Babies have sensitive skin because their skin barrier is not fully developed. It means that the skin cannot keep out irritants and bacteria as well as an adult’s skin can. As a result, babies are more prone to developing rashes and other skin problems.
According to the National Institutes of Health, “babies’ skin is about 30% thinner than adults’ skin, and it doesn’t have as many natural oils.” Babies skin is less effective at keeping moisture in and irritants out. In addition, babies’ sweat glands are not yet fully developed, so they don’t produce as much sweat to protect their skin.
These factors make baby skin more sensitive to environmental factors, such as the sun, wind, and cold weather. It also makes the baby more susceptible to diaper rash and other types of inflammation. A mother must be extra careful when choosing skin care products for her baby. Here are a few things to consider when pursuing skincare for your infant.
Choose Hypoallergenic Products
Babies have sensitive skin, so it is essential to use products that are hypoallergenic and free of harmful chemicals. Look for skincare products labeled “fragrance-free” or “unscented.” Avoid products that contain dyes, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and other synthetic ingredients.
Some parents prefer to use natural or organic products on their babies skin. However, these products may not always be hypoallergenic. If you’re unsure about a product, it’s always best to consult with a pediatrician before using it on your baby.
Use Gentle Cleansers
Always use a mild, fragrance-free cleanser when cleansing your baby’s skin. Harsh soaps can strip the natural oils from the skin and irritate it. It is best to avoid using wipes on babies’ skin as well. Wipes can be harsh and dry and may contain fragrances or other irritants that can cause a reaction.
It is also important to avoid scrubbing your baby’s skin too harshly. Use your fingertips gently and circularly when cleansing the face and diaper area. Avoid using washcloths or loofahs, as these can be too abrasive for delicate baby skin.
You should apply sunscreen to your baby’s skin when exposed to direct sunlight, even if it’s just for a short period. Babies’ skin is much more sensitive to the sun than adults’. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 for babies over six months old.
Reapply sunscreen every two hours or more if your baby is swimming or sweating. Be sure to apply sunscreen to any exposed skin, including the face, neck, hands, and feet. Don’t forget to put sunscreen on your skin as well!
Choose the Right Diapers
One of the most important things you can do for your baby’s skin is to choose the right diapers. Disposable diapers are generally more absorbent and less likely to cause diaper rash than cloth diapers. If you use disposable diapers, look for ones that are hypoallergenic and free of harmful chemicals.
If you use cloth diapers, wash them before using them on your baby. Cloth diapers can harbor bacteria and other irritants that can cause a rash. Use a mild, fragrance-free detergent when washing cloth diapers. Avoid fabric softeners, as these can irritate the skin.
Change Diapers Frequently
You must change your baby’s diaper often to prevent irritation and rash. The AAP recommends changing diapers every two to three hours during the day and at least once at night.
Be sure to clean your baby’s bottom thoroughly with each diaper change. Gently pat the area dry with a soft towel. Apply a barrier cream or ointment to the site to protect it from wetness and irritation.
Use Moisturizing Creams and Lotions
It is essential to keep your baby’s skin hydrated, especially if they have dry skin. Apply a hypoallergenic moisturizer to your baby’s skin after each bath and diaper change. You can also use a humidifier in your baby’s room to add moisture to the air. Of course, utilizing a hypoallergenic lotion product is essential when moisturizing your infant’s skin.
When to See a Doctor
You must see a doctor immediately if you notice any signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or pus. These could be signs of a severe problem, such as impetigo or cellulitis. See a doctor immediately if your baby has a fever or seems to be in pain. You should have a reliable pediatrician you can consult regarding your baby’s skin care needs.
Take Care of Your Child’s Skin
The bottom line is that taking good care of your baby’s skin is essential. Be sure to use gentle, hypoallergenic products and change diapers frequently. Apply sunscreen whenever your baby is exposed to direct sunlight. If you have any concerns about your baby’s skin, be sure to consult with a pediatrician.