A newborn baby’s smooth, soft, and delicate skin is precious—at least that is how parents imagine and hope it to be. Truth is, it is nearly not perfect and it comes as a surprise to many that baby-soft skin is a myth. Dry, flaky, sensitive skin is actually fairly common during the newborn period. That is why it is truly important to make sure your baby’s skin is kept healthy and protected from these skin irritations that many babies are prone to in their first year of life.
Here are the 5 most important tips to protecting your baby’s skin to make sure it stays smooth and healthy.
Protecting Your Baby’s Skin And Keeping It Healthy: Tips For Parents
1. Limit Your Baby’s Time Under The Sun
When the sun’s out, your baby should be inside. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in healthychildren.org,1 babies younger than 6 months should be kept out of direct sunlight, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when ultraviolet (UV) rays are harshest. If outside, they should be shaded under a tree or an umbrella, or protected with a hat that covers the neck and ears, and loose, lightweight clothing that covers the arms and legs.
However, over clothed babies are also susceptible to heat rash because they have underdeveloped sweat glands, so be careful not to go crazy on those clothing layers. With underdeveloped sweat glands, babies still do not have the “cooling system” adults have, which keeps us from overheating.
Sunscreen is also unnecessary, according to the AAP2. Although no studies have proven that sunscreens are harmful to babies, there is also no reason for infants to be exposed to the sun for a long time, long enough to require sunscreen. If and when the baby is out and about and exposed to the sun, Healthline3 and AAP recommends using a small amount of sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 15 or SPF 30 on the face and exposed parts of the body, and keeping the baby hydrated with milk. Apply the sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outside for the best protection.
2. Don’t Overdo Baby Baths
For babies, regular baths do not mean everyday baths. Infant baths should be kept to two to three times a week, or every other day, according to Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD, FAAP.4 Babies do not need a daily bath because they do not really sweat or get dirty like older children. Moreover, bathing more frequently can dry out the baby’s sensitive skin. Lukewarm water (not hot!) and a soft washcloth is all the baby needs for a perfect bath. Baths should be kept short and quick (not more than 10 minutes), in a warm room, according to AAP4 and Kaiser Permanente.5
Use plain water and cotton ball to clean the baby’s face, and a fragrance- and dye-free baby soap for the hair and body. Strong soaps, especially antiseptic soaps and bubble baths are not recommended for babies. Don’t forget to clean those baby creases or folds on the legs and arms. After the bath, wrap the baby in a hooded towel to dry. Baby’s skin is prone to dryness, so keep it moisturised as often as possible. Slather baby lotion all over the baby’s body immediately after bath to seal in moisture and prevent dry skin.
3. Be Mindful Of Products You Use For Dry Skin
Dry weather, such as wintertime, or prolonged exposure to air conditioner in Singapore’s weather, can harm baby’s skin, too. During this time, babies are vulnerable to dry patches on the skin, which would necessitate the use of baby lotions, ointments, and moisturisers. The best skin-care products to use are the fragrance-free kind, made especially for babies. As with any baby product, try a small amount on the baby’s skin and watch for allergic reactions. A cool-mist humidifier can also help keep the air moist in the baby’s room, and help keep the baby’s skin from getting dry. For very dry or cracking skin especially around the ankles and hands, petroleum-jelly-based products and baby-safe moisturisers are recommended by Kaiser Permanente.5
4. Watch That Heat Rash
Very hot and humid weather often causes heat rash, when the sweat glands become blocked. These unsightly and very irritating tiny red spots often appear in skin folds or areas where clothes rub up against the skin. Heat rash in infants come and go, and is usually nothing to worry about. However, it can be very uncomfortable for the baby. All you need to do is to keep the skin cool by steering away from oil-based products.6 Keep the baby’s room cool with air-conditioning and fans and be sure to dress him in lightweight, cotton clothes that allow the affected skin areas to breathe. If you begin to notice deep red blisters, the rash begins to extend beyond the clothed area and is noticeably getting worse, it’s time to contact your baby’s doctor.
5. Prevent Nappy Rash
Truth is, all babies get a diaper rash at some point. It is not a serious condition, and will probably disappear after a few days if treated properly. Diaper rash is most commonly caused by moisture that formed on the baby’s skin, and irritants, such as bacteria from pee and poop. Following a diaper-changing routine to avoid that awful nappy rash is important. Baby’s diaper needs to be changed frequently, and the baby’s bottom should be thoroughly, but gently, wiped clean. Pat dry after and conclude with a little dab of diaper cream gentle moisturising lotion.
Harmful ingredients in diapers, wipes, laundry soap, bath products and lotions can also cause that awful rash. Babies need fragrance-free diapers in a size that is not too tight, so that it may not cause chafing. Quality diapers that are trusted by mothers and hospitals to take care of your baby’s delicate skin are key. Good news is, quality does not cost a fortune.
What should parents look for in a diaper? The most important of all the other criteria is that the nappy should be from a reputed brand and has been widely trusted by professionals and mums over the years. The nappy brand you choose should possess the expertise and conduct research to come up with newer and better features.
Huggies® boasts of the knowledge and expertise in fine-tuning Huggies® diapers in order to meet the needs and wants of parents and babies, constantly working on revolutionising diaper innovations and providing utmost comfort, convenience, and hygiene with every use. Huggies® aims to aid parents in making sure their products do the job — and do it well.
Huggies came up with a solution in keeping with today’s diaper demands. The new Huggies® Naturemade Diapers have a Naturesoft liner made with a plant-based fibre that is 100% imported from Europe, which makes it the best choice to protect the baby’s delicate skin from harm. With Zerofeel CoreTM technology, it is super thin yet super absorbent, featherlight and breathable, keeping your baby’s skin comfortable all the time. It also is rid of harmful chemicals and contains skin-loving vitamin E extracted from wheat germ oil, which soothes and nourishes baby’s skin. And because it has a 12-hour absorbency feature, the baby’s skin is protected overnight, ensuring uninterrupted shuteye.
Your baby is perfect, but his or her skin may not be if you do not know how to protect it early on. Knowing the best and safest products to use to protecting your baby’s skin is key.
- Sun Safety: Information for Parents About Sunburn & Sunscreen. (2019). American Academy of Pediatrics-HealthyChildren.org. Retrieved from https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-play/Pages/Sun-Safety.aspx.
- Morreli, J. & Weston, W. (1993). What Sunscreen Should I Use for My 3-Month-Old Baby? Pediatrics-American Academy of Pediatrics. Retrieved from https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/92/6/882.3.
- Fletcher, J. (2020). Eight tips for protecting baby’s skin. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/baby/tips-for-protecting-baby-skin.
- Navsaria, D. (2020). Bathing Your Baby. healthychildren.org. Retrieved from https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/bathing-skin-care/Pages/Bathing-Your-Newborn.aspx.
- Taking Care of Your Baby After the First Few Weeks. (2014). Kaiser Permanente. https://wa.kaiserpermanente.org/healthAndWellness/index.jhtml?item=%2Fcommon%2FhealthAndWellness%2Fpregnancy%2Fnewborn%2FnewbornCare3.html.
- Henry, A. (2014). Treating heat rash. Parents. Retrieved from https://www.parents.com/baby/safety/outdoor/treating-heat-rash/