You’ve heard it before, but I’ll say it again – parenting is no walk in the park. It’s an endless journey of learning and our kids are the hapless guinea pigs; especially the first child! But, the good news is that as your baby grows, so do you as a parent.
Caring for a baby is hard enough without having to bother with those incessant skin rashes and infections. While there are some things that you can only learn from personal experience, I do hope that you can gain some insight from the experiences of other parents.
Here are some simple tips for baby skin care that I’ve picked up over the years:
1. Know Your Baby’s Skin
“The surface area of a baby’s skin is larger than an adult’s, resulting in rapid loss of moisture and heat”
The first thing that you should keep in mind is that a baby’s skin is 20-30% thinner than an adult’s. This means that it’s obviously a lot more delicate.
Moreover, a newborn baby’s skin takes time adjusting from the liquid environment of the womb to air. Another important consideration is that the surface area of a baby’s skin is larger than an adult’s, resulting in rapid loss of moisture and heat.
For this reason, one of the best ways to protect baby skin is by keeping your baby warm and hydrated.
2. Massage With Natural Oils
“Most commercial oils, including some that are marketed for babies, contain chemicals and fragrances that can irritate your baby’s sensitive skin and are therefore best avoided”
Massaging is the best way to keep your baby’s skin supple and healthy and it’s also a great bonding activity. For a baby massage, always make it a point to use gentle natural oils like almond or olive oil, as they will moisturize and soften the skin and pose no risk.
Most commercial oils, including some that are marketed for babies, contain chemicals and fragrances that can irritate your baby’s sensitive skin and are therefore best avoided.
3. Use Cotton Garments
“Cotton clothes are more absorbent and allow for better passage of air, so your baby’s skin won’t remain moist and heat won’t stay trapped causing dehydration”
Cotton is the best choice of fabric for baby clothes for a variety of reasons, most notably because it’s soft, cool, and comfortable.
Cotton is also more absorbent and allows for better passage of air, so your baby’s skin won’t remain moist and heat won’t stay trapped causing dehydration. Some synthetic fabrics can be abrasive and there is also a risk of allergic reactions to certain materials.
4. Keep Your Baby Sun Safe
“Although some amount of sunlight is good for your baby’s health, try to avoid direct sun exposure if your baby is less than six months old”
You’re not the only ones who experiences sunburn – your baby does too. Although some amount of sunlight is good for your baby’s health, try to avoid direct sun exposure if your baby is less than six months old.
If you do need to take your baby out, make sure to apply baby sunscreen on the exposed areas of skin. You can also protect your baby’s skin by minimizing the area of exposed skin with clothing. You can even use a big hat to shield her head and face!
5. Choose Diapers Wisely
“Choose a diaper that is soft and absorbent to minimize the risk of diaper rash, but don’t expect any respite from the frequent diaper changes!”
Diaper rash is a common problem in babies, caused by a fungal infection that sets in when a baby remains in wet diapers for too long.
Unfortunately, during the early months this makes frequent diaper changes unavoidable, even in the middle of the night. Choose a diaper that is soft and absorbent and make sure that the straps are not hard or too tight.
This will help minimize the risk of diaper rash, but it won’t give you any respite from having to change diapers frequently!
With these simple tips, baby skin care becomes a lot easier as you’ll be able to avoid some of the common infant skin conditions. Just remember, if your baby suffers from a persistent skin condition, you should seek treatment from a dermatologist.