From breastfeeding to education, we want only the best for our babies. As moms, it is our responsibility to make sure their bodies are in tip top shape for physical and mental growth. So when it comes to baby’s skin, the largest organ in the body, we should be particularly conscientious.
Imperfections are Normal: Baby acne, reddish birth marks (also known as stork bites), cradle cap and minor rashes are normal and most go away on their own without any need for treatment. Using a barrier cream is a great preventative measure for diaper rash and using over-the-counter medicated creams can cure most standard diaper rashes. If your baby develops a more severe skin condition, such as eczema, your pediatrician may prescribe a topical ointment.
Test the Waters: Because newborn skin is most sensitive, start by using products designed for sensitive babies including wipes, laundry detergent and bath soap. After a few months, start switching to regular products one at a time. If your baby has a reaction, switch back to the sensitive products and try again in a few months. Also start by washing your nursing bras and camis in sensitive detergent as her skin will likely come in contact with these fabrics as well.
Temperature Sensitivity: Newborns and infant bodies cannot regulate their temperature as adults do. Newborns lose body heat rapidly and, whether indoors or out, should be bundled in blankets and should wear hats as most heat escapes through the head. Babies also should not spend too much time in the heat because their body’s cooling mechanisms are not fully developed and heat can cause red bumpy skin rashes.
Sunscreen is Vital: If your baby is going to spend time outdoors, regardless of the temperature or cloudiness, apply protective sunscreen with an spf of at least 30 and specifically formulated for babies. Tear-free and sting-free sunscreens are best in case it accidentally makes contact with your baby’s eyes.
Skin to Skin: Your baby craves your touch. Studies show that skin-to-skin contact starting from the moment your baby is born will help her early development and create a bond with loved ones. Breastfeeding is an excellent time for skin-to-skin contact if you are in a space where you can remove your shirt and lay your undressed newborn on your chest. Front closure nursing bras are perfect for easy skin-to-skin access. Offering your baby a relaxing massage using natural lotions or oils can also be a special way for mom (or dad) to share a skintastic moment with your little one.