Most parents expect babies to have perfect skin, which is why it comes as a surprise when they discover that there is nothing called baby-soft skin.
Rather, it is more common for babies to experience skin issues such as blemishes during the first year. If you are already facing this issue, let us help by providing seven tips that will help you protect your baby’s skin and keep it healthy and smooth.
1. Look Out for Dry Skin
It is not mandatory for you to apply moisturizer to your baby’s skin. You don’t need to get concerned if you find your baby has developed small patches of dry skin during the first few weeks. This condition is normal, and these dry patches will go away on their own without you having to apply any extra moisturizer.
Olive, sunflower seed, or coconut are natural plant oils that are usually suggested for babies to moisturize their skin, but some evidence has also suggested that these might make the dry skin worse. If you notice any discoloration on your baby’s skin, stop using all products and consult your doctor right away.
2. Deal with Cradle Cap
Cradle cap commonly develops in babies between the ages of three weeks and three months. In this skin condition, you will discover greasy-looking, yellow patches around the crown of your baby’s head and on the scalp. This skin condition might also appear on the eyebrows, forehead, or around the ears. But the good news is that it is known to mostly clear up on its own.
Before giving your baby a bath, you can apply an emollient such as coconut or almond oil in small amounts to the affected area. After that, you can wash your baby’s scalp and head with a very gentle shampoo.
If there are no improvements after a few washes, you need to consult with the doctor to see if any other treatments should be considered.
3. Keep an Eye on Nail Growth
Your baby’s nails might be thin and small, but they can still be sharp. You need to keep an eye out for how your baby’s nails are growing as sharp or long nails can scratch the baby’s body or face.
It is best to trim or file your baby’s nails every week as they tend to grow very quickly. Be sure to gently smooth your baby’s nails using a non-metal nail file. Or you can use a baby nail clipper to shorten the nails and keep the length reduced.
It is a good idea to file or cut your baby’s nails as they are asleep or are in a very relaxed state. This way, sudden jerky movements that may result in injury can be avoided.
4. Take Proper Care of The Umbilical Cord
It is likely that the umbilical cord is still attached to the belly button when you bring your baby home for the first time. The cord will fall off in about one to three weeks, and until then, you need to keep the area dry and clean.
You should not try to force or pull on the umbilical cord to fall off, as this will happen on its own. It is not required to rub alcohol or apply any substance to aid in the drying process or prevent any infection.
If you notice any discharge that is foul-smelling, swelling or redness, significant bleeding, or a fever of 100°F or higher, call your baby’s doctor immediately.
5. Limit Your Baby’s Time in the Sun
You should ideally keep your baby out of the sun as much as possible. If you do take them outdoors, even during the winter, you should try to keep their skin out of the sun. The Food and Drug Administration states that you shouldn’t apply any sunscreen to a baby that is under six months old.
Instead, they recommend the following:
- Dress your baby in clothes that are loose-fitting and cover the legs and arms.
- Try to keep your baby in the shade as much as you can.
- Put a hat on your baby that will cover the ears and neck.
- The ultraviolet rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so limit your baby’s exposure to the sun as much as you can during this time.
- If you are going to spend more than a few minutes outside, be sure to keep your baby hydrated with breastmilk or formula.
6. Bathe Them Properly
When bathing your baby, stick to the best practices. Giving your baby baths on a regular basis is a good idea, but you do not need to bathe them every day. Between washings in the tub, you can keep their genitals, hands, face, and other body parts clean by using a soft washcloth dipped in lukewarm water.
Beware as some washcloths may cause dryness and irritation to the skin. A few best practices may be:
- Don’t use hot water; use lukewarm water instead.
- Bathe them in a warm room.
- Keep the baths short, usually between five and ten minutes.
- Use water only to wash your baby’s face and eyes.
7. Keep Heat Rash Away
If your baby’s body becomes overheated, they might develop a heat rash. Normal places for it to appear are the places where clothes brush against the skin and areas where the skin folds. It is more visible in babies having a lighter skin tone and might appear like tiny red spots.
Heat rash usually occurs when the sweat glands get blocked. A rash usually develops due to oils. Hot or humid weather and other ointments blocking the sweat glands make way for heat rashes.
Keep your baby cool, and don’t use oil-based products to treat your baby with heat rashes. You can clear the rash using a washcloth or giving your baby a cool bath to get rid of the itchiness.
No matter what anyone tells you, your baby’s skin is sensitive and needs constant care and protection.
Hopefully, the seven stellar tips mentioned above on how to take proper care of your baby’s skin will help you. You should keep your baby’s skin dry and clean and also keep them out of the sun.
Even if you spend long periods out in the sun, be sure to use a good sunscreen. Best of luck with your baby!