By Nerissa Bentley.
There’s nothing quite as soft, smooth and silky as your baby’s skin. But your little one’s skin is incredibly delicate and prone to irritation, dryness, rashes and chafing. In addition, your baby’s immune system is still quite sensitive, which means strong fragrances, chemicals, detergents and clothing dye are definite no-nos.
So, how do you care for your cuddly bundle of joy?
Read on for our top 20 tips to keep their skin soft and supple.
Beautiful baby bath
1. Resist the urge to bathe every day; 2-3 times a week is plenty. Bathing your baby more often will only strip the natural, protective oils in their skin, making her prone to dry skin and eczema.
2. ‘Top and tail’ your bub between baths by using cotton wool and warm water to clean eyes and face.
3. Limit bath time to 5-10 minutes, particularly if your cheeky cherub has dry or sensitive skin.
4. Ensure water is warm (37-38°C) not hot, to avoid scalding.
5. Use a soft washcloth that won’t scratch or irritate baby's delicate skin.
6. If you choose to use a baby wash, go for one that is kind to the planet and to skin. Avoid products with Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), butylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben and synthetic fragrances.
7. Most newborns don’t need lotions or creams, but if baby's skin is a little dry, massage moisturiser into those areas. Soothe your little one with an eco-friendly product, free from nasties, which will protect skin and the planet.
Best baby bottom
8. Most disposable nappies contain dozens of chemicals that can wreak havoc on dainty skin, not to mention the environment. Whoa! So, choose nappies that are non-toxic and kind to the planet.
9. Most cases of nappy rash are caused by a wet or soiled nappy irritating skin, so change nappies frequently.
10. Nappy wipes can also cause nappy rash for your little one, so use a soft clean cloth or wipes that are gentle on soft skin, and are free from harsh chemicals that may burn and irritate.
11. If nappy rash raises its ugly head, pat baby’s bottom dry instead of wiping it, and ensure all traces of moisture are gone before putting on another nappy. Having nappy-free time can also help. Wheee!
12. Use a clean and green protective barrier cream on her bottom to shield irritated skin from further irritation.
Fun in the sun
13. Avoid exposing your bub to direct sun during the day, when the UV index is 3 or higher, to prevent sun damage.
14. Cover-up your tot with sun-protective clothing, pop on a hat, and seek shade when outdoors.
15. Slather skin with a non-toxic, protective sunscreen that’s safe for your baby, and Mother Nature.
16. Wash all new clothing before your little one wears it to remove excess dyes that may aggravate skin.
17. Only use laundry detergents free from fragrances, dyes and toxins when washing your baby’s clothes.
18. Ensure your precious bundle only wears breathable cotton or soft fabrics, avoiding clothing that may scratch.
Treating troubled tots
19. Cradle cap occurs in most babies and doesn’t need to be treated. However, you can gently massage the crusts with baby massage oil to help loosen them. Resist the temptation to pick off crusts, as this may cause the scalp to bleed. Gulp!
20. Eczema can flare up at any time and be difficult to manage. Avoid letting your baby’s skin dry out, and apply creams and lotions designed to lock in moisture and soothe skin. If eczema does not improve, seek medical advice.
While caring for your baby’s skin does require some extra effort, there’s nothing quite like sweet-smelling, squishy, scrumptious skin to put a smile on your baby’s face….and yours.