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7 ways to care for your newborn’s skin

Newborn baby with beautiful soft skinIs there anything softer or more beautiful than the skin of a newborn baby?

And don’t we all wish we still had skin like it—it is so soft and delicate and it smells gorgeous too! That’s why it is so important to protect your baby’s skin.

Here are seven tips for caring for your newborn baby’s sensitive skin.

7 ways to care for your newborn’s skin

Don’t bath your newborn baby every day

Until babies are crawling around on the floor and eating solid food they’re not exactly getting super dirty so daily baths aren’t necessary and will only dry out their sensitive skin.

In between baths you can always give your baby a ‘top and tail’ wash—focussing on the face (eyes and behind their neck and ears), skin folds (in between the cute fat rolls!) and the nappy area (make sure you do this bit last!).

Don’t use soap on your newborn baby

Soap can be dehydrating for skin. There’s no need to use anything on a new baby except warm water or a mild, non-soap based cleanser if required. Steer clear from any cleansers that contain unnecessary perfumes or chemicals.

Keep your baby out of harsh sunlight

Make sure you keep your baby out of direct sunlight (particularly in the middle of the day) as much as possible before they’re six months old, when their skin is at its most delicate. Stock up on hats, socks and long-sleeved suits (lightweight ones for the warmer weather) and make sure you have good shade protection for your pram.

If you are heading outdoors look for shady spots to sit with your new baby. But remember that even the shade can’t protect you from the UV rays that reflect back up at you (this is particularly important near sand, water and snow)!

Babies still need Vitamin C for strong bones and teeth so don’t avoid sunlight, just be mindful. Sunscreen isn’t recommended for babies under the age of six months.

Change your baby’s wet and dirty nappies frequently

The best way to prevent nappy rash is to make sure your new baby’s nappy is changed regularly to ensure skin is kept dry and clean.

Some babies have more sensitive skin than others and may be more prone to rashes. If your baby is, you might need to invest in some nappy rash cream to protect their skin. Also make sure you give them some nappy-free time daily.

Avoid using wipes that contain alcohol as this will dry and irritate the skin. Pat rather than rub the skin.

If a nappy rash continues and doesn’t clear after 2-3 days see your doctor.

Try baby massage

A baby’s skin is sensitive—not just to the ‘bad’ things like sunlight and chemicals but also to the good things, like the loving touch of their mum and dad.

After your baby is clean and dry from a bath why not try some infant massage—you need to use the correct techniques, so maybe try a baby massage course or lesson with some other new parents.

Massage can also be very tiring for a baby, so pick a time when you and your baby are relaxed to get the most out of a baby massage.

The benefits of baby massage are said to include: reduced crying time, improved sleep, improved wind and reflux, and reduced stress levels in baby as well as mum and dad.

Be sure not to use essential oils on your baby under the age of one year as these are too strong for your baby. Pure organic cold pressed oils are the best oils to use on your baby and they won’t be too greasy on the skin either.

Wash new clothes before your baby wears them

Clothes manufacturers use chemical finishes to enhance the colours and textures in their products. Most of us won’t be affected by these chemicals but those with sensitive skin could break out in a rash.

Protect your baby’s skin by washing their clothes before they’re worn. If your baby has extra sensitive skin, use a gentle detergent. Don’t forget to wash bedding as well.

If you have an enormous amount of new clothes just wash as you need them (ie. wash the size 0000 and 000 but save the bigger clothes for when your baby needs them). Keep the tags on too in case you need to exchange them!

Use natural fibres for clothes and bedding

The best clothing for a new baby is light, not too tight, and made from natural fibres like cotton and bamboo which allow baby’s skin to breathe.

Wool is also a natural fibre but can irritate and cause itchiness on a baby’s skin — wool clothes are ideal for putting over other clothes in cooler weather.

Try to use natural fibres in your baby’s bedding as well to help prevent overheating.

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1 Comment so far -
  • EllyJ says:

    I’ve been using the all-natural Hope’s Relief range on my little girl’s eczema-prone skin.

    So many products are out there marketed as ‘mild’ or ‘baby’ formulas, are not mild or suitable for baby use at all. Such products have irritating ingredients such as: petroleum based oils, synthetic fragrances, as well as other nasties such as Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, one of the harshest surfactants in existence!

    Many adults may not realise that their eczema could have been linked to infant use of soaps with high pH. It was not your parents’ fault, however, since soaps with pH 10 have been around since the 1950s, and are still available for purchase at any local store. The modern consumer now needs to educate themselves to know the difference with newer cleansing technologies.

    The Eczema Association of Australia suggests an unscented/aroma free natural moisturising lotion or cream to help combat existing dry skin conditions as the skin needs to be kept hydrated. Nothing extra is needed, aside from a gentle wash product, a simple moisturiser and perhaps a natural massage oil. If parents wish to introduce other kinds of personal care, including aromatic products, seek out a quality product that once again, has been specifically formulated for babies and check ingredient lists for the main ingredients. Avoid anything that appears to be formulated using mostly synthetics.

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