Baby Skin Care 101

Your newborn baby is finally home, and you already have a hundred questions. You’re concerned about their diet, exercise, social activity, and the list goes on. However, one item you can check off that list is how to take care of your baby’s skin. Here are some of IKO Community Management’s best tips on the dos and don’ts of baby skin care:

Do not bathe your baby too frequently. You will be tempted to wash your baby often due to the germs of the outside world. However, bathing your little one too often can remove the natural oils that protect their delicate skin. If their skin becomes vulnerable, potential allergens can cause reactions like eczema. To avoid this, sponge-bathe your baby two to three times per week in 2 to 3 inches of lukewarm water. Dab a moistened cotton ball on your baby’s face to clean it, and make sure you continuously pour cups of water over their shoulders to keep them warm. Wrap them in a hooded towel when you’re done and immediately apply baby lotion.

Do wash your baby’s clothes before they wear them. Your family’s regular laundry load has allergens that your baby is not used to yet. For the first few months, wash your little one’s clothes, bedding and blankets separately in hot water with fragrance- and dye-free baby detergent and softener.

Do not use too much baby product. It’s best to use products specially designed for babies. They don’t have dyes, antibacterial alcohols or fragrances, but remember that your baby’s immune system is still developing. It is wise to limit your use of these skin products in case of allergic reaction, irritation or dryness from the perfume or alcohol. The most common ingredient that causes these symptoms is para-aminobenzoic (PABA).

Do take precautions for diaper rash. Your baby’s skin is highly sensitive, so it needs to be closely monitored and well-taken care of. To avoid a diaper rash or yeast infection, check their diapers frequently. Regardless of if they are cloth or disposable diapers, you should change it immediately when it becomes wet or soiled. Wash your baby’s area with a mild, fragrance-free cleanser and water then pat dry. (Never rub your baby’s skin.) Afterward, apply a thick layer of petroleum jelly or protective ointment. You can also use baby powder and oil, but make sure it does not go near your child’s mouth or nose.

Do not be afraid to massage your baby’s skin. Like adults, babies find comfort in human touch. In fact, their survival depends on being touched. It triggers hormones that boost immunity and help fight disease. Your baby will also cry less, sleep better and stay calmer more often, so use a gentle touch with some motherly love.

Do use sunscreen. Your little one should first be exposed to sunlight around 6 months old. Once it’s time to see the sun shine, apply SPF 30 all over your baby’s skin before putting them in loose-fitted clothing and a hat. For the best protection, apply the sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside. When they’re outside, limit their direct exposure to the sun. Find shady areas to play, be vigilant about reapplying every 2 hours, especially if you go swimming, and check for any signs of redness often.

Now that you know how to give a baby massage, when to apply sunscreen and how to prevent a diaper rash, you’re practically a baby skin care expert. Just remember not to go overboard with the baby products or bathe your child too frequently, and you’re good to go. From all of us at IKO Community Management, have a great summer!

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