Is 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 mouth), 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)!
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.
If a rash becomes particularly nasty or painful you should 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.
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.
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.