They say that for every new parent, the first few months are always the hardest. Everything feels so new and fresh and every new day is a learning experience. The first 100 days can really prepare parents for any kind of problem parenting may throw at them. During this time, parents learn how to take care of their baby’s sleeping patterns, his food habits, how to hold him and how to take care of his extra sensitive and gentle skin. During this time is when you will require tips to keep your baby's skin healthy.
But taking care of a baby’s skin requires extra effort and extra care. When it comes to taking care of a baby’s skin, the rules are different as it is three times thinner than an adult’s. Parents must ensure that they are only using products that are specifically designed for babies. However, taking care of a babies skin doesn’t stop at just buying products.
Tips to keep your baby’s skin healthy for the first few months:
#1. Let the umbilical stump be
This is one of the most important tips to keep your baby's skin healthy. The umbilical stump takes about two weeks to fall off. For some babies, it might take three weeks or more, the key is to be patient and let it fall off on its own. Most parents try to vigorously clean it because it may look yellow, greasy and smell a little foul but parents should just wait for it to turn black and eventually fall off. Till the stump falls off, you can give your baby sponge baths with a mild and gentle bath gel for babies that is free of sulphates, parabens, dyes, and phthalates.
#2. Trimming the baby’s nails
Newborn babies have exceptionally soft and flexible nails which grow pretty quickly. Their nails may grow unevenly and tend to become quite sharp, which means that they can easily scratch and hurt themselves. The good news is that because their nails are so soft, you can easily peel them off. As they grow older, you will need nail trimmers that are specifically designed for babies and trim their nails at least once a week. To make the process easier, one person can hold the baby while another person can distract the baby and trim his nails. You can also choose to trim a baby’s nails when he is sleeping.
#3. Only choose soft fabrics
Whether it is the baby’s clothes, his blankets or even his reusable cloth diapers, make sure you are using soft materials like cotton. A baby’s skin is extremely sensitive and prone to allergies and rashes. When washing your baby’s clothes and blankets, make sure that you wash it separately using a mild detergent. The detergent should be free of dyes, sulfates and other such harmful chemicals as they are extremely harmful to the baby’s skin.
#4. Choose gentle and mild products
To keep your baby’s skin soft and supple and protect it from going dry, make use of skin care products that are tailor-made for babies. The products have to be free from parabens, dyes, phthalates, and sulfates as they can cause allergies and irritation. Most baby products also contain fragrances that are not particularly safe for a baby’s skin. If you are buying a product that contains fragrances, please ensure that the fragrances are approved by the International Fragrance Association. Before using any product on your baby, try doing a test patch first and wait for a few hours. If your baby’s skin doesn’t react to it negatively, you can go ahead and use it.
#5. Keep your baby hydrated
When following tips to keep your baby's skin healthy, do not forget this one. Not only is a baby’s skin more sensitive than an adult’s, it also absorbs and loses moisture faster. This is why a baby’s skin is more prone to dryness. Protect your baby’s skin from drying by making sure that he is drinking enough liquids and also by massaging his body using a hypoallergenic and dermatologically tested baby oil.
#6. Limit bathing time
If you are looking for tips to keep your baby's skin healthy after bathing him, this will come in handy for you. While it is important to keep your baby clean and healthy, bathing your baby frequently might not be the best way to achieve cleanliness. Bathing your newborn more than three times a week during the first few weeks removes the natural oils that protect your baby’s skin. This further causes dryness and leads to rashes and diseases like eczema. As babies don’t sweat enough or get dirty as adults do, sponge baths thrice a week in the first 100 days should be sufficient.
#7. Avoid excessive sunlight
Your baby requires Vitamin D as it helps the body absorb calcium. This in turn helps strengthens his bones and teeth. It also helps the immune system work better and this protects the body from many diseases. However, it is not wise to expose your baby to sunlight for a long period of time. Baby skin is more “active” than an adult’s, which means that it is still developing. As a baby’s skin is underdeveloped it burns faster and hence you should protect your baby from the harmful rays of the sun. Exposing a baby who is less than 6 months old to long hours of harmful UV rays increases the risk of developing skin cancer later in life.
#8. Understanding your baby’s skin type
Although all babies have delicate and sensitive skin, not all of them have the same type of skin. Understanding exactly what type of skin your baby has will help you better in taking care of his skin and what it needs. Baby skin is generally categorised into normal skin, dry skin and very sensitive skin. Parents need to be more careful with babies who have dry skin and sensitive skin as they are more prone to rashes, allergies and infections. This may not sound helpful but it is one of the most useful tips to keep your baby's skin healthy.
#9. Not getting scared about little things
As mentioned above, a baby’s skin is more prone to allergies and infections as it is still developing. Skin diseases like cradle cap occur in most babies and often go away on their own. Hence, parents should not be worrying themselves too much over everything. New parents should also know that newborn babies normally shed a protective layer of skin during their first few days. This is why it is recommended that parents do not aggressively rub or peel off this layer of skin. However, if a problem persists for a long period, please do consult a doctor.
#10. Massaging your baby
Massaging your baby with a baby oil has several benefits for your little baby. It not only helps strengthen the bond you and your baby share but also aids in your baby’s weight gain, boosts his digestive health, improves circulation and also eases teething pain. A relaxing massage also helps your baby sleep better.
This information is brought to you by Johnson’s Baby.