Caring for Newborn Baby Skin
Newborn baby skin is well developed in full term babies. You've probably heard the expression "baby-soft skin". Well, it's true - a baby's skin is usually soft, smooth and free of wrinkles and other blemishes.
But it's also vulnerable to infection and bruising. And it's super absorbent. Like a sponge, the baby's skin soaks up anything that's put on it, so it needs to be protected from exposure to harsh chemicals.
But protection doesn't mean using lots of different skin care products. No, less is definitely better.
This is NOT the message you get from reading or listening to ads for baby skin care products.
Many parents believe that just because something is marketed as a product "for babies", it contains non-irritating and non-toxic ingredients. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
I discovered this when I had my son. A quick look at the labels of a few big-brand products convinced me that my baby would be better off with the simple, plant-derived products I was using for myself.
I didn't want to expose his newborn baby skin to the chemicals contained in those so-called baby products. And so, instead, I used my tried and trusted herbal skin care.
Newborns will normally have a wound at the site of the umbilical cord. This wound is vulnerable to bacterial infection so it's important to keep the area dry. Fold diapers or nappies away from the stump and avoid applying any ointments to this area.
Bath time is an enjoyable time for parent and baby. At least, until the baby becomes a toddler with a mind of their own.
Some health care practitioners say daily or more frequent baths aren't necessary unless the baby is dirtier than usual. That may be true, but I know that as a baby, my son really enjoyed bath time and so he was given a bath every day.
Babies who have atopic dermatitis or eczema may need to have fewer baths because their skin can dry out or become irritated or itchy.
Although my son did not have eczema, I often applied a herbal aloe lotion to his skin after bathing, to keep it moisturized and soft.
Diaper rash or nappy rash is the most common skin problem for newborns. Elsewhere on this site you will find some tips for preventing and managing this condition.
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