The phrase “as soft as a baby’s bottom” exists for good reason. Newborn’s have the absolute softest skin! Don’t be surprised if you find yourself often stroking it without realizing it. It’s a soft like no other. It requires a special kind of care because of how soft and delicate it is, totally different than how you’d care for your own skin!
Babies are floating around in amniotic fluid for 9+ months, protecting and hydrating their skin. Once they’re out in the world though, there are a few practices you will want to keep in mind in order to properly care for your baby’s skin.
The first week or two their skin remains perfectly plump and soft! It’s best to keep things nice and simple.
Skip the Fragrance
One way to simplify things and care for their skin is to avoid fragrance where possible. Fragrance can be a skin irritant, and while it might be tempting to use to cover up some of the unpleasant smells that come along with babyhood, it’s probably best to hold off for a bit when your baby is still very young.
Your little one might not have sensitive skin and perhaps can handle it, but it doesn’t hurt to avoid it for those first few weeks to maintain that sweet softness and not risk any possible irritation.
Where Does Fragrance Hide?
Fragrance can be in a ton of baby products too! And maybe even in products you wouldn’t think of. It can be in shampoo, body wash, and lotions, but typically most brands offer a fragrance free option. Laundry detergent is another one to look out for.
Diapers often come with fragrance as well, sometimes a super overpowering one! Makes sense since they of course tend to be on the stinky side. But it’s not worth risking irritation! And while they’re super little, it’s minimally stinky anyways. Luckily, Believe Diapers are fragrance free and hypoallergenic!
You might find fragrances in wipes and diaper creams too. I’ve even seen baby perfume - not really sure why you’d ever need that. Baby’s natural scent is all you’d ever need and there’s no need to cover that up with perfume!
Speaking of diapers, that area is especially delicate. Another way to care for baby skin is to use sensitive and soft baby wipes. Some can be harsher than others, but going with one that includes minimal ingredients and created with baby’s sensitive skin specifically in mind, like Believe Diapers, can be a good way to care for it. Especially since you’ll be wiping quite often!
It’s important to wipe gently, keep the area clean with frequent diaper changes, dry the skin before applying a new diaper, either by air drying or dabbing with a soft washcloth, and using gentle diaper rash cream if necessary.
Bath Time - Less is More
When it comes to bath time, less is more for your sweet little one’s skin. They don’t need frequent showers or baths like adults do! Infrequent bath time is the best way to protect their skin, think 1-2 times a week.
Stick to your fragrance free soap and soft washcloths to gently clean them. If you need to bathe more frequently, you always can do a water bath just for a quick rinse. And be sure to keep things at a not-too-hot temperature for them, both to protect their skin and to avoid burns and discomfort.
Newborn Skin Changes
As the weeks go on, your little one’s skin will begin to change! I’m sure we’ve all heard of cradle cap, which is the skin on their scalp beginning to peel and flake off. Their skin will actually do that all over their teeny bodies! You’ll also likely notice tiny blemishes popping up on their face, neck, and elsewhere, more commonly known as baby acne.
Not to worry! Neither one is cause for concern! This is simply your baby’s skin adjusting to life outside the womb. However, if you notice it becoming worse and worse, or causing your baby discomfort, it doesn’t hurt to ask your pediatrician. Most likely though baby won’t notice at all!
Caring for their Changing Skin
So what do you need to do to deal with the peeling, flaking, or baby acne? Generally speaking, a whole lotta nothing! These issues tend to resolve on their own as the days and weeks go by and their skin adapts to life post mom’s belly. Interfering might even make it worse!
It might be tempting to pick or peel your little one to help their skin along, but you likely would only irritate it further. Leave it alone and it will clear up soon enough. If you’d like to help keep it clean, a good option is a warm soft washcloth with water only, occasionally soap if needed. Resist the urge to scrub too harshly! Stick to soft rubbing motions.
You might consider lotion for their skin as well, but that’s something to clear with your pediatrician first before applying. In those early weeks your doctor might want you to hold off. And your baby’s skin is plenty soft without it.
All You Need to Remember for Newborn Skincare
The moral of the story when it comes to caring for your sweet baby’s skin? Less is more and keep things simple! Remove fragrance when you can, keep baths to a minimum, and be as gentle as you can. And of course don’t forget to nuzzle those sweet baby cheeks whenever possible.
By: Ivy Doyle