Baby's Skin Health
Your baby’s skin is more sensitive and delicate than an adult’s. It is usually thinner, less oily, and less resistant to bacteria and harmful substances in the environment, so it can be easily irritated. A good daily skincare routine can help to ensure that your little one has the best chance of healthy skin. Special care needs to be taken when selecting what products to use on your baby’s delicate skin.
During the first few weeks after birth, your baby may experience several minor skin conditions, such as cradle cap, infant acne and heat rash. These conditions are common, and usually, easily managed. However, if your baby’s skin is causing you any concerns, it is best to speak to your Advantage Pharmacist, local Doctor or Paediatrician.
All babies are different when it comes to their reaction to bath time. Some babies may very much enjoy it, and it helps them to relax before going to bed. Others however, do not necessarily like bath time, or their skin may seem to dry out when they take a bath each day. There is no need to give your newborn a bath every day. In fact, bathing your baby more than two or three times a week can dry out his or her skin.
When you are bathing your baby, ensure that you always use lukewarm water, rather than hot water. Test the water by dipping your elbow or wrist into it. At first, you may only want to cleanse your baby’s skin with just water. Once you are ready to start introducing a wash and shampoo, you should make sure that you select products that are free from soaps, perfumes, alcohol and other chemicals as much as possible. All of these products could can potentially strip away your baby’s natural defences and irritate their delicate skin. Products which may be suitable for your baby in the bath include: DermaVeen Baby Wash and Shampoo, Gaia Hair and Body Wash, and Hamilton’s Soap Free Wash.
After Bath Care
Once your baby has had their bath, simply pat their gentle skin with a soft towel, rather than rubbing their skin dry. Apply a simple moisturiser to their skin to help increase their skin’s hydration and lock in moisture. As with your baby’s bath products, it is important to ensure that you choose a moisturiser which is free from as many chemicals as possible. Moisturisers, such as Gaia Natural Baby Moisturiser, can be gently massaged into your baby’s damp skin after a bath to help leave your baby’s skin silky soft and smooth. If your baby’s skin is a bit dry, you may like to choose a product which contains colloidal oatmeal, such as DermaVeen Baby Moisturising Cream, which could help provide additional hydration.
Baby massage is a wonderful way to encourage bonding between you and your baby. It encourages eye to eye and skin contact, with the exchange of soothing sounds and smells. There are many opportunities for you to massage your baby, in particular, after a bath, when changing a nappy, before bedtime or spontaneously anytime during the day when you are cuddling your baby.
Pay careful attention to how your baby responds to massage, as not all children respond in the same way. With time you will find out what your baby enjoys and what they don’t. It is not necessary to use any products on your baby’s skin prior to a massage, however scents from a natural massage oil (e.g. Gaia Baby Massage Oil) or essential oil (e.g. In Essence Lavender Oil in Sweet Almond Oil) can make it more enjoyable. It is recommended, however, that no essential oils should be used on your baby during the first two months. During this time, simply use a product like Oil Garden Sweet Almond Oil, on its own.
Baby Massage Technique For Infants 2 Months + :
- One drop or lavender essential oil, such as In Essence Lavender.
- 20mL of sweet almond oil, such as Oil Garden Sweet Almond. Begin by warming a few drops of the above blend in your hands and commence at the feet of your little one. Gently stroke their heels and move in a direction towards their toes. Then work your way up to their body. Simply apply very gentle strokes or small circles with your thumbs and the tips of your fingers, maintaining contact at all times. Remember, your baby will respond accordingly to the massage; if they are tense or stressed, do not try to calm them with a massage, but rather gently cradle them in your arms to provide comfort.
- Protect your baby from cigarette smoke, or smoke residue from your clothes. As well as it irritating your baby’s skin, it can be dangerous for their health.
- The Cancer Council of Australia recommends keeping babies out of the sun as much as possible for the first 12 months. Try to protect your baby from UV radiation with appropriate clothing, hats and shade. Apply a broad spectrum sunscreen, such as Hamilton’s Toddler Sunscreen, on small areas of your baby’s skin if it is exposed.
- Ensure that your house is free from as much dust as possible. Damp dusting (i.e. using a damp cloth) is a safe way to clean. Ask your local Advantage Pharmacist on a suitable range of fragrance free, allergy friendly and grey water safe home cleaning products. By using such products, you could reduce your family’s exposure to harmful chemicals and other toxins.
- Wash your baby’s clothes in a natural laundry or liquid that are free from harmful chemicals that could irritate their delicate skin.