Many children and adults have varying skin sensitivities, and newborn babies are certainly not an exception. The significant factor in this case is to pay critical attention to your baby’s skin because it’s more delicate and prone to irritation. Rash, micro tears, and inflammation are common skin irritations in 35% of newborns.
While they are concerned, what you do to soothe your baby’s skin is equally important. However, the best measure is to prevent them in the first place. This discussion delves into some recommended solutions every parent should try.
- Choose gentle baby products
Not all baby products are created the same. Some can be harsh for delicate skin, while others are normal for all baby skin types. You have to choose gentle baby products created with sensitive skin in mind, so keep this in mind. Usually, these are fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, and mild. This automatically rules out any baby product with strong scents and created with certain harsh chemicals. You may want to avoid sulfate-containing baby products because they often trigger discomfort in delicate baby skin. Some baby care products are believed to strip the skin of natural oils, causing dryness and irritation. Therefore, the descriptive word ‘gentle’ was adopted to emotionally and psychologically connect with parents. There is more to this than the skin lotions, shampoos, creams, and powders used for newborns. Your baby’s laundry detergent can also trigger skin irritation, so avoid potential allergens like bleach, formaldehyde, and phosphates.
- Take deliberate actions to keep the baby’s skin clean and dry
It sounds almost confusing to hear things like keeping your baby’s bottom dry and always clean. How do you keep the skin in these areas clean when your baby’s activities revolve around wetting and soiling diapers all day? Before answering this question, here is how to concentrate on other parts of your baby’s skin. Use a soft washcloth and lukewarm water to clean your baby’s skin during bath time. There is an increased risk of skin abrasions if you scrub your baby vigorously. The places to pay particular attention are skin creases and folds around the neck, armpits, and groin. Keeping other folds clean and dry is important if your baby is chubby. The trick with soaking up moisture from your baby’s skin is to pat them dry. Rubbing can cause chaffing, another unpleasant irritation you don’t want your little one to experience. Knowing these tricks can prevent uncomfortable side effects, especially because your baby will be in diapers for a while. There are crucial tips for changing your baby’s diaper, which include using zinc oxide cream to act as a barrier on your baby’s skin. That answers the earlier question posed in the first paragraph of this point.
- Invest in breathable fabrics for your baby.
The influx of modern baby clothing makes it almost impossible to know which fabric is best for your baby’s skin. Fortunately, cotton is widely known and accepted for its highly breathable properties. It allows air to circulate through your baby’s body, reducing the risks of skin irritations and uncomfortable situations for your little one. Even with cotton baby clothing, remember to check the seams rubbing against your baby’s skin on the inside. Rough seams can cause chaffing and, sometimes, micro-tears on your infant’s delicate skin. It will help if you place the same importance on tight elastic bands, which may limit blood circulation and cause marks on places of contact. Even on adult skin, tight elastic marks leave unpleasant sensations and can be worse for a baby. The season also determines how to care for your baby’s skin. Lightweight and loose-fitting outfits are best for hot summer, while layered clothing maintains body heat in colder seasons. Many parents overdress their babies in winter and unknowingly cause their little ones undue stress caused by overheating. You might irritate your baby’s skin with heat rash when you intend to keep them comfortable and warm.
- Be mindful of bathing frequency and water temperature
What are the potential dangers of frequent bathing when the objective is to keep your baby clean? It concerns maintaining the skin’s natural oils. These lubricants are the skin’s protective barrier against dryness and irritation. Frequent bathing can strip your baby’s skin of these essential natural oils and expose the epidermis to potential irritants. A Mayo Clinic article says bathing your newborn three times a week is ideal until they become more mobile.
Regarding their bath water, ensure it is 100? or 38?, and remember to check the temperature with your wrist or elbow. The water must feel warm, not hot, to avoid accidental scalding of your baby’s delicate skin. Use gentle baby soap or mild body shampoo if your baby has diaper rash or other skin irritation. Avoid scrubbing zinc oxide cream off your baby’s bottom during bath time. That can irritate the raw skin and cause bleeding in some cases. Gentleness and mindfulness are key tips to protect your baby’s skin during bath times.
- Protect them from the sun
The sun is a good source of Vitamin D, and for babies, that cannot be discussed enough. Vitamin D triggers proper calcium absorption, which influences healthy bone growth. With all the rapid development happening in your baby’s body, they need all the help they can get to keep growing stronger. However, excessive sun exposure is another topic altogether. The risk of skin damage to your baby is high, so you must take preventive measures. Early morning sun is best if your newborn is being treated for hyperbilirubinemia or jaundice. However, avoid sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. because those are peak UV hours. If you must step out with your baby at these hours, remember to use a small amount of baby-safe sunscreen, but only if your little one is over six months old. Lightweight, protective clothing with a wide-brimmed baby hat can provide ample protection for your baby’s skin outdoors.
The more proactive and mindful you are, the higher the chances of protecting your baby’s skin from common irritations.