Today’s guest post from Kelly Fowler is highly useful for a new or soon-to-be parent. Find out how to best take care of baby’s skin, including preventing diaper rashes, so your little one stays happy and healthy.
There is nothing as soothing and calming to the touch as the soft, delicate skin of a newborn baby. On the opposite side of the spectrum, nothing compares to the irritated cries of a cranky baby with irritated skin. As a parent, this will be your first shock – seeing your little angel throwing his first tantrum. But it is of no fault of their own. Virtually all babies are prone to developing skin irritation in the first few months of their life for a wide variety of reasons.
The skin of newborns, as well as their immune systems, are delicate, and anything from chemicals, fragrances, detergents, to dyes in clothing and even some baby products can cause dryness, irritation, chafing and rashes. And as a parent, it is your job to do everything to prevent that. Here is how to take care of your baby’s skin.
Do Not Bathe the Baby Too Frequently
Your first (understandable) impulse upon seeing your baby’s skin irritated might be to rush them to the bathtub. However, frequent bathing can actually do more harm than good. Washing your baby more than three time per week during that crucial first year can remove the natural oils that protect the baby’s skin, leaving it vulnerable to future catalysts of irritation.
The truth is, except for the occasional drool and the diaper changes, newborns do not get very dirty because they are usually kept in controlled environments – a.i. your house. Babies do not have to go grocery shopping, do not work 9 to 5 jobs, and they are certainly not hitting the gym after work because Brenda from HR made a passing comment about them having gained a little weight during the Christmas break.
So, for the first few months, an occasional sponge bath coupled with a cute little rubber duckling should be enough to keep the baby clean as a whistle. After a few months, you can combine the baths with baby lotions to ensure that the kid’s skin stays moisturized and as far away from becoming greasy or developing eczema as possible. If you are searching for the best baby lotions for your kid, make sure to check out the linked article for a few top-quality products. While you are at it, you can also simplify the bathing routine by using a rolled up towel to keep the infant in one place.
Choose ingredients Carefully
In terms of products, you should choose those with the fewest ingredients possible. It is a good idea to avoid products with traces of formaldehydes, parabens and fragrances, as these can cause bouts of irritation. As for the products themselves, here is what you should look for:
- Wipes with no traces of alcohol. Alternatively, you can skip them altogether and opt for a clean washcloth.
- For cleansers, you can use soap-free liquids.
- Tearless shampoo.
- Fragrance-free detergents, as more often than not, the irritations are caused by freshly washed clothes.
Baby’s Skin and Diaper Rashes
As cute as your baby might look in his little diaper, trust us, those things can be brutal. Even if you do not have kids yet, you have certainly heard of diaper rashes, one of the most common skin conditions that babies face. More often than not, diaper rashes are caused by the moisture created by a soiled diaper. However, diaper rashes are not strictly related to this item – they can also develop when the baby’s skin is left undried after giving them a bath. In other cases, rashes can be caused by antibiotics, yeast infections or other types of bacteria.
So, what can you do to treat and prevent diaper rashes? It is simpler than you think. Here are some useful tips:
- Check the diapers as frequently as possible, obviously.
- Make sure to pat the baby’s skin dry, not rub it. Remember, babies have extremely sensitive skin, and you do not want to give your baby irritations with your rough adult fingers and palms. Also, you should let the diaper area fully dry before putting on a fresh diaper.
- Never delay a diaper changer if the situation asks for it.
- The diaper area should be washed with a mild cleanser which lacks fragrances. Alternatively, you can use plain water.
- Never use baby wipes on diaper rashes. A clean, soft cloth is more suitable to this situation, as the alcohol and chemicals found in baby wipes can aggravate the rash.
Give Your Newborn a Massage
As counter intuitive as it might sound after the whole ‘’don’t rub your baby’’ shtick, giving your newborn a massage is a good way of establishing a bond between you and your kid. Moreover, a parent’s gentle touch can do wonders for the baby mental and physical well-being – massaged infants sleep better, cry less and experience a boost in their immune systems.
If you couple the massage with some special anti-rash lotion, the better. There is no set technique for giving babies massages. All you have to do is place the baby on a soft blanket or fabric, put a little baby lotion in your hand and massage their chest and back. As long as the baby does not throw a tantrum, you are doing it right.
This concludes our small guide about taking care of your baby’s skin. Newborn babies have sensitive skin, so standard adult hygiene practices do not apply to babies. You will have to work around their fragile skins and immune systems, and this involves choosing products with no fragrances and alcohol, bathing the infant no more than three times per week and giving your kid massages with lotions. Follow the tips presented in this write-up and you will have a clean, rash-free and happy baby.
About Kelly Fowler
Kelly Fowler is a full-time mommy and a blogger. She likes to provide useful baby care advice for every new parent.