A newborn baby is a beautiful yet vulnerable being. The skin of an infant or a baby is extremely delicate and requires special care. Unlike adults, the skin of babies is very thin and sensitive. Even mild exposure to chemicals, irritants or environmental pollutants can lead to thrush, eczema and baby rashes.
It takes a lot of patience and deliberation to look after your newborn’s skin. Here are some tips to look after your baby’s skin.
Tips for Baby Skin Care
The Use of Bubble Baths
Avoid using baby bubble baths, as they are full of chemicals despite what most advertisers have to say. Baby bubble baths also eliminate the good and essential bacteria, which are present in the baby’s vagina or urinary tract. A better option is to stick to simple baths and use oil on the baby’s skin. Use pure olive or coconut oil as that is gentle on the baby’s skin.
Avoid the Use of Soap on Small Infants
Small infants have very delicate skin and tend to get cradle cap and skin rashes with the use of soap. Small infants can be bathed or washed down with luke warm water. Soaps like dove or pears which are very gentle on the baby’s skin can be used but in moderate amounts. Lather the soap and rub it gently on your baby. Avoid vigorous strokes.
Use specially formulated shampoos that are primarily meant for your young baby’s thin hair. Avoid using harsh, chemically laden products as they do more harm than good. Most young babies will, however, not need any shampoo.
Do Not Bathe the Baby Daily
You do not have to bathe young infants daily unless the weather outside is very warm and causes your baby to sweat. A warm sponge bath is adequate to keep your baby sweet smelling and fresh.
Excessive use of water may strip the baby’s delicate skin of moisture and make his/her skin very dry.
Clean All Folds
A young baby has adorable folds, which we all love. These folds however harbour dangerous bacteria, which can cause skin irritation and rashes. Make sure you thoroughly wipe and dry all the folds with a clean towel. Apply some baby powder to these areas so that the folds remain dry at all times.
Keep Your Eyes Open for Diaper Rash
Diaper rashes are very common in young infants. Some children react badly to certain brands of diapers so choose brands, which are gentle on the baby’s skin. In order to avoid diaper rash, change diapers often. Clean and wipe the bum region with wet cloth wipes. Dust the area with gentle baby powder. Use special diaper rash cream if you see the beginnings of a rash. See a doctor in case the rash becomes very severe.
Choose Linen and Bedding Wisely
Some babies react to their bedding and linen, as they may be allergic to some of the fabrics. In order to avoid this, choose linen and bedding judiciously.
Look for materials that are soft and cosy on the baby’s skin. Stick to loose, airy cotton especially in the warm summer months. In fact, it is best to use hand-me-downs and old baby clothes, as they are worn and soft to the touch. New clothes often irritate the baby’s skin.
Treating Pimples and Baby Acne
Baby acne and pimples are very common and happen due to the clogged pores of the baby’s skin in the mother’s womb. These become full-blown pimples once the baby is out in the world. There is no solution for baby acne. Just let it be. It will run its course and get all right on its own.
Dealing With Eczema
Eczema is one of the most serious yet most common problems found in young babies. It occurs in the form of red, weepy and scaly rashes that is found on the chest, elbows and back.
It is often an allergic reaction. If your baby gets it, it is best to look out for the triggers and avoid them at all costs. Use gentle soaps and lotions and ask your doctor to give you a prescription ointment that can be applied on the baby’s skin.
Dry Skin in Babies
Dry skin in babies is more common than you think. It is commonly found in late born babies. Do not worry too much about it. It will shed on its own and the softer, newer skin will soon be revealed beneath the older skin.
Cradle cap appears as a scaly, waxy, red rash on the baby’s scalp, skin and cheeks. It is also called as sebhorreic dermatitis. Speak to your doctor who will recommend the use of specially formulated shampoo to deal with the baby’s cradle cap.
Yeast infections also called as infant thrush appear on the lips, gums and diaper area. They vary in their appearance depending on which area of the body they occur in. They can appear in the form of dried milk spots on the baby’s lips. A red and irritated rash can appear in the diaper region of your young baby. Treat these in accordance with your doctor’s guidelines.
Wash the Baby’s Clothes Before They are Worn
It is important to gently rinse a newborn’s clothes in mild detergent before making the infant wear them. This gets rid of cloth irritants and smoothes out rough edges if any. The same applies to his/her bedding and other linen.
Massage the Baby
Massaging the baby skin gently with warm coconut oil is very good for his/her joints and tender skin. Use gentle strokes while massaging to prevent aggravating the skin.
Avoid the Use of Baby Wipes
Baby wipes are often perfumed and come with added chemicals, which could harm or irritate your baby’s skin. It is best to stick to cloth wipes or simple cotton to wipe your baby’s skin. You can also apply a layer of Vaseline to your baby’s skin to give the skin a protective layer.
These basic baby care tips will help to prevent innumerable skin rashes and keep your baby’s skin soft and supple.