Skin care for the newborn
Surely, you have noticed how delicate the skin of your little one is. But did you know that:
- it needs several years to fully develop its functions
- it absorbs and loses moisture much more quickly
- its ability to sweat is limited
- its horny layer is thinner than that of your skin
- it produces sebum with difficulty
- its increased lipid content facilitates the penetration of fat-soluble substances
- its subcutaneous fats have a higher melting point and freeze easier
All these characteristics make baby skin extremely sensitive and vulnerable. That is why, it needs special care.
Bathing and toilet
You've probably already encountered conflicting views, such as "bathing the infant should be performed daily" and "too frequent baths are not recommended". You will certainly hear thousands of similarly confusing advices from family members and pediatricians, so most of all, trust your mother's intuition, which is the best expert in caring for your child.
- Before you start the bathing, make sure that the bathroom / room is warm enough (at least 25 degrees C). The same applies to the water that will come into contact with the delicate skin of the baby. It should be about 37 C.
- You can choose between rubbing with a damp sponge, a bath in the tub or a bath under running water. In all three cases it is necessary to prevent the unfallen belly button from getting wet. If you prefer the tub option, pre-clean the baby's bottom.
- Water is sufficient to cover the hygiene needs of the infant in its first days, after which you can gradually add 3 or 4 cosmetics. Choose a washing product in according with the age of your little treasure and one that does not contain irritating ingredients like sulfates, parabens, dyes, etc. Keep in mind that the newborn has not yet established fully its protective reflexes, so despite the friendly ingredients of the product, do not let foam to get in the eyes or in the mouth.
- After you finish with the bath, dry the baby with a soft towel and with light absorbing movements, paying particular attention to the skin folds. Take care of the umbilical cord in the way your doctor has told you.
- Evening bathing contributes significantly to a restful sleep. This is especially true if you briefly massage the little one with baby oil. Your delicate touch will not only facilitate sleep, but will also strengthen the emotional bond between the two of you, while the oil nourishes the skin and protects it from drying out.
- Sometimes you will have to clean the body of the newborn in the absence of water. Therefore, stock with some baby wet wipes, which you can always use to quickly and easily freshen up the baby.
- Change the diapers and sanitize the baby’s bottom often. Do not worry if some skin irritations appear on that area. Just be even more diligent with the hygiene and apply rash cream regularly.
- During walks, dress your child appropriately. As we mentioned earlier, the skin of newborn babies has not fully developed its protective and thermoregulatory functions, so you need to protect it from heat, UV rays, cold, wind and mosquitoes.
- The skin of your baby has different color than yours. It is normal to seem drier in the beginning. Spots, scabs and even acne and milia are quite common. Many of these and other "strange" phenomena do not actually require special treatment, but it is always a good idea to seek medical advice if any of them persist and make you worried.