Protect Delicate Newborn Skin With These Five Simple Baby Skin Care Tips.
Finding the right baby skin care routine can be quite daunting without the right information. Newborn skin is so soft and delicate that is it can be quite susceptible to the elements as well as any internal stresses that the baby might be experiencing. There is nothing sweeter than the feel and smell of soft, new baby skin. There is also nothing more distressing to a parent than seeing their new born baby try to cope with painful rashes and uncomfortable skin conditions.
Infant skin care doesn’t have to be hard work. In fact, it is often a case of ‘less is more’. Follow these five simple baby skin care tips and you will be well on your way to helping your baby’s skin stay soft, smooth and healthy.
Young babies need bathing no more than twice a week. Until they start crawling, babies aren’t really doing anything that makes them ‘dirty’. Gentle sponge baths around the mouth, hands and nappy area between baths is ample. Sponge your baby from the top down, leaving the nappy area till last. Bathing your new born too frequently can lead to dry skin, so use your intuition along with some common sense. If you baby is not dirty, resist the urge to bath them. Use body washes that are fragrance free and have been specifically designed for baby skin. Some body washes contain foaming agents that can dry out the skin, so once you have found the best formula to suit your baby’s skin, use it sparingly.
For the first six months, try to block newborn skin form direct sunlight as much as possible. Use shading options as much as possible. Use solid shade as much as possible such as pram shades, umbrellas and window shades in the car. You can also dress your baby in light-weight, long sleeved clothing and a hat. If your baby is less than 6 months old, use a broad spectrum sunscreen as a last resort and apply it to the areas that you are unable to protect from direct sunlight. Baby skin is so delicate that it is easily burnt. Applying an SPF sunscreen sparingly to the face, hands and feet is definitely a better option than risking sun damage or painful sun burn.
All clothes and rugs should be washed before having contact with baby’s skin. Some baby skin might be sensitive to regular detergents, however your baby may be fine to use the same detergent as the rest of the family. If your baby develops a particular skin complaint, you may like to switch to a washing detergent designed for sensitive skin. Rather than switching detergents you might like to try putting baby’s clothes through an extra rinse cycle to remove any detergent residue.
Due to it’s sensitive nature, most baby skin will go through some ‘rashy’ stages. The three most common skin problems in newborns are nappy rash, heat rash and eczema.
Mild nappy rash appears as a flat, red rash around the nappy area. A little nappy rash is quite common and should settle with appropriate care, but if nappy rash becomes inflamed or infected it can be quite painful for the baby. Nappy rash is most often caused by regular contact of urine and faeces with the skin. Using a simple barrier cream (the white, zinc based creams are the best) will protect the baby’s delicate skin. Some baby wipes may also irritate baby skin, so choose fragrance free wipes or opt to use damp tissues rather than pre-packaged wipes.
Heat rash is a sign that your baby is too warm. Heat rash first appears as redness in the nappy area, under the arms and around the neck, chest and face. If your little one gets too hot the rise in core body temperature can cause sweat glands to become blocked, forming small red bumps and sometimes even blisters. The best way to prevent and treat heat rash is to make sure your baby doesn’t get too warm. Using adequate air conditioning and breathable clothing should help prevent heat rash from occurring. If you notice heat rash starting to appear, apply a cold face washer to cool the affected area down.
Eczema is very common in young children. While some adults continue to experience eczema, most childhood cases will clear up by the time the child turns five. Eczema can be seen a raised, red, itchy rash. It often starts in the folds of the elbows and knees and can sometimes spread to the face and trunk. While there is a genetic component, eczema can be triggered by heat, stress, exposure to environmental elements (such as wind, sun and soap) and also diets that are acidic or high in sugar. Dry skin is also more vulnerable to developing eczema. Keeping the skin cool and moisturising regularly can help to prevent eczema. If your child appears to be experiencing discomfort due to the eczema, a mild cortisone cream may be required to settle the inflammation down, so be sure to consult your doctor for further advice.
Skin Care Basics
The most important thing to remember is to keep your baby’s skin well moisturised. Dry skin is far more vulnerable to irritation and rashes. Keeping the surface of the skin moist provides the skin with a protective barrier to help guard the skin from environmental elements. When it comes to baby oils and moisturisers, choose products that are fragrance free and are clinically tested and approved for sensitive skin. There are many baby skin care products available to choose from. Look for formulas that are botanically based and have been tested by dermatologists or paediatricians.
Keep It Simple
The skin plays a very important role of protecting the body from a range of environmental factors such as mechanical impact, variations in temperature, pathogens, radiation and chemicals. If the skin isn’t in a healthy state the body’s ability to protect itself from the external environment is diminished. The delicate new skin on a newborn baby requires a careful but simple approach. By adopting the ‘less is more’ approach to your baby’s skin care regime, you will not only be caring for your baby’s soft, delicate skin, you will also save yourself time and money in those precious early months.
A rash on newborn skin is an indication that something is wrong, so check your baby’s skin regularly. While rashes in babies are common and often settle without medical care, there are many reasons for why a rash might occur. If your baby has a rash you are unsure of, you should seek medical advice immediately. If nappy rash, heat rash or eczema rashes haven’t cleared up within a few days it is also a good idea to seek the advice of your doctor.