- Kids Health
Practical Skin Care for Babies
Care for Newborn Skin
The first time you lay eyes on your newborn baby you may be shocked to see that his skin is so dry it peels and flakes. This is an natural process and should not be cause for worry. Your baby’s skin is adjusting to the environment outside the womb and may continue to peel for a few days. If his skin is red, cracked or bleeding, apply a moisturizing cream to keep it lubricated and help it heal.
Sun Protection is Important
Babies have very delicate skin which is easily damaged by UV radiation from the sun. To protect his skin, minimize exposure to strong sunlight. If you must bring your baby out on a sunny day, make sure he wears a hat and that the hood of his stroller is up. Cover as much of his skin as possible with loose-fitting cloths made of closely woven fabric. It is also advisable to apply sunscreen on areas of his skin which cannot be covered by clothing.
Babies with Sensitive Skin
Babies with sensitive skin pose a particular problem to parents who have to find ways and means of preventing allergic reactions. Sometimes your baby may develop a rash if he has eaten something that does not agree with him. Babies with sensitive skin should use cotton clothing rather than synthetics. This is because synthetics trap heat and moisture close to the skin, which aggravates any existing allergy.
When bathing your baby, use gentle products which were developed for use on infant skin. The soap bar that you use with no problems at all may cause him to break out in rashes. To keep your baby’s skin healthy, you will also need to keep it adequately hydrated. The easiest way to do this is to apply a moisturizer after every bath. Use products that contain petroleum jelly or mineral oil. Remember to use fragrance-free products as much as possible to minimize the risk of allergy.