It is truly a joy to have a newborn baby at home. What’s not to love? Those tiny hands and gentle coos just make up for everything you had been through during pregnancy. But apart from cuddles and kisses, a very real aspect of your life now revolves around newborn care.
This new routine includes caring for your newborn’s skin. Your infant baby’s skin is very delicate and needs protection against irritants that may cause irritation, dryness, and other adverse reactions. But don’t worry; caring for newborn skin is not as intimidating and complicated as it sounds. You just need to remember a few things, and you’ll settle into the routine in no time.
Your newborn baby’s sensitive skin is prone to dryness, so it’s very important to keep it moisturized. Choose a mild, unscented lotion, and apply moisturizer on your baby’s skin after bath time. It’s okay to put moisturizer as often as necessary, but be careful not to leave your baby’s folds damp to avoid baby rash and irritation.
Don’t worry; mild moisturizers and lotions don’t cause baby acne as the latter is a common temporary condition usually caused by hormones.
Don’t use baby powder.
Baby powder used to be very popular and was part of a lot of baby care kits. However, it is best to totally avoid using baby powder when it comes to newborn care. Powder can get into your baby’s and cause respiratory problems. In the future, when your baby is bigger, you can use powder, but choose alternatives like rice powder rather than talc.
Do check your baby’s diapers regularly.
The leading cause of diaper rash is unsurprisingly a soiled diaper that has been left on for too long. The wetness of a soiled diaper easily irritates your newborn baby’s fragile skin, which causes rashes and irritation. It can also develop if the baby's skin was not properly dried after bath time or their folds were left damp.
To prevent diaper rash, simply make it a habit to check your baby’s diapers as frequently as possible. In the early days, your newborn baby would be soiling their diapers often, so don’t think you don’t need to check their diaper because they have just worn a fresh one. It is also imperative that you can change their diapers right away when they get soiled.
Don’t use scented products.
Scented products may smell good to our adult noses, but they don’t do any good for a newborn baby. Added fragrance is made of chemicals that can irritate your baby’s delicate skin, so avoid using baby products — like lotion, shampoo, soap, and the like — that are scented. Always choose unscented variants.
Do wash baby’s clothes with mild laundry detergent.
Clothes have a direct impact on your newborn baby’s skin, too! If your baby develops a rash and you know you have only used mild, unscented products and have been vigilant in changing their diapers, perhaps the culprit is your laundry detergent. Always use baby laundry detergent with no dyes and added fragrance. It is also helpful to wash your baby’s clothes separately from the rest of the family’s laundry.
Aside from these, when choosing baby’s clothes and belongings, it is essential to look for 100% cotton products that are gentle on sensitive skin.
Don’t bathe your baby too frequently.
A common mistake many new parents make is bathing their baby too frequently. Bathing your baby too frequently can strip off the natural oils that moisturize and provide a protective barrier on your baby’s skin. This can dry the skin, causing irritations such as baby eczema. For newborn babies with the cord still attached, give sponge baths at most once a week. After the cord has been removed, a sponge bath two to three times a week will suffice.
In a way, it is understandable that you would want to keep your newborn baby as clean as possible. Then again, newborns don’t get very dirty!
Do a lot of skin-to-skin contact.
Finally, take advantage of your newborn baby’s sensitive skin by giving a lot of skin-to-skin contact! Because their skin is very sensitive, even your gentlest touch has a great soothing effect on your little one, which greatly impacts their development.
You can simply cuddle with your baby as often as possible, or if you are breastfeeding, nurse your baby on demand. It is also beneficial to include baby massage in your nightly bedtime routine. You might want to know that there are a lot of benefits to baby massage, which includes bonding, immunity boost, and better sleep!
It is undeniable that caring for your newborn baby comes with a lot of challenges. However, simply giving your baby the kind of care and love that they deserve is more than worth it.