Babies have very gentle, soft and fragile skin and it is not surprising that new parents are often concerned about how to care for it. As your baby’s skin is susceptible, they may develop rashes or allergies if proper skin care is not done.
What can Cause Sensitive Skin?
There are several factors which can cause skin sensitivity, and babies are more prone to them, such as dramatic seasonal changes, central heating or air conditioning, too much washing, perfumed soap, alcohol-based wipes, perfumed and chemically washing detergents and damp clothing. As there are so many things to consider to prevent allergic reactions or rashes from developing in your newborn baby, we have put together some tips to help you care for your baby’s skin.
Bathe them in Warm Water
Parents will often bathe their child every day, and with all the spit-ups and mess caused inadvertently, it makes sense. However, it is not always needed, and can actually lead to developing overly sensitive skin. When it comes to bathing, make sure the water is warm. You don’t want it to be too hot and scald your baby’s skin. You should also avoid making the water too cold, which can be uncomfortable for your baby.
Also remember to use shampoos and soaps which will not cause an allergic reaction. Organic ones are great as they do not contain added chemicals which can lead to a rash. Avoid antibacterial soaps if you can, as they can be too harsh on babies soft skin, and use natural cotton and smooth towels which do not scratch them to dry their skin gently.
Change Nappies Quickly
Though nappies are designed to help keep babies clean and fresh, you may find certain brands may irritate your baby’s skin and lead to rashes and infections. If you find the skin is consistently irritated around the nappy, you should choose another brand. For nappies, you need to change them as soon as they are wet, as leaving it can cause infection. Newborns are prone to rashes, but taking this preventative measure can help you avoid them. Use wipes to clean the area, and you may want to use a powder to dry it or apply cream to stop a rash developing. Make sure you have applied some nappy cream at night too.
Moisturise Dry Skin
Newborn babies often have red, peeling or flaky skin in the first few days, particularly around the wrists, knees and feet. This is normal, but if dry skin persists, you may want to look at using a moisturiser. Go for organic, fragrance-free products to keep the skin hydrated and soft. Your baby will also need to have moisturiser applied after a bath, to replenish the lost moisture, and keep the delicate skin soft and hydrated until the next wash.
Keep an Eye on Eczema Developing
Eczema affects about 10% of infants, and the severity of the skin irritation can vary from dry, itchy skin to skin breaking and becoming infected. Babies can develop eczema as a reaction to a particular substance. The easy solution is to stop using what is causing the irritation and make sure to use only natural, mild products for bathing and moisturising.
Use Gentle Washing Detergents
Before dressing your baby in all its new clothes, make sure you wash them, along with bedding, muslins and blankets, to get rid of any chemicals which may have been used during productions. This includes handmade clothes you may have been gifted. For the first few months, you should also wash your child’s clothes and bedding separately to your other washing, making sure to use mild detergent, particularly those designed for babies and a thorough rinse. Don’t choose washing detergents with loads of chemicals, as they can cause irritation and rashes on the skin.
Use Natural Fabrics
For newborn babies, choose clothes and bedding made from natural fabrics such as cotton and linen, as it allows the skin to breathe. The bedding needs to be natural as your baby will be in contact with the fabric throughout the night. In hot weather, make sure clothes are loose and help keep them cool, and check for sweating around the armpits, skin folds, neck and nappy areas, to stop prickly heat rashes from occurring.
Take Care in the Sun
Babies can get burnt easily due to their softer skin, even after spending less than half an hour in the sun. Get sun protective clothing in lightweight cotton, and make sure they have a hat which shades their eyes and covers the back of their neck. Try to avoid going outside with the sun is at its strongest, between 10am and 3pm. If you do, stick to the shade and apply child-friendly sunscreen on their face, hands and feet.
If you are looking for natural products to use on your babies skin, take a look at our organic baby skincare range, from eczema bath oil and baby lotion to nappy rash cream and scalp oil.