The description of “baby soft skin” sometimes doesn’t apply to babies. Hard to believe, but even newborns need a special skincare routine to keep skin smooth and comfortable. Lucky for you, it’s simple enough to build a healthy baby skincare routine with these 10 tips every new mom needs!
1. Babies don’t need baths every day
Newborns are much like adorable potatoes. They hardly do anything at this stage, so there’s little reason to bathe them every day. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t clean things up in the diaper area several times a day, however, bathing baby too often can dry out skin by removing the natural skin oils. Of course, if baby has a mega-diaper blowout that erupts out the back of the diaper, it’s definitely bath time!
2. Only use baby-safe skincare products
To care for that precious skin, it takes specially-formulated products that will be gentle. While there are many choices in the baby-care aisle, it’s best to stick with formulations that have no chemical agents and tear-free options that won’t cause irritations.
3. Don’t forget to clean in those chunky baby folds too
We all love babies for their chunky legs and cheeks. But with those chunks comes skin folds and those need to be monitored for moisture. If those folds remain damp, they can become prone to rashes. So clean all those little nooks and crannies several times a day, especially as baby gets bigger and dribbles more. Food, breastmilk, formula, and other bits can get caught up in the folds and worsen skin irritations.
4. Baby powder isn’t a necessity
While it smells great, baby powder is a troubling product because it can get into your baby’s lungs. It’s not recommended, though if you feel you must use it, choose the talc-free powders. You’ll want to shake a little into your hands further away from baby, clap them together, and then gently apply it to your baby’s skin.
5. Say “yes” to baby lotion
Baby lotion helps your baby’s skin just as your lotion does for you. It helps lock in moisture which keeps skin comfortable and hydrated. If you notice your baby has really dry skin, you should apply a good baby lotion several times a day. Don’t forget to do so after that bath either. In dry weather conditions or when you’re running the heater in winter, putting a humidifier in your baby’s nursery can keep the air from being to dry and help keep moisture in the skin.
6. Be smart about outdoor excursions any time of year
Overexposure to the sun can happen in any season, even on a cloudy day. Babies under the age of 6 months shouldn’t use sunscreen so you’ll have to keep your baby safe and protected in other ways. Use a stroller with a canopy or sit under an umbrella. Dress your baby in protective clothing and wide-brimmed hats too. After baby celebrates 6 months, you can start applying sunscreen to that precious baby skin. You should look for ones formulated specifically for babies and kids that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as they won’t irritate tiny eyes or baby skin.
7. Don’t panic about rashes
It’s very common for babies to develop rashes. Usually, a little diaper rash cream can take care of it. You may see something that resembles acne on your baby’s face or dry and peeling skin. For the vast majority, it’s nothing to worry about though if you notice any other symptoms like a fever, you should contact your child’s pediatrician right away. Generally, rashes are not something to panic about though if they appear infected in any way with raw, red areas or pustules and boils, it’s something to call the doctor about.
Before you pick up the phone though, diaper rashes are different and will disappear within days. Diaper rash cream helps keep the area dry and comforts the skin. Most over the counter creams will work for this but if you see no improvement or it’s getting worse, you may need a prescription-strength product from your doctor.
8. Monitor birthmarks
Some babies are born with birthmarks. Others develop them over time. Even if a new one suddenly sprouts up where there weren’t any, there’s no cause for alarm. Just as you do with your own skin, monitor it for any changes. While most are harmless, make sure you note if any of these birthmarks turn bumpy or grow rapidly. Anything that is red or pink, particularly if it’s raised, could be concerning so point them out to your doctor during the next checkup to have them checked out as well.
9. Use baby-safe detergents on clothing
Sometimes, the cause of baby’s irritated skin isn’t how often you’re bathing her or how much lotion you’re putting on. It could be directly related to the clothing she’s wearing. Before you dress your baby in any new clothing, make sure you’ve washed it with a baby-safe detergent. This goes for hand-me-downs too. When doing the laundry, always be sure you’re washing those tiny baby clothes with a fragrance-free baby-friendly formula. The same goes for towels and that fitted crib sheet!
10. Take extra care with eczema
Some babies may be more prone to eczema, especially if there is a family history of atopic dermatitis, allergies, or asthma. If you notice red, scaly, itchy patches of dry skin, usually around the age of 4 or 5 months, it could be eczema. You can find gentle over-the-counter products to help though if that doesn’t do it, a prescription cream from the doctor can help. It’s best to let the pediatrician confirm your suspicions of eczema rather than simply guess so you can get to the bottom of your baby’s skin condition and keep her comfortable.
Pro-tip: Bond with baby during skincare routines One of the best ways to cement that bond with baby is to gently massage tiny feet and limbs with lotion after baths or whenever you apply it. Babies love it as it helps them feel even more soothed, comforted, and closer to you too!