Parents often worry about proper baby skin care as infants are born with delicate and sensitive skin. A baby’s skin, the organ responsible for retaining moisture and keeping toxins out, is still developing. An infant’s skin is significantly thinner than an adult’s skin. Without special care, a baby’s skin can easily develop skin irritations and diaper rash. Don’t you just love newborns? There isn’t much I like better than newborn photography – fresh smiles, fresh skin and more. Let’s see how to keep their skin healthy and well.
To help avoid the stress that comes from dealing with baby skin problems, here are the top five baby skin care tips of 2019.
- Practice Good Hygiene
Baths are beneficial for a couple of reasons. They create a special bond between parents and newborns and protect against outside allergens and dirt. Before children start to crawl, they have already come into contact with dust, urine, feces, saliva, bodily secretions and other disease-causing bacteria.
Since babies’ skin is fragile, bathing them in water every day can do more harm than good. Baths should be limited to two to three times per week, especially for newborn infants. Lukewarm water, as opposed to hot water, should be utilized. Also, baby shampoo and soaps should be used that are formulated for babies. These include those that are organic, plant-based and safe for absorption through a baby’s fragile skin. These measures help prevent a baby from getting a cold while lessening any possible damage to a baby’s natural skin barrier. It is also best to use towels made with natural cotton when drying.
Babies are prone to dry and itchy skin. Some areas of the skin are more likely to dry out than others. For instance, the elbows and knees tend to rub against clothing, and the lips tend to get chapped. Moisturizing a baby after washing is the best way to keep skin flaking at bay. For maximum protection, experts suggest using a moisturizer that contains organic ingredients from natural plant sources that can be applied easily and is free from harsh chemicals.
- Limit Sun Exposure
Melanin is a pigment present in the hair, eyes and skin. Protecting the skin from harmful ultraviolet light is one of melanin’s amazing characteristics. Unlike adults, children have less melanin in their bodies, making them more susceptible to heat rash and sunburn. Keep newborns out of the sun for the first six months of their lives. After a baby is over six months of age, apply organic, hypoallergenic sunblock with coconut oil and zinc oxide to help protect the skin and avoid absorption of harmful ingredients. Additional sun protection like umbrellas, a light hat and baby strollers with overhead coverings are always helpful.
- Avoid Harsh Baby Products
Good baby skin care is not just about cleansing and moisturizing. The best skin care products are crucial in preventing harmful skin conditions. Parents should invest in baby shampoo, powder, cream and other products that are specially formulated to protect an infant’s skin. Antibacterial soap should be avoided as it may contain harsh ingredients such as alcohol, dyes and other allergy-causing chemicals.
For first-time parents, choosing a baby skin care product among a sea of options can be nerve-racking. To make shopping easier, read the product label before buying. Products that contain essential oils such as coconut oil, aloe vera, shea butter, olive oil and jojoba are gentle on babies and known to soothe irritated skin. On the other hand, preservatives like parabens and some natural oils can be harmful when applied directly to an infant’s skin.
- Check the Diaper Area Frequently
Check an infant’s diaper area frequently, and change diapers promptly when they are wet or soiled. When cleansing a baby’s diaper area, wipe from the front to the back. Pat the diaper area dry before applying a new diaper. Use diapers and wipes that are fragrance-free and free from harsh chemicals.
Treating Baby Skin Problems
Eczema (atopic dermatitis) is a common skin problem in infants and can emerge as early as the first month. It appears as tiny red bumps on the body, especially on the scalp, face, elbows and knees. The cause of eczema is unknown. However, there is believed to be a familial or hereditary component. To prevent babies from developing eczema (or lessen its impact), dress them in loose, cotton clothing. This material breathes, and babies are less likely to sweat. Use detergent formulated for babies to avoid harsh chemicals. If a baby develops eczema, consult a pediatrician for specialized cream.
Diaper rash is itchy and can cause discomfort depending upon the severity of the rash. To prevent diaper rash, change diapers frequently, practice good hygiene, and use a moisturizer. Also, only use diapers that are free from fragrance and harsh chemicals.