Like most parts of the body, the skin of a newly born baby is not yet fully mature at birth. A newborn skin has to perform important functions such as regulating body temperature and protecting the body from various external elements – functions which the mother’s womb used to do for the unborn baby.
Babies in particular are prone to dry skin since the sweat glands of a newborn skin are not yet fully developed. It is normal for babies especially those who are born during the winter season to develop infantile rashes that are characterized by flaking, redness, rashes, and other forms of discoloration.
Caring for newborn skin
Caring for a newborn’s skin is thus an important matter that mothers should be very much conscious of.
As babies don’t have a fully developed immune system, it is recommended that only the mildest skin care products are used on newborn skin. As much as possible, products used on newborn skin should be bereft of harmful chemicals.
Tips on buying skin care products
Parents should read labels of skin care products carefully before buying one. Ideally, products for newborn skin should not have fragrances, dyes, and chemicals as these can cause irritations on the skin and affect the child’s breathing. Products that contain parabens and phthalate should also be avoided as it can cause skin irritation.
Pediatricians recommend using natural skin care products for infants since these products are safer for most babies. However, some babies may also be sensitive to natural skin care items especially those who have a family history of asthma.
Parents should also know that hypoallergenic products do not necessarily mean being gentle on newborn skin.
Skin care products for babies
Parents should make sure that these skin care products are at their disposal when cleaning their babies. Baby soaps, shampoos, and cleaners should be safe and mild for use on newborn skin.
Baby soaps and shampoos, no matter how safe and mild, should be used sparingly on babies since it can dry infant skin.
Baby lotion is another must-have skin care product for babies. Baby lotion helps in moisturizing newborn skin. It should be used sparingly on infants. Likewise, petroleum jelly is an essential item for newborn baby as it cures nappy rash.
Petroleum jelly also protects the baby’s skin against wet nappies. Rash ointment, meanwhile, moisturizes the baby’s kin and prevents irritation caused by wet diapers.
Parents will also find eczema cortisone ointments helpful in decreasing inflammation and redness of newborn skin. Most over-the-counter brands should work, although prescription medications may be needed for more serious cases of skin irritation.
Laundry detergent for baby clothes should also be free from chemicals, perfume, and dye. Ordinary detergents can cause irritation for infants.
Also, the use of baby powder is discouraged since babies may develop lung problems when inhaling talcum powder. A safer alternative is cornstarch-based powder, although the downside is that it can cause nappy rash since yeast grows on corn starch. Most pediatricians, however, advise against the use of baby powder on newborn skin.