Caring for newborn skin: all you need to know about baths, soaps and diapers
Newborn skin is so soft and delicate that it needs extra care and protection. Here are some tips for taking care of Your Child’s sensitive skin.
In hot and humid climates, babies can get a bath every day in room temperature water to stay clean and comfortable. In colder or dry parts of the world, bathing once every 3-4 days is enough, to avoid irritating the already dry skin too much.
When you bathe Your Child, set the water temperature around 36 – 38 degrees Celsius and then fill the bathtub with around 5 cm of water — water that’s too deep could be dangerous. If your baby’s skin is very dry, you can reduce the water temperature a little because warm water will make it worse, but make sure Your Child is not getting too cold.
If you are not bathing the baby, make sure you keep the nappy area well-cleaned and wash the hands and face several times a day.
Shampoo and soap
Be sure not to use shampoo or soap that can cause an allergic reaction. Use mild and gentle soap which is fragrance-free and paraben-free for the baby, or not using soap at all. It is preferable to dry Your Child using natural cotton and smooth towels, and all air conditioners and fans should be switched off to prevent cold.
Baby diapers help to keep the baby clean and fresh. But some diapers may irritate the skin and lead to rashes or infections. You should change the diaper as soon as you notice that Your Child has ‘used’ it. Be sure to purchase fragrance-free diapers and the size shouldn’t be too tight and cause chafing.
If Your Child has very sensitive skin try to switch to cloth diapers so you instantly realize when they get wet and you can change them right after.
Make sure that every new outfit is washed before Your Child wears it. When you wash the cloth later try to dry them in direct sunlight or iron the cloth, as this can prevent bites from tiny bugs or dust mites.
Use skin-care products made specifically for babies, such as fragrance-free and tear-free shampoos, bath gels, and lotions. While using any of them, observe carefully to be sure Your Child isn’t reacting to them.
It’s necessary to keep Your Child’s skin moisturized, so if the skin is dry gently apply lotion. You may not need baby powders if you let the skin dry properly.
- Your Child should not be exposed to much direct sunlight until 6 months old — protect the baby’s tender skin with long-sleeved tops, pants, and hats
- Your Child may sweat in the armpits, skin folds, neck, and diaper areas. Loose clothes and a cool environment will help prevent prickly heat rashes
- Chemical detergents, talcum powders, and some other baby products may cause skin irritation, rashes, or dryness
- Keep using vegan products as much as you can, to protect your baby’s skin from harmful infections or allergic reactions
If your baby has very dry skin, strong rashes, or other irritations that worry you, please talk to your doctor or healthcare provider.
Dr. Wanwadee Sapmee Panyakat (OB-GYN)