to be treated with the utmost care.
A variety of skin conditions ranging from eczema to rashes can irritate the baby’s skin and make the baby uncomfortable. Here is a look at some of the important and pertinent tips that parents should keep in mind while caring for their baby’s skin.
How to Care for Baby’s Skin
Dealing with Baby Acne
A baby who is about a week old may develop baby acne with small pimples erupting on his/her face. This happens due to irritants present in the environment.
It could also occur due to a baby product or a cloth piece that he/she is sensitive. While you may feel concerned, there is nothing much that you can do as in most cases it heals on its own. Try to keep the skin dry and clean.
Avoid Rough and Tight Clothing
Clothing can irritate the baby skin and cause skin chafing. That is why it is recommended that you do not make a baby wear new clothes, as they can be very rough on the tender skin.
Old clothes made up of soft cotton are best for baby’s skin. It is recommended that all new clothes be washed to prevent skin irritation and chafing. Do not make the baby wear tight or restrictive clothing.
Dealing with Heat Rash
A heat rash is very common in the summer months. This happens due to excessive sweating and humidity. One way to deal with it is to make the baby wear minimal clothing.
Keep the baby in a cool, dry and well-ventilated area. Make it a point to powder the folds of the skin where heat rashes are most likely to occur.
Restrict the use of Harsh Products
Never use harsh soaps, creams, lotions and shampoos on your baby. It can lead to eczema that appears on the baby’s skin in the form of red patches and scales. The baby’ skin is very sensitive so use products that are specifically suited for the baby or use a formula prescribed by the doctor.
Dealing with Cradle Cap
Cradle cap is a very common scalp condition in babies. In this, a yellow crust like substance appears on your baby’s scalp.
Just wash and shampoo the baby’s hair and remove the crusty substance with the help of a fine comb. If the cradle cap is very severe, speak to a doctor.
Massaging the Baby’s Skin
It is very important to massage the baby’s skin. It keeps the skin supple and soft and also improves blood circulation to the various parts of the body. Do not use harsh oils. Use natural oils like olive, almond or coconut oil, which are good for the baby’s skin.
Bathing a New Born Baby
A newborn baby’s skin is very delicate so for the first few days avoid bathing him/her with shampoo. You can just use plain water to wash the baby down. In case the baby has a rash or is unwell, a sponge bath is sufficient.
Clean in between Folds
When wiping the baby, make sure you clean well in between folds as these areas accumulate sweat, moisture and dirt and can become a breeding ground for infections.
Always douse powder in the baby’s nappy area after changing nappies or diapers. Clean the nappy area with soft cotton wool or gentle baby wipes to prevent a rash in the nappy area.
Choose Bedding Carefully
Make sure you choose all the bedding and linen carefully.
Wash it before use and ensure that it is made only of soft materials and cotton otherwise it can harm and irritate your baby’s skin. Wash the clothes in mid detergent. Do not use harsh detergents to clean the baby’s clothes.
New born babies benefit immensely with cloth nappies. However, if you do not want the hassle of frequent changing, opt for soft diapers. Make sure you change the diaper as soon as the baby soils it.
Use plain water only to clean the diaper area. Never rub the nappy area. Just pat the area dry with a soft cloth. Use a good diaper rash cream in case you suspect the beginnings of a rash.
Restrict the use of Powder
While baby powders smell good, there is no specific reason why you should e using them. Your baby can inhale the ingredients of the powder and develop lung problems. Babies smell good anyways, so you can actually skip the powder.
Yeast infections are not very common in babies. They are commonly found in the mouth or the nappy area. You may have to speak to a good paediatrician who will recommend a good anti-fungal cream for your baby.
Keep Your Baby out of the Sun
The sun’s harsh rays can severely damage the baby’s skin so it is very important to keep the baby out of the sun. If you have to go out, use hats, umbrellas and caps to cover the baby.
If the baby is slightly older, you can use a mild and gentle sunscreen on the baby’s skin. If the baby feels overheated, cool the baby’s skin immediately to prevent sun burn.
Keep the Baby’s Temperature Stable
Babies can feel hotter or colder than adults can. This can make their skin susceptible to weather conditions. It is therefore very important to keep the baby in a room, which is not too hot or cold. Keep the baby bedding clean and free of dust mites. Dress the baby warmly at night if it gets very cold.
With these tips, parents can be extra alert about the various kinds of skin conditions occurring in their babies and can take necessary precautions to prevent them. If you feel concerned, speak to your doctor who will give you reassuring advice.