As a first-time parent, you know there’s a lot to learn about caring for your new addition, including how to take care of their delicate skin.
To help you on your journey into parenthood, here are five tips on keeping baby’s skin happy and healthy:
Don’t Stress About Newborn Acne Before 6 Weeks
Surprised to see your bundle of joy with a breakout? It’s very common for newborns to develop neonatal acne, but it’s a temporary condition that usually resolves on its own.
However, if you continue to see the blemishes after six weeks, talk with a board-certified dermatologist about other skin conditions that could be behind your little one’s bumps. They can rule out other, more serious concerns like eczema, contact dermatitis, and infections.
Keep Diaper Rash at Bay
Most babies wind up with at least one mild case of diaper rash before they’re potty trained, especially if they have naturally sensitive skin.
If you notice that your little one is particularly prone to the tell-tale scaly patch of irritated, inflamed skin on their bottom, you can help prevent their discomfort by switching up your diapering methods:
- Change your baby as soon as you notice they are wet. Allowing waste to sit against their skin is the main culprit behind diaper rash.
- Swap out your wipes for a warm water rinse. While that might not be feasible on the go, warm water is much safer for sensitive, rash-prone skin.
- Gently pat your baby dry before rediapering. Moisture leads to chafing, just like in adults.
- Use a skin barrier like zinc-oxide to help protect against irritation.
- Monitor for patterns. If you notice that baby gets a rash after introducing a new food, switching laundry detergents, or following a round of antibiotics, there may be a more significant issue, like skin allergies or yeast infections.
Watch for Signs of Dry Skin
Dry skin is inevitable for all humans, including the tiniest ones. Cold weather, too-warm baths, and exposure to drying ingredients like alcohol in baby care products leave newborns susceptible to rough patches.
- When you spot flakes, use a fragrance-free, allergen-free moisturizer to restore hydration to your infant’s skin.
- Keep baths short and sweet. Long soaks can sap moisture and leave your little one’s skin irritated.
- Always pat dry; never rub. Baby skin is fragile, so friction does a lot of damage.
- Add a humidifier to rooms where your infant is most frequently, like the nursery.
- Protect their cheeks, lips, and hands from wind-chapping. Apply a moisturizing balm to their faces and cover those tiny fingers with mittens. Consider investing in a stroller cover if you plan to venture out on frigid and windy days.
Protect Your Little One from UV Rays
If you think sunburns are uncomfortable as an adult, imagine dealing with the pain, increased body temperature, and dryness as an infant.
You must protect your baby’s delicate skin from the harmful effects of UV rays. The FDA and AAP recommend skipping the sunscreen until 6 months, as newborns are much more prone to rashes and irritation than adults. Instead, keep the baby out of the sun from 10:00 am-2:00 pm, when the sun is at its brightest. When you venture out, dress them in light layers covering as much skin as possible. That includes a hat with a wide brim to protect their scalp and eyes.
Keep an Eye on Skin Triggers
Babies are prone to contact dermatitis or skin reactions caused by contact with an allergen. When you notice a rash, cracking, peeling, or red, swollen patches, write down anything your newborn might have touched to help you identify something that may have triggered the condition.
Some of the most common allergens include:
- Soaps and detergents
- Cosmetics and perfume
- Pet dander and saliva
- Insect bites
- Certain natural textiles, like wool
Once you’ve created your list, try to eliminate triggers by switching to mild, fragrance-free products. You should also talk with your pediatrician, as they can provide more insight based on your family’s health history.