When babies are in the womb, they’re protected in every possible way. However, leaving the warm and gentle home of the mother can be quite a shock for baby, and suddenly these tiny humans are exposed to all sorts of new things. One way that these new sights, smells and sounds manifest themselves is through baby’s skin. Babies are quickly introduced to new materials, chemicals and a range of other things. It’s no wonder it’s common for babies to develop rashes in the first few months. So, if you want to be kind to your baby’s skin, here’s what you can do to protect it.
No matter how mild baby products claim to be, many of them will still strip your child of his/her natural oils. Of course, if your child hasn’t got the protection of natural oils on the skin, something as simple as baby shampoo could cause a skin irritation. So, to ensure your baby’s skin has the protection it needs, you can replace the natural oils by giving your baby an oil massage. Not only is this great for your baby’s skin, but it also promotes relaxation and a healthy sleep pattern in babies. Many older generations have always recommended baby massage after a warm bath to tempt a baby to sleep.
A new baby’s skin is so sensitive that even the temperature of bath water can cause a temporary rash. Just as adult skin reacts to water that is too cold or too hot, a baby’s skin will do the same, but with harsher results. It’s important to get the temperature of the bath just right for your new baby. Water that is too hot or too cold for your baby will mean bath times are not enjoyable and your baby may have to deal with dry and flaky skin. The best way to make sure the bath water is at a reasonable temperature is to use a bath thermometer, rather than testing with your own skin.
When you touch your baby’s skin, it may appear so soft that the idea of a scrub seems ludicrous. However, young babies still have a thin layer of hair all over their bodies, including their faces. This layer of hair may not even be visible, but it’s there and it can help to block dirt and grime. Buying or creating your own baby scrub and applying it to your baby’s skin twice a week will help to remove any bacteria stuck in the skin and even gently remove the hair on the body that’s unnecessary. Ingredients such as rose water, milk and baby oil are sensitive enough for a scrub.
Soothing Body Pack
If your baby is prone to rashes or skin blemishes, he/she may be more sensitive to environmental factors. After all, a baby is almost instantly introduced to fresh air that can carry a number of things that affect the skin. Traffic emissions are higher than ever, our food is grown in poor conditions and it’s difficult to decipher the language of ingredients when it comes to buying the best products. Sometimes, your baby’s skin may just need a breather. You can make a soothing body pack at home with sandalwood, saffron, turmeric and milk. This develops into a paste you can spread onto your baby’s body. Leave it for ten minutes and wash off with warm water. If your baby is comfortable enough, avoid immediately dressing your baby to let the skin breathe.
Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
Most babies will need lots of moisture put back into their skin. It’s advisable to moisturize your baby’s skin every day. However, if your baby is prone to dry skin on a regular basis, you can moisturize every four hours. The problem is finding a moisturizer that’s sensitive enough for baby’s skin. Many brands will claim to be something they’re not, so it’s best to get advice from your midwife, doctor or other mothers. You may have to pay a little more than you usually do for a good moisturizer, but you’ll see the benefits in your baby’s skin immediately.
Stay Away from Soap
There is no adult soap that’s sensitive enough for a baby’s skin. Many new mothers have made the mistake of using soap bars in their baby’s bath, only to find their baby’s skin is irritated an hour after. Soap contains harsh ingredients that an adult’s body has become accustomed to. However, soap can dry out baby’s skin, cause it to peel and even cause a reaction that requires medical treatment. Use milk rich baby body washes for your baby, for smooth skin and a gentle cleansing. There are many different body washes to choose from, some of them designed specifically by age.
Dose of Sunshine
Your baby needs a good dose of vitamin D regularly to continue to grow healthily. A bit of sunshine here and there can be great for your baby’s skin and it also helps with baby’s sleep patterns. However, too much sun can be damaging for your baby’s skin. Along with the risk of sunburn comes dehydration, heat rashes and dry skin. If you’re out in the sun, make sure you bring a sunshade or umbrella with you for your pram. Keep your baby indoors during the midday heat, when the sun is at its hottest.
This applies to mother and baby. When you’re a busy mother, it’s easy to forget about keeping yourself hydrated but it’s so important during those first few months. If you’re breastfeeding, your baby will be getting hydration from you, so you need to be drinking more fluids than normal. If baby has stopped breastfeeding, it’s important to keep baby hydrated with bottles of water or juice throughout the day, as well as the milk he/she is receiving as food. For both adults and children, dehydration can lead to dry skin and generally feeling unwell.
Plenty of Nutrients
As your baby moves onto solid foods, it’s a great opportunity to tackle skin problems from the inside. Instead of buying supermarket baby food, try making your own at home. Blending a variety of fruits and freezing them creates an excellent type of sorbet that babies love. Vitamin C can be found in a range of different fruits and gives the skin what it needs to heal and glow from the inside out. The sooner you can introduce fruits and vegetables to your baby’s palate, the easier it will be to take care of their skin.
The average newborn baby has its diaper changed up to ten times a day, and baby wipes are often used every time to freshen baby up. It’s not surprising that many babies get diaper rashes early on. You can avoid these rashes by staying away from wipes that are fragranced or soapy. Go for wipes with a water base so you know they are kind to your baby’s skin. Don’t make the mistake of using facial wipes if you run out of baby wipes. Instead, use wet cotton balls to change diapers. Using water based sensitive baby wipes means you can also use them to wipe your baby’s face and body after feeding if you need to.
The best way to protect your baby’s skin is to remember it’s more sensitive than your own. Look for products designed for baby’s skin and don’t be tempted to use adult products, even if it’s your only option. When in doubt about a rash, always consult your doctor first.