Baby Skin Care in Summer

Baby Skin Care in Summer

Your baby’s soft, delicate skin is surely one of the things you love most about holding her close.  Skin-to-skin time is all the more enjoyable when you can caress her tender skin and share loving moments.  During summertime the sun and pesky insects can threaten the health and comfort of that sensitive, smooth skin, which is why safe baby skin care practices are particularly important in the sunny, hot, buggy summer months.

There are three primary concerns for baby skin care in summer:  the sun, the heat and the bugs.  Today we’re sharing prevention and treatment tips for each of these summer skin care issues.

Baby Skin Care: The Sun

Unfortunately the sun’s rays are not discerning and they can burn even the sweetest, most adorable babies just like anyone else.  As we all know, sunburns really hurt and can even be worse on a baby’s brand new skin.  Plus, sunburns during early childhood increase your child’s risk of skin cancer later in life.  It is always important to protect your baby’s skin during sun exposure.  There is some debate whether newborns and infants under 3 months should wear sunscreen.  Ask your pediatrician so you can make an informed decision.  If you are given the green light, only apply sunscreens of SPF 30-50 that are especially formulated for babies.  These will be most appropriate for a baby’s sensitive skin.

Beyond sunscreen, keep your baby covered as much as possible.  Sun protective clothing with built-in SPF is ideal.  Always dress your baby in a wide-brim hat to avoid sun on the face and neck.  Find shade under a tree, umbrella or awning whenever possible.  If you plan to spend a day at the beach or pool, umbrellas or tents are necessary to prevent your baby from getting burnt.  Also, try to avoid being outdoors during the peak midday sun hours between noon and 3 p.m.

If your baby does get a sunburn, do your best to cool and soothe her skin to keep her comfortable.  Apply cold washcloths to her skin several times daily to reduce the irritation and redness.  Use a natural aloe vera formula or organic baby lotion to nourish her skin and stimulate rapid re-growth.  You can also try rubbing some breast milk over the affected area to help heal and repair skin quickly.

Baby Skin Care:  The Heat

Babies lack the ability to regulate their own body temperatures.  So when it is hot outside, they may get really hot and sweaty.  Heat rash is caused when sweat glands are clogged, which results in red bumps around the body.  These bumps may be concentrated in certain areas where baby skin folds because they are more susceptible to clogged pores.  Again, keep your baby out of the heat during peek sun hours – even being in the shade during the midday sun can lead to heat rash.  Bring along a fan or cool mist spray bottle to keep your baby cool and always dress her in breathable fabrics.  Limit baby wearing time when it is super hot because the two of you will generate more heat together than separately.

If your baby does get heat rash, bathe her in water of a moderate temperature.  Do not use creams, oils or lotions that could further block pores.  Instead, keep skin clean and dry.  If the rash persists for longer than 5-7 days, call your doctor.  The heat can breed bacterial or yeast infections which will require medications to treat.

Baby Skin Care:  The Bugs

Rather than swatting away bugs, your baby may be fascinated by them.  Bites are a common problem during the summer when bugs are out in abundance.  Dress your baby in long sleeves and pants when you know you’ll be outdoors in a buggy area.  When in a stroller or tent, you can use netting to keep bugs away from your tot.  There are also bands and portable bug repellent devices that you can attach to your stroller or picnic blanket to keep bugs at bay.

Babies under 2 months should not use bug spray.  Although the American Academy for Pediatrics says bug sprays with less than 30% deet are acceptable for babies over 2-months, many baby skin care companies offer a deet-free natural bug spray that may be a better option for babies and young children.  When applying bug spray, avoid the eyes, mouth and hands and wash it off immediately after returning indoors.

Protect your baby’s precious skin with these summer baby skin care tips. We hope you have lots of fun this summer!!