Newborn babies have smooth, flawless skin right? Wrong! It can be dry, flaky, sensitive and even discoloured. In this article, we’ll share five tips on how to care for your little one’s skin and keep it protected.
Why do babies’ skin flake?
If your little one’s skin is peeling, it’s usually a natural consequence of pregnancy. Newborn babies spend nine months in amniotic fluid. Because of this, their skin does not exfoliate as ours do, and it appears dry and flake off. Once out of the womb, they begin the process of peeling off all that skin!
1. Go easy with bath time
Frequent bathing can dry out your little one’s skin and strip it of oils and other substances that protect them against infection and irritants. And when you do give your newborn baby a bath, make sure the water isn’t too hot; lukewarm water is ideal for washing a baby’s skin
— keep in mind that your little one’s skin is thinner and much more sensitive than yours!
2. Opt for products that are gentle on the skin
Newborn babies’ skin is not fully developed and cannot properly defend against threats such as toxins, sun damage and more. Your little one’s skin is more susceptible to absorbing toxic chemicals so make sure you choose non-toxic products containing no or few dyes, deodorants, alcohol and other weird chemicals.
3. Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise
To keep your baby’s skin as hydrated as possible, apply moisturiser as soon as your little one gets out of their bath. Ideally, you would use a balm like Little Botanic’s Pure Balm and apply it two to three times daily. Minimising exposure to cold air and using a humidifier in the room can also help to keep their skin hydrated.
4. Limit sun exposure
Unlike older kids, newborn babies can’t use sunscreen because it hasn’t been tested on that age group yet; only children older than six months can safely use sunscreen. However, don’t let that stop you from enjoying some fresh air with your little one. Just remember to keep your baby out of direct sunlight — sit in the shade, cover up with hats, use a sunshade on the stroller or even for the car windows.
5. Keep an eye out for eczema
Eczema is a dry, itchy skin rash that often appears on a baby’s cheeks and forehead, but can also occur anywhere — just look out for red, scaly patches of dry skin. If you suspect your little one has eczema, try to alleviate the itch and take them to your doctor to get it checked out. In most cases, it can be treated with over-the-counter medication or your paediatrician will prescribe creams.
In conclusion, your baby’s skin doesn’t need much specialised care, just a little TLC! If you notice that your little one’s skin is extremely dry, irritated or itchy, or if you notice a rash or breakout, get in touch with your paediatrician soon so they can get it checked out.