Baby Skin Care: Caring for Baby’s Sensitive Skin

The soft, smooth feel of newborn skin is pretty much irresistible.  The purity of every inch of your baby’s skin – from her teensy tiny toes to her squishy cheeks – is one of the things most new parents fall in love with first.  So it’s important to take good care of that precious skin to keep your baby’s soft and healthy throughout infancy and childhood.

Newborn skin is very delicate as their bodies are still developing outside of the womb.  Their skin-based immune system, oil secretions and temperature regulation are all volatile as they acclimate to their new environment in the world.  Skin problems such as baby acne, dryness, eczema and other sensitivities are not uncommon for newborns.  Some newborn skin conditions cannot be avoided and will fade away over time.  Others can be managed through a few baby skin care practices.

Today we’re sharing some baby skin care tips for taking special care of your newborn baby’s sensitive skin:

Baby Skin Care:  Caring for Baby’s Sensitive Skin

Wash Your Newborn A Few Times a Week:  Newborns really don’t get very dirty.  If you’re changing diapers regularly and keeping your baby in mild temperatures, your newborn isn’t collecting much sweat or microbes that need daily scrubbing.  Plus her skin is still developing and isn’t suited for constant washing.  Instead, bathe your babe two or three times a week.  Spot clean with a warm wash cloth the other days to remove any impurities around the face, folds of baby fat and diaper area.  This will prevent drying out your baby’s skin.

Moisturize Often:  Because baby’s skin is prone to dryness, moisturize with a lotion specifically formulated for babies.  Do this immediately after bath-time and a few other times a week, especially if the air where you live has low-humidity.  In addition to moisturizing your baby, body massages help develop your baby’s sense of touch and makes her feel secure and loved.  Avoid baby powders, however.  They really aren’t great for skin and can be very dangerous when inhaled.

Use Natural Baby Bath and Skin Care Products:  When it comes to your baby, use the good stuff.  Never use a product designed for adults as it may be too harsh for a baby’s new skin.  Stick to natural baby bath and skin care products, including shampoos, bubble bath gel, body washes, hair care products and lotions.  Natural products will ensure you are not squirting on a dose of toxins on your wholesome little tot.

Use Sensitive Skin Products as Necessary:  While using products meant for babies is important, the baby products industry will have you believe that all newborns require products formulated for sensitive skin, and they charge a premium for them.  Discuss sensitive skin products with your pediatrician for a recommendation.  Most babies are fine with regular diapers, wipes and laundry detergent.  If you see your baby is having a reaction, then you may want to invest in sensitive skin products.  Otherwise, use your discretion.  In most cases, you can’t go wrong either way so act according to your comfort level.

Wash Clothes and Baby Items Before Using:  Whether you shop regular retail, consignment or hand-me-downs, wash all of your baby’s clothes before she wears them.  Between industrial toxins or your neighbor’s baby’s crusted spit-up, your baby deserves a fresh start when getting dressed for the day.  She’ll have plenty of opportunity to spread her own germs on her clothes. Be sure to wash other items that will come in to contact with your baby too, such as bath towels, wash clothes, linens, blankets, your new nursing bras and your shirts and blouses that may touch baby’s skin while breastfeeding.  Also, you may want to soak stuffed animals in warm water and detergent and wipe down plastic toys before handing them over to baby.

Keep Your Baby Away from Skin Toxins:  The sun, air pollution and cigarette smoke are some of the worst toxins for baby’s skin and entire bodies.  Keep your baby safe from UV rays with lightweight protective clothes.  Don’t let your baby overheat as sweat can damage a baby’s skin or cause heat rash.  It is best not to use sunscreen on newborns, but if sun exposure is unavoidable, use a broad spectrum SPF 30 or above.  Mineral sunscreen may be the safest way to go.  Keep your baby away from engine exhaust, gas fumes, manufacturing emissions and cigarette smoke as much as possible. All of these pollutants can be absorbed through the skin, causing skin problems and other health risks.

Diaper Rash is the Most Common Baby Skin Condition:  More than facial skin problems, diaper rash is the leading skin condition for infants.  Usually diaper rash can be managed by changing your baby’s diaper often – as soon as you know your baby has a wet or dirty diaper.  Also, use a diaper cream to avoid rashes or to treat them as soon as they occur.

FamilyMake Sure Mom Isn’t Causing Skin Sensitivities:  Unknowingly, moms can sometimes cause skin sensitivities in their newborns by wearing skin-irritating perfume, makeup or lotions that transfer to baby’s skin while cuddling or breastfeeding.  Additionally, mom may be eating something that a newborn’s un-evolved digestive system cannot handle, causing a skin rash.  Be vigilant for signs that indicate your own habits may be triggering skin problems in your baby.

Most newborn skin problems don’t require a visit to the pediatrician unless you notice purplish pustules, skin irregularities coupled with fever or other health issues, or the problem is persistent or recurring.  But if mentioning the problems to your pediatrician makes you feel better, do it.  Otherwise, use these baby skin care tips to keep your newborns skin kissably smooth throughout infancy.